Daily Devotion for May 11, 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.
The moving Sabbath Prayer from "Fiddler on the Roof", where Tevye prays for the future of his unmarried daughters.
Prayer for the Morning
Oh God the King eternal, who divides the day from the darkness, and has turned the shadow of death into the light of morning; I pray that this day you will incline my heart to keep your commandments, driving temptation from my mind. Guide my feet into the way of peace; that having done your will with cheerfulness while it was day, I may, when the night comes, rejoice in giving you thanks for a day lived in your presence; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Prayer of Thanksgiving
Father in heaven, creator of all and source of all goodness and love, please look kindly upon me and receive my heartfelt gratitude for all that you have done for me and for those I love. Thank you for all the graces and blessings you have bestowed upon us, spiritual and temporal: Our faith and religious heritage; our food and shelter; our health; the love we have for one another; and the lives of our Lord and friends. Dear Father, in your infinite generosity, please grant us continued grace and blessings during the coming day. This I ask in the name of Jesus Christ, your only son, who has saved us from death.
God of love, Father of all, the darkness that covered the earth has given way to the bright dawn of your Word made flesh. Make me and all who confess your holy name people of this light. Make us faithful to your Word that we may bring your life to the waiting world. Grant this through 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.
Yesterday is gone. Tomorrow has not yet come. We have only today.
Let us begin.
~ Mother Teresa
1 Peter 2:9-10 (ESV)
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.
Once you were not a people, but now you are God's people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
Notes on the Scripture
Peter here continues a strong testament to our role as Christ's disciples. Remember, once we are reborn in the Holy Spirit (frequently by baptism but, in some denominations, even before we are baptized), we become the "living stones" from which Christ's church is built.
We are a "chosen race": God has chosen us to be the living edifice of his Word and we are bound together by it, forming a cohesive group.
We are a "royal priesthood": Our God is King of all creation, and we are his priests.
We are a "holy nation": More important than being Catholics or Lutherans or Baptists, more significant than being Americans or Chinese or British, we are members of one great nation that covers the planet. This is God's nation, a nation of people speaking hundreds of languages, who have received Christ and become His.
But why do we receive the Holy Spirit while we have so much life left? Why does Christ simply not forgive us for our sins at our death?
Because we are meant to proclaim "the excellencies" of Christ. If we tell the truth and speak from a sincere heart, we cannot help but tell the glory of God and the beauty of Jesus Christ to the world. Let the joy of salvation, the certainty that the miracle of Christ has saved us from an eternity of death, fill your heart. Go ahead and let Christ make you feel good!
We know the enormous beauty of life in Christ, the beauty of His message and sacrifice. Look around at the world, mired in the misery of bottomless envy, trapped in a spiral of pride, filled with sexual immorality, fogged with drugs and drunkenness, crippled by self-pity. They cannot see the beauty of life and do not know the greater beauty to come to us.
And who will possibly tell them about it, if not us? It is why we have been chosen. We seek our own salvation. But also, like Peter, once we see the glory of salvation, we cannot help but seek to show the path to others, so that they, too, may be filled with the joy of Christ.