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Wednesday, July 8, 2020

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Daily Devotion for November 8, 2019


<i>Temptation of Adam and Eve</i>, a painting on the wooden ceiling of the nave of Ely Cathedral in England.
Temptation of Adam and Eve, a painting on the wooden ceiling of the nave of Ely Cathedral in England.

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 Holiness of Conduct

Most holy and righteous God, by the promises made to us by Jesus Christ, I am so bold as to believe that I am among your chosen ones, holy and beloved by You. Give me I pray, and all of my brothers and sisters, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Grant that we may bear with one another and, if any of us has a complaint against another, forgive each other. As You have forgiven me, so may I also forgive.

And above all these, impel me to put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. Let the peace of Christ rule in my heart, and in the church to which, indeed, we were called in one body.

Amen.

Prayer to Gain and Share Wisdom

Lord, there is so much that I don’t know, and I ask you to inspire me with a thirst for knowledge. I pray, too, for wisdom and understanding that I may use my knowledge well. I give thanks for many people I have never met whose knowledge and understanding have been passed on to me. I ask that I may benefit from their work and experience and may contribute, in turn, to the well-being of others.

Amen.

Meditation

[A Christian does not have a moral code: a Christian follows a moral code.]


Prayer of Penitence

Almighty God, who does freely pardon all who repent and turn to Him, now fulfill in my contrite heart the promise of redeeming grace; forgiving all my sins, and cleansing me from an evil conscience; through the perfect sacrifice of Christ Jesus our Lord. And turn my heart to your will at every moment, I pray.

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

Colossians 2:8 (ESV)

See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition . . . .


Blue Latin Cross

Judith 11:22-23, 12:1-9 (NABRE)

Judith Lives in Holofernes’ Camp

Then Holofernes said to her: “God has done well in sending you ahead of your people, to bring victory to our hands, and destruction to those who have despised my lord. You are not only beautiful in appearance, but you are also eloquent. If you do as you have said, your God will be my God; you will live in the palace of King Nebuchadnezzar and be renowned throughout the whole earth.”

Then he ordered them to lead her into the room where his silver dinnerware was kept, and ordered them to set a table for her with his own delicacies to eat and his own wine to drink. But Judith said, “I cannot eat any of them, because it would be a scandal. Besides, I will have enough with the things I brought with me.” Holofernes asked her, “But if your provisions give out, where can we get more of the same to provide for you? None of your people are with us.” Judith answered him, “As surely as you live, my lord, your servant will not use up her supplies before the Lord accomplishes by my hand what he has determined.”

Rembrandt-Woman bathing in a stream

Then the attendants of Holofernes led her to her tent, where she slept until the middle of the night. Toward the early morning watch, she rose and sent this message to Holofernes, “Give orders, my lord, to let your servant go out for prayer.” So Holofernes ordered his guards not to hinder her.

Thus she stayed in the camp three days. Each night she went out to the valley of Bethulia, where she bathed herself at the spring of the camp. After bathing, she prayed to the Lord, the God of Israel, to direct her way for the triumph of her people. Then she returned purified to the tent and remained there until her food was brought to her toward evening.


Notes on the Scripture

One of the beauties of the Book of Judith is the exquisite dramatic irony that permeates it, from start to finish. Dramatic irony occurs when a character speaks a line (or takes an action) which is taken literally on stage, but which the audience knows has a second meaning. Greek drama popularized it and it has been a mainstay of comedy and tragedy ever since. For example, Juliet—distraught at the sight of Romeo’s dead body—stabs herself with his dagger, as the audience, who know that Romeo is not really dead, looks on in utter horror.

Judith, of course, cannot eat the Assyrians’ food without breaking the Law. Surprisingly, she handles this problem initially by telling Holofernes the truth, and he readily acquiesces in allowing her to follow her religious strictures. He even allows her to go out for prayer every morning—not realizing that she is also purifying herself from the filth of his idolatry.

And her words, “As surely as you live, my lord, your servant will not use up her supplies before the Lord accomplishes by my hand what he has determined”? Dripping with irony worthy of a master Greek playwrite. Shakespeare could not have done better. Even a person who does not know how the story ends will suspect a double meaning.



<i>The Harrowing of Hell</i>, depicted inside an initial “C”. Dutch Bible @ 1300.
The Harrowing of Hell, depicted inside an initial “C”. Dutch Bible @ 1300.

Daily Inspiration

“I Once Had an Enemy”

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1 Corinthians 1:13: Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?



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