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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 September 30, 2015


The First Passover, Arnold Friberg ca. 1953.
The First Passover, Arnold Friberg ca. 1953.

Prayers

Scripture

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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.

Amen.




Prayer for the Morning

For the bird who sings outside my window,
 For the tree that stands outside my door,
For the neighbor who waves and says “good morning”,
I give you thanks dear God, for these and more,


Your blessings every morning know no limit,
Yet I often rush by not seeing them, I fear;
Let me take a moment this and every morning, God, I pray,
To remember all of them, and know that you are here.
Amen.

Prayer for the Power of the Holy Spirit

O  Holy Spirit, descend plentifully into my heart. Enlighten the dark corners of this neglected dwelling and scatter there Thy cheerful beams.


Breathe in me, O Holy Spirit, that my thoughts may all be holy.
Act in me, O Holy Spirit, that my work, too, may be holy.
Draw my heart, O Holy Spirit, that I love but what is holy.
Strengthen me, O Holy Spirit, to defend all that is holy.
Guard me, then, O Holy Spirit, that I always may be holy.

Amen.

Meditation

[What does it mean to love only what is holy?]


Benediction

And now, as a little child, let me abide in you all this day, oh Christ, so that when you appear I may have confidence and not shrink from you in shame at your coming. For I know that you are righteous, and I am sure that I will be made righteous only by my life in you.

Amen.

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.




Agnus Dei (The Lamb of God), oil on canvas painting by Francisco de Zurbarán, c. 1635-40, San Diego Museum of Art
Date 	c. 1635-40
Agnus Dei (Lamb of God), Francisco de Zurbarán, c. 1635.

Worry

“Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows; it empties today of its strength.”

~ Corrie ten Boom


Blue Latin Cross

Exodus 12:1-13 (ESV)

The Passover [1]

The Lord said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, "This month shall be for you the beginning of months. It shall be the first month of the year for you. Tell all the congregation of Israel that on the tenth day of this month every man shall take a lamb according to their fathers' houses, a lamb for a household. And if the household is too small for a lamb, then he and his nearest neighbor shall take according to the number of persons; according to what each can eat you shall make your count for the lamb.

Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male a year old. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats, and you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month, when the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill their lambs at twilight.

Then they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses in which they eat it. They shall eat the flesh that night, roasted on the fire; with unleavened bread and bitter herbs they shall eat it. Do not eat any of it raw or boiled in water, but roasted, its head with its legs and its inner parts. And you shall let none of it remain until the morning; anything that remains until the morning you shall burn.

Passover bitter herbs
Bitter herbs

In this manner you shall eat it: with your belt fastened, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. And you shall eat it in haste. It is the Lord's Passover.

For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am the Lord. The blood shall be a sign for you, on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague will befall you to destroy you, when I strike the land of Egypt."



Notes on the Scripture

Something momentous is happening. Moses resets the Hebrew calendar and declares that this is day one. (The time probably in late February). Their year will begin in the spring, something else to differentiate them from the Egyptians and, later, the Canaanites. It is when lambs are born, so last year's lambs will be a year old.

H

e also proclaims a ceremony that is a feast to be prepared and eaten family by family. Americans have two such events, themselves — Christmas dinner and Thanksgiving — and so we can recognize what a landmark this is in their lives.



The details of the event itself are rigidly ceremonial. First, the family is to declare itself Jewish, separate; it is to mark the three supporting timbers of the house with the blood. God does not need a signpost to tell who is Jewish; rather, He needs to know who is declaring themselves part of the Exodus. It is the moment of choice. Family by family, the people of Egypt must decide with finality who is Hebrew and who is not.

The manner of the meal is a warning to them, a premonition of the life to come. They will act and eat like travelers. No time to wait for the bread to rise, no time to clean the lamb, no utensils cook it, and only bitter (wild) herbs for seasoning. No meat can be left over to spoil. And they dress as if they are about to walk out the door, for a person at home for the evening would set down his staff, take off his sandals, and loosen his belt for comfort.

They are like an army which has been garrisoned for a long time, told to mobilize. They prepare for widespread death; they prepare to regroup, formally, as Israel the nation, a nation of tribes and clans and families, separating themselves from all the loose connections to the others of the country where they have lived for centuries. They prepare themselves to travel en masse. And they demonstrate their faith that God will do as Moses tells them.



endless knot

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