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Monday, October 24, 2016

Daily Devotion for February 21, 2013

The First Passover, Arnold Friberg ca. 1953.
The First Passover, Arnold Friberg ca. 1953.



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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.


Prayer for the Guidance During the Day

Oh my God, you know my weakness and failings, and that without your help I can accomplish nothing for the good of souls, my own and others'. Grant me, therefore, the help of your grace, according to my particular needs this day. Enable me to see the tasks you will set before me in the daily routine of my life, and let me set my hand to these tasks with the vigor and joy of one with whom you abide. And if I should face trials, suffering or failure, I pray that your hand will lift me up, and I may be refreshed. In the name of Christ, I pray,


Prayer of St. Ephraim the Syrian

O  Lord and Master of my life, give me not the spirit of laziness, despair, lust of power, and idle talk. But give rather the spirit of sobriety, humility, patience and love to your servant. Yes, O Lord and King, grant me to see my own transgressions and not to judge my brother, for blessed are you unto ages of ages.


For Each of Us in Our Work

Almighty God, heavenly Father, who makes it possible for me to work and who gives every creature its food, declaring your glory and showing your handiwork in the heavens and in the earth; Deliver me, I pray, in my work, from coveting material goods, from falling into the temptation of serving mammon and putting money in the forefront of my life. Help me to perform the work which you have put at my hand, in truth, in beauty, and in righteousness, with singleness of heart as your servant, and to the benefit of my fellow men as well as myself; for the sake of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lived and died only to serve us.



The Lord bless us and keep us. The Lord make his face to shine upon us, and be gracious unto us. The Lord lift up his countenance upon us, and give us peace, this day and evermore.


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

Agnus Dei (The Lamb of God), oil on canvas painting by Francisco de Zurbarán, c. 1635-40, San Diego Museum of Art
Date 	c. 1635-40
Agnus Dei (Lamb of God), Francisco de Zurbarán, c. 1635.


“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows; it empties today of its strength.”

~ Corrie ten Boom

Blue Latin Cross

Exodus 12:1-13 (ESV)

The Passover [1]

The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, "This month shall be for you the beginning of months. It shall be the first month of the year for you. Tell all the congregation of Israel that on the tenth day of this month every man shall take a lamb according to their fathers' houses, a lamb for a household. And if the household is too small for a lamb, then he and his nearest neighbor shall take according to the number of persons; according to what each can eat you shall make your count for the lamb.

Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male a year old. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats, and you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month, when the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill their lambs at twilight.

Then they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses in which they eat it. They shall eat the flesh that night, roasted on the fire; with unleavened bread and bitter herbs they shall eat it. Do not eat any of it raw or boiled in water, but roasted, its head with its legs and its inner parts. And you shall let none of it remain until the morning; anything that remains until the morning you shall burn.

Passover bitter herbs
Bitter herbs

In this manner you shall eat it: with your belt fastened, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. And you shall eat it in haste. It is the Lord's Passover.

For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am the Lord. The blood shall be a sign for you, on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you, when I strike the land of Egypt."

Notes on the Scripture

Something momentous is happening. Moses resets the Hebrew calendar and declares that this is day one. (The time probably in late February). Their year will begin in the spring, something else to differentiate them from the Egyptians and, later, the Canaanites. It is when lambs are born, so last year's lambs will be a year old.

He also proclaims a ceremony that is a feast to be prepared and eaten family by family. Americans have two such events, themselves — Christmas dinner and Thanksgiving — and so we can recognize what a landmark this is in their lives.

The details of the event itself are rigidly ceremonial. First, the family is to declare itself Jewish, separate; it is to mark the three supporting timbers of the house with the blood. God does not need a signpost to tell who is Jewish; rather, He needs to know who is declaring themselves part of the Exodus. It is the moment of choice. Family by family, the people of Egypt must decide with finality who is Hebrew and who is not.

The manner of the meal is a warning to them, a premonition of the life to come. They will act and eat like travelers. No time to wait for the bread to rise, no time to clean the lamb, no utensils cook it, and only bitter (wild) herbs for seasoning. No meat can be left over to spoil. And they dress as if they are about to walk out the door, for a person at home for the evening would set down his staff, take off his sandals, and loosen his belt for comfort.

They are like an army which has been garrisoned for a long time, told to mobilize. They prepare for widespread death; they prepare to regroup, formally, as Israel the nation, a nation of tribes and clans and families, separating themselves from all the loose connections to the others of the country where they have lived for centuries. They prepare themselves to travel en masse. And they demonstrate their faith that God will do as Moses tells them.

endless knot

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