Daily Devotion for March 29, 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 Grace and Strength
Lord God, I pray that you will fill my heart with the blessing of your Holy Spirit. Grant me this day the strength to be temperate in all things, diligent in my duties, and patient under my afflictions. Direct me in all my ways. Give me grace to be just and upright in all my dealings; quiet and peaceable; full of compassion; and ready to do good to all people, according to my abilities and opportunities. For the sake of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ,
A Lenten Prayer
Almighty God, You know that I have no power on my own to help myself: Keep me both outwardly in my body and inwardly in my soul, that I may be defended from all adversities which may happen to my body, and from all evil thoughts which may assault and hurt my soul; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
Community of Prayer
Heavenly Lord, I know I am not alone saying these prayers or reading your Word this morning, but many people unknown to me, from all stations of life, have joined together in this brief moment of devotion. 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.
~ Thomas Watson
John 13:12-20 (NKJV)
He Who Receives Me
So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them, “Do you know what I have done to you? You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you.
Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.
“I do not speak concerning all of you. I know whom I have chosen; but that the Scripture may be fulfilled, ‘He who eats bread with Me has lifted up his heel against Me.’ [Psalm 41:9]
Now I tell you before it comes, that when it does come to pass, you may believe that I am He. Most assuredly, I say to you, he who receives whomever I send receives Me; and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me.”
Notes on the Scripture
Like yesterday's Scripture, today's contains two different parts: one, a section on washing feet, and one, a section about Judas Iscariot. As discussed yesterday, Jesus uses the washing of his disciples' feet to show the need for daily forgiveness, for the sins we have accumulated during the day. We are fully cleaned by baptism, when water is poured on the head or the entire body. However, due to our less exalted existence -- the existence of the body, symbolized by the feet -- we accumulate sin after our baptism. We are cleansed of this daily sin by Christ's love for us and forgiveness of us.
Today, Christ tells his disciples that they are not greater than he is. Then he explains that, if he humbles himself to wash their feet, they should do likewise.
Christ is not literally telling them to wash each others feet (although a few denominations have encouraged this, as a sign of humility and love). He is telling them to do what he has done: To love and forgive one another, just as he has loved and forgiven them. If Christ, who is our Lord, can love and forgive sinful humanity, who are we to do otherwise? Are we superior to Christ?