Daily Devotion for November 21, 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 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.
Gospel of Matthew, 20:17-19
Christ's Passion Grows NearAs Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples apart, and on the way he said to them, "We will go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man will be taken before the chief priests and scribes; and they will condemn him to death, and will deliver him to the Gentiles to mock, and to scourge, and to crucify: and the third day he will be raised up."
Comment on the Scripture
This is the last day of our reading of Matthew. Today's verse marks the turning point between the two major segments of Jesus' life: his three years as a wandering teacher, prophet, and Messiah, which we have followed in its entirety; and the passion of his arrest, trial, crucifixion, and resurrection. This latter part is more appropriate to Lent and Easter, so we will return to it in its season.
Christ has fully prepared the Hebrews to receive his sacrifice. In the process, he has also drawn the attention of the Pharisees and Sadducees, making enemies of both the religious-political movements in the nation, as he is a critic of both sides, and all of them consider him a radical heretic. Like a modern-day party maverick, he seems to have most angered the Pharisees, the more liberal and modern group with whom he has more in common.
It was a long journey, starting with his baptism by his cousin John the Baptist, during the course of which he gave us the teachings we now follow, which have come down to us over a span of two thousand years and which are as vital and alive today as when he spoke them.
For the next several months, we will read some notable passages of the Bible, picked from the Old and New Testaments. At some point after Christmas, I'd like to read through a history of Israel as told in the Old Testament, especially the lives and times of Saul, David and Solomon.