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Daily Devotion for May 11, 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.
Prayer of Thanks for God's Creation
O Lord God of Israel and God of the nations, you are the only God in heaven above or the earth below. I walk before you with all my heart. I bless your name in the morning when I rise and in the evening when I sleep, and all the day when your creation fills my eye. Bless me to remember you this day; when I see and hear the thousand miracles of your creation, let me see them anew, recalling that you have made them, and no other; that I may live in your presence among the common miracles I take for granted. Through Christ I pray,
For our Enemies
O God, the Father of all, whose Son commanded us to love our enemies: Lead them and us from prejudice to truth; deliver them and us from hatred, cruelty and revenge; and in your good time enable us all to stand reconciled before you; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Almighty God, by your Holy Spirit you have made me one with your saints in heaven and on earth. Grant that in my earthly pilgrimage I may always be supported by this fellowship of love and prayer, and know myself to be surrounded by their witness to your power and mercy. I ask this for the sake of Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns for ever and ever.
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.
"Money is no substitute for tenderness, and power is not a substitute for tenderness. I can tell you as I'm sitting here dying, when you most need it, neither money nor power will give you the feeling you're looking for, no matter how much of them you have."
-Morrie (from Tuesdays with Morrie)
Peter Speaks in Solomonís Portico 
While he clung to Peter and John, all the people, utterly astounded, ran together to them in the portico called Solomonís. And when Peter saw it he addressed the people:
"Men of Israel, why do you wonder at this, or why do you stare at us, as though by our own power or piety we have made him walk? The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified his servant Jesus, whom you delivered over and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he had decided to release him. But you denied the Holy and Righteous One, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you, and you killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead.
To this we are witnesses. And his nameóby faith in his nameóhas made this man strong whom you see and know, and the faith that is through Jesus has given the man this perfect health in the presence of you all."
Notes on the Scripture
The man clinging to Peter and John is someone who has just been healed of lameness. The portico of Solomon was not really a portico (a covered walkway leading to a door) but a porch or colonnade on the east wall of the temple. It was a large and beautiful structure built of white stone. It was about 300 or 400 yards in length, so a lot of people could gather in it.
The meaning of the passage is straightforward. Peter continues to preach the gospel. Being so soon after Jesus' death, he emphasizes the crime that the Jewish authorities, and the people of Jerusalem themselves, have committed.
Peter is also, perhaps, concerned for the safety of himself and his brethren in Christ. Public opinion was mostly against Christ, as is obvious from the details of the crucifixion; specifically, the crowd's demand that Barabbas be released rather than Jesus. It is in Peter's interest to see public opinion change, to temper the anti-Christ attitude in Jerusalem.
One wouldn't expect that he would soften the position of Caiaphas and the other authorities — and as we will see shortly, it didn't — but having a populace sympathetic to Christians would provide some margin of safety for Christ's followers.