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Monday, October 24, 2016

Daily Devotion for April 25, 2013

ANZAC Day (Australia and New Zealand)

Tenth Commandment, Thou Shalt Not Cover
Thou Shalt Not Covet, charcoal illustration by Leone Bracker ca. 1925. Bracker did an entire series on the Ten Commandments, very much in the style of American illustration in the 1920s and 30s.



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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.


Praise and Thanks this Morning

Hallelujah! The sun has risen again and it is morning! And I have awoken into it, alive, breathing, thinking, knowing that the Son will rise again and I will be saved. What did I do to deserve this day? It is a gift from you. Glory and praise to you, my God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, for filling me with life to live another day, for it is you who made me and not me myself.

I resolve to spend this day in the presence of the Holy Spirit, filled with his joy and energy, that I might accomplish your will, my God, and do what I can to deserve the joys of the day, for I know my time here is short. Be with me, oh Holy Spirit, to fill me with the energy and positivity and comfort that only you can bring. In Christ's name I pray that thy will be done,


Prayer for All People

O  God, the creator and preserver of all mankind, I humbly pray to you for all sorts and conditions of humanity; that it might please you to make your Word known to them and bring your saving health to all nations. In particular I pray for the entirety of your church, in all of its many forms; that it may be guided and governed by your Holy Spirit, and that all who profess your name and call themselves Christians may be led into the way of truth. May all of us live in the unity of spirit our faith in Christ provides to us, in the bond of peace, and in righteousness of life.

Finally, I commend to your fatherly goodness all those who are ill or in distress, in their mind, body, or circumstances. May it please you to comfort and relieve them in accordance with their needs, giving them patience during their suffering, and a fortunate outcome to all of their problems. And this I ask in the name of Jesus Christ, who was always pleased to relieve the suffering of those he encountered.



God of love, Father of all, the darkness that covered the earth has given way to the bright dawn of your Word made flesh. Make me and all who confess your holy name people of this light. Make me faithful to your Word that I may bring your life to the waiting world. Grant this through Christ our Lord.


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

endless knot


How little people know who think that holiness is dull. When one meets the real thing, it’s irresistible!

~ C.S. Lewis

Blue Latin Cross

Exodus 20:17 (Easy-to-Read Version

You must not want to take your neighbor’s house. You must not want his wife. And you must not want his men and women servants or his cattle or his donkeys. You must not want to take anything that belongs to another person.

Notes on the Scripture

When early English versions of the Bible (notably King James) were published, the verb "to covet" meant simply to desire or to want fairly strongly. Because of its use in this passage, it has come to mean "to want something wrongly". Use of the term in the Bible has changed its meaning, ironically, so that the Bible doesn't mean quite what it did when it was translated!


Christ will teach us a complex lesson about serving God versus serving money. But that is another lesson; the tenth commandment does not forbid us from wanting things of this world. The entire message is in phrase, "your neighbor's."

Only the first and last of the ten commandments crawl into our head and seek to regulate thought. The others refer to external acts. We have already been told not to have relations with someone else's wife or take his possessions; here, we are told that we must not allow our minds to go there in the first place.

The injunction is not for our neighbor's benefit; it is for our own benefit. Jealousy is poison. The importance of the person or item coveted is blown utterly out of proportion. We can become fixated on it. We cannot help but hate the person who has what we want so desperately.

More subtle is the resentment of people who have something — money, or power and position, or good looks — that we do not necessarily even admit to ourselves that we covet. We just don't like them being more important than us, getting more attention, making a decision.

Praying the tenth commandment is a great way to come closer to God. As we put aside our resentments of other people, our desire to keep up with the Jones, we naturally become more centered and focused on more important things in our lives. As Christians, of course, we go further than the commandment, for we must examine constantly how much our lives served God, and how much our lives serve mammon.

It this is sometimes a source of confusion for you, you are not alone. Every Christian struggles with the problem. All we can do is pray about it and try to work out a reasonable and good-faith system of dealing with worldly possessions, asking for God's guidance.

Russian monk
Monk, Aleksandr Kisnichyov ca. 2006. (Full size)

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Today in Daily Prayer

Memory Verse

Proverbs 20:3: It is an honor for a man to cease from strife, Since any fool can start a quarrel.

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