Faith in Action: In 1924, Eric Liddell, “the Flying Scotsman”, gave up a near-certain Olympic Gold Medal in the 100-meter dash, because the race was held on Sunday. He became a missionary in China and died in a Japanese camp in 1945, after giving his ticket to leave to a pregnant woman. If you have never seen Chariots of Fire, you really must.
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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 the Day
Lord, may I always remember that no matter the day and whatever hardship I face, you are with me, extending your hand in love. Help me to be open to your guidance, knowing that you want what is best for me, only asking in return sorrow for my sins and my willingness to do good. In Christ’s name I pray,
Mason Barge from The Christophers 2/21/2015
For the Workers of the World
Oh Lord, I remember before thee today all the workers of the world;
Workers with hand or brain:
Workers in the cities or in the fields:
Those who go forth to toil and those who work at home:
Employers and employees:
Those who command and those who obey:
Those whose work is dangerous:
Those whose work is monotonous or mean:
Those who can find no work to do:
Those whose work is the service of the poor
or the healing of the sick
or the proclamation of the gospel of Christ;
At home or in foreign places.
John Baillie, @1930
Mason Barge 11/5/2015
Community of Prayer
I pray to you, dearest Jesus, for all the graces I need to know you, to love you and serve you faithfully unto death, and to save my soul. Give me a tender and fervent devotion to your sacred passion by which I was redeemed, venerating you each day in prayer, and teach me how to unite sorrows and sufferings of my life with your own.
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.
Lyrics to The Prayer (Boccelli)
I pray you'll be our eyes,
and watch us where we go
And help us to be wise,
in times when we don't know.
Let this be our prayer,
as we go our way:
Lead us to a place,
guide us with your grace
To a place where we'll be safe.
La luce che tu dai I pray we'll find your light Nel cuore resterà And hold it in our hearts A ricordarci che, When stars go out each night, L'eterna stella sei
Nella mia preghiera Let this be our prayer Quanta fede c'è: When shadows fill our day:
Lead us to a place,
guide us with your grace
Give us faith so we'll be safe.
Sognamo un mondo senza più violenza
(We dream of a world without violence)
Un mondo di giustizia e di speranza
(A world of justice and hope)
Ognuno dia la mano al suo vicino
(Giving our hand to our neighbor)
Simbolo di pace e di fraternità.
(Symbol of peace and brotherhood.)
La forza che ci dia We ask that life be kind
È il desiderio che And watch us from above
Ognuno trovi amor We hope each soul will find
Intorno e dentro a sè. Another soul to love.
Let this be our prayer
Just like every child.
E la fede che Need to find a place,
Hai acceso in noi guide us with your grace
Sento che ci salverà. Give us faith so we'll be safe.
Music and Lyrics by David Foster and Carole Bayer Sager Italian lyrics by Alberto Testa/Tony Renis
1 John 2:16 (ESV)
For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
Romans 2:17-24 (ESV)
ut if you call yourself a Jew and rely on the law and boast in God and know his will and approve what is excellent, because you are instructed from the law; and if you are sure that you yourself are a guide to the blind, a light to those who are in darkness, an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of children, having in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth—you then who teach others, do you not teach yourself?
While you preach against stealing, do you steal? You who say that one must not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples?
You who boast in the law dishonor God by breaking the law. For, as it is written, “The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.”
Notes on the Scripture
Well this is easy enough to understand! Substitute “Christ” for “God” and “Christian” for “Jew,” and this could be a lecture to all who call themselves Christian in the world today. When you hear Christ defamed, it is usually based on the hypocrisy of people calling themselves Christians.
We certainly do not want to cause Christ’s name to be blasphemed; and yet, none of us is perfect. If we identify ourselves as Christians, we run the risk of blasphemy, because others might discover we do not fully keep the commandments we espouse. And yet, Christ told us not to hide our light under a basket, but to put it on a stand. That is, to show His light forth to the world. What are we to do?
First and foremost, we must develop and deepen our own faith on a daily basis. As we saw in Romans 1, sin is punishment for lack of faith. Temptation to sin is terribly strong, but there is no temptation so great that faith cannot overcome it. As our faith deepens, our ability to resist temptation grows stronger.
One mistake many people make, who hold themselves to high standards but fall short, is trying to hide their mistakes. Forgiveness comes only through confession. Trying to cover up sin while espousing Christian principles—intentional hypocrisy—has damaged the name of Christ as much as the sin itself. To cover up sin is to seek the glory of men, not the glory of God. We do it only so that others will think better of us. When we hide our misdeeds, we show that we fear the judgment of men more than the judgment of God.
Christ told us in Matthew 5 to be reconciled with our brother before we come to His altar. But how can we be reconciled to our brother, when we have sinned against him and hidden it?
And what if we are the only victim of our sin? What if we have been looking at pornography, or have been filled with jealousy and anger because our friend has been bragging about her expensive new house, or constantly judge and curse other drivers when we are in traffic?
Often the hardest part of being forgiven for sin is admitting it to ourselves. Rationalization of our conduct is a talent we learn early and practice often. We blame the near-naked woman for our lust, our boasting neighbor for our jealousy, the guy who cut us off in traffic for our anger. We say, “everybody does it.” We tell ourselves, “I am a Christian but I have to live in the real world.”
So, certainly, the first step to avoiding hypocrisy is to examine our conduct every day and to admit our fault to ourselves and God. We will be freely forgiven, so why not?
Saint Anne from the Master of Berlin Sketchbook, ca. 1525.
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Today in Daily Prayer
Psalm 145:3: Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; And His greatness is unsearchable.