Daily Devotion for February 6, 2011
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.
Jesus Met the Woman at the Well, as it would have been performed by black slaves.
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 Grace and Strength
Lord God, I pray that you will fill my heart with the blessing of your Holy Spirit. Grant me this day the strength to be temperate in all things, diligent in my duties, and patient under my afflictions. Direct me in all my ways. Give me grace to be just and upright in all my dealings; quiet and peaceable; full of compassion; and ready to do good to all people, according to my abilities and opportunities. For the sake of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ,
Community of Prayer
Heavenly Lord, I know I am not alone saying these prayers or reading your Word this morning, but many people unknown to me, from all stations of life, have joined together in this brief moment of devotion. 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.
Indeed, they are a graceful wreath to your head And ornaments about your neck.
My son, if sinners entice you, Do not consent.
My son, do not walk in the way with them Keep your feet from their path,
For their feet run to evil And they hasten to shed blood.
I Have Food to Eat
Jesus said to her, "Go, call your husband, and come here." The woman answered him, "I have no husband."
Jesus said to her, "You are right in saying, 'I have no husband'; for you have had five husbands, and the one you now have is not your husband. What you have said is true."
The woman said to him, "Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that in Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship."
Jesus said to her, "Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him.
God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth."
The woman said to him, "I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things." Jesus said to her, "I who speak to you am he."
Notes on the ScriptureHere we get the great surprise. The Hebrew Messiah comes not to save Israel, but to save humanity. This will become a contentious issue in the early church and require a lot of effort, especially from Saint Paul, to convince the Jews that the unclean, heathen Gentiles have shared fully in Christ's gift.
The Samaritan woman is, clearly, thirsty in the spiritual sense as well as the physical one. She comes to the well of Jacob, symbolizing her search for the true God. But she lives in sin; it seems as if she is seeking the God of the Jews, both by her presence at Jacob's well and by her conviction to worship in Jerusalem (where the Temple is located) rather than in the mountains, which are full of pagan idols and altars.
To give her a sign of his authority, Christ does what he did with Nathanael: He tells her things about herself that an ordinary man could not have known. Specifically, he speaks of her sinful sexual life, both past and current, for she is living in adultery with another woman's husband.
But Christ tells her that God is not found in a building and cannot be worshipped physically. (This will mean, ultimately, an end to the constant sacrifices of food and animals required by Hebrew worship.) Under the new covenant, God, who is spirit, will be worshipped "in spirit".
Finally, Christ acknowledges that he is the Messiah about whom she has heard.