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Daily Devotion for May 2, 2013

<i>Sacrifice of Isaac</i>, Caravaggio ca. 1603.
Sacrifice of Isaac, Caravaggio ca. 1603.



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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 Morning

Oh Lord, most heavenly Father, Almighty and everlasting God, who has safely brought me to the beginning of this day; I give you thanks for my creation, preservation, and all the blessings of my life. Grant that this day I fall into no sin, neither run into any kind of danger; but that all my doings, being governed by your will, may be righteous in your sight. Through Christ our Lord, I pray.


Thank You Lord

Sometimes I stop and wonder why you’re still here; Or what is good about me, and why you even care.

You’re always there with me to help me out each day; Even though I seldom listen to the words you have to say.

The things I always pray for, I know they will come true; My joy and peace you give me when each day is new.

You continue to forgive me for all that I have done; When nights are filled with sorrow, the day will bring the sun.

In days full of trouble, and friends won’t say hi; I know you will be there with me to take me if I die.

For who am I to deserve the grace you have shown; Thank you Lord for keeping me, when life for me was cold.


by Gary R. Ferris

Prayer of Resolve

I  bind myself to you this day, oh Christ, in your truth and in your sacrifice. I give to you my anxiety and my fear, my depression and my doubt, for you have promised to take them if we only ask; and I take upon myself your burden, for it is light and your way is gentle. May I keep this in my heart and mind all this day.


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

endless knot

Staying Busy

If you are too busy to pray, you are busier than God wants you to be.

~ Amish saying

Blue Latin Cross

Exodus 34: 18-20 (CEV)

The Versions of the Ten Commandments [4]

[3] Don’t fail to observe the Festival of Thin Bread in the month of Abib. Obey me and eat bread without yeast for seven days during Abib, because that is the month you left Egypt.

[4] The first-born males of your families and of your flocks and herds belong to me. You can save the life of a first-born donkey by sacrificing a lamb; if you don’t, you must break the donkey’s neck. You must save every first-born son.

Notes on the Scripture

The third and fourth commandments in Exodus 34 (the ones actually written in stone) are not generally heard today in any form. The third had already been delivered in detail to the Hebrews on the night of the tenth plague (see Exodus 12:1-20). Simply stated, it requires that Passover be observed and reiterates that no yeast bread may be eaten during the week.

The fourth initially requires that the firstborn male offspring of every female animal (including women) be sacrificed to God. The animal or child may, however, be "redeemed". Redeem is used in the strict sense, to buy something back that has been given to someone else, as in redeeming something from a pawnbroker. In the case of human children, redemption is mandatory. Actual child sacrifice is thus forbidden.

The cost of redeeming the child's life is the sacrifice of a lamb. This has very deep roots in the Old Testament, including the ram sacrificed by Abraham in place of his child Isaac, and the death of the first-born in Egypt, where lamb's blood indicated which houses death should pass over.

The reason we do not follow the letter of this commandment is the same reason we are not obligated to follow the letter of any commandment in the Old Testament. Their purpose was fulfilled by the sacrifice and resurrection of Christ. (Yes, God did the one terrible thing He has never required of us, giving his Son as an actual sacrifice.) This particular commandment is uniquely instructive regarding the relationship of Old Testament law to modern obligations, because it was directly fulfilled by Christ.

Why and how? Here is the short version: God required the sacrifice of every first-born male. However, the first-born could be redeemed by sacrificing a lamb in its (or his) place. Christ was the final sacrificial lamb, so perfect in his sacrifice that He redeemed all people (and animals) for all time. The law requiring the sacrifice is still "on the books", but it has been permanently fulfilled. The required sacrifice has been prepaid.

This argument actually applies to all of the commandments and laws of the Old Testament; we have been freed of the obligation to follow them to the letter, but out of love for God, we follow them in spirit. Every time we take communion, we are essentially honoring the spirit of this commandment, by celebrating the sacrifice of flesh and blood made by Jesus.

The Crucifixion</i> by Matthias Grunewald (German), ca. 1524.
The Crucifixion by Matthias Grunewald (German), ca. 1524.

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Today in Daily Prayer

Memory Verse

Galatians 2:20: I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

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