Daily Devotion for March 12, 2012
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.
A pretty baptism song done "country" style.
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.
For the Human Family
O God, you made us in your own image and redeemed us through Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human race, O Lord; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Irish BlessingDeep peace of the running wave to you.
Deep peace of the flowing air to you.
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you.
Deep peace of the shining stars to you.
Deep peace of the Son of Peace to you.
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.
Before the mountains were brought forth,
Or ever You had formed the earth and the world,
Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God.
The Story of Abraham  - Rebekah
Then Laban and Bethuel answered and said, "The thing has come from the Lord; we cannot speak to you bad or good. Behold, Rebekah is before you; take her and go, and let her be the wife of your master's son, as the Lord has spoken."
When Abraham's servant heard their words, he bowed himself to the earth before the Lord. And the servant brought out jewelry of silver and of gold, and garments, and gave them to Rebekah. He also gave to her brother and to her mother costly ornaments.
And he and the men who were with him ate and drank, and they spent the night there.
Notes on the Scripture
Bethuel, Rebekah's father, speaks for the first time along with her brother Laban. Laban has been acting with the authority so far; this is quite unusual and we might infer that Bethuel has become feeble. But Bethuel is present along with Laban for the official consent, to give his blessing. And oddly, they do not say "It is the will of the Lord, we agree"; rather, because it is the will of the Lord, they simply obey, offering no other opinion. And Abraham's servant bows, not to them, but to God.
But Abraham will treat them properly. In most civilizations, money trades hands between families at the time of a marriage, although, rather weirdly, it is sometimes the groom's parents who pay a bride price to the bride's, and sometimes the other way around (most notably, in India, where dowry was so important that a law forbidding it was passed in 1961). We have seen before that the custom in the Middle East at this time was for the bride to be bought, so Abraham gives costly items to Rebekah's mother and brother. He also pays a sizable amount to Rebekah herself. This is called "dower" and is surprisingly advanced for the day.