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Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Daily Devotion for December 28, 2017

Fourth Day of Christmas
CHILDERMAS or HOLY INNOCENTS


<i>The Star of Bethlehem</i> by Edward Burne-Jones, ca. 1890.
The Star of Bethlehem by Edward Burne-Jones, ca. 1890. This intensely saturated depiction of the Magi was the largest watercolor painted in the entire 19th Century. Note the depiction of the Star of Bethlehem as a light held by an angel.

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.

This performance by the Robert Shaw Chorale bears his impeccable musical touch.



Prayer for Guidance

Lord, teach me to number my days aright, that I may gain wisdom of heart. Help me do today the things that matter, not to waste the time I have.

The moments I have are precious, Lord, see that I count them dear. Teach me to number my days aright. Fill me this day with your kindness, that I may be glad and rejoice all the days of my life. Through Christ I pray,

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.

Benediction

Now, oh Lord, I pray that you may lift up the light of your countenance upon me, and give me peace; in my going out and in my coming in; in my sitting down and my rising up; in my work and in my play; in my joy and in my sorrow, in my laughter and in my tears; until that day comes which is without dawn and without dark.

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.



<i>Dream of the Magi</i>, from an English psalter, ca. 1220.i
Dream of the Magi, from an English psalter, ca. 1220.

What Can I Give Him?

What can I give Him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb.
If I were a Wise Man I would do my part.
Yet what can I give Him? I give Him my heart.

~ Christina Rossetti

Blue Latin Cross

Matthew 2:1-12 (ESV)

The Three Wise Men

Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.”

When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born.

So they said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for thus it is written by the prophet:

‘But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
Are not the least among the rulers of Judah;
For out of you shall come a Ruler
Who will shepherd My people Israel.’”
Star of Bethlehem

Then Herod, when he had secretly called the wise men, determined from them what time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem and said, “Go and search carefully for the young Child, and when you have found Him, bring back word to me, that I may come and worship Him also.”

When they heard the king, they departed; and behold, the star which they had seen in the East went before them, till it came and stood over where the young Child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceedingly great joy.

And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

Then, being divinely warned in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed for their own country another way.



Notes on the Scripture

T

he story of the three wise men is one of the most cherished parts of the story of Christmas. Christian tradition has split it into two similar stories; 1) the “Three Wise Men” or “Magi,” and 2) the “Three Kings.” The second of these is really a backwards interpretation, as it comes from a passage in Isaiah: “Nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn. . . . They shall bring gold and frankincense, and shall proclaim the praise of the Lord.” (Isaiah 60:3,6) Also, it was not uncommon for lesser kings to travel to greet great rulers, bringing gifts.

It is a nice interpretation, and commonly told in Western churches, primarily because of the popularity of the Christmas carol We Three Kings (of Orient are). But there isn’t really much to support it.

Much more clearly, they were magi. Although the word has come to refer to a magician in modern times, it was used differently when the Gospel of Matthew was written. The magi were a very specific sect of astrologers centered in Persia or perhaps Babylonia (both of which lie east of Bethlehem). So the three magi were almost certainly from the general vicinity of Iran, and magi would have noticed such an unusual star and given it religious significance.

The gold, frankincense, and myrrh were typical presents that would be brought to a king. Frankincense is a type of incense, burned for the fragrant smoke and often used in purification ceremonies; it is the “incense” still used today in some liturgical churches for special occasions. Myrrh is a fragrant oil, used for embalming and for unction. All three were costly. Many scholars have attributed a spiritual meaning to them: gold as a symbol of kingship on earth, frankincense as a symbol of priesthood, and myrrh (an embalming oil) as a symbol of death.




endless knot

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“Seeking Jesus”

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Today in Daily Prayer


Memory Verse

Philippians 2:6-7 (DP): Although He existed in the form of God, Christ did not retain equality with God, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant and being made in the likeness of men.


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Comments (2)

Topic: Daily Prayer and Christian Devotional
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Steven (Vinton, US) says...
Thank you all for your comments. Just as the devotional reminds us to think of and meditate on its content so do your words of praise. Lord, thank you for these that have taken the time to praise you publicly. I ask today for your strength to keep me from the sin of judgment. Even the slightest thought of a careless driver causes my weak flesh to judge another when I have so many faults with which to be judged. I thank you Lord for hearing my prayer. Amen.
28th December 2017 11:33am
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Matthew Fredette (Orlando, US) says...
I needed this with my God and coffee,time(is what I call it). Yes I love waking earlier then anyone in the house, getting up to spend time in prayer and meditation. It helps me to keep my IQ at a even 144. Matthew F.
28th December 2017 6:03am
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Lisa brewer (US) says...
To God Be The Glory You Are So Worthy Of All Praise I Love You Lord.Smile
27th December 2017 4:32pm
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Cheri Suchodolski (Elmira, US) says...
Praise God
27th December 2017 12:04pm
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Gerry Moore (Pleasant View, US) says...
SmileHoly Lord, most Holy Lord, You alone are worthy of our praise. Thank You Jesus for coming to earth, for saving me.Glory to GOD in the highest, and on earth PEACE, goodwill to all men. Holy Spirit, open the eyes of the blind that they might be saved. Save my family and friends. Use me to share Your word in love in every way today. Thank You Father in Jesus name, Amen.
27th December 2017 8:40am
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Alan (Rose Hill KS, US) says...
Praise to you Jesus for giving me another day to live. Remind me every hour to live it in gratitude to you, from the hour I wake up to the hour I fall asleep. Thank you everyone for praying today's prayer an scripture with me.
27th December 2017 8:16am
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Angela (UK) says...
I thank the lord for his blessings,we glorify his wonderful name
27th December 2017 12:08am
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Top score(s) on the Daily Quiz for Dec 27, 2017 were:
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Linda Surber (10)
Daniel Williams (10)
Margaret Entwistle (10)

Top score(s) on Match-a-Verse:
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Daniel Williams (9 out of 9)
Jack Willis (9 out of 9)
randall martin (9 out of 9)
Antoinette Wielkie (9 out of 9)

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