January 13 Devotional
Come to Stillness: Take a few minutes to allow your mind and heart to be still before God.
Opening Prayer: Lord, give me the ability to persist through tedium, to survive without the oxygen of recognition, praise, and stroking, and to do some good things every day which are seen only by You. (Sacred Space: the Prayer Book 2010 by Jesuit Communication Centre)
Scripture Reading for the Day: 1 Peter 5:5-11
Reading for Reflection: Humility and Moderation - the graces of the self-forgetful soul - we might almost expect that if we grasped all that the Incarnation really means - God and His love, manifest not in some peculiar and supernatural spiritual manner, but in ordinary human nature. Christ, first-born of many brethren, content to be one of us, living the family life, and from within His Church inviting the souls of men to share His family life. In the family circle there is room for the childish and the imperfect and the naughty, but the uppish is always out of place.
We have got down to the bottom of the stairs now and are fairly sitting on the mat. But the proof that it is the right flight and leads up to the Divine Charity, is the radiance that pours down from the upper story: the joy and peace in which the whole is bathed and which floods our whole being here in the lowest place. How right St. Paul was to put these two fruits at the end of his list, for as a rule they are the very last we acquire. But the saints have always seen it. When Angela of Foligno was dying, her disciples asked for a last message and she, who had been called a Mistress in Theology and whose Visions of the Being of God are among the greatest the medieval mystics have left us, had only one thing to say to them as her farewell: “Make yourselves small! Make yourselves very small.” (Fruits of the Spirit by Evelyn Underhill)
Reflection and Listening: silent and written
Prayer: for the church, for others, for myself
Ron and Amy Barber have been living near Auckland, New Zealand where Ron has been teaching church planting, cultural anthropology and global theology at Eastwest College of Intercultural Studies. Pray today that God will use Ron to equip workers to share the gospel to the cross-cultural New Zealand population.
Keymedia uses television, radio, the Internet and printed literature as well as local missionaries, in their Arabic and Muslim target countries, for the key purpose of planting churches and discipling local believers to take the gospel to their nation’s people. Pray today for those who are planting churches as a result of this organization.
You love those with a heart for the poor
For the helpless, for those with no escape.
You love those who shamelessly and fearlessly,
And sometimes fearfully,
Go back to be with those who suffer.
You love those whose lives are forfeit to servitude
Of the needy, the unknown;
Those who by going back become unknown themselves.
You love those who whisper your affections
in the shadows
To those who are hidden, who no one else cares for.
You ask us to proclaim your desires to the broken,
In the places devoid of reward or compensation;
In the places where no trophies are earned.
And because you first called us
Out of our own filth and brokenness and because of vast heart change,
We jump at the chance.
I’m willing to be unknown for You.
- Tim Branch (February 5, 2011)