It is Sunday, the seventeenth of July, 2022, in the sixteenth week of Ordinary Time.
May the peace of Christ dwell in your heart today!
TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS
Lord our God, light of humankind in Jesus Christ, full of joy and trust we ask that we may have access to your almighty power, your power against all darkness, sin, death, and bondage. May we feel close to your almighty power. Hear our weeping, for we are and remain your children, to whom you have promised redemption and deliverance. Together we hold fast to this promise and stand before you saying, "We are your children in Jesus Christ the Savior, whom you have sent to us." Hear your children. Bless us each one, and bless us as one people, allowed to serve you in the misery of our world. Amen. (Daily Prayer from Plough.com)
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn. (Isaiah 61:1–2 NIV)
Today I am grateful:
1. for the power of God against all darkness, sin, death, and bondage 2. for promised redemption and deliverance through Jesus Christ 3. for the discipline of simplicity; may I continue to improve in that 4. for my morning coffee 5. for chances to have some alone time with my wife
"Obviously, while I love all, I must, like Christ, have a special love for the poor. At the last judgement, we shall all be judged by the treatment we have given to Christ, to Christ in the person of those who are hungry or thirsty, who are dirty, wounded, and oppressed." (Don Helder Camara, Daily Dig from Plough.com)
And Elijah came near to all the people and said, “How long will you go limping between two different opinions? If the LORD is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him.” And the people did not answer him a word.
(1 Kings 18:21 ESV)
Then Elijah said to all the people, "Come near to me." And all the people came near to him. And he repaired the altar of the LORD that had been thrown down. Elijah took twelve stones, according to the number of the tribes of the sons of Jacob, to whom the word of the LORD came, saying, "Israel shall be your name," and with the stones he built an altar in the name of the LORD. And he made a trench about the altar, as great as would contain two seahs of seed. And he put the wood in order and cut the bull in pieces and laid it on the wood. And he said, "Fill four jars with water and pour it on the burnt offering and on the wood." And he said, "Do it a second time." And they did it a second time. And he said, "Do it a third time." And they did it a third time. And the water ran around the altar and filled the trench also with water. And at the time of the offering of the oblation, Elijah the prophet came near and said, "O LORD, God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, let it be known this day that you are God in Israel, and that I am your servant, and that I have done all these things at your word. Answer me, O LORD, answer me, that this people may know that you, O LORD, are God, and that you have turned their hearts back." Then the fire of the LORD fell and consumed the burnt offering and the wood and the stones and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench. And when all the people saw it, they fell on their faces and said, "The LORD, he is God; the LORD, he is God." And Elijah said to them, "Seize the prophets of Baal; let not one of them escape." And they seized them. And Elijah brought them down to the brook Kishon and slaughtered them there. (1 Kings 18:30-40 ESV)
Today’s word, from Pray A Word A Day, is simplify.
“Our life is frittered away by detail. . . . Simplify. Simplify. Simplify.” ~ Henry David Thoreau
This is a word that goes right alongside yesterday’s word of balance. Our society is also way too complex, between all the doing, and all the acquiring. The reading only addresses the physical things, like all the latest technology that we seem to think we have to have.
I used to think that I had to keep up with musical technology, and have the latest gadget attached to my keyboards and what-not.
But the simplification goes beyond just the physical, as well. We also need to simplify our schedules. Many people, especially with younger children, seem to be going, going, going, all the time, with barely time to stop and breathe.
It is no wonder that we are a nation that is direly in need of therapy.
Perhaps if we worked to put God first, the other things would either fall into order, or, perhaps, many of them would fall away completely, when we discover that we don’t need them at all.
Father, I pray that that You continue to lead me down a path of simplicity. I know that I am pretty wrapped up in today’s technologies, but I try to use them for good, and to proclaim You throughout the world. I pray that my words reach ears (and eyes) that are open to Your Spirit and attuned to Your grace, that they may be drawn into Your Kingdom, that we may walk together.
I pray for this nation, that our society might find a way to balance and simplify itself. I also pray for the region in which I live, that we might have relief from this heat wave, and please, Father, send some rain to us.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!
May the LORD bless you and protect you.
May the LORD smile on you and be gracious to you.
May the LORD show you his favor and give you his peace.
(Numbers 6:24-26 NLT)
Grace and peace, friends.