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 merciful, for they will be shown mercy.” (Matt. 5:7) You are the great Giver of mercy. Move me to show your mercy. Amen.
Word: Matthew 23:12
“Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”
When Jesus says things like, “Blessed are the poor in spirit,” it appears backwards to the way things work in our world. It’s like when Jesus said, “Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”
That’s backwards. The world would say, “The humble get walked all over. You’ve got to promote yourself. Talk yourself up. Take initiative. Don’t be a doormat.” The world would reverse Jesus’ words: “Whoever exalts himself will be great, successful, and victorious. Whoever humbles himself will get left behind.”
Think about other things Jesus said that appear “backwards.” (Look ahead in the Sermon on the Mount for things like “love your enemies.”) What is strange about what he said?
When Jesus is “backwards,” it’s a good thing. He gives us what we don’t deserve. He loves us when we’re unloveable. He died for us “while we were yet sinners.”
Prayer for Neighbors
· For my immediate geographical neighbors.
· For my community, neighborhood, town/city.
· For neighbors hurting from broken families, addiction, violence, abuse, poverty, sickness.
· For the eyes of the Good Samaritan, to see and help my neighbor in need.
O God of mercy, teach me to be merciful. O Humble Lord, show me the way of humility. You are the exalted King over all things. I worship you alone. Amen.