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Daily Devotion for March 9, 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 Thanks for God's Creation
O Lord God of Israel and God of the nations, you are the only God in heaven above or the earth below. I walk before you with all my heart. I bless your name in the morning when I rise and in the evening when I sleep, and all the day when your creation fills my eye. Bless me to remember you this day; when I see and hear the thousand miracles of your creation, let me see them anew, recalling that you have made them, and no other; that I may live in your presence among the common miracles I take for granted. Through Christ I pray,
Prayer for Personal Conduct (from 1 Timothy)
Lord God, I pray that this day my conduct will be like that you have set for your clergy, above reproach. May I be this day temperate, sensible, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle; not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. I pray that I manage my own family well and keep any children I may have charge of under control, acting with proper respect. Grant me a good reputation with outsiders, so that I will not fall into disgrace and the snare of the devil.
A Prayer for Ash Wednesday
Father in Heaven, the light of your truth bestows sight to the darkness of sinful eyes. May this season of repentance bring us the blessing of Your forgiveness and the gift of Your light. Grant this through Christ our Lord.
Dedication to Service
Now, oh heavenly Father, I ask to be called as a witness to your love by the love I extend to others; a precursor of your justice by my unfailing commitment to what is right and good; a lamp set on a hill, reflecting the light of Christ in my forgiveness, mercy and compassion; and a harvester of souls through my humble and dedicated servanthood. In Jesus' name, I pray,
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.
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
John 9:1-7 (ESV)
A Man Blind from Birth
As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth. And his disciples asked him, "Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?"
Jesus answered, "It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him. We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world."
Having said these things, he spat on the ground and made mud with the saliva. Then he anointed the manís eyes with the mud and said to him, "Go, wash in the pool of Siloam" (which means Sent). So he went and washed and came back seeing.
Notes on the Scripture
This passage is an allegory (a representation of an abstract or spiritual meaning through concrete or material forms). We are all blind from birth, but Christ is the light of the world. We are blind because we cannot see the light. We are born, hopeless, into sin.
Christ takes the peculiar step of spitting into the mud, to represent God making Adam from earth; in this case, however, God has combined himself with the earth. The mud is a mixture of God and man. It may seem a bit odd, but the mud represent Jesus himself.
The passage also addresses one of the hardest things to understand about the nature of God and human suffering. Why does God allow so much suffering in the world? It is not because of our sins that we get sick, or poor, or suffer all the other pains of life on earth. It is so that the works of God can be displayed in us. God allows us to be born into sin, with free will, so that his work may be shown through us. We simply must believe that, when we pass from this earth, God will reward us for our faith.