Daily Devotion for January 17, 2015
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.
For “Oldies Saturday” we have something extra good: Elvis and the Jordanaires performing “Peace in the Valley”, a 1937 song written by Thomas A. Dorsey for Mahalia Jackson.
(This was not Tommy Dorsey, by the way, but the “grandfather of black gospel”, whose most famous song was “Take My Hand, Precious Lord”.)
Lord of All Hopefulness
Lord of all hopefulness, Lord of all joy, whose trust, ever child-like, no cares can destroy, be there at my waking, and give me, I pray, your bliss in my heart, Lord, at the break of the day.
Lord of all eagerness, Lord of all faith, whose strong hands were skilled at the plane and the lathe, be there at my labors, and give me, I pray, your strength in my heart, Lord, at the noon of the day.
Lord of all kindliness, Lord of all grace, your hands swift to welcome, your arms to embrace, be there at my homing, and give me, I pray, your love in my heart, Lord, at the eve of the day.
Lord of all gentleness, Lord of all calm, whose voice is contentment, whose presence is balm, be there at my sleeping, and give me, I pray, your peace in my heart, Lord, at the end of the day.
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 grace and blessings, both spiritual and temporal, you have bestowed upon me, my loved ones, and this community of prayer: 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 me from death.
[God through His grace will look kindly upon me.]
Blessing of Mark
O Sovereign and almighty Lord, bless all your people, and all your flock. Give your peace, your help, and your love unto us your servants, the sheep of your fold, that we may be united in the bond of peace and love, one body and one spirit, in one hope of our calling, in your divine and boundless love.
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.
Do Not Grieve
Let no one grieve at his poverty,
for the universal kingdom has been revealed.
Let no one mourn that he has fallen again and again;
for forgiveness has risen from the grave.
Let no one fear death,
for the Death of our Savior has set us free.
He has destroyed it by enduring it.
~ John Chrysostom, bishop of Constantinople;
sermon, ca. 400
John 17:1-10 (ESV)
Jesus’ Final Prayer [Part 1]
When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said:
“Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.
“I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you. For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours. All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them.
Notes on the Scripture
John 17 consists entirely of Jesus' last prayer, a long prayer he said aloud just before his arrest. It has three parts: First, he prays for himself; second, for his disciples; and third, for the entire world. Today's selection contains the entirety of his prayer for himself, and the beginning of his prayer for his disciples.
Although partly it is an actual prayer, in part it is a summation or conclusion of his life and teaching for the benefit of listeners and those who, like us, will read it later. In the first part, he states that his work on earth is finished, and asks the Father to glorify him. In this context, “glorify” signifies that it is time for him to be arrested, killed, resurrected, and ascend to heaven.
The following verses are a prayer for his disciples. Christ affirms that the disciples now fully believe in him, that what he says is the word of God. He also begins to identify himself as part of the Godhead; for he says that all God has is now his.
Finally, he states that glory has come to him through his disciples. This is a bit unusual; all of Christianity is geared to the idea that Jesus' glory came from God the Father, and thus from His own innate divinity. How could the Son of God be glorified in any way by mere mortals?
In John 5:41 Jesus says, “I do not receive glory from men.” But this is not convincing as a blanket statement, for His very next words are, “but I know you, that you do not have the love of God in yourselves.” (John 5:41-42) Yet now we see, in black and white, that there is an exception described by the words, “For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me.”
Perhaps this applied only to the apostles; perhaps it applies to all who surpass a certain degree of faith, or perhaps it applies to all those who truly believe in Christ. The word “glorify” is difficult to comprehend fully and seems to have a range of meanings, which also hinders full understanding of this verse. But in the context, the simple and plain reading of “I am glorified in them” means that they add something — although what it is they add to God, who is both perfect and omnipotent, must puzzle anyone who reads it.