Daily Devotion for March 13, 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 beautiful modern song, Miserere sung by Andrea Bocelli and John Miles.
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 of Thanksgiving
Father in heaven, creator of all and source of all goodness and love, please look kindly upon me and receive my heartfelt gratitude for all that you have done for me and for those I love. Thank you for all the graces and blessings you have bestowed upon us, spiritual and temporal: Our faith and religious heritage; our food and shelter; our health; the love we have for one another; and the lives of our Lord and friends. Dear Father, in your infinite generosity, please grant us continued grace and blessings during the coming day. This I ask in the name of Jesus Christ, your only son, who has saved us from death.
Finally, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, let me think about these things. What I have learned and received, let me do; and the God of peace be with us all.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
But the righteous has a refuge in his death.
Genesis 24:54-61 (ESV)
The Story of Abraham  - Rebekah
When they arose in the morning, he said, "Send me away to my master." Her brother and her mother said, "Let the young woman remain with us a while, at least ten days; after that she may go." But he said to them, "Do not delay me, since the Lord has prospered my way. Send me away that I may go to my master."
They said, "Let us call the young woman and ask her." And they called Rebekah and said to her, "Will you go with this man?" She said, "I will go." So they sent away Rebekah their sister and her nurse, and Abraham's servant and his men. And they blessed Rebekah and said to her,
thousands of ten thousands,
and may your offspring possess
the gate of those who hate him!"
Then Rebekah and her young women arose and rode on the camels and followed the man. Thus the servant took Rebekah and went his way.
Notes on the Scripture
When we read accounts written at the dawn of civilization (especially from a commentator with a political axe to grind), we sometimes get the notion that daughters were bought and sold like chattel. And indeed, this sometimes happened, even as late as several hundred years ago. Here, however, we see another side of early marriage customs. For it is clear that the people involved are as human as we are today, and they are attached to Rebekah. They don't want to see her go. And it is Rebekah, not simply her family, who makes the final decisions about her marriage.
Most parents face the moment when a daughter "flies the nest", going off to work or attend college in another place, but today we have the comfort of visits and telephone calls. Rebekah's family has no hope of even a letter; they have no idea when, if ever, they will hear from her again. They want her to stay for ten days, to say goodbye, but she is ready to go start her new life.
They all seem to have a concept of Isaac's importance, and thereby Rebekah's, a sense that she has not simply a future but a destiny. She is without doubt young enough that her age, if it were given, would raise our eyebrows. Pretty girls from prosperous families did not make it past 16 without a marriage — the Virgin Mary, in all likelihood, was 14 when Christ was born! But she seems fearless, perhaps trusting in God to keep her safe, and perhaps, partially, just filled with the excitement of youth over a great adventure in a far-away place.