Daily Devotion for February 7, 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 for the Morning
Oh Lord, most heavenly Father, Almighty and everlasting God, who has safely brought me to the beginning of this day; I give you thanks for my creation, preservation, and all the blessings of my life. Grant that this day I fall into no sin, neither run into any kind of danger; but that all my doings, being governed by your will, may be righteous in your sight. Through Christ our Lord, I pray.
Prayer for All People
O God, the creator and preserver of all humanity, I humbly pray to you for all sorts and conditions of people; that it might please you to make your Word known to them and bring your saving health to all nations. In particular I pray for the entirety of your church, in all of its many forms; that it may be guided and governed by your Holy Spirit, and that all who profess your name and call themselves Christians may be led into the way of truth. May all of us live in the unity of spirit our faith in Christ provides to us, in the bond of peace, and in righteousness of life.
Finally, I commend to your fatherly goodness all those who are ill or in distress, in their mind, body, or circumstances. May it please you to comfort and relieve them in accordance with their needs, giving them patience during their suffering, and a fortunate outcome to all of their problems. And this I ask in the name of Jesus Christ, who was always pleased to relieve the suffering of those he encountered.
Community of Prayer
May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be among the community of all who pray in the name of Christ this morning, and remain among us always.
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.
Meanwhile the disciples were urging him, saying, "Rabbi, eat." But he said to them, "I have food to eat that you do not know about."
So the disciples said to one another, "Has anyone brought him something to eat?" Jesus said to them, "My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work. Do you not say, 'There are yet four months, then comes the harvest'? Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest.
Already the one who reaps is receiving wages and gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. For here the saying holds true, 'One sows and another reaps.' I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor."
Notes on the Scripture
Yesterday's Scripture had Jesus, speaking to the Samaritan woman at Jacob's Well, use an odd kind of double-talk; he constantly intertwined the woman's activity -- getting water from the well -- with an extended metaphor comparing water to the spirit. Thirst thus became need for the spirit; Jacob's well became Jacob's legacy, the first covenant with God; Christ compared himself to the source of "living water".
Here, his metaphor changes to food. Christ has apparently not eaten and it takes several tries before the disciples realize he is speaking metaphorically. He is not concerned with his physical hunger; the food he wants can come only from doing his Father's will. He is content to have his spirit fulfilled even though his belly is empty; so he says that he has food to eat that they "don't know about".
Once again, John relishes the double entendre. To his disciples, it seems that the phrase "I have food you don't know about" sounds like a simple statement, as if he had eaten a sandwich tucked away in his robe. But the deeper meaning, obvious to the reader, is that they don't know something else, i.e. what kind of "food" he is talking about.
So Jesus tells them, that his "food" is to accomplish the Father's will. Moreover, the seeds for this food have already been sown; all the disciples need do is to harvest it. By this He means, Christ himself (and possibly the prophets of Judaism) have prepared for the time when all humanity might be saved. The day has come, when all the disciples need to do to save men's souls is to convince them to believe in Jesus Christ. They will thus "harvest" the food that is now ready.