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Daily Devotion for October 30, 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 All People
O God, the creator and preserver of all humanity, I humbly pray to you for all sorts and conditions of people; that it might please you to make your Word known to them and bring your saving health to all nations. In particular I pray for the entirety of your church, in all of its many forms; that it may be guided and governed by your Holy Spirit, and that all who profess your name and call themselves Christians may be led into the way of truth. May all of us live in the unity of spirit our faith in Christ provides to us, in the bond of peace, and in righteousness of life.
Finally, I commend to your fatherly goodness all those who are ill or in distress, in their mind, body, or circumstances. May it please you to comfort and relieve them in accordance with their needs, giving them patience during their suffering, and a fortunate outcome to all of their problems. And this I ask in the name of Jesus Christ, who was always pleased to relieve the suffering of those he encountered.
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.
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.
Gospel of Matthew 15:39-16:4
The Signs of the Times
Jesus sent the multitudes home and traveled by boat to the border of Magadan. There, the Pharisees and Sadducees came to test him, asking him to show them a sign from heaven.
He answered, "When it is evening, you say, 'The weather will be fair, because the the sky is red.' And in the morning, you say 'The weather will be foul today, because the sky is red and lowering.' You know how to read the face of the heavens, but you cannot read the signs of the times.
An evil and adulterous generation seeks a sign. No sign will be given to it, except the sign of Jonah."
And with that, he departed.
Comment on the Scripture
Christ has now attracted the attention of both the main parties in Israel's chronic civil war: the Pharisees, who had the upper hand at the time, and the generally more conservative Sadducees, who were weaker at the time but still had great influence in Jerusalem. Despite their enmity, neither of them wanted to see the ascendency of a strong third party which might contend for religious and political control of Judea.
Christ repeats his earlier message, this time curtly. The only "sign" he will give these inquisitors is to be given up for dead (like Jonah) for three days and then return. See the comment on Matthew 12:38-41.
"Red sky at morning, sailor take warning; red sky at night, sailors' delight" is an old seaman's saw; those who enjoy sailing will be amused to hear that it was used 2000 years ago by Hebrew fishermen.
Magadan is not known today. It apparently was a small area south of Generassat, on the left shore of the Sea of Galilee.