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Welcome back, Friend.

May the peace of God reign in this place
and the love of God forever hold you tight,
May the Spirit of God flow through your life
and the joy of God uphold you day and night.

Daily Devotion for October 10, 2014

<i>The Valley of Tears</i> by Gustav Dore, ca. 1883.
The Valley of Tears by Gustav Dore, ca. 1883.



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Lord's Prayer

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.


For Joy in God's Creation

O  Heavenly Father, who has filled the world with beauty; Open my eyes to behold your gracious hand in all your works; that rejoicing in your whole creation, I may learn to serve you with gladness, faithfully managing your bounty; for the sake of him by whom all things were made, your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.


For the Forgotten

O  merciful God, take pity on those souls who live this day alone, without friends or family, forgotten by all. Bring the comfort of your Spirit to them, I pray, and let them know the most blessed company of all. Grant them to find the consolation of friendship in this life, and bring them into the light of your word, so that when they pass from this life, they may find eternal joy.



[Let me remember other people's loneliness.]

Benediction (from Colossians 3)

Let the word of Christ richly dwell within me all this day; and whatever I do in word or deed, may I do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.


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.

Notes to God from children
Blue Latin Cross

Tobit 13:1-18 (MB)

The Psalm of Tobit
Then Tobit sang a psalm of rejoicing:

Blessed be the Lord who lives forever
and blessed be His kingdom.
He scourges, and he has mercy;
He casts down to hell, and brings up again;
and none can avoid His hand.

Confess his name also to the Gentiles, children of Israel,
for He has scattered us among them.
Declare His greatness to them
and extol His name before all the living.
For He is our Lord,
He is God our Father, even now and forever more.

He will scourge us for our sins
and will have mercy again,
He has scattered us among the nations,
and from them He will gather us.

Turn to the Lord with your whole heart,
Turn to the Lord with all your mind,
Confess the Lord with your mouth,
and He will not hide His face from you.

In the land of my captivity I do praise Him;
I declare His his majesty to a nation sick with sin:
“Oh you sinners, turn to the Lord with all your heart, and do justice before Him. Pray that His mercy may yet find you.”

O Jerusalem, Holy City,
He will scourge you for the sins of your children.
Give praise to the Lord,
for He will have mercy again upon the righteous;
Praise the King,
That His tabernacle may be built within you again,
That the captive may once more know joy within your walls,
And that within you, the wretched will find love again.

A bright light will shine to the ends of the earth, and many nations will come to the name of the Lord;
Nations from afar, their hands filled with gifts,
Praising the King Everlasting for all generations to come.

Cursed are they who hate you,
and blessed are those who love you forever.
Rejoice for the children of justice
who will be gathered together once again
to bless the Lord of Righteousness.

Blessed are those who love you
for they shall rejoice in your peace.
Blessed are those who have sorrowed over your scourges,
for they will rejoice when they see your glory,
and their joy will be forevermore.

My soul blesses God the Great King,
that Jerusalem will be built again of emeralds and sapphires,
with walls and towers of gold, and streets of precious stone.
And her streets will sing, “Allelujah”,
And her walls will praise Him, saying,
“Blessed be God, who has raised me up for eternity.”

Notes on the Scripture

The length of the psalm has not left much room for comment, but it needs to be read in one piece. At its most basic level, it exhorts the Jews who have been deported to accept the rightfulness of their situation as God's justice, to sorrow over their captivity and repent, and turn back to God. Those who are sincere in their repentance (or their children) will one day see a new Jerusalem.

There is literal Jewish prophecy here, for Jerusalem will be rebuilt. But there is also a remarkable resemblance to the New Jerusalem of Revelation 21; for the Jerusalem of Ezra and Nehemiah will be destroyed by the Romans after a few centuries. The New Jerusalem of Revelation, though, is eternal, and also shares the description of streets and walls made of precious jewels and gold.

Another odd characteristic of this poem is the degree to which it emphasizes bring God's word to the Gentiles. This had been done as far back as Isaiah and David, but is even more strongly emphasized here.

endless knot

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Matthew 28:20-22: Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.

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