Other comments on this day's readings can be found here.
Reading 1 - Gen 8:9
"He reached out his hand and took the dove and brought it back
to himself in the ark" (Gen 8:9).
"The LORD protects the simplehearted; when I was in great
need, he saved me. Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the LORD has been good
to you" (Psa 116:6,7).
Tired, and with no place to set its feet or lay its head, the
dove found its way back to the Ark of safety, and Noah stretched out his hand to
receive it back to himself. The "father" looked for, and then received back to
his bosom the "prodigal son", who -- weary with looking for but finding no
resting place -- returns to its home!
Reading 2 - Psa 9:1
"I will praise you, O LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of
all your wonders" (Psa 9:1).
"Praise should always follow answered prayer; as the mist of
earth's gratitude rises when the sun of heaven's love warms the ground. Hath the
Lord been gracious to thee, and inclined His ear to the voice of thy
supplication? Then praise Him as long as thou livest. Let the ripe fruit drop
upon the fertile soil from which it drew its life. Deny not a song to Him who
hath answered thy prayer and given thee the desire of thy heart. To be silent
over God's mercies is to incur the guilt of ingratitude; it is to act as basely
as the nine lepers, who after they had been cured of their leprosy, returned not
to give thanks unto the healing Lord. To forget to praise God is to refuse to
benefit ourselves; for praise, like prayer, is one great means of promoting the
growth of the spiritual life. It helps to remove our burdens, to excite our
hope, to increase our faith. It is a healthful and invigorating exercise which
quickens the pulse of the believer, and nerves him for fresh enterprises in his
Master's service" (CH Spurgeon).
The word "wonders" is used especially of the great redemptive
miracles (ie, Psa 106:7,22) but also of their less lofty counterparts in daily
experience (Psa 71:17), and of the hidden wonders of Scripture (Psa 119:18). It
is a word reserved for God, and never used of man's feeble and temporary
Reading 3 - Mat 6:9-13
"Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy
kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day
our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead
us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and
the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen" (Mat 6:9-13).
I cannot say "Our", if my religion has no room
for others and their needs.
I cannot say
"Father", if I do not demonstrate this divine relationship in my daily
I cannot say "Who art in heaven", if all my
interests and pursuits are on earthly things.
cannot say "Hallowed be thy name", if I, who am called by His name, am not
I cannot say "Thy kingdom come", if I am
unwilling to let go of my own will and accept the righteous rule of
I cannot say "Thy will be done", if I am
unwilling or resentful of having that will done in my
I cannot say "On earth as it is in heaven",
unless I am truly ready to give myself to His service here and
I cannot say "Give us this day our daily
bread", without expending honest effort for it or by ignoring the genuine needs
of my fellowmen.
I cannot say "Forgive us our
trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us", if I continue to harbor
a grudge against anyone.
I cannot say "Lead us
not into temptation", if I deliberately choose to remain in a situation where I
am likely to be tempted.
I cannot say "Deliver us
from evil", if I am not prepared to fight an uncompromising spiritual warfare
I cannot say "Thine is the
kingdom", if I do not give the King the disciplined obedience of a loyal
I cannot say "Thine is the power", if I
fear what my neighbors and friends may say about me or do to
I cannot say "Thine is the glory", if I am
seeking my own glory first.
I cannot say
"Forever", if I am too anxious about each day's
I cannot say "Amen", unless I can
honestly say, "No matter the cost to me, this is my