Faith Daily | 2 December 2021
PRAYER of the DAY - Advent One
give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness
and put on the armour of light,
now in the time of this mortal life
in which your Son Jesus Christ came among us
in great humility,
that on the last day,
when he shall come again in his glorious majesty
to judge the living and the dead,
we may rise to the life immortal;
through him who lives and reigns with you
and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
GOSPEL for the Day: Matthew 7: 21-27
21 “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father in heaven. 22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many deeds of power in your name?’ 23 Then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; go away from me, you evildoers.’
24 “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and acts on them will be like a wise man who built his house on rock. 25 The rain fell, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on rock. 26 And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell—and great was its fall!”
GOSPEL Reflection: Contributed by: Mary Rose
The first part of this reading in the NRSV is helpfully labelled “Concerning self-deception”. The passage says there are people who call Jesus ‘Lord’ and who prophesise, cast out demons and even perform miracles all in his name but Jesus says in the end he will not recognise them as his followers. This seems hard to believe! But Jesus points out that they did not live out their faith, they were merely Christians in name only.
It made me think of what is meant by a ‘practising Christian’. Society defines a practising Christian as a person who regularly attends church but Jesus requires more. Christians should live a life which reflects what we believe.
The second part of this reading is headed ‘Hearers and doers’. Jesus tells his followers that if they listen to his words and practise them in their lives they will have a solid foundation for a life well-lived, one which supports us through the storms and troubles which beset us all. This is a lesson which he expands on in the parable of The Sower. Indeed Christians have the Holy Spirit so not only are we sanctified but are gifted the fruits of the Spirit – we are assisted day to day to live our lives as those who are saved!
I have found strength and comfort in a morning prayer for grace from the old prayer book -
FINAL PRAYER: Prayer based on John 3:16
O Lord, our heavenly Father,
Almighty and everlasting God,
who has safely brought us to the beginning of this day;
defend us in the same with thy mighty power;
and grant this day we fall into no sin, neither run into any kind of danger;
but that all our doings may be ordered by thy governance,
to do always what is righteous in thy sight; through Jesus Christ, our Lord.