Today is Friday, April 14, 2017. Good Friday. It’s Friday, but Sunday’s a’comin’!
“If mankind minus one were of one opinion, then mankind is no more justified in silencing the one than the one – if he had the power – would be justified in silencing mankind.” ~ John Stuart Mill
Centoculated ~ Having a hundred eyes.
Today is Look Up At the Sky Day. It seems we don’t look up enough. Take some time today to look up and enjoy the vast expanse of the sky.
TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS
I cry to you, O LORD; I say, “You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.”
Be to me a rock of refuge, to which I may continually come; you have given the command to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress.
But I, O LORD, cry to you; in the morning my prayer comes before you.
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning?
I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax; it is melted within my breast;
my strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to my jaws; you lay me in the dust of death.
For dogs encompass me; a company of evildoers encircles me; they have pierced my hands and feet—
I can count all my bones— they stare and gloat over me;
they divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots.
But you, O LORD, do not be far off! O you my help, come quickly to my aid!
Deliver my soul from the sword, my precious life from the power of the dog!
Save me from the mouth of the lion! You have rescued me from the horns of the wild oxen!
I will tell of your name to my brothers; in the midst of the congregation I will praise you:
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be your Name.
May your kingdom come, and your will be done, on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.
Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil;
for yours are the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.
“O God, you sent Christ Jesus to be my shepherd and the lamb of sacrifice.
Help me to embrace the mystery of salvation,
the promise of life rising out of death.
Help me to hear the call of Christ and
give me the courage to follow it readily
that I, too, may lead others to you.
This I ask through Jesus, my shepherd and guide.”
(The Divine Hours, from People’s Companion to the Breviary, Vol II)
(From Living the Message)
Today’s reading is “The Christian Life.”
“The Christian Life consists in what God does for us, not what we do for God; the Christian Life consists in what God says to us, not what we say about God.” Yes, it is true that we do and say things, and these things matter. However, we must keep returning to what Peterson calls Square One, every time we act. We are all about “progress” in our culture, even in the so-called Christian Life. However, if we fail to keep returning to Square One, where all we do is listen to God, “we will soon be found to be practicing a spirituality that has little or nothing to do with God.” We might even be just using the word “Christian” to “disguise our narcissistic . . . attempts at a spirituality without worshipping God and without being addressed by God.”
Because of our “sin-damaged memories,” we are vulnerable to every “new” spiritual whim that comes along. We must re-orient ourselves “in the truth revealed in Jesus and attested in Scripture.” We also have this problem of attempting to reduce “every scrap of divine revelation that we come across into a piece of moral/spiritual technology that we can use to get on in the world,” which eventually leads us into getting on without God. We must return, daily, to that place of “not-knowing and non-achievement.” We cannot be trusted on our own. “We need to return to Square One for a fresh start as often as every morning, noon, and night.”
Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish! We don’t play the major role. If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done the whole thing!
Ephesians 2:8-9 (The Message)
Father, help me to always return to Square One, knowing that I truly know nothing, and that all knowledge comes from you. I must return to this place, daily, where all I do is listen to you. Teach me your ways, that I may walk in your truth. Restore my soul daily, for it is severely damaged by sin.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!
The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.
Grace and peace, friends.