Daily Devotion for November 28, 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.
This may be a bit too "Broadway" sounding and dramatic for some tastes, but we like to sample a wide range, and the message is very inspiring.
Prayer for the Morning
I call upon you, O Lord. In the morning you hear me; in the morning I offer you my prayer, watching and waiting.
I lift my heart to you, O Lord, to be strengthened for this day. Be with me in all I do, my God; guide me in all my ways.
I will carry some burdens today; some trials will be mine. So I wait for your help, Lord, lest I stumble and fall.
I will do my work, Father, the work begun by your Son. He lives in me and I in him; may his work today be done.
A Prayer of Repentance
O Lord our God, good and merciful, I acknowledge all my sins which I have committed every day of my life, in thought, word and deed; in body and soul alike. I am heartily sorry that I have ever offended you, and I sincerely repent; with tears I humbly pray you, O Lord: of your mercy forgive me for all my past transgressions and absolve me from them. I firmly resolve, with the help of Your Grace, to amend my way of life and to sin no more; that I may walk in the way of the righteous and offer praise and glory to the Name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Eternal God, heavenly Father, you have graciously accepted me as a living member of your Son our Savior Jesus Christ, and you have blessed me with the grace of forgiveness through the sacrifice He made for me and for all people. Send me now into the world in peace, and grant me strength and courage to love and serve you with gladness and singleness of heart; through Christ our Lord.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
But the companion of fools will be destroyed.
Romans 12:13 (ESV)
Supporting Christ's Workers
Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.
Notes on the Scripture
Paul's entreaty to "contribute to the saints" is not referring to long-dead icons of faith. I will drop a coin in the metal box in front of a shrine to St. Anthony or St. Barnabas or whoever, when I visit a cathedral, but that isn't what he's talking about. By saints, he means either missionaries or the poor members of the church.
The saints of Paul's time were almost all alive; the idea of a church officially beatifying someone long dead had not even occurred to anyone. He sometimes uses the word "saints" to refer to the body of all devout Christians, and sometimes to refer to people engaged full-time in the spread of the gospel. At various points in his epistles, Paul reminds us of the need to support both the spread of Christianity and the obligation to support members of locals churches in need.
But the second part of the verse, "seek to show hospitality", would seem to indicate that he is specifically referring to those who, like himself, traveled about the world at great danger and with little money, to spread the good news of Christ. Paul had to work from time to time during his journeys — he was a tentmaker by profession — and although he never complained of it, certainly he would have rather spent the time building Christ's church.
This verse, thus, is not so much of a general plea for money as a plea to support the spread of Christianity.
Of course, the verse can also be read as a general plea to take care of unfortunate church members in Rome; Romans itself is addressed "To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints."
In either case, once we have given our bodies as a sacrifice to God, the purchase of shiny baubles to entertain us becomes increasingly unattractive. The fashion industry begins to look utterly absurd. Great corporations seek to inflame our lust for new "stuff" and even to create new desire for worldly items; they create things for no other reason than to make people want them.
So we read this verse, and it gives us an opportunity to reflect on what we need and how we express our real priorities in life by the way we use our money.