Friday, November 9, 2012
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: Psalm 146, Deuteronomy 15:1-11, and Hebrews 9:15-24
The writer of Hebrews is talking about the sacrifice that Jesus made on our behalf. There can be no remission of sins without the shedding of blood. Blood was seen by the ancient Jews to be the life force – one reason why they were forbidden to eat an animal’s blood. By sacrificing an animal and sprinkling its blood on the altar, they symbolically transferred their sins to the animal and then sprinkled its life on the altar as atonement for those sins.
However, where the Jews had to present offerings on a regular basis, Jesus has made that sacrifice once for all. Once was all that was needed, and it covers every single person from that time until the end of time as we know it. From the day that Jesus died until the day that he returns in glory, every person – trillions of people – are covered by that sacrifice. It is a mind-blowing thought.
We do have to accept it, however. And we can’t really do that if we don’t know about it. That is where Christians come in. Not only are we the ones who have recognized the sacrifice and accepted it, but we’re also the ones sent to help others make the same decision. It may seem a daunting task at first, one that would make us give up in despair, but God is with us and will show us what to do. Sometimes we might have to speak words, but God can give us those, too. Mainly we preach with our actions, however, because those are more visible and more telling than words could ever be. If you doubt this, just watch a debate between candidates for president or governor. They will say whatever they think will get them the most votes, but that doesn’t mean their actions support their words.
Take time to pray about this. Ask God to help you preach the gospel with your actions and your words. Write your own prayer.