kneeling fisherman

kneeling fisherman

Thursday, January 10, 2019

The only sound that matters

Verse for the week: We have beheld his glory; glory as of the only Son from the Father. John 1.14

Prayer for the week: Almighty God, at the baptism of your blessed Son Jesus Christ in the Jordan you manifested his glorious divinity.  Grant that the brightness of his presence may shine in our hearts and his glory be set forth in our lives; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.” (Post-Communion in Sarum Rite, given in John Wallace Suter, Jr., The Book of English Collects (New York and London: Harper & Bros., 1940), p. 47.) 

Bible reading for the day: Psalm 29
 Ascribe to the Lord, O heavenly beings,
    ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;
    worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness.

The voice of the Lord is over the waters;
    the God of glory thunders,
    the Lord, over many waters.
The voice of the Lord is powerful;
    the voice of the Lord is full of majesty.

The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars;
    the Lord breaks the cedars of Lebanon.
He makes Lebanon to skip like a calf,
    and Sirion like a young wild ox.

The voice of the Lord flashes forth flames of fire.
The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness;
    the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.

The voice of the Lord makes the deer give birth
    and strips the forests bare,
    and in his temple all cry, “Glory!”

10 The Lord sits enthroned over the flood;
    the Lord sits enthroned as king forever.
11 May the Lord give strength to his people!
    May the Lord bless his people with peace!

prayer(based on the TRIP** method): Gracious and almighty Father, your voice is the one that matters; by it you created the earth, the universe and all that is in it… your voice thunders over the waters, makes the deer give birth and breaks cedars… and your voice declares a sinner like me righteous through Christ alone. Thank you! Repent me and your whole church of preferring the sound of our own voice over yours. Today and each day, grant us ears that are humble enough to listen to you… for then we are strengthened for your service. I ask this in Jesus’ name, amen.

Hymn: follow this link to a beloved classic which gives further voice to today’s conversation with the Lord:

What is baptism?
Baptism is not merely water; it is water used according to God's command and connected with God's Word.
What is this Word of God?
It is the Word of our Lord Jesus Christ as recorded in the last chapter of Matthew, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19).
What gifts or benefits does Baptism bring?
It brings about forgiveness of sins, delivers from death and the devil, and gives everlasting salvation to all who believe, as the Word and promise of God declare.
What is this Word and promise of God?
It is the Word of our Lord Jesus Christ as recorded in the last chapter of Mark, “Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:16).
How can water do such great things?
It is not the water that does these things, but the Word of God connected with the water and our faith which relies on that Word. For without the Word of God it is simply water and not Baptism. But when connected with the Word of God it is a Baptism, that is, a gracious water of life and a washing of regeneration in the Holy Spirit.
As Saint Paul says to Titus, “He saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life. The saying is trustworthy” (Titus 3:5-8a ESV)  
(from The Small Catechism, by Martin Luther ©Reclaim Resources, Sola Publishing, 2011)

benediction: The peace of God which surpasses all understanding keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Amen.  (Philippians 4.7)

*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: regret (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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