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Thursday, October 20, 2016

If we are reading straight through a Bible book (currently Matthew), we take Wednesdays and Sundays off for a more general Christian message.

Daily Devotion for August 21, 2013

<i>Saint Andrew</i>, by François Duquesnoy,  ca. 1633. This magnificent statue in St. Peter’s Basilica (Rome) shows Andrew at the moment of his crucifixion, on the famous
Saint Andrew, by François Duquesnoy, ca. 1633. This magnificent statue in St. Peter’s Basilica (Rome) shows Andrew at the moment of his crucifixion, on the famous "X" shaped cross.



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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.


Prayer for Goodness (based on Psalm 1)

Heavenly Father, who has given us the gift of your law, so that we might know our sin, and your Son, that we might be forgiven where we fall short: Give me the grace to remember your holy Word, when my surroundings tempt me to confusion and weakness, that I might more nearly approach true obedience to your will. Help me to resist the arguments of the ungodly; let me not be deceived by false beauty; and let me never replace the truth which you have put into my heart with the clever words of men. Through Christ I pray,



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.

<i>Saint Andrew</i> by Artus Wolffort ca. 1620
Saint Andrew by Artus Wolffort ca. 1620.

Two-way Street

Prayer is not monologue, but dialogue. Gods voice in response to mine is its most essential part.

~ Andrew Murray

Blue Latin Cross

Acts 1:13-15

St. Andrew

Then they returned to Jerusalem from the hill called the Mount of Olives, a Sabbath day's walk [a little less than a mile] from the city. When they arrived, they went upstairs to the room where they were staying. Those present were Peter, John, James and Andrew; Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew; James son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.

Notes on the Scripture

This meeting, recorded in the first chapter of Acts, is the last mention of Andrew in the Bible. Although it is difficult and perhaps impossible to know what actually became of Andrew thereafter, without doubt he traveled widely and actively spread Christ's Gospel to many people.

Andrew was the first apostle to follow Jesus and was also the oldest -- a year older than Jesus himself. He was a follower of John the Baptist. When Christ was baptized by John, Andrew followed Him and brought his younger brother, Peter, who apparently was a gifted and charismatic speaker. Andrew was reputedly the first to record the teachings of Jesus in writing, but we have no idea whether or to what degree any of his writings still exist as part of the Gospels in our Bible, or elsewhere. The originals were reported to have been collected in the Great Library of Alexandria (in Egypt), which was subsequently destroyed by fire.

Cross of St. Andrew

There are many traditions about Andrew. Most agree that he traveled north to the Ukraine (then called Scythia) and Georgia. He became the patron saint of Russia, the Ukraine, and Romania; many Russian flags contained a Cross of St. Andrew similar to the flag of Scotland. Most accounts agree that he ended his travels in Patras, Greece (a city about 130 miles west of Athens), where he was crucified on a cross laid in the shape of an "X".

The stories about the disposition of his remains are even more colorful than the accounts of his travels. Many churches claim to have received and enshrined parts of his body. Most notably, when the Emperor Constantine (son of Constantine the Great) ordered that Andrew's body be exhumed and brought to Constantinople, a monk named Regulus reportedly was visited by an angel, who instructed him to take Andrew's remains and flee to the farthest ends of the world. Regulus took such remains as he could manage and fled, only to be shipwrecked in Scotland, where the remains were enshrined.

Thus, Andrew became the patron saint of Scotland, and the Scottish flag represented the cross he died upon: a white "X" shape on a blue field. The purported remains were destroyed or stolen during the Scottish Reformation, but we see his influence even today in the British flag (the "Union Jack") and the flag of the Scottish Parliament.

endless knot

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“The mind of God is greater than all the minds of men, so let all men leave the gospel just as God has delivered it unto us.” ~ Charles Haddon Spurgeon