Reading and Prayer – October 20

Reading: Isaiah 9:2-7

The people walking in darkness

    have seen a great light;

on those living in the land of deep darkness

    a light has dawned.

You have enlarged the nation

    and increased their joy;

they rejoice before you

    as people rejoice at the harvest,

as warriors rejoice

    when dividing the plunder.

For as in the day of Midian’s defeat,

    you have shattered

the yoke that burdens them,

    the bar across their shoulders,

    the rod of their oppressor.

Every warrior’s boot used in battle

    and every garment rolled in blood

will be destined for burning,

    will be fuel for the fire.

For to us a child is born,

    to us a son is given,

    and the government will be on his shoulders.

And he will be called

    Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,

    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Of the greatness of his government and peace

    there will be no end.

He will reign on David’s throne

    and over his kingdom,

establishing and upholding it

    with justice and righteousness

    from that time on and forever.

The zeal of the Lord Almighty

    will accomplish this.

Prayer:

Heavenly Father, I confess that in my life, I have been more attentive to someone who was beautiful and ignored another who was not. I have judged people by the way they look, by how old they are, by how they are dressed; and yet I know, in my heart, that all souls are beautiful to you and that you have commanded us to love one another, not through the sinful eye of our body and our emotions, but through the perfect eye of your Spirit.

Help me, I pray, to see other people as you see them, as my fellow souls struggling to find you. Let me not be deceived by appearance; let me not be misled by my prejudice. Let me not compare the outside of other people to the inside of myself, nor believe that the circumstances of my birth define a standard that others are supposed to meet. Let me see my own imperfection and not that of my fellow man. This I pray, Amen.