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Daily Devotion for October 8, 2015


Agnus Dei, Lamb of God
Painting Agnus Dei by Francisco de Zurbaran, ca. 1640.

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.

This song by Laura Story is truly superb.




Prayer of Praise and Thanks

Oh God, you know every blade of grass that grows, every sparrow that dies, every act and thought of the seven billion people here on earth. The hundred billion stars are yours and you made them, and you watch them, and the vastness of space and the countless galaxies, you know. You know my coming in and my going out, my thoughts and dreams and schemes, my countless little sins and lies, my kindnesses and my cruelties, my prayers and my curses.

Your knowledge is utterly beyond my comprehension, Lord. And yet, despite all of this, you have promised to know me, to be with me, to listen to me and help me and, if I only ask for it in the name of your Son, to forgive me when I offend you.

I praise you above all else, Mighty God; for the wonderment of your existence and the unfathomable size and complexity of your creation. And above all, my love and obedience are yours; I give them to you now and forever, in gratitude for your greatest gift, the sacrifice of your blessed Son, Jesus Christ.

Amen.

To Be Free of Mental Distress

Lord Jesus, I find myself sometimes filled with depression and negativity over what I see as my failures in life; shame, guilt and anxiety beset me, and I grow sorrowful that I am not more, that I have wasted opportunities in my life. I sometimes feel worthless and helpless, with unwelcome humility forced upon me.

Help me, sweet Jesus, to turn my eyes upon you. Give me the hope I need, and help me face life with the courage of faith in you. You told your disciples to be anxious for nothing. I give to you my anxiety, Lord Christ, and lay my troubles upon your mighty back; and I pick up your burden, for you have promised that it is light, and that you are gentle and kind. Let me work for your glory and not my own, putting an end to the pain of my vanity, that I may serve you in joy and peace all my days.

Amen.

Meditation

[I never need to feel worthless or helpless, if I believe in Christ.]


Dedication

All through this day, O Lord, by the power of your quickening Spirit, let me touch the lives of others for good, whether through the word I speak, the prayer I speak, or the life I live.

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.



endless knot

Proverbs 19:16 (NKJV)

He who keeps the commandment keeps his soul,
But he who is reckless in his ways will die.


Blue Latin Cross

Exodus 12:43-51 (ESV)

Institution of the Passover

And the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “This is the statute of the Passover: no foreigner shall eat of it, but every slave that is bought for money may eat of it after you have circumcised him. No foreigner or hired worker may eat of it. It shall be eaten in one house; you shall not take any of the flesh outside the house, and you shall not break any of its bones. All the congregation of Israel shall keep it.

If a stranger shall sojourn with you and would keep the Passover to the Lord, let all his males be circumcised. Then he may come near and keep it; he shall be as a native of the land. But no uncircumcised person shall eat of it. There shall be one law for the native and for the stranger who sojourns among you.”

All the people of Israel did just as the Lord commanded Moses and Aaron. And on that very day the Lord brought the people of Israel out of the land of Egypt by their hosts.



Notes on the Scripture

The Passover commandment can be confusing, because it rambles around several chapters in Exodus. Remember first, however, that the commandment did not take effect until the Lord had given them Canaan. "And when you come to the land that the Lord will give you, as he has promised, you shall keep this service." (Exodus 12:25) None of them knew, at this time, how few of them would ever celebrate Passover again; for they did not know that 40 years in the wilderness lay ahead. The next Passover would be celebrated by Joshua.

Crucifixion, Velazquez
“Christ Crucified”
Diego Velazquez 1632

No reason is given why the bones of the lamb cannot be broken. Perhaps this is simply a discipline to reinforce the communal nature of the feast: that families (or groups of small families) will celebrate together, that nobody can break of a haunch or rack of ribs and be on his way.

It brings to mind, however, the last moments Christ hung on the cross. The Roman soldiers were about to break his legs, in order to hasten His death, when one of them stuck a spear in His side and confirmed that He was already dead. (John 19:31-34) And in fact, John tells us, "For these things came to pass, that the scripture might be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken." (John 19:36)

Why the Lord forbade the Passover lamb's bones to be broken — well, who knows the mind of God? But it does make for a striking testament to God's omniscience; it glues together the sacrifices of the Passover lamb and the Lamb of God.



Heidelberg fresco of a cross
Fresco of a cross Heibelberg, Germany.

Daily Inspiration

“Kindness”

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Today in Daily Prayer


Memory Verse

Jude 1:7 (ESV): Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which likewise indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural desire, served as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.



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