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Daily Devotion for September 5, 2010
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 of Metropolitan Philaret
Lord, give me the strength to greet the coming day in peace. Help me in all things to rely on Your holy will. Reveal Your will to me every hour of the day. Bless my dealings with all people. Teach me to treat all people who come to me throughout the day with peace of soul and with firm conviction that Your will governs all. In all my deeds and words guide my thoughts and feelings. In unexpected events, let me not forget that all are sent by you.
Teach me to act firmly and wisely, without embittering and embarrassing others. Give me the physical strength to bear the labors of this day. Direct my will, teach me to pray, pray in me.
Prayer for Family and Friends
Blessed are You, loving Father, For all your gifts to us. Blessed are You for giving us family and friends To be with us in times of joy and sorrow, To help us in days of need, And to rejoice with us in moments of celebration.
Father, We praise You for Your Son Jesus, Who knew the happiness of family and friends, And in the love of Your Holy Spirit. Blessed are you for ever and ever.
May the Passion of Christ be ever in my heart. May your law and your goodness guide my every thought, O Lord. And may the power of your Holy Spirit flow through my words and my actions.
Walk with me, so that I may not be alone as I face this day, but always in your presence. Your joy is a lighthouse in a world often dark with sin, and I pray that I may inspire others as I have been inspired. In the name of Christ, bless me this day, and all who I may meet.
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.
He provides food for those who fear him; he remembers his covenant forever.
He has shown his people the power of his works, giving them the lands of other nations.
The works of his hands are faithful and just; all his precepts are trustworthy.
Christ's Last Journey Begins
When the days drew near for Jesus to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem. And he sent messengers ahead of him. On their way they entered a village of the Samaritans to make ready for him; but they did not receive him, because his face was set toward Jerusalem. When his disciples James and John saw it, they said, "Lord, do you want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?" But he turned and rebuked them. Then they went on to another village.
Notes on the Scripture
The passage is somewhat hard to follow. When Jesus "sets his face for Jerusalem", it is an idiomatic term that means simply he determined that he would go to Jerusalem and began his trip. When you go somewhere, you turn your head and face that direction, so setting your face in a direction means that you have a fixed intent on going there. Here, however, there is a deeper meaning, because Jesus knows what he is facing: a long and painful death. We must remember that part of the miracle of Christ was that he felt human emotions fully. He had the same emotions we would have, if we knew were were going to be whipped and painfully put to death. It was a time of immense gravity for Jesus the man.
It isn't completely clear why the Samaritans would not let them stay in their village. Simply being Jewish might have been sufficient, since the Jews and Samaritans despised each other. Having one's face "set toward Jerusalem" could have yet another meaning here, as the Jews looked to Jerusalem as the center of their religious practice. Or it could mean that the Samaritans did not like the fact that Jesus and his disciples were traveling on what appeared to be a pilgrimage.
At any rate, they moved on, and the disciples suggested a rain of fire to destroy the village as an appropriate punishment. But Christ chastized them for making the suggestion. Some versions of this passage add, "You do not know what kind of spirit you are of, for the Son of Man did not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them." The disciples do not, cannot, understand what is to come; Jesus will become not only the long-promised Messiah of the Jews, but also, the Messiah of all people on earth. He did not come to judge and punish, but to save. Little do the disciples suspect, in fact, that the Samaritans insult is a trifle compared to what the Jewish leaders will do to Jesus when he arrives at his destination.