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Daily Devotion for February 13, 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
O Master and holy God, who is beyond my understanding: at your word, light came forth out of darkness. In your mercy, you gave me rest through sleep, and let me awake to the light of your glory out of the darkness of night.
Now, in your own tender love, accept me and all who adore you and give thanks to you with all of their heart. In the abundance of your mercies, O Lord, remember all your people; all those who pray with me; all my brethren on land, at sea, or in the air, in every place of your domain, who call upon your love for mankind. Upon all of us who pray to you this morning, pour down your great mercy, that we, saved in body and in soul, may persevere unfailingly; and that, in our confidence, we may extol your exalted and blessed Name, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, always, now and forever.
For our restful sleep at night,
For the rain and sunshine bright,
For the love that Thou dost send,
For our homes and for each friend,
For the day and all its pleasures,
Grateful thanks I render now.
May our lives pass on the blessings,
None can give to us, but Thou.
Almighty God, by your Holy Spirit you have made me one with your saints in heaven and on earth. Grant that in my earthly pilgrimage I may always be supported by this fellowship of love and prayer, and know myself to be surrounded by their witness to your power and mercy. I ask this for the sake of Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns 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.
making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding;
yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding,
if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures,
then you will understand the fear of the Lord and find the knowledge of God.
"Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life.
Very truly I tell you, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live.
For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son also to have life in himself. And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man."
Notes on the Scripture
John gives us three important Christian concepts in this short passage, together with several other statements about Christ's purpose. This passage is one of the central sources of Christian belief.
First, the "death to life" concept. Notice that Christ does not say, here, "people who hear my word and believe in me"; rather, he says "people who hear my word and believe God the Father". This restatement of something he says many times implies that Christ's teachings come directly from the Father. This tightens the tie between Jesus and God the Father and further hints at the incomprehensible mystery of the Trinity, stated in John 1:1 -- that the Word is simultaneously God and "with God". Jesus is God and, at the same time, a distinct individual.
Secondly, he says a time is both coming and has come when the dead will hear the Son of God and will live. As is so often the case in John, "dead" has two meanings. It refers both to the spiritually dead but physically living people who hear his word, and to people who have already died. It anticipates something that will occur after his death; he will visit the souls of the departed to enable them to accept the new covenant.
Third, we get a little more information about Christ as the judge of man. He says that God has given him the role of the judge of mankind, because Christ has lived as an actual human being. Jesus gives God a human face. It is easier for us to accept judgment from a God who has come to live as one of us, because it assures us that God knows, firsthand, the suffering, the joys and pains that we experience as human. It is akin to a king who goes and lives as a base laborer among his people; it is an act of love and solidarity of experience, done so that we might know him as one of us.