Daily Devotion for September 27, 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.
Note: The translation of the Zulu is difficult and the spoken words sometimes don't sound like the English transliteration, so it is hard to follow word-for-word. There are many repeats.
To Help Others This Day
Heavenly Lord, I pray that this day, you will continue to bless me, that I may be a blessing to others. Keep me strong that I may help the weak. Keep me uplifted that I may have words of encouragement for others. I pray for those that are lost and can’t find their way. I pray for those that are misjudged and misunderstood. I pray for those who don’t know you intimately. I pray that others will find your strength, so that they can love and help one another. I pray for those who don’t believe, that they may find you.
And when this world closes in on me, let me remember the example of my Lord and Savior: to slip away and find a quiet place to pray. Remind me, nudge me, let me remember to find you when I’m feel like I'm pushed beyond my limits. In Christ’s name, I come to you,
Beholder of all, I have sinned against you, in thought, word and deed; erase the record of my offences, and write my name in the Book of Life. Have mercy upon your creatures and upon me, a great sinner. In the name of Christ I pray.
[God sees all things.]
Now to Him who has given me grace in accordance with His gospel, in keeping with the revelation of the mystery hidden for many ages past, but now revealed and made known by the command of the eternal God, so that all mankind might find the obedience that comes from faith; to the only God, the God of wisdom and truth, be glory forever through His only son, Jesus Christ.
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.
The Holy Martyrs of Libya are 21 Christians, who were murdered by IS (ISIS) terrorists in February 2015. Before they had denied to renounce their faith though threatened with death for 40 days. The coptic Orthodox church acknowledged them as new martyrs.
Say I did my best to share
Burdens others had to bear;
Seldom stayed to count the cost
Lest the chance to help be lost.
If of me this can be said,
Sweet my sleep when I am dead.
Creed, by Edgar Guest (1881-1959)
John 18:1-11 (ESV)
Judas Betrays Jesus
hen Jesus had spoken these words, he went out with his disciples across the brook Kidron, where there was a garden, which he and his disciples entered. Now Judas, who betrayed him, also knew the place, for Jesus often met there with his disciples. So Judas, having procured a band of soldiers and some officers from the chief priests and the Pharisees, went there with lanterns and torches and weapons.
Then Jesus, knowing all that would happen to him, came forward and said to them, “Whom do you seek?” They answered him, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus said to them, “I am he.” Judas, who betrayed him, was standing with them.
When Jesus said to them, “I am he,” they drew back and fell to the ground. So he asked them again, “Whom do you seek?” And they said, “Jesus of Nazareth.” Jesus answered, “I told you that I am he. So, if you seek me, let these men go.” This was to fulfill the word that he had spoken: “Of those whom you gave me I have lost not one.”
Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest's servant and cut off his right ear. (The servant's name was Malchus.) So Jesus said to Peter, “Put your sword into its sheath; shall I not drink the cup that the Father has given me?”
Notes on the Scripture
The scene described here, and Jesus’ forthcoming trial, demonstrate the odd relationship of a Roman client state with Rome itself. It is not the Romans who seek to arrest Jesus; it is the “chief priests and the Pharisees.” But they use Roman soldiers. These religious leaders are not even the Jewish governor of Judea, Herod, but leaders of the temple. And with obvious hypocrisy, they send others to do their dirty work, for they are forbidden to shed blood. Moreover, the Romans are happy to supply the armed police force, which obviates the need for an armed Hebrew guard under Jewish control inside the gates of Jerusalem.
So Jesus said to Peter,
“Put your sword into its sheath.”
The account in John differs from the account in the Synoptic Gospels. Mark 14, for example, gives us the famous account that Judas identified Jesus to the soldiers with a kiss, whereas John tells us that Jesus gave himself up. The accounts are easy to reconcile, but it is interesting to see how different eyewitnesses remember different details. (In fact, as any lawyer will tell you, truthful eyewitnesses will always differ somewhat in the accounts they give; in fact, such differences are a hallmark of truthfulness.)
Peter attempts to fight them. He attacks one of the company with a sword and succeeds in cutting off his ear.
Peter’s action illustrates a recurring tension between Christ’s teachings and the actions of those who try to follow them. The Jews who expected a Messiah for centuries before, and the Christians who have followed for centuries since, have found it nearly impossible to absorb Christ’s message of peace. Even Peter, Jesus’ closest and most trusted disciple, pulls his sword to protect Christ.
It is a harbinger of centuries of “holy” wars fought, ironically, in the name of the King of Peace. We should not be surprised — saddened, but not surprised — that the Christians to follow would fall prey to the temptation of violence, if one as holy as St. Peter himself could not resist.