kneeling fisherman

kneeling fisherman

Monday, December 24, 2018

What could be better?

Invitatory: "My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior” (Luke 1:46-47) 

Bible reading for the day:  Luke 1.67-79 (note: Zechariah was the father of John the baptizer. After rendering him mute for 9 months during his wife Elizabeth’s pregnancy, the Lord opens Zechariah’s mouth and his tongue lets loose with this song of praise.)  Then his father Zechariah was filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke this prophecy:
68 “Blessed be the Lord God of Israel,
    for he has visited and redeemed his people
69 and has raised up a horn of salvation for us
    in the house of his servant David,
70 as he spoke by the mouth of his holy prophets from of old,
71 that we should be saved from our enemies
    and from the hand of all who hate us;
72 to show the mercy promised to our fathers
    and to remember his holy covenant,
73 the oath that he swore to our father Abraham, to grant us
74     that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies,
might serve him without fear,
75     in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.
76 And you, child, will be called the prophet of the Most High;
    for you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways,
77 to give knowledge of salvation to his people
    in the forgiveness of their sins,
78 because of the tender mercy of our God,
    whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high
79 to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death,
    to guide our feet into the way of peace.”

Prayer (based on TRIP method**):  Gracious and almighty Father, thank you for keeping your Word, for raising up the Savior, Jesus Christ, for us.  Consume me with the joy and truth of his coming.  Send your Holy Spirit upon me and your whole church now and rescue us from the hands of our enemies: the devil, the world, and our sinful selves.  Take away all my false fears and grant that I may serve you in holiness and righteousness all my days… what could be better?!  I ask this in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Anthem: follow this link to a movement from G.F. Handel’s “Messiah” that gives exquisite further voice to today’s conversation with the Lord:

Benediction: The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with us all.  Amen.  II Cor 13.14

*There are many patterns for devotions.  This pattern has been followed by God’s people for centuries.
**The T.R.I.P. approach to prayer is based on the way Martin Luther prayed and taught others to pray.  It was later developed by Walter and Ingrid Trobisch and then adapted by Mount Carmel Ministries (Alexandria, MN  The method is founded on scripture and easy to remember:                                                                                       T: thanksgiving
                                                          R: repentance
                                                          I: intercession (asking God to take a specific action)
                                                         P: plan or purpose
Reading a biblical text and then applying this method gives one a sound, simple way to form one’s prayers...not to mention that it helps one learn how to faithfully reflect on God’s Word and talk to God. 

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