January 17 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: Philippians 2:1-11
Reading for Reflection: True service finds it almost impossible to distinguish the small from the large service. Where the difference is noted the true servant seems to be often drawn to the small service, not out of false modesty, but because he genuinely sees it as the important service. He indiscriminately welcomes all opportunities to serve. Self-righteous service requires external rewards. It needs to know that people see and appreciate the effort. It seeks human applause - with proper religious modesty of course. True service rests contented in hiddenness. It does not fear the lights and blare of attention, but it does not seek them either. Since it is living out of a new Center of Reference the divine nod of approval is completely sufficient. (Celebration of Discipline by Richard J. Foster)
Reflection and Listening: silent and written
Prayer: for the church, for others, for myself
A. and B. are serving in a Creative Access country. Their family is building friendships and seeing them mature as A. continues to teach at a local university and serve the teachers and students there. Pray today for A. & B. as they deal with some health issues. They are seeking not only physical rest but renewed energy from mindsets of rest.
Knoxville Inner City Kids Outreach (KICKO) is a para-church ministry with a mission to “Mobilize the Message of Hope” to the at-risk children in our inner-city neighborhoods. This is done through a unique program called Sidewalk SONday School. Large trucks, outfitted to take the church into these communities, allow them to share the gospel with children at multiple locations each week. KICKO just celebrated their 20th Christmas season of outreach. Pray for the families that were reached this year.
Closing Prayer: O Jesus, how far down you had to come to reach us; how small and how low. Can anyone really comprehend the magnitude of that downward journey? You, who had always enjoyed the true delight and loving intimacy of the Trinity, yet willing to step out of the ecstasy of that intimacy because of your great desire to bring us into it. You, who was in very nature God, laid aside your Divine privilege and position to become a man of sorrows, despised and rejected. You, the Eternal One, were willing to become a mere mortal. You, the Creator of all, were willing to become one of the created. O the great sacrifice! O the immense love! You emptied yourself of more than we can dare ask or imagine. And thus, you gave us an example that we should do the same. Lord Jesus, show us specifically what this emptying looks like in our lives in the days ahead. Amen.