Daily Devotion for November 16, 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.
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,
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, 19:10-12
Chastity[Christ has just taught against divorce; see Matthew 19:3-9.]
The disciples said to him, "If a man has this obligation to his wife, it would be better not to marry."
But he replied, "Not everyone should remain unmarried, only those to whom it is given. There are men who will remain chaste, because they are born unable; there are men who are chaste, because they have been made eunuchs; and there are men who are chaste for the kingdom of heaven's sake. Those who are called to chastity, let them receive it."
Comment on the Scripture
Christ's teachings on sex are actually a bit more liberal than many later Christians'. Christ does not seem to imply any fault with marriage or with sex inside marriage; in fact, his teachings seem to favor closeness between husbands and wives. Paul's literal teaching reiterates that of Christ (as it must), but Paul seems more eager to promote chastity. He seems to imply that married and unmarried members are equal in the church, but, in his characteristic battle with his pride, implies that the unmarried are "more equal".
Many churches accept the gloss that Paul puts on the issue, especially for members of the clergy. Others accept the more literal interpretation, that there is no obligation or benefit in remaining chaste unless one feels called to it. The issues are complex, especially concerning clergy, and both doctrines have support in the Scripture.