Daily Devotion for May 30, 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.
This television performance by an 11-year-old girl is remarkable not only in its extraordinary beauty, but also, because it is a rare recent occasion when a pure and engaging Christian message has been presented to a general television audience.
Oddly, Howie Mandel, who is Jewish, is the only judge who seemed to grasp the religious significance of the piece.
(Note: Composers frequently repeat, omit, or put phrases out of order.)
Benedicta tu in mulieribus,
Prayer for the Morning
Heavenly Father, I thank you this morning for all that I have. Even if I have problems with my health, I am alive today. If I have money problems, I will eat today. I have clothes to wear, a roof to protect me, and air to breathe.
Let me never take for granted these gifts of life, oh Lord, but always remember that they come from you; without you, no man could make the sun shine or the tree bear its fruit. I pray to live this day in joy and thankfulness for what I have, remembering always who made me and who keeps me. In the name of Christ I pray,
Prayer of Thanks
Almighty and gracious Father, I give you thanks for the fruits of the earth in their season and for the labors of those who harvest them. Make me and all of my brothers and sisters in Christ, I pray, faithful stewards of your great bounty, for the provision of our necessities and the relief of all who are in need, to the glory of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
Lord, support me all the day long of this troublous life, until the shadows lengthen and the evening comes, and the busy world is hushed, and the fever of life is over and my work is done. Then of Thy mercy, grant me a safe lodging, and a holy rest and a peace at last through Jesus 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.
If God is your co-pilot, swap seats.
1 Peter 5:12-14 (ESV)
By Silvanus, a faithful brother as I regard him, I have written briefly to you, exhorting and declaring that this is the true grace of God. Stand firm in it. She who is at Babylon, who is likewise chosen, sends you greetings, and so does Mark, my son. Greet one another with the kiss of love.
Peace to all of you who are in Christ.
Notes on the Scripture
Silvanus, who is called "Silas" in Acts, was an important person in the early church and is a saint (in denominations that have saints). We first meet him in Acts 15,where he is called one of the "leading men among the brethren" (i.e., the Christian community at Jerusalem). He was entrusted by the Council of Jerusalem to Antioch to transmit the critically important decision about Gentiles joining the church.
Later on, he accompanied Paul on parts of his first and second journeys; from the chronology of Acts, we can deduce that Silas was also engaged in some missionary work independent of Paul. He is mentioned, along with Timothy, in three of Paul's epistles to the churches in Corinth and Thessalonika, which Silvanus had been instrumental in founding.
In the icon below, he is depicted in chains. This celebrates the incident at Philippi, when he and Paul were freed from prison by an earthquake, which broke their chains and opened the prison door. (Acts 16:25-28)
We also know, from today's passage, that he joined Peter in Rome. Subsequent oral history designates him as the bishop of Macedonia and/or Corinth, which makes sense, as that was the area in which he had done extensive missionary work.
"Mark, my son" almost certainly refers to the rather odd man who would eventually write the Gospel of Mark. Peter most likely uses the term "son" because he had personally been responsible for Mark's conversion.
Most likely, "she who is at Babylon" is not a person, but code for the Christians still in Rome. Scholars agree that "Babylon" here is a somewhat sarcastic reference to Rome, where depravity and the persecution of Jews and Christians was still growing. It would have been dangerous for Peter to refer to Christians in Rome, or even name the city, in case the letter were intercepted.