The Baptism of Christ by Giotto, ca. 1305. One of the finest works of the genius who invented Renaissance art. Fittingly, it was painted as a fresco in a little Romanesque church, the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua, one of a series of panels on the life of Christ.
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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 for Evening
O gracious Light,
pure brightness of the ever-living Father in heaven,
O Jesus Christ, holy and blessed!
Now as I come to the setting of the sun,
and my eyes behold the evening light,
I sing your praises O God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
You are worthy at all times to be praised by happy voices,
O Son of God, O Giver of life,
and to be glorified throughout the world.
For God’s Protection
Be present, O merciful God, and protect us through the silent hours of this night, so that we who are wearied by the changes and chances of this fleeting world, may rest upon your eternal changelessness; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
CofE website c. 9//2017
As I travel through the rest of my day, may the God of hope fill me with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit I may abound in hope.
If Christ carried the weight of the world upon His shoulders, I know my brothers and sisters that He will carry you. Glory be to God.
We might tend to just gloss over Paul’s assertion that faith is a fruit of the Spirit; it just sounds so natural. But when we think about it, it is actually startling.
How do we receive the Holy Spirit? Most people would think, to some degree, that we come to abide with the Spirit because we have faith in Christ. But really, the Bible tells us again and again that it is the other way around. It is the Holy Spirit that gives us our faith. True faith is an element of God’s grace, not something we accomplish by our merit. It surely is not wrong to try to have faith, for we are tempted in every way possible by the Clever One; but we must realize that we cannot have faith of ourselves. It is a gift given to us, by God’s grace.
The Greek word used for the Holy Spirit — Paraclete — has become known in English, especially by people who have studied the Bible for some time. The primary source of the term is Jesus’ discourse in John 14:16, “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another [Paraclete], to be with you forever.”
Study of the Doctrine of the Holy Spirit tends to center on the helping or comforting role He plays in our lives, but there is another aspect. The primary meaning, in fact, of the verb parakaleo is “to call to one’s side.” Moreover, the connotation is a very powerful calling to someone: “urging” or “exhorting.” And Paraclete, insofar as it refers to the verb from which it was formed, refers to one who calls powerfully, who urges or exhorts.
Thus we might infer that the Paraclete calls us. Most of us feel “called,” and this is not our imagination, for there is a voice, not our own, which is calling us to faith: the Holy Spirit. Such an interpretation fits Jesus’ words perfectly, for if the Holy Spirit is to be “another” who will stand in for Christ . . . well, who called people to faith in God, and more specifically to faith in Christ, more strongly than Christ Himself?
The concept of faith deriving from the Holy Spirit occurs several times, and (as stated above) is supported by the very word Paraclete used in John 14. In 1 Corinthians 12:3, Paul informs us that “no one can say, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ except by the Holy Spirit.”
It is the Holy Spirit who calls us to faith. If our faith seems weak and we want to strengthen it, we have a powerful Friend and Helper. In practical terms, the Spirit is God to us during our earthly lives. If we perceive God, it is through the Spirit. If we know Christ, it is through the Spirit.
So do not blame yourself if your faith seems to falter; but there is no need to accept weakness in your faith. Simply answer the call. You do not even have to dial the telephone; you only have to pick it up when it rings. Just say, “Yes.”
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Today in Daily Prayer
Proverbs 30:5-6: Every word of God is flawless. Do not add to his words or He will rebuke you and prove you a liar.
Top score(s) on the Daily Quiz for May 16, 2021 were:
Tom Kraft (12) randall martin (12) Pam Carpenter (12) Norman Daniels (11) Kathryn Epperson (11) Gary Boteler (11)
Top score(s) on Match-a-Verse:
Keith Langley (9 out of 9) Kathryn Halfman (9 out of 9) Gary Swart (9 out of 9) Norman Daniels (9 out of 9) randall martin (9 out of 9) Pam Carpenter (9 out of 9)