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Sunday, November 18, 2018

Daily Devotion for April 8, 2017


<i>The Marriage at Cana (detail)</i> by Gaetano Gandolfi, ca. 1766.
The Marriage at Cana (detail) by Gaetano Gandolfi, ca. 1766. Gandolfi had a rare talent for detail, and this turbaned man's expression as he watches Jesus turn water into wine is very fine. (See Full-size.)

Prayers

Scripture

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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.

For our Saturday Oldie, we have a video of the extraordinary Sister Rosetta Tharpe, filmed in 1954 -- oddly enough, in Manchester, England, where she made quite a splash.

The odd thing about her was that, in addition to her clear, powerful voice, and her strong presence, she was possibly the greatest rock-style guitarist of the 1950s. She could have given Chuck Berry lessons — yet she is completely forgotten.



Prayer for the Day

Holy God, you have given me another day. Bring your Holy Spirit into my mind and my life, so that I may walk this day in your presence. Let me feel your presence throughout the day, remembering always that you sent your Spirit that you might be a living force in all I see and all I do. When I feel temptation or begin to stray, show me your path. Correct me, comfort me, let me live your will; that I may be happy in this life and blessed in the life to come. This I pray in the name of Christ, my Lord.

Amen.

Prayer for Humility

Heavenly Father, who sent your Son to ride on an ass and to work as a simple carpenter: if you so humbled yourself to save me, how can I puff myself up with pride above others? Let me follow Christ's example, never to inflate myself with pride of status, of opinion, or of any of the gifts you have bestowed upon me.

Give me the grace to realize my ignorance, admit my mistakes, recognize my needs. Let me welcome good advice and sound rebuke, without defensiveness. Grant me always to praise rather than criticize, sympathize rather than discourage, build rather than destroy, and when I am angry at the ignorance of another, to recall my own ignorance and remember that we are all your beloved children. Let my hope and glory be ever in you, and not in my own vanity. This I ask in Christ's sake,

Amen.

Meditation

[The humility of Christ.]


Doxology

Now to him who is able to keep us from stumbling and to present ourselves blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever.

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.



Jesus turns water into wine at the wedding at Cana (John 2) by Schnorr von Carolsfeld
The Wedding at Cana (detail) by Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld, c. 1820

Psalm 84:1-4 (ESV)

How lovely are Your dwelling places,
O Lord of hosts!
My soul longed and even yearned for the courts of the Lord;
My heart and my flesh sing for joy to the living God.

The bird also has found a house,
And the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young,
Even Your altars, O Lord of hosts,
My King and my God.

How blessed are those who dwell in Your house!
They are ever praising You.



Blue Latin Cross

John 2:1-11 (NASB)

Jesus Changes Water to Wine

On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there; and both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding. When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to Him, “They have no wine.” And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does that have to do with us? My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.”

Now there were six stone waterpots set there for the Jewish custom of purification, containing twenty or thirty gallons each. Jesus said to them, “Fill the waterpots with water.” So they filled them up to the brim.

And He said to them, “Draw some out now and take it to the headwaiter.” So they took it to him.

When the headwaiter tasted the water which had become wine, and did not know where it came from (but the servants who had drawn the water knew), the headwaiter called the bridegroom, and said to him, “Every man serves the good wine first, and when the people have drunk freely, then he serves the poorer wine; but you have kept the good wine until now.”

This beginning of His signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory, and His disciples believed in Him.


Notes on the Scripture

T

he master of the banquet's remark, that usually the best wine was served first, but at this wedding the best wine had been saved until now, is symbolic of the coming of the Messiah. The wine represents spiritual life that comes from God's relationship with humanity. When Christ comes, God serves His best wine.

Even more pointedly, the correct translation (given here) is that the good wine has been saved. That is, as Christ tells us in John 14:6, He is the only way to come to the Father. He is not simply better than what went before, but rather, He is the only sacrifice capable of bringing to fruition the promise of salvation.

Water, the substance upon which human life is based, and the jars of water represent humanity. God has not only transformed the water into something much better, represented by wine, but he has saved the best for now. He has had a spiritual relationship with the Hebrews for millennia by this time, just as people have had wine to drink for celebrations; now, however, the best and greatest wine has been served, in the person of Jesus Christ.

Bolstering the metaphor, the transformation actually is accomplished inside jars used for ceremonial cleansing by the Hebrews.



endless knot

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“ God Spoke ”

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Today in Daily Prayer


Memory Verse

Philippians 4:6: Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.


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