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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 of St. Ephraim the Syrian (350 A.D.)
O Lord and Master of my life, this day, give me not the spirit of laziness, despair, lust of power, and idle talk.
But give rather the spirit of sobriety, humility, patience and love to Thy servant.
Yea, O Lord and King, grant me to see my own transgressions and not to judge my brother,
for blessed art Thou unto ages of ages.
To Treat Others as I Would Be Treated
Lord, while I pray for peace and goodwill in our world, I ask you to help me to change my own attitude for the better, so that peace and goodwill may start with the way I behave towards those who have hurt me. Inspire me to be as generous to others as I would like them to be with me.
For a Positive Attitude Today
Lord, as I offer you all that is ordinary and everyday in my life, I ask you to give me the power of your Spirit that I may transform each day by living with a positive attitude, looking for the best in people and situations. Inspire me to live in your presence every day so that I may have a full share of the hope only your Spirit can bring; lead me to do the ordinary things of life in an extraordinary way, to your glory.
And finally, may the grace of Christ our Savior, and the Father’s boundless love, with the Holy Spirit’s favor, rest upon me, and all of us, from above. Thus may we abide in union, with each other and the Lord, and possess, in sweet communion, joys which earth cannot afford.
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.
Today’s “Remember the Bible” Question
What Bible verse tells us, “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.”?
or the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.
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Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office; but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.
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Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
Notes on the Scripture
Overview of the New Testament: The Epistles 14. Epistle to the Hebrews
Hebrews is long and difficult to read; in fact, it is practically incomprehensible to the average Christian without a good teacher or guide to explain what's going on. It is also a bit of a mystery; it was once credited to the pen of Paul, but scholars today almost unanimously agree that Paul could not have written it. Nobody knows who did.
The theme of Hebrews is Christ as our High Priest. The Hebrews were raised and thoroughly grounded in the idea that a high priest was needed to intermediate between sinful man and God. Once a year, on Yom Kippur (the Day of Atonement), the high priest of Israel would enter the room that held the Ark of the Covenant, called the “Holy of Holies”, and sprinkle the blood of an unblemished goat on the altar there, as a sacrifice to atone for the sins of the entire Hebrew people. No other person ever entered this room, and the high priest only did so once a year. It was where God lived.
As an example of the difficulties in reading Hebrews without a guide, it discusses (at some length) the concept of Christ as a high priest “after the order of Melchizedek”. The problem was that Mosaic Law prescribed that all priests must be from the Tribe of Levi: the Priesthood of the Levites. Jesus, however, was from the tribe of Judah. He was not qualified to be a priest, much less the High Priest of Israel.
So where does “Melchizedek” come in? Very long ago, centuries before Moses lived or the Tribe of Levi existed, Abram (before he was renamed Abraham) gave a tithe to a mysterious king-priest of Salem named Melchizedek. (Salem is believed to have been an ancient town that became Jerusalem.) (Genesis 14:18-20) Then, Melchizedek blessed Abram.
The upshot of this encounter was that Abram acknowledged Melchizedek as the anointed priest of God. He was thus a priest of the Most High, but was not a Levite, since the tribes of Israel lay in the future; in fact, the patriarchs who founded the twelve tribes were Abraham's great-grandsons. Therefore, Hebrews tells us, there was a non-Levitical priesthood, ordained by God, that predated Levi and Moses; and Christ, while not qualified to belong to the order of Levitical priests, is qualified to be a priest by a different source, i.e., the order of Melchizedek.
Hebrews is one of the really important epistles, because it is the only full explanation of Christ in his role of priest, our intermediary to God. It needs to be read, but “reading” it is a project; it must be studied to really get the benefit and understanding it can bring.
Cover of the Weingarten Missal, 13th century, showing the four evangelists’ symbols in the corners.
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Today in Daily Prayer
Matthew 10:14 (ESV): And if anyone will not receive you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet when you leave that house or town.
Top score(s) on the Daily Quiz for Jan 13, 2020 were:
Sylvia Banda (12) Norman Daniels (12) Gary Merriman (11) randall martin (11)
Top score(s) on Match-a-Verse:
Pam Carpenter (9 out of 9) Kathryn Halfman (9 out of 9) Sylvia Banda (9 out of 9) Greg Flippin (9 out of 9) Norman Daniels (9 out of 9) randall martin (9 out of 9)