Collect of the Day
O God, the King eternal, whose light divides the day from the night and turns the shadow of death into the morning: Drive far from us all wrong desires, incline our hearts to keep your law, and guide our feet into the way of peace; that, having done your will with cheerfulness during the day, we may, when night comes, rejoice to give you thanks; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Gospel Reading of the Day, Mark 1:1-1
1The beginning of the good news* of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.*
2 As it is written in the prophet Isaiah,*
‘See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,*
who will prepare your way;
3the voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
“Prepare the way of the Lord,
make his paths straight” ’,
4John the baptizer appeared* in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. 5And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. 6Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. 7He proclaimed, ‘The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. 8I have baptized you with* water; but he will baptize you with* the Holy Spirit.’
The Baptism of Jesus9 In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. 10And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. 11And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my Son, the Beloved;* with you I am well pleased.’
12 And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. 13He was in the wilderness for forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels waited on him.
Well, the old priest missed his turn for writing the Daily Devotion. No one said anything. Maybe they were not missed. None the less, I am sorry for not providing a daily reflection.
This fits the Gospel today rather well. In the scriptures Jesus has a profound experience in his baptism and immediately found himself in the wilderness and tempted to turn against God.
The Christmas Season was wonderful as always. The spirit and beauty of the Christmas Liturgies just kept me soaring. My wife and I then spent a week in Kansas City seeing family and extending the Christmas celebration. When I came back, I allowed myself to be swept up in the "catch up mode" of things that had been waiting for me. For all I had experienced at Christmas which was of God, were left behind as I took on the immediate tasks which had been waiting.
Yet, it is this Daily Devotion and my other spiritual disciplines that are to keep in tune with God and my priories straight. Temptations and distractions are ever present -- Jesus learned that big time and stood firm. I still have some learning and growing to do. What about you?