Daily Devotion for May 21, 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 (written by Metropolitan Philaret)
Lord, give me the strength to greet the coming day in peace. Help me in all things to rely on Your holy will. Reveal Your will to me every hour of the day. Bless my dealings with all people. Teach me to treat all people who come to me throughout the day with peace of soul and with firm conviction that Your will governs all. In all my deeds and words guide my thoughts and feelings. In unexpected events, let me not forget that all are sent by you.
Teach me to act firmly and wisely, without embittering and embarrassing others. Give me the physical strength to bear the labors of this day. Direct my will, teach me to pray, pray in me.
Prayer for the Departed
Into your hands, O Lord, I commend the souls of your servants departed from this life and beseech you to grant them rest in the place of your rest, where all the blessed repose, and where the light of your countenance shines forever.
And I pray also to grant that my present life may be godly, sober, and blameless, that, I too may be made worthy to enter into your heavenly Kingdom with those I love but see no longer: for you are the Resurrection, and the Life, and the Repose of your departed servants, O Christ our God, and unto you I ascribe all glory: to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; now and ever, and unto ages of ages.
0. Lord, support me all the day long of this troublous life, until the shadows lengthen and the evening comes, and the busy world is hushed, and the fever of life is over and my work is done. Then of Thy mercy, grant me a safe lodging, and a holy rest and a peace at last through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
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 cried out to my God;
He heard my voice from His temple,
And my cry came before Him, even to His ears
Acts 5:27-32 (NIV)
We Obey God, Not Man
The apostles were brought in and made to appear before the Sanhedrin to be questioned by the high priest. "We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name," he said. "Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us guilty of this man’'s blood."”
Peter and the other apostles replied: "We must obey God rather than human beings! The God of our ancestors raised Jesus from the dead—whom you killed by hanging him on a cross.
God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Savior that he might bring Israel to repentance and forgive their sins. We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him."
Notes on the Scripture
This time, it is not just Peter and John who appear for trial, but all the apostles. The Jewish authorities again display the hypocrisy which they showed so clearly at Christ's crucifixion. Not only do they try to blame the apostles, rather than themselves, for the potential crucifixion of Peter; they are even angry at the apostles, because if they do execute him, the apostles will put Peter's blood on their hands!
The apostles, however, will have none of it. They know who was really responsible for Jesus' crucifixion, and they hold the high priests themselves accountable for it. Saying this in open court would have shocked the high priests, with its insolence. And furthermore, having been arrested for claiming that Christ was the son of God, they have the nerve to preach their message right to the high priests themselves.
The apostles have become utterly bold in the face of death. Their faith is beyond reproach. And may we all become like them, ready to witness to Christ's miracle in any situation, no matter how hostile it may be.