With all the noise in the world, do you hear the voice of God? Your calendar tells you what to do, but do you remember who you are? Being comes before doing. This is a call to put first things first. Return to the Lord with this daily pattern of prayer and devotion. Set aside this time as a sanctuary. Find a space free of distraction and follow this pattern.
Make the sign of the cross, and say,
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
“Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.” (Matt. 5:8) O Lord, you see all things. Purify my heart that I may see you clearly. Amen.
Word: Matthew 4:13-16
And leaving Nazareth he went and lived in Capernaum by the sea, in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali, so that what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled:
“The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali,
the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles--
the people dwelling in darkness
have seen a great light,
and for those dwelling in the region and shadow of death,
on them a light has dawned.”
From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”
We live in a dark world. We don’t need to search for proof. It’s self-evident. Like Isaiah’s prophesy, we can identify with “a people dwelling in darkness,” “those dwelling in the region and shadow of death.”
I’m concerned that it will only get darker in the coming months. Fall weather is turning colder. The days get shorter. The potential grows for an increase of COVID-19 and the flu. Children and families are under stress. Older adults are worried about isolation. A contentious election is on the horizon.
To the land of darkness, Jesus shows up. In fact, he comes to no other place. If all was light and peace, we would have no need for a Savior. The greater the darkness, the more profound the light. “On them a light has dawned.” “On them” - those under the curse of deep darkness. The stressed and depressed, the overwhelmed and overlooked.
Pray to Jesus Christ, the Light of the World. Prepare for winter by calling on the Lord of Life. The kingdoms of the earth rage and groan. The King comes. His kingdom is “at hand.”
Prayer for the World
· For my city, state, and country.
· For leaders: mayor, governor, president, congress.
· For those who serve the public: police officers, firefighters, teachers, first responders, medical personnel.
· For the nations of the world, for world leaders.
· For good government, good schools, good business.
· For justice, especially for the oppressed: minorities, immigrants and refugees, orphans, widows, the very young or unborn, the aged.
· For creation: for the care of land, air, wildlife, and sea.
Lord Jesus, you are the Light of the World. Shine in dark places. Shine in my heart. In my family. In my neighborhood. In my church. In my city and state. In my country and world. For you are light and life. Amen.