Morning Prayer, 29 Jan – John 5:30-47 ~ the Father’s witness

Morning Prayer

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Opening sentences – Cuthbert of Northumbria (635-87)

Softly as the dew-fall of heaven, may the Holy Spirit come upon me to aid and raise me, to bind my prayer firmly at the throne of the King of life.

God’s will would I do, my own will bridle; God’s due would I give, my own due yield; God’s path would I travel my own path refuse.

All whom I love, into Your safe-keeping; all that I am, into Your tender care; all that I will be, into Your perfect will.

Morning readings

John 5:30-47 ESV:

Look-up

“I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just, because I seek not my own will but the will of him who sent me.

“If I alone bear witness about myself, my testimony is not true. There is another who bears witness about me, and I know that the testimony that he bears about me is true. You sent to John, and he has borne witness to the truth. Not that the testimony that I receive is from man, but I say these things so that you may be saved. He was a burning and shining lamp, and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light.

“But the testimony that I have is greater than that of John. For the works that the Father has given me to accomplish, the very works that I am doing, bear witness about me that the Father has sent me.

“And the Father who sent me has himself borne witness about me. His voice you have never heard, his form you have never seen, and you do not have his word abiding in you, for you do not believe the one whom he has sent.

“You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life.

“I do not receive glory from people. But I know that you do not have the love of God within you. I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not receive me. If another comes in his own name, you will receive him. How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God?

“Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father. There is one who accuses you: Moses, on whom you have set your hope. For if you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?”

Reflections / Prayer:

The Father’s witness

Only God, and those whom he uses, can testify to God. There are four expressions of the Father’s witness: the Baptist, Jesus’ works, Jesus’ words and the Scriptures.

+ John the Baptist, like Jesus, spoke what he heard from the Father… and bore witness to the truth – who is Christ.
+ Jesus’ does the works the Father has given him… divine activity in itself – consistent with God’s own character.
+ Jesus’ speaks only what he hears from the God; to see and hear Jesus is to see and hear God.
+ Jesus is the Word, the point of reference for all the words of Scripture; Scripture is a means to an end – a witness to Jesus the Christ.(The IVP New Testament Commentary Series)

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The problem of unbelief

Unbelievers lack the love for God in their hearts. Jesus, on the other hand, is completely centered in God, caring only for God’s glory.

+ Unbelievers care more about human praise, instead of seeking praise from God alone.
+ Unbelievers lack the ability to discern the things of God, because of their pride.
+ Unbelievers embrace the false – accepting folk with no authority outside of themselves.

Jesus accuses them of lacking the love of God and of failing to accept the agent who has come in his name, yet Jesus does so to give them a chance to come to their senses. The judgment he passes is itself an aspect of the grace of God intended for their salvation.
(The IVP New Testament Commentary Series)

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Canticle:

Christ, as a light… illumine and guide me. Christ, as a shield… overshadow me. Christ under me; Christ over me; Christ beside me on my left and my right.

This day be within and without me, lowly and meek, yet all-powerful. Be in the heart of each to whom I speak; in the mouth of each who speaks unto me. This day be within and without me, lowly and meek, yet all-powerful.

Christ as a light; Christ as a shield; Christ beside me on my left and my right.

Blessing

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

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Peanut Gallery: A brief word of explanation – the general format for Morning Prayer is adapted from the Northumbrian Community‘s Daily Office, as found in Celtic Daily Prayer (see online resources here.) The Scripture readings are primarily from the Gospel of John, with the intent to complete the reading by Easter. Other Scriptures which illuminate the Gospel of John will be included along the way.

Reflections from various saints will be included as their memorial days occur during the calendar year.

On Sundays, I’ll return to the USCCB readings (see online resources here) and various liturgical resources in order to reflect the Church’s worship and concerns throughout the world.

Photo illustrations and music videos, available online, are included as they illustrate or illuminate the readings. I will try to give credit and link to sources as best I can.



Categories: Life in Christ

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