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Daily Devotion for June 9, 2021

<i>An Allegory with a Boy Lighting a Candle in the Company of an Ape and a Fool,</i> by El Greco, ca. 1598.
An Allegory with a Boy Lighting a Candle in the Company of an Ape and a Fool, by El Greco, ca. 1598.
A boy lights a candle, igniting a flame that lets him see, where before there was darkness. It is a spiritual discovery — Christ. (E.g., John 1:1-13.) The purpose of the painting is for us to ponder the reaction of the monkey, in chains, and the fool who sees it and smiles.



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Lord’s Prayer

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.


Read about this remarkable woman and the equally remarkable song. It was nominated for “best song” in the Academy Awards of 2014, but unfortunately was later disqualified.

Prayer for the Morning

Blessed are you, O Lord my God, King of the universe, who removes sleep from my eyes, that I may see the returning light of the your day. I thank you for all that you have done while I was asleep, watching over me and all your children while we slept unaware, and I pray that my thoughts and acts this day may show forth my love and thanks for you and all you have done for me.

Help me through your Holy Spirit, that I may remember what you have taught me in the Bible and it may show forth in my every deed. Let me not wander into the hands of sin, nor into the hands of pride or perversity, nor into the hands of temptation, nor into the hands of shame, but steer my inclinations towards goodness and charity this morning and all the day. In the name of Christ I pray.


Prayer to Hear God’s Word

Dear God, there is only one voice that is perfect truth, and that is yours: the voice of your Spirit and the voice of your Word. Help me, I pray, to hear your voice clearly. For I tend to lose it in the cacophony. I am filled with the sound of my own voice, with the sense of my importance and the correctness of my thought; and on top of that, I am besieged by dozens and hundreds and thousands of words and voices telling me all kinds of things.

Christ preaching

Lead me to read your Word without listening to any voice but yours. Let me hear your truth and read your Word without adding to it or subtracting from it, without twisting it to meet the demands of my own preconceptions. Let me not deny your Word because it is inconvenient for me; even if I cannot follow it today, let me know the truth. Where your teaching and my thoughts conflict, help me to change. Help me to set aside my prejudice, my illusions of knowledge, my rationalizations, so that I can learn; and even if I do not follow your Word perfectly, let me know where to ask forgiveness. This I ask in the name of my only Savior, Jesus Christ,



The Holy Spirit lets us live in the misery of our sinfulness. We damage our ability to hear the Spirit when we do not pay attention.


All through this day, O Lord, by the power of your quickening Spirit, let me touch the lives of others for good, whether through the word I speak, the prayer I speak, or the life I live.


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.

endless knot

Jonah 1:1-3, 17 (ESV)

Now the word of the Lord came to Jonah the son of Amittai, saying, “Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and call out against it, for their evil has come up before me.” But Jonah rose to flee to Tarshish from the presence of the Lord.

         *         *         *

And the Lord appointed a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish three days and three nights.

Blue Latin Cross

Galatians 6:7-10 (Daily Prayer Bible)

Ignoring God (Galatians #94)

You simply cannot ignore God, for we shall reap what we sow. Whoever sows by the flesh will reap corruption. But whoever sows by the Spirit will harvest eternal life.

Notes on the Scripture


more literal translation of verse 7 might be, “Do not be deceived, God will not have noses turned up at Him.” The lesson of this verse is echoed myriad times in the Bible. In addition to Jonah, two immediately come to mind: Adam and Eve trying to hide from God after eating the fruit in the Garden of Eden, and the first line of Psalm 1,

“Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners,
Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;”

Why do people do stupid things, which they know or should know will turn out badly? Did Adam and/or Eve really think that they could eat the fruit and God would not notice?

Eve serpent Boccaccio 1415

Why, for example, do atheists not only try to ignore God, but act superior in their beliefs? There is nobody more scornful or mocking on the face of the planet than an atheist in his intellectual superiority, laughing about the “tooth fairy” as he careens toward his destruction. We cannot fathom his foolishness. As Paul points out several times, even a savage in the forest who has never heard of God must believe in Him, for we can see His hand in all creation.

We might struggle to answer this in intellectual terms, but in our gut we know why, for we are tempted just as Adam and Eve were tempted. Moreover, the same person tempts us: Satan, almost always in disguise. In fact, it is ourselves who puzzle us the most. Paul poses the dilemma for us, in Romans 7:15, 19, “[W]hat I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. . . . For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice.”

What we can say about our dilemma, with absolute assurance, is that God understands it. He might seem puzzled in Genesis — He asks Adam where he is, and then asks him, “Who told you that you were naked?” — but that is for rhetorical effect. The more critical point is not that God knows what we do and why we do it, in the sense of knowledge, but that He understands it (as we do) at the gut level. Here lies one of our benefits that spring from the humanity of Christ.

Christ knew temptation as we know temptation, for He was fully human. When Satan tempted Him to turn stones to bread, Jesus had been fasting in the desert. He was hungry. He suffered no more and no less than one of us would have suffered. So let us give thanks for God’s amazing love, that He would join us in our pain, which we brought on by our own sin. There is no need to hide from Him; we must resist the temptation to hide, and instead, be filled with faith in His knowledge and His forgiveness.

<i>Pandora</i> by John William Waterhouse, ca. 1896.
Pandora by John William Waterhouse, ca. 1896. The Greek proxy for Eve was a favorite subject of the Pre-Raphaelites.

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“Lamps on a Hill”

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Philippians 2:6-7 (DP): Although He existed in the form of God, Christ did not retain equality with God, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant and being made in the likeness of men.

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Comments (3)


I think your comparison to the concept of “negative space” and what we speak (or do not speak) will stick with me for a very long time! Thank you for the simplicity of this idea. It will help tremendously in remembering that the words I speak should “ the pure and brilliant light of God.”


Great song from Joni,What a wonderful Testimony her life has been and continues to be.


Thank you for your reflections on sin in the Gospel notes. Very thought provoking.

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