Daily Devotion for October 11, 2009
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 for the Morning
Oh Lord, most heavenly Father, Almighty and everlasting God, who has safely brought me to the beginning of this day; I give you thanks for my creation, preservation, and all the blessings of my life. Grant that this day I fall into no sin, neither run into any kind of danger; but that all my doings, being governed by your will, may be righteous in your sight. Through Christ our Lord, I pray.
Prayer for Bearing Troubles
O God, our help and assistance, who is just and merciful, and who hears the prayers of your people; look down upon me. a miserable sinner, have mercy upon me, and deliver me from the troubles that torment me, even though I might deserve them. I acknowledge and believe, O Lord, that you give us the trials of this life for our chastisement, when we drift away from you, and disobey your will; deal not with me according to my sins, but according to your endless mercy, for I am the work of your hands, and you know my weakness.
Grant me, I pray, your divine helping grace; endow me with patience and strength to endure my tribulations with complete submission to your will. You know my misery and suffering and to you, my only hope and refuge, I flee for relief and comfort; trusting your infinite love and compassion, that in due time, when you know it is for the best, you will deliver me from my troubles, and turn my distress into comfort, and I will rejoice in your mercy, and exalt and praise your Holy Name, O Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
Community of Prayer
May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be among the community of all who pray in the name of Christ this morning, and remain among us always.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
Gospel of Matthew 12:9-21
Christ heals on the sabbath
Jesus left [the place where he and his disciples had gathered grain], and went into their synagogue, where he saw a man with a withered hand. They asked him, "Is it lawful to heal on the sabbath day?" that they might accuse him of wrongdoing.
And he replied, "Which of you, if you have one sheep, and it falls into a pit on the sabbath day, will not lay hold of it, and lift it out? How much more value does a man have, than a sheep! Wherefore, it is lawful to do good on the sabbath day."
Then he said to the man, "Stretch forth your hand." And he stretched it forth; and it was wholly restored, like his other hand.
The Pharisees went out, and discussed how they might destroy him. And Jesus, perceiving it, withdrew from the place. Many followed him, and he healed them all, charging them that they should not make him known, so the prophecy of Isaiah would be fulfilled:
Behold, my servant whom I have chosen; My beloved in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my Spirit upon him, And he shall declare judgment to the Gentiles. He shall not strive, nor cry aloud; Neither shall any one hear his voice in the streets. A bruised reed shall he not break, And smoking flax shall he not quench, Till he send forth judgment unto victory. And in his name shall the Gentiles hope.
Isaiah 42:1-4 (King James Version)
The Servant of the LORD1 "Behold! My Servant whom I uphold,
My Elect One in whom My soul delights!
I have put My Spirit upon Him;
He will bring forth justice to the Gentiles.
2 He will not cry out, nor raise His voice,
Nor cause His voice to be heard in the street.
3 A bruised reed He will not break,
And smoking flax He will not quench;
He will bring forth justice for truth.
4 He will not fail nor be discouraged,
Till He has established justice in the earth;
And the coastlands shall wait for His law."
Comment on the Scripture
Christ heals a man, although Mosaic Law generally forbade healing on the sabbath. Today's lessons is a continuation of yesterday's passage, in which Christ and his disciples openly gathered grain to eat on the sabbath, to the displeasure of the Pharisees.
Following this second confrontation with the Pharisee leaders in the synagogue, Christ withdraws from the scene of the controversy, instructing those who he continues to heal to keep quiet about it. He fulfils the promise made in the prophecy of Isaiah, that the Messiah would come to include non-Jews in the kingdom of salvation, and that he would comport himself quietly and without doing harm, until the day of judgment would come.
After Christ's death and resurrection, there was tremendous difficulty among the first Christians, who were primarily a Jewish sect, in accepting that non-Jews were to share fully in the gift of redemption brought by Christ's coming. All Jews knew and accepted Isaiah, one of the most illustrious of all the Hebrew prophets; so Christ's explicit fulfillment of Isaiah's prophecy, that God's "elect one" would bring justice to the Gentiles, helped Jewish Christians to accept the presence of Gentiles in early Christian congregations.