Daily Devotion for March 25, 2011
Feast of the Annunciation
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.
The contemporary gospel sound of Kirk Franklin won't appeal to everyone, but I hope you will give this inspiring video a chance.
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,
A Prayer of Contrition for Lent
Merciful Father, I am guilty of sin. I confess my sins before you and I am sorry for them. Your promises are just; therefore I trust that you will forgive my sins and cleanse me from every stain of sin. Jesus himself is the propitiation for my sins and the sin of the whole world. I put my hope in his atonement. May my sins be forgiven through His name and in His blood may my soul be made clean.
Prayer for Renewal
Lord, I am one of your people, the sheep of your flock. I pray for you to heal the sheep who are wounded; touch the sheep who are in pain; clean the sheep who are soiled; warm the lambs who are cold; help me to know the Father's love through Jesus the shepherd, and through the Spirit.
Help me to lift up that love, and show it all over this land. Help me to build love on justice and justice on love. Help me to believe mightily, hope joyfully, and love divinely. Renew me that I may help renew the face of the earth.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
Proverbs 6:9-11 (NKJV)
A little sleep, a little slumber, A little folding of the hands to sleep ó
So shall your poverty come on you like a prowler, And your need like an armed man.
John 12:27-36 (ESV)
The Son of Man Must Be Lifted Up
"Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? 'Father, save me from this hour'? But for this purpose I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name."
Then a voice came from heaven: "I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again." The crowd that stood there and heard it said that it had thundered. Others said, "An angel has spoken to him."
Jesus answered, "This voice has come for your sake, not mine. Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself." He said this to show by what kind of death he was going to die.
So the crowd answered him, "We have heard from the Law that the Christ remains forever. How can you say that the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?"
So Jesus said to them, "The light is among you for a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you. The one who walks in the darkness does not know where he is going. While you have the light, believe in the light, that you may become sons of light."
Notes on the Scripture
Jesus, being fully human, feels the same emotions as we all do, including our instinctive fear of death. Knowing that his death is approaching, he is troubled; he can feel our fear of death. But he will not pray for his life to be saved, because the death of his body is the reason the Father has sent him.
After he explains this to the gathered crowd, there is a great sound from the sky. Some of the witnesses say it was a clap of thunder; others hear a voice, which they believe to be an angel — a messenger from God. But clearly, Christ's refusal to ask the Father has occasioned some sort of moment.
Then Jesus tells them what it is; the ruler of the earth (Satan) has been cast out. We are no longer his slaves. People have been freed to choose whether they will walk in the light and follow Christ, or continue to stumble in the darkness. The salvation of the world has been announced.
The crowd is still confused at this point. Christ's lessons are, at least in part, not intended to be understood immediately. Rather, he instructs the people about what is to occur, so that they can remember his words after his resurrection and ascension, when they will be able to understand all that has happened. He will be gone. And when he is gone, his remembered words will be our path to find him.
This is why Christ is called "the Word" in the first line of John. The Bible, an assemblage of words, will become our path to find Him once he has left the earth.