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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 October 1, 2015

Jacobo Bassono, The Last Supper, ca. 1546 (Venetian)
The Last Supper by Jacobo Bassano (Venice), ca. 1546. Most of the people are standing, as they would have done at early Passover feasts. Note the lamb's head, although the yeast bread is inauthentic. Peter is to Christ's right, and Judas skulks in the corner.



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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.


Guy Penrod ties his own life to the song The Old Rugged Cross Made the Difference.

Prayer for Morning

In the morning when I rise, I give praise to my God, who shows His glory in the sun. O Lord God, you are the source of all warmth, all light, all sustenance. You brings us out of the darkness of ignorance and the blindness of death every day, that we might remember who made us and who sustains us. Your sun is a promise, that the night of death will end and you will rise again, and with you, all who confess the name of your blessed Son, Christ Jesus.

Let me remember you when I rise and all the day, my God, every waking moment; and let me sleep each night in peace, confident that I will rise with your sun once again, in the time you have chosen for me.


For Forgiveness

Oh Holy God, look down upon me, a miserable sinner, and forgive me for the terrible things that I do, against your love for us and against the love that you have commanded us to show for our brothers and sisters. The people of the world are your holy and beautiful children, oh Lord, and I am one of them also. I pray that you will fill me so full of your might and love that I will not sin against myself or anybody else, this day, or ever; but if I do, I plead with you, give me that undeserved grace you showed by the life and sacrifice of your Son, my Lord, Jesus Christ.



[God is the source of all light.]


Oh God who has made me, oh God who keeps me, oh God who will be my Lord through all eternity, shine down Your blessings and wisdom upon me like the sun upon a field; and may I keep You in the forefront of my every thought and deed, throughout this day, and evermore.


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.

Passover, Exodus, <i>Gathering Bitter Herbs</i> by Dante Gabriel Rosetti, pastel ca. 1856.
Gathering Bitter Herbs by Dante Gabriel Rosetti, pastel ca. 1856.

Proverbs 19:3 (NKJV)

The foolishness of a man twists his way,
And his heart frets against the Lord.

Blue Latin Cross

Exodus 12:14-20 (ESV)

The Passover [2]

"This day shall be for you a memorial day, and you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord; throughout your generations, as a statute forever, you shall keep it as a feast.

Seven days you shall eat unleavened bread. On the first day you shall remove leaven out of your houses, for if anyone eats what is leavened, from the first day until the seventh day, that person shall be cut off from Israel.

On the first day you shall hold a holy assembly, and on the seventh day a holy assembly. No work shall be done on those days. But what everyone needs to eat, that alone may be prepared by you. And you shall observe the Feast of Unleavened Bread, for on this very day I brought your hosts out of the land of Egypt. Therefore you shall observe this day, throughout your generations, as a statute forever.

In the first month, from the fourteenth day of the month at evening, you shall eat unleavened bread until the twenty-first day of the month at evening. For seven days no leaven is to be found in your houses. If anyone eats what is leavened, that person will be cut off from the congregation of Israel, whether he is a sojourner or a native of the land. You shall eat nothing leavened; in all your dwelling places you shall eat unleavened bread."

Notes on the Scripture

Did you notice something odd about this passage? It determines how an event shall be commemorated, before the event occurs. And if you have ever wondered how the date of Easter is calculated, and why it is calculated as it is in such a terribly complex manner, here's your answer. Christ was crucified on the Passover, and so we use the Jewish calculation of Passover — given to them in Exodus 11 — to determine the date of Good Friday.

(Note that many churches use wafers in their communion service; this is unleavened bread, and reflects that the Last Supper was, in fact, held during Passover week.)

Aside from the obvious importance of the events in Exodus, the commemoration of Passover is given direct, independent significance. The requirement to celebrate is worded more strongly than the Ten Commandments, in a way. By the direct terms of this Scripture, "if anyone eats what is leavened, from the first day until the seventh day, that person shall be cut off from [the congregation of] Israel." It was an offense punishable by expulsion and the duty to follow it is permanent, to be observed "as a statute forever".

Tel Aviv streetwalkers
Tel Aviv street scene

We often bemoan people who call themselves "Christians" and seem not to have read the Bible, or don't take it seriously. But the Jews have the same problem, because full-fledged members of the "congregation of Israel" are the exception rather than the rule. At least half of the Jews in Israel consider themselves "secular" Jews and do not even try to worship God as He commanded the Jews to do. And the count of "observant" Jews who worship Yahweh as He commanded is lower (and declining). Thus, a sizable majority of the people who claim ownership of the land of Canaan because it was given to them by God, have no right, no claim, for they are not really Jews.

And will God fulfill his promise to allow the Jews to inhabit Canaan when great numbers of them turn their backs on him? If you believe the Bible, not necessarily. Time and time again, the histories of the Old Testament tell us how God allowed Israel to be conquered and the Jews to be taken into captivity because they ignored His statutes.

So one must view Jewish claims of divine right to inhabit Israel with some skepticism. More Israelis need to read their deed! There is a kick-out clause. Nobody speaks for God, and whether or not He will preserve the current State of Israel from its enemies, we cannot know. But it is not a cut-and-dried question, at least in the minds of anyone who has bothered to read the Bible.

endless knot

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