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Daily Devotion for March 1, 2013


Agnus Dei, Lamb of God
Painting Agnus Dei by Francisco de Zurbaran, ca. 1640.

Prayers

Scripture

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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.

Amen.



Prayer for the Morning

The night has passed, the sun shines its light upon us, and the day lies open before me. As I rejoice in the gift of this new day, so may the light of your presence fill me with love for you and my fellow man, holy God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Abide with me, I pray, now and for ever.

Amen.

A Prayer for Lent

Father, through our observance of Lent, help us to understand the meaning of Your Son's death and resurrection, and teach us to reflect it in our lives. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son. who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Amen.

Prayer for the Departed

Into your hands, O Lord, I commend the souls of your servants departed from this life and beseech you to grant them rest in the place of your rest, where all the blessed repose, and where the light of your countenance shines forever.

And I pray also to grant that my present life may be godly, sober, and blameless, that I too may be made worthy to enter into your heavenly Kingdom with those I love but see no longer: for you are the Resurrection, and the Life, and the Repose of your departed servants, O Christ our God, and unto you I ascribe all glory: to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; now and ever, and unto ages of ages.

Amen.

Benediction

Walk with me, dear Lord, so that I may not be alone as I face this day, but always in your presence. Your joy is a lighthouse in a world often dark with sin, and I pray that I may inspire others as I have been inspired. In the name of Christ, bless me this day, and all whom I may meet.

Amen.


Think of the day ahead in terms of God with you, and visualize health, strength, guidance, purity, calm confidence, and victory as the gifts of His presence.



Heidelberg fresco of a cross
Fresco of a cross Heibelberg, Germany.

Proverbs 19:16 (NKJV)

He who keeps the commandment keeps his soul,
But he who is reckless in his ways will die.


Blue Latin Cross

Exodus 12:43-51 (ESV)

Institution of the Passover

And the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “This is the statute of the Passover: no foreigner shall eat of it, but every slave that is bought for money may eat of it after you have circumcised him. No foreigner or hired worker may eat of it. It shall be eaten in one house; you shall not take any of the flesh outside the house, and you shall not break any of its bones. All the congregation of Israel shall keep it.

If a stranger shall sojourn with you and would keep the Passover to the Lord, let all his males be circumcised. Then he may come near and keep it; he shall be as a native of the land. But no uncircumcised person shall eat of it. There shall be one law for the native and for the stranger who sojourns among you.”

All the people of Israel did just as the Lord commanded Moses and Aaron. And on that very day the Lord brought the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt by their hosts.



Notes on the Scripture

The Passover commandment can be confusing, because it rambles around several chapters in Exodus. Remember first, however, that the commandment did not take effect until the Lord had given them Canaan. "And when you come to the land that the Lord will give you, as he has promised, you shall keep this service." (Exodus 12:25) None of them knew, at this time, how few of them would ever celebrate Passover again; for they did not know that 40 years in the wilderness lay ahead. The next Passover would be celebrated by Joshua.

Crucifixion, Velazquez
“Christ Crucified”
Diego Velazquez 1632

No reason is given why the bones of the lamb cannot be broken. Perhaps this is simply a discipline to reinforce the communal nature of the feast: that families (or groups of small families) will celebrate together, that nobody can break of a haunch or rack of ribs and be on his way.

It brings to mind, however, the last moments Christ hung on the cross. The Roman soldiers were about to break his legs, in order to hasten His death, when one of them stuck a spear in His side and confirmed that He was already dead. (John 19:31-34) And in fact, John tells us, "For these things came to pass, that the scripture might be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken." (John 19:36)

Why the Lord forbade the Passover lamb's bones to be broken — well, who knows the mind of God? But it does make for a striking testament to God's omniscience; it glues together the sacrifices of the Passover lamb and the Lamb of God.



endless knot

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Today in Daily Prayer


Memory Verse

Matthew 5:38: You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if anyone would sue you and take your shirt, let him have your cloak as well.



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