Friday, December 16, 2011

Morning Prayer Guide - Friday

Begin by praying the Collect for Grace and Collect for Purity:

Collect for Grace:
Lord God, almighty and everlasting Father, you have brought us safely to this new day: Preserve us with your mighty power, that we may not fall into sin, nor be overcome by adversity; and in all we do, direct us to the fulfilling of your purpose; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Collect for Purity:
Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hidden: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we might perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Read: 2 Samuel 6:12-19, Psalm 89:1-4, 19-26, and Hebrews 1:5-14

King David went back and did it the right way. He had Levites carry the ark, just like the Law prescribed. He made offerings as acts of worship. He also danced his way up the street as the procession came into the city, embarrassing his wife and making him look foolish. But David wasn’t concerned with his image, he was focused on following the lead of the Spirit.

He was generous, too. He gave everyone a loaf of bread, a piece of meat, and a raisin cake. This would have been expensive for him. But he wasn’t worried about the money, he was focused on following the lead of the Spirit.

Sometimes we have to put aside our dignity and follow the lead of the Spirit. Sometimes we have to concern ourselves with something other than our self-image or what others will think. Jesus told us to take up our cross daily and follow him. The cross is a symbol of shame and pain, the opposite of dignity. Deitrich Bonhoeffer wrote,

The cross is laid on every Christian. The first Christ-suffering which every man must experience is the call to abandon the attachments of this world. It is that dying of the old man which is the result of his encounter with Christ. As we embark upon discipleship we surrender ourselves to Christ in union with his death – we give over our lives to death. Thus it begins; the cross is not the terrible end to an otherwise god-fearing and happy life, but it meets us at the beginning of our communion with Christ. When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die. It may be a death like that of the first disciples who had to leave home and work to follow him, or it may be a death like Luther’s, who had to leave the monastery and go out into the world. But it is the same death every time – death in Jesus Christ, the death of the old man at his call. (The Cost of Discipleship, 99)

Take some time to pray about this. Write your own prayer.

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