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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Daily Devotion for November 19, 2012

Bastiani Tapestry of Pentecost, Venice tapestry
Venetian Tapestry of the Pentecost (detail), Bastiani c. 1490



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lessons and scripture

Lord's Prayer

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.


The great Doris Akers doing it right.

Prayer for the Morning

I  call upon you, O Lord. In the morning you hear me; in the morning I offer you my prayer, watching and waiting.

I lift my heart to you, O Lord, to be strengthened for this day. Be with me in all I do, my God; guide me in all my ways.

I will carry some burdens today; some trials will be mine. So I wait for your help, Lord, lest I stumble and fall.

I will do my work, Father, the work begun by your Son. He lives in me and I in him; may his work today be done.


Prayer for Renewal

Lord, I am one of your people, the sheep of your flock. I pray for you to heal those who are wounded; touch those who are in pain; clean those who are soiled; warm those who are cold; help me to know the Father's love through Jesus the shepherd, and through the Spirit.

Help me to lift up that love, and show it all over this land. Help me to build love on justice and justice on love. Help me to believe mightily, hope joyfully, and love divinely. Renew me that I may help renew the face of the earth.


Dedication to Service

Now, oh heavenly Father, I ask to be called as a witness to your love by the love I extend to others; a precursor of your justice by my unfailing commitment to what is right and good; a lamp set on a hill, reflecting the light of Christ in my forgiveness, mercy and compassion; and a harvester of souls through my humble and dedicated servanthood. In Jesus' name, I pray,


(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.

The Holy Spirit as a dove, devotional painting

I found thee not, O Lord, without, because I erred in seeking thee without that wert within.

~ St. Augustine

Blue Latin Cross

Acts 2:1-11 (ESV)

The Pentecost

When the day of Pentecost had come, the disciples were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.


Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each.

Amazed and astonished, they asked, "Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs-- in our own languages we hear them speaking about God's deeds of power."

Notes on the Scripture

The Pentecost was, in effect, a "jump start" for the reign of the Holy Spirit. Christ had finished His mission on earth and had ascended to heaven. He promised that after he had left the world, He would leave "another Advocate" to dwell with those who believed in Him and followed His commandments. The Pentecost marks the coming of the Holy Spirit, the name by which we call the Spirit of God that remained with us after Christ had ascended.

The event itself is colorful and wonderful, a short time when everybody in the vicinity of the disciples could witness the miracle of the Holy Spirit. To them it appeared that the disciples were speaking in their native language — Egyptians heard Egyptian, Romans heard Latin, etc. You might conclude that the Holy Spirit wasn't relying on language at all, but communicated directly to the minds and souls of those present.

There is also a wonderful metaphor in this, relating back to the ancient promise that Christ would make God's grace available to all nations. The old covenant was specifically a relationship between God and the Jews; Christ brought a new covenant, that could be shared by anyone who believed in Him. If we have accepted Christ into our hearts and follow His commandments, the Holy Spirit will live within us and we can know God in a way different from how we "know" anything else. The event is the antithesis of the Tower of Babel. The pride of men, who wished to reach to the height of God, made them unable to understand one another; now, that sin of pride is overcome through grace and the Spirit, and people of every tongue can understand.

endless knot

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Today in Daily Prayer

Memory Verse

John 14:23-24: Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.

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