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Daily Devotion for May 18, 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.
Nigeria is the center of an explosion in Christian conversion. In the Morning, I Will Rise and Praise the Lord by the Nigerian choir, "Voice of the Cross". The audio quality is rough, reflecting the poverty of Nigeria, but there is no doubting the sincerity.
Prayer for the Morning
I call upon you, O Lord. In the morning you hear me; in the morning I offer you my prayer, watching and waiting.
I lift my heart to you, O Lord, to be strengthened for this day. Be with me in all I do, my God; guide me in all my ways.
I will carry some burdens today; some trials will be mine. So I wait for your help, Lord, lest I stumble and fall.
I will do my work, Father, the work begun by your Son. He lives in me and I in him; may his work today be done.
Thanks for the Life of Christ
Almighty God, I thank you for the life and teachings of your only Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It is amazing to me that he lived and walked among us, one of us, a mortal man who bled and felt pain, who felt anger and love, who would become tired and hungry. Your love in showing us that you would share the burdens of mortality is great.
Although the terrible beating and torture, and long painful death, that he suffered at the hands of the powerful was a terrible thing, his ultimate victory in overcoming that death was the greatest victory in the history of mankind. I praise you for Christ's resurrection and victory, and for his promise to all people, that he will intercede for us at our death, and bring us to eternal life. Today I remember and celebrate His resurrection, giving all glory to Father, Son and Holy Spirit for this miracle and the redemption of our own lives. Through Christ I pray,
Now the God of patience and consolation grant us to be like minded one toward another according to Christ Jesus: That we may with one mind and one mouth glorify God, even the Father of our Lord 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.
But violence covers the mouth of the wicked.
The memory of the righteous is blessed,
But the name of the wicked will rot.
Acts 5:12-16 (NKJV)
St. Peter's Shadow
And through the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were done among the people. And they were all with one accord in Solomonís Porch.
Yet none of the rest dared join them, but the people esteemed them highly.
And believers were increasingly added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women, so that they brought the sick out into the streets and laid them on beds and couches, that at least the shadow of Peter passing by might fall on some of them. Also a multitude gathered from the surrounding cities to Jerusalem, bringing sick people and those who were tormented by unclean spirits, and they were all healed.
Notes on the Scripture
From the moment of Christ's resurrection, the courage of Christ's followers has risen slowly. What Caiaphas and the Sanhedrin feared is coming to pass. The apostles teach and heal openly, both in the streets of the city and on Solomon's porch — the very eastern portico of the Temple of Jerusalem, the holiest place in Judaism and the seat of the Sanhedrin. They realize they might be arrested and executed; but they nevertheless spread Christ's word with vigor.
By now, Peter's fame as the founder of the church has become established. As they did with Jesus, people gather in the streets hoping simply that his shadow will fall upon them. This is symbolic of St. Peter's legacy; for the church that he founds will survive, to save those who become members, after his body has died. As we say today, "he cast a long shadow".
At this point, word of Christ's resurrection and the new church in Jerusalem has begun to spread. People have begun to flood into Jerusalem from the areas around it. The Holy Spirit is spreading like a wildfire, emanating from a central point in an expanding ring of righteousness.
These earliest converts are the physically and mentally ill, which reflects Christ's teaching in the Sermon on the Mount. The poor in spirit, the most humble and meek, are the first to be blessed. Their physical illness is symbolic of the spiritual illness that has infected the world since the time of Adam.