Daily Devotion for January 21, 2011
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.
Prayer of Metropolitan Philaret
Lord, give me the strength to greet the coming day in peace. Help me in all things to rely on Your holy will. Reveal Your will to me every hour of the day. Bless my dealings with all people. Teach me to treat all people who come to me throughout the day with peace of soul and with firm conviction that Your will governs all. In all my deeds and words guide my thoughts and feelings. In unexpected events, let me not forget that all are sent by you.
Teach me to act firmly and wisely, without embittering and embarrassing others. Give me the physical strength to bear the labors of this day. Direct my will, teach me to pray, pray in me.
Prayer of Saint Francis of Assisi
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make me perfect in every good work to do his will, working in me that which is well-pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever.
Think of the day ahead in terms of God with you, and visualize health, strength, guidance, purity, calm confidence, and victory as the gifts of His presence.
Psalm 148:1-5 (New Int'l Readers Version)
Praise him, all his angels. Praise him, all his angels in heaven.
Praise him, sun and moon. Praise him, all you shining stars.
Praise him, you highest heavens. Praise him, you waters above the skies.
Let all of them praise the name of the Lord, because he gave a command and they were created.
John 1:35-44 (CEB)
Jesus Calls the First Disciples
The next day John was standing again with two of his disciples. When he saw Jesus walking along he said, “Look! The Lamb of God!” The two disciples heard what he said, and they followed Jesus.
When Jesus turned and saw them following, he asked, “What are you looking for?”
They said, “Rabbi (which is translated Teacher), where are you staying?”
He replied, “Come and see.” So they went and saw where he was staying, and they remained with him that day. It was about four o’clock in the afternoon.
One of the two disciples who heard what John said and followed Jesus was Andrew, the brother of Simon Peter. He first found his own brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which is translated Christ or the Anointed One ). He led him to Jesus.
Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon, son of John. You will be called Cephas” (which is translated Peter [in English, "Stone"]).
The next day Jesus wanted to go into Galilee, and he found Philip. Jesus said to him, “Follow me.” Philip was from Bethsaida, the hometown of Andrew and Peter.
Notes on the Scripture
In the previous Bible reading, John the Baptist compared the Holy Spirit descending on Christ to a dove. Here, he calls him the "Lamb of God". Once again, John chooses imagery of harmlessness, peace, and innocence, a creature that is hunted rather than a powerful fighting animal. The Hebrews were expecting a messiah who would be more aptly named "the Lion of God" or somesuch. But Christ came to teach, not to fit into the Hebrews' preconception.
Andrew, a disciple of John the Baptist, becomes the first disciple of Christ. He runs and enlists his brother Simon Peter, who will become the great leader of the church after Christ's ascension. Like "dove" or "lamb", the name Peter creates an image. His Hebrew name is actually Cephus, which is translated into the Greek name Peter in the Bible. (Actually, the name Jesus is also a Greek translation; Christ's Hebrew name might well have been Joshua!)
Shortly before his death, Christ will use this image himself, by calling Peter "the rock upon which I will build my church".