Friday, January 4, 2013

Morning Prayer Guide - Friday

Friday, January 4, 2013
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 72, Isaiah 6:1-5, and Acts 7:44-53

The reading from Isaiah is about a vision he had of God.  God is sitting on a high throne (a symbol of God’s power) and is wearing a robe which has a very long train – it fills the whole temple (a sign of God’s authority).  Isaiah’s reaction to all this is one of remorse.  “I’m messed up now.  I’m in God’s presence, but I’m an unclean man.”

When we come into God’s presence, our first reaction is always to realize our sin.  Darkness is inside us, because we have sin inside us.  When we come into the light, it shows us our imperfections and shortcomings, and this is embarrassing to us.
Our reading in Acts comes from St. Stephen’s sermon before the Sanhedrin.  He told them that God does not live in a human-made temple, but inside us.  We have God within us, in other words.  We are light-bearers.

As we go about, carrying God’s light in a dark world, people can react in fear and anger.  Just as Isaiah reacted when confronted with God’s presence, others do the same when they see God within us.  It causes them to come face to face with their own problems, and that’s embarrassing.  Sometimes they respond with repentance.  Other times they react with anger and fear, and reject us.

Don’t take it personally.  Just keep bearing God’s light in the world.  Sometimes the Holy Spirit has to work on people for quite a long time before they will accept God.
Do you bear light?  How can you continue to do so?  Ask God to help you shine his light in the world.  Write your own prayer.

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