Evening Devotion for May 30, 2017
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.
Because I have been given much,
I too must give;
Because of thy great bounty Lord,
Each day I live;
I shall divide my gifts from thee
With every brother that I see
Who has the need of help from me.
Because I have been sheltered, fed
By thy good care;
I cannot see another’s lack and I not share;
My glowing fire, my loaf of bread,
my roof's safe shelter overhead
That he too may be comforted.
Because I have been blessed by
thy great love dear Lord;
I’ll share thy love again
According to thy word;
I shall give love to those in need,
I’ll show that love by word and deed;
Thus shall my thanks be thanks in deed.
Music by Phillip Landgrave (1975)
Lyrics by Grace Noll Crowell (1936)
Prayer of a Weary Apostle
Thanks I give to you, my God, for the day that is ending, and thanks for the coming night. Bring sleep to the weary, bring repose to those I love, and give me rest until tomorrow. Be present, O Lord, and protect your children through the silent hours of this night, that we who are wearied with the work and changes of this fleeting world, may rest upon your eternal changelessness.
In this day that is ending I have not been all that I should have been. Help me, my God, to be less harsh towards others, more gentle, more patient. Make me too, more determined, more demanding of myself, more truthful in speaking, more faithful in my promises, more active in my work, more obedient and more submissive to your will; let me be cheerful, too, and may tomorrow be a finer, fuller day than this.
Have mercy on me, Oh Lord, for I am a humble and miserable sinner. [At this point, pause to remember specific sins you have committed during the day and speak or think them.] I renounce all of these sins, heavenly Father, and repent of them, and I promise to make every effort not to repeat them.
Have mercy on me, pardon me for these offences and any I might have omitted from forgetfulness or ignorance; in the name of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior, I pray for forgiveness. And I pray that your Holy Spirit may dwell with me in the coming day, to comfort me, to give me strength against temptation, and to guide me into the path of righteousness.
Prayer of Penitence
My God, I am sorry for my sins with all my heart. In choosing to do wrong and failing to do good, I have sinned against You whom I should love above all things. I firmly intend, with Your help, to do penance, to sin no more, and to avoid whatever leads me to sin. Our Savior Jesus Christ suffered and died for us. In His name, my God, have mercy.
I delight to do thy will, O my God: thy law is within my heart.
Save us, O Lord, while waking, and guard us while sleeping: that awake we may watch with Christ, and asleep we may rest in peace.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
Today’s “Remember the Bible” Question
Cite a verse that tells us that salvation is a gift from God, not the result of works.
Psalm 91:1-2 (NKJV)
He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High
Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord,
"He is my refuge and my fortress;
My God, in Him I will trust."
Genesis 27:14-20 (ESV)
The Story of Isaac  - Jacob and Esau
So he went and took them and brought them to his mother, and his mother prepared savory food, such as his father loved.
Then Rebekah took the best garments of Esau her older son, which were with her in the house, and put them on Jacob her younger son. And the skins of the young goats she put on his hands and on the smooth part of his neck. And she put the food and the bread, which she had prepared, into the hand of her son Jacob.
So he went in to his father and said, “My father.” And he said, “Here I am. Who are you, my son?” Jacob said to his father, “I am Esau your firstborn. I have done as you told me; now sit up and eat of my game, that your soul may bless me.”
But Isaac said to his son, “How is it that you have found it so quickly, my son?” He answered, “Because the Lord your God granted me success.”
Notes on the Scripture
he tale of Jacob and Esau often puzzles readers, because of the contradiction between Jacob's righteousness and fraudulence. He is to get the blessing of Isaac, the heir of Abraham, and become the third of this line of three men to whom God has promised so much: the land of Canaan, descendants who will become a great nation (the Hebrews), and most important, special status as the people who will be blessed by God and will be the keepers of his covenant.
But juxtaposed to his unique status — the patriarch of God's holy people — we see Jacob participating in a seedy little fraud to deceive his father. And it is by no means a minor fraud. He seeks to steal from his brother the very position of patriarch, and to defraud his father into naming him his heir, by fooling blind Isaac into mistaking him for Esau.
How can one lie and cheat his way into the position of the patriarch of God's covenant? Although we will never understand God's mind, Jacob gives us the basic answer in this selection: “Because the Lord your God granted me success.” God has not given the Law to the world at this point; Moses will not be born for centuries. There is no commandment to forbid stealing.
Of course, the answer that the Law does not yet exist is not completely satisfactory, because as Paul will tell us in Romans, the Law did not make theft a sin; it only showed the Hebrews that they were sinning. But God's plan works itself out slowly in human terms. He did not snap his fingers and create the Christian church, but worked it out in a slow succession of events.