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Daily Devotion for November 30, 2017
St. Andrew’s Day (Scotland)
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 to the Holy Spirit to be with Me This Day
In utter humility, before the great multitude of heavenly witnesses, I come before you this morning, Eternal Spirit of God, to offer myself, my soul and body to you. I live in awe of your purity, your justice, and the power of your love. You are the strength and light of my soul, for without you I have neither life nor goodness. I desire never to grieve you by unfaithfulness, and I pray with all my heart to be kept from the smallest sin against you.
Mercifully guard my every thought; and grant that I may always watch for your light, and listen to your voice, and follow your gracious inspirations. Give me grace, O Holy Spirit, Spirit of the Father and the Son, to listen first for your voice in everything I may say or do, this day and always,
My Lord God, creator of all that is, king of all who live, mighty in power and abundant in love beyond human imagination; I enter your presence in the sorrow of my sins against you, confessing all that I have done against your holy Word. I have offended you; I have harmed my neighbor; I have harmed myself. My attempts to hide my sin from others and to rationalize it to myself are futile: For you know all things.
I admit the sin I have tried to hide. And where I still cannot admit it, I ask your Holy Spirit to show it to me. I confess and deeply repent the heartbreak, worry, and sorrow I have caused to you, to others, to myself.
Forgive me for all of my sin, merciful God, through the mystery of salvation, by your grace that came through your only Son, Jesus Christ. From the bottom of my heart, I swear my love for Him. He is my Lord and my Savior, and I cast myself utterly upon your mercy in His name.
And finally, grant me O Lord, I pray, the lamp of charity which never fails, that it may burn in me and shed its light on those around me, and that by its brightness I may share a vision of that holy City, where dwells the true and never-failing Light, Jesus Christ our Lord.
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.
Today’s “Remember the Bible” Question
Where does Jesus tell us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us?
Acts 1:13-15 (ESV)
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 (to the best of my knowledge) 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.
ndrew 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.
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 Rumania; 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.