Daily Devotion for May 20, 2011
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.
Stabat Mater (Standing Mother) describes Mary standing at the foot of the cross, watching her son die.
Prayer for the Morning
Lord, teach me to number my days aright, that I may gain wisdom of heart.
Help me do today the things that matter, not to waste the time I have.
The moments I have are precious, Lord, see that I count them dear. Teach me to number my days aright. Fill me this day with your kindness, that I may be glad and rejoice all the days of my life. Through Christ I pray,
Prayer for Help with Our Troubles
O God, my help and assistance, who is just and merciful, and who hears the supplications of your people; look down upon me, a miserable sinner. Have mercy upon me, and deliver me from all the troubles and tribulations of life. I acknowledge and believe, O Lord, that all trials of this life are given by you for our chastisement, when we drift away from you and disobey your commandments, and thus for our salvation.
Deal not with me after my sins, I pray, but according to your measureless mercy, for I am the work of your hands, and you know my weakness. Grant me, I beseech you, your divine helping grace, and endow me with patience and strength to endure my tribulations with complete submission to your will. You know my misery and suffering, I flee to you, my only hope and refuge, for relief and comfort, trusting to your infinite love and compassion, that in due time, you will deliver me from all the trials of this life, and turn my distress into comfort. I rejoice in your mercy, and exalt and praise your holy name, oh Father, Son, and Holy Spirit: now and forever.
Now God himself and our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, I pray that you direct my way unto you, and make me and all of us to increase and abound in love one toward another, and toward all men, even as we do toward you; to the end that we may establish our hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.
But violence covers the mouth of the wicked.
Hatred stirs up strife,
But love covers all sins.
Acts 5:21-26 (ESV)
The Empty Prison
Now when the high priest came, and those who were with him, they called together the council and all the senate of the people of Israel and sent to the prison to have them brought.
But when the officers came, they did not find them in the prison, so they returned and reported, "We found the prison securely locked and the guards standing at the doors, but when we opened them we found no one inside."
Now when the captain of the temple and the chief priests heard these words, they were greatly perplexed about them, wondering what this would come to. And someone came and told them, "Look! The men whom you put in prison are standing in the temple and teaching the people." Then the captain with the officers went and brought them, but not by force, for they were afraid of being stoned by the people.
Notes on the Scripture
Don't you just want to say "Ha! Take that!" to the high priest and the Sanhedrin? The time of miracles is still with the apostles, and it will continue (although diminishing) for several years. During that time, the theme of defeating prison, which relates to Christ defeating life, will reoccur several times.
It is interesting to note that the guards are afraid to take the apostles by force; the apostles, however, show no fear at all. Immediately upon their release, they return to the activity for which they were being tried, teaching at the temple. Christian belief has spread quickly, to the point that armed soldiers are cautious.