Daily Devotion for January 7, 2012
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.
Philippe Bezier, a French documentary film maker, produced this short movie of a woman stumbling onto a rehearsal of the Vivaldi Gloria for European tv. The only lyric, "Gloria in excelsis Deo", is usually translated "Glory to God in the highest".
Prayer for the Morning
Holy Father, who watches over your children by night and by day; blessed Jesus, my food and my strength; sweet Holy Spirit, the light and guide of my soul; I thank you for this new day and pray that you will watch over me. May my thoughts, my words and actions reflect the Spirit that dwells within me. And may every minute of my life celebrate the gift of grace, earned by the blood of Christ, in whose name I pray.
Prayer for the Nation
Almighty God, who has given us this good land for our heritage; I humbly pray that we may always prove ourselves a people who remember your favor and are glad to do your will. Bless our land with honorable industry, sound learning, and pure manners. Save us from violence, discord, and confusion; from pride and arrogance, and from every evil way.
Defend our liberties, and fashion into one united people the multitudes brought here from so many different lands and languages. Grant the spirit of wisdom those to whom we entrust with the authority of government, that there may be justice and peace at home, and that, through obedience to your law, we may demonstrate your praise among the nations of the earth. In times of prosperity, fill our hearts with thankfulness, and in days of trouble, do not let our trust in you fail; all which I ask through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Oh Lord Jesus Christ, who said to your apostles, "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you"; I pray that I and your whole church, the body of all faithful people, will know your peace, and live in harmony and unity, one with another, in accordance with your wishes. This I pray to you, who lives and reigns forever.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him.
Christ the Hope of Jews and Gentiles
For I tell you that Christ became a servant to the circumcised to show God’s truthfulness, in order to confirm the promises given to the patriarchs, and in order that the Gentiles might glorify God for his mercy. As it is written,
and sing to your name." [Psalm 18:49]
And again it is said,
and let all the peoples extol him." [Psalm 117:1]
And again Isaiah says,
even he who arises to rule the Gentiles;
in him will the Gentiles hope." [Isaiah 11:10]
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.
Notes on the Scripture
Paul is beginning to wind up his letter. The difficult theological discussions of Chapters 1-14 are done. He starts his goodbyes today with a pep talk for the Gentiles, reminding them that the coming of Christ to save the Gentiles is not a radical new notion, but something that has been foretold for hundreds or even thousands of years. He makes them feel a part not only of the new Christian church, but also inheritors of the establishment of God's kingdom through the history of the Hebrews.
In truth, he pushes the point at bit too far. The word for non-Jews used in several quotes would more properly be translated "heathens" instead of the nicer-sounding "Gentiles". In fact, the quote from Deuteronomy might be considered more of a warning to the heathens not to mess with God's chosen people, than an invitation to worship with them.
Still, the central meaning of Psalm 117 is to invite all the world to praise the one true God; and we know that Isaiah repeatedly prophesied that Christ would come to save, not simply the Jews, but all the nations of earth.