Friday, December 21, 2012

Morning Prayer Guide - Friday

Friday, December 21, 2012 – St. Thomas, Apostle
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: Habakkuk 2:1-4, Psalm 126, Hebrews 10:35-11:1, and John 20:24-29

“Seeing is believing.”  That was St. Thomas’ motto.  He was a careful man, always wanting the facts, always wanting to make sure he made the best decision.  But we give Thomas an awfully hard time about today’s reading, while forgetting that when Jesus said it was time to go to Jerusalem and die, Thomas was the first one to say, “We’ll go die with you.”  Thomas ended up going to India with the Gospel, and there is still a church there which he founded and which follows very closely the teachings and forms of worship that he brought.  Thomas may have doubted at some points, but he was still a very dedicated follower of Jesus.

“Doubt is part of the journey.”  That’s what Christians in the east sometimes say to encourage one another.  In the Christmas icon called “The Nativity”,  Joseph is sitting at the edge of the picture, looking sad.  The Orthodox often include a shepherd, named Thyros, representing the doubts that were thrust upon Joseph, doubts that God really has done this miracle.  But Joseph is still in the picture; he is still an important part of it all.  The lesson for us is don’t go on the journey alone.  Don’t give up, because you've got doubts.  As a father with a sick child once said to Jesus, “Lord, I believe.  Help me overcome my unbelief!”

Ask God to help you overcome your doubts and live like Thomas did.  You may find the following prayer helpful:

Everliving God, who strengthened your apostle Thomas with firm and certain faith in your Son's resurrection: Grant us so perfectly and without doubt to believe in Jesus Christ, our Lord and our God, that our faith may never be found wanting in your sight; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

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