Gathering at the River by Chris Clark, contemporary. Clark, a primitive or “outsider” artist, has limited vision, resulting in an uninhibited use of color, bright and upbeat.
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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 to the Holy Spirit to be with Me This Day
In utter humility, before the great multitude of heavenly witnesses, I come before you this morning, Eternal Spirit of God, to offer myself, my soul and body to you. I live in awe of your purity, your justice, and the power of your love. You are the strength and light of my soul, for without you I have neither life nor goodness. I desire never to grieve you by unfaithfulness, and I pray with all my heart to be kept from the smallest sin against you.
Mercifully guard my every thought; and grant that I may always watch for your light, and listen to your voice, and follow your gracious inspirations. Give me grace, O Holy Spirit, Spirit of the Father and the Son, to listen first for your voice in everything I may say or do, this day and always,
Mason Barge, from a Catholic Act, 4/4/2014
Prayer for Renewal
O God, who for our redemption gave your only-begotten Son to the death of the cross, and by his glorious resurrection delivered us from the power of our enemy: Grant me and my fellow saints so to die daily to sin, that we may evermore live with him in the joy of his resurrection. Stir up in your Church that Spirit of adoption which is given to us in Baptism, that all Christendom, being renewed both in body and mind, may worship you in sincerity and truth; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
And finally, may the grace of Christ our Savior, and the Father’s boundless love, with the Holy Spirit’s favor, rest upon me, and all of us, from above. Thus may we abide in union, with each other and the Lord, and possess, in sweet communion, joys which earth cannot afford.
Today’s “Remember the Bible” Question
What Bible verse tells us that faith, if it does not have works, is “dead”?
Make sure, when your friend has done well, to tell him; praise others for their good works, because it costs you nothing and profits them everything.
Romans 1:28-32 (ESV)
The Actions of the Ungodly
And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done. They were filled with all manner of unrighteousness, evil, covetousness, malice.
They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, maliciousness. They are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, haughty, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, foolish, faithless, heartless, ruthless.
Though they know God's decree that those who practice such things deserve to die, they not only do them but give approval to those who practice them.
Notes on the Scripture
n the previous verses, we saw that everyone is able to discern God’s existence from the miracle of creation. Those who do not, inevitably practice idolatry; filled with blindness and pride, they make idols in their own image and worship them. They set themselves up as the creators of gods, a travesty of the creation of man in God’s image. Such idolaters are given over to sin. Sin is not the evil that condemns them, so much as the punishment for their idolatry.
Today, Paul spews out a laundry list of sinfulness that punishes idolaters. Some are general, such as “unrighteousness”; some specific, such as slander and gossip; some are really forms of sinfulness rather than specific acts, such as disobedience to parents or heartlessness. The categories of envy, pride, and self-centeredness seem to be the focus of this list.
The upshot of Romans 1:24-32 is the great condemnation of secular humanism. When man arrogates to himself his own creation, his pride and willful blindness enslave him to the perversion of his natural purpose. He has no point of reference.
The final sentence should be chilling to all of us, living in the culture of contemporary self-reference; it is not simply those who practice such sinfulness who embrace death, but those who “give approval.” The godless applaud others’ acts of godlessness.
Without God, society becomes a suicide pact. To commit murder, one does not have to put the victim’s head in the noose; one need only stand quietly at the edge of the lynch mob. Paul’s language suggests that general approval of sinful behavior is as depraved as the individual act.