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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 to Live Christ’s Word Today
Gracious God, Jesus is calling me to a new beginning; to a fresh call to discipleship. You are asking me to deny myself, take up my cross and follow you. It was at my baptism that you claimed me as your child.
Today, I affirm that I have been crucified with Christ, and it is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. I surrender my will, my desires and my life to you, O God. I commit myself to your call to discipleship: to pray, study your Word, worship you, invite other people to a life of discipleship, encourage Christians in their life of faith, serve those in need, and give joyfully of the gifts that You first gave me.
This I pray in Jesus' name.
O thou who coverest thy high places with the waters,
Who settest the sand as a bound to the sea
And dost uphold all things:
The sun sings thy praises,
The moon gives thee glory,
Every creature offers a hymn to thee,
His author and creator, for ever.
Old Eastern Orthodox chant
[The sun sings God’s praises.]
From your royal throne, O God, you sent your living Word to pierce the gloom of oppression; so, in the night of my soul, come with your saving help and penetrate my darkness with the rays of your glory in Jesus Christ my Lord.
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.
“But My people would not heed My voice . . . .
So I gave them over to the dictates of their own hearts,
To walk in their own counsels.”
Romans 15:22-27 (ESV)
Paul’s Plan to Visit Rome 
his is the reason why I have so often been hindered from coming to you. But now, since I no longer have any room for work in these regions, and since I have longed for many years to come to you, I hope to see you in passing as I go to Spain, and to be helped on my journey there by you, once I have enjoyed your company for a while.
At present, however, I am going to Jerusalem bringing aid to the saints. For Macedonia and Achaia have been pleased to make some contribution for the poor among the saints at Jerusalem. They were pleased to do it, and indeed they owe it to them. For if the Gentiles have come to share in their spiritual blessings, they ought also to be of service to them in material blessings.
Notes on the Scripture
In the previous verses, Paul explained his busy schedule and his preference for traveling to places that had never heard of Christ. “I make it my ambition to preach the gospel, not where Christ has already been named . . . .” This forms his apology for not having come to visit the church in Rome. We learn from his explanations a few details of his last years that were omitted from Acts.
First, the reason for him going to Jerusalem. Paul was in Corinth when he wrote the Epistle to the Romans. He had received financial donations from the Greeks to be sent to Jerusalem and needed to carry them there. Although Paul was based in Antioch, Jerusalem was still the center of Christianity. Peter was in Jerusalem as the leader of a great Council and, because of this, it had somewhat the same role in the early church as Rome would come to have in the Catholic Church of the Middle Ages.
Since we are reading Acts, we will see this situation again, from a different angle soon enough. Traveling to Jerusalem was Paul’s last free act recorded in the Bible, for there he was arrested by the Jewish high priest. And ironically, as regards today’s passage, he was taken to Rome after he appealed to the Emperor. Luckily, he was not thrown into some dungeon in Rome. He was allowed to rent a house, entertain, and carry on with his teaching and work, for the Roman government had very little concern with foreign religions.
Thus, ironically, Paul might never have made it to Spain, but he did make it to Rome for a long visit. Some non-Biblical traditions hold that Paul did eventually end up in Spain; other accounts hold that he died in Rome. The Biblical account of him ends with him awaiting trial there.
Temptation of Christ (detail) from the Hunterian Psalter, English ca. 1170. This detail of Satan is a wonderful early devil depiction. He is standing on top of the Temple, showing Jesus the riches of the world (Matthew 4:8-10). We can almost feel him urging us to choose the things of this world.
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