Daily Devotion for September 6, 2009
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.
God, grant me the serenity to accept the things that I cannot change, the courage to change the things that I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as He did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right if I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him Forever in the next.
Community of Prayer
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.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
Gospel of Matthew 4:12-22
Jesus Begins His Teaching and Calls the First Apostles
When he heard that John had been imprisoned, Jesus withdrew into Galilee; leaving Nazareth, he lived in Capernaum, which is by the sea, in the borders of Zebulun and Naphtali, so that the prophecy of Isaiah might be fulfilled:
Toward the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles,
The people there, who sat in darkness saw a great light,
And to the people sitting there, in the shadow of death, a light appeared.
From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, 'Repent ye; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.'
Once, when walking by the sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter) and his brother Andrew, casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. And he said to them, 'Come with me, and I will make you fishers of men.' They left their nets right away, and followed him.
Going on from there he saw two other brothers, James the son of Zebedee, and his brother John. They were in a boat with Zebedee, their father, mending their nets, and he called them. And they left the boat and their father straightway, and followed him.
New Standard Revised Version
1 But there will be no more gloom for her who was in anguish; in earlier times He treated the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali with contempt, but later on He shall make it glorious, by the way of the sea, on the other side of Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles.
2 The people who walk in darkness will see a great light;
Those who live in a dark land, the light will shine on them.
Note on the Scripture
These verses recount the recruiting of the first four Apostles: Simon Peter (later Saint Peter, who was to become the founder of Christianity), Andrew, James, and John. At a time when starvation and death by violence were very real dangers, it is remarkable how readily they left their homes and livelihoods to follow Jesus of Nazareth. Christ's personal charisma must have been enormous; he was still relatively unknown at the time and had just begun to preach. Between the time of his baptism and the Sermon on the Mount, only a very few of his words have come down to us.
He had demonstrated this charisma as a child. Remember the account in Luke (2:41-52) where, as a child of twelve, he had amazed people in the temple courts of Jerusalem with his preaching.
The term "charisma" has deeper significance to Christians. In the early church (and today) it refers not only to the general meaning of great personal magnetism, but also specifically to an extraordinary power given by the Holy Spirit in furtherence of God's purpose.