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Thursday, December 13, 2018

Daily Devotion for April 11, 2018


<i>The Calling of St. Peter and St. Andrew</i> by Pietro da Cortona, ca. 1626
The Calling of St. Peter and St. Andrew by Pietro da Cortona, ca. 1626.

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.



Troubled by Sin

Holy god, Lord most gracious!
Rebuke me not in your anger, nor chasten me in your wrath!
Holy you have called me to come to you.
I feel unworthy, for I have failed you again and again.
I feel like running away, yet you keep calling me.
Have mercy on me, and all of us, O God.
Have mercy!

Holy God, Father most gracious!
Rebuke me not in your anger, nor chasten me in your wrath!
Heal me from my sin, for I am troubled.
Deliver me for the sake of your steadfast love.
My sins trouble me, O God.
I am troubled by how they have hurt others.
I am troubled by how they have hurt myself.
Your ways are right! O righteous God!
And whenever I have failed to follow them
I have found out how right they are.
Have mercy on me, O God.

Holy God, God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
have mercy on me for the sake of your Son,
who died to free us from our sins.
To you be honor and glory!

Amen.

Prayer of Praise (from Isaiah 45)

You are the Lord, and there is no other; apart from You there is no God. From the rising to the setting of the sun, I know there is none besides You. You formed the earth; You made the earth to be inhabited, and you created me in your image to dwell upon it. All praise to the great Creator: You are the Lord, and there is no other.

Amen.

Meditation

[What is prayer?]


Dedication

God of mercy, swift to help: as my lips pour forth your praise, fill my heart with the peace you give to those who wait for your salvation in Jesus Christ our Lord.

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.



endless knot

Psalm 27:4-6 (NKJV)

One thing I have desired of the Lord,
That will I seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the Lord
All the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the Lord,
And to inquire in His temple.

For in the time of trouble
He shall hide me in His pavilion;
In the secret place of His tabernacle
He shall hide me;

He shall set me high upon a rock.


Blue Latin Cross

John 1:35-44 (ESV)

Jesus Calls the First Disciples

The next day again John was standing with two of his disciples, and he looked at Jesus as he walked by and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God!” The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. Jesus turned and saw them following and said to them, “What are you seeking?” And they said to him, “Rabbi” (which means Teacher), “where are you staying?” He said to them, “Come and you will see.”

So they came and saw where he was staying, and they stayed with him that day, for it was about the tenth hourThat is, about 4 p.m.. One of the two who heard John speak and followed Jesus was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. He first found his own brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means Christ). He brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “You are Simon the son of John. You shall be called Cephas” (which means Peter).

The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.” Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter.


Notes on the Scripture

I

n the previous Bible reading, John the Baptist compared the Holy Spirit descending on Christ to a dove. Here, he calls him the “Lamb of God.” Once again, John chooses imagery of harmlessness, peace, and innocence, a creature that is hunted rather than a powerful fighting animal. The Hebrews were expecting a messiah who would be more aptly named “the Lion of Judah” or somesuch. (And indeed, John uses this term for Christ in Revelation 5:5, but in a very different context.) But Christ came to teach—by both His words and His life—not to fit into the Hebrews’ preconception.

Andrew, a disciple of John the Baptist, becomes the first disciple of Christ. He runs and enlists his brother Simon, who will become the great leader of the church after Christ's ascension. Christ says that he will be called “Cephas.”

Like “dove” or “lamb,” the name Cephas is descriptive. In Aramaic (the native language of Judea at this time), Cephas meant “rock.” Jesus is thus saying, “I name you ‘Rock.’” Rather than translating the sound of Cephas’ name, which is the usual practice with foreign names, the Greek Bible translates the meaning: petra was the word for “rock” in Greek. So we call him “Peter(Thankfully so — I shudder to think of calling the Vatican “The Basilica of St. Rocky”!),” derived from the Greek Petros and the Latin Petrus

(Jesus’ name, on the other hand, is a translation of sound rather than meaning. His Aramaic/Hebrew name would have been something like Yeshua, the Hebrew name we now call Joshua. The meaning of His name was “Jehovah is generous.”)

Jesus’ naming of Peter predicts the function Simon/Cephas/Peter will play in God’s plan of salvation. Shortly before his death, Christ will recall and embellish His intention, for He will tell us that Peter is “the rock upon which I will build my church.”

There is an interesting distinction to be seen by looking at the Greek. “Petra” in Greek does not refer to a small object, i.e. a stone, as it can in English. It refers to bedrock, or at the very least, a sizable boulder. (As in “Rock” of Gibraltar.) Without doubt, Christ intends us to see Peter as a massive and unmovable slab of rock, suitable for use as the foundation for a great building.

Note the prophesy in the quote from Psalm 27: In the time of trouble, God will protect us by sheltering us in the secret place in His tabernacle, built “high upon a rock.”



<i>St. Peter</i> by Giotto, ca. 1295.
St. Peter by Giotto, ca. 1295.

Daily Inspiration

“C. S. Lewis on How to Handle Beggars”

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Matthew 5:39: I say to you, do not resist an evil person; but whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also. . . . [L]ove your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.


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Daily Quiz

Top score(s) on the Daily Quiz for Apr 11, 2018 were:
Sylvia Banda (12)
Norman Daniels (11)
Tom Kraft (11)
Monica Mitzel (11)
Michael Lockhart (11)


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