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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 February 22, 2017


<i>Hagar in the Wilderness</i> by Camille Corot, ca. 1835.
Hagar in the Wilderness, by Camille Corot, ca. 1835. No description could do justice to this magnificent neo-classicist depiction of Hagar and Ishmael. In the vast and unforgiving wilderness, Ishmael is at the point of death from thirst, and Hagar in despair, even as the angel of the Lord comes out of the dawn to fulfill God's promise to Abraham. (See full-size.)

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 of Saint Clement of Rome

You, Lord, through your works have revealed the everlasting structure of the world. You, Lord, created the earth. You are faithful throughout all generations, righteous in your judgments, marvelous in strength and majesty, wise in creating and prudent in establishing what exists, good in all that is observed and faithful to those who trust in you, merciful and compassionate; forgive us our sins and our injustices, our transgressions and our shortcomings.

Do not take into account every sin of your servants, but cleanse us with the cleansing of your truth, and “direct our steps to walk in holiness and righteousness and purity of heart,” and “to do what is good and pleasing in your sight” and in the sight of our rulers. Yes, Lord, “let your face shine upon us” in peace “for our good,” that we may be sheltered “by your mighty hand” and delivered from every sin “by your uplifted arm”; deliver us as well from those who hate us unjustly.

Give harmony and peace to us and to all who dwell on the earth throughout the day to come, just as you did to our fathers when they reverently “called upon you in faith and trust,” that we may be saved, while we render obedience to your almighty and most excellent name, and give harmony and peace to our rulers and governors on earth.

Amen.

For the Departed

O  Father of all, I pray to you for those whom I love, but see no longer. Grant them your peace; let light perpetual shine upon them; and in your loving wisdom and almighty power work in them the good purpose of your perfect will; through Jesus Christ our Lord,

Amen.

Benediction

Now to Him who has given me grace in accordance with His gospel, in keeping with the revelation of the mystery hidden for many ages past, but now revealed and made known by the command of the eternal God, so that all mankind might find the obedience that comes from faith; to the only God, the God of wisdom and truth, be glory forever through His only son, Jesus Christ.

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.


Today’s “Remember the Bible” Question

In what verse does Paul instruct us to ”walk properly before outsiders and be dependent on no one.”

Answer: 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12



endless knot

Acceptance

Fretting springs from a determination to get our own way!

     ~ Oswald Chambers



Blue Latin Cross

Genesis 16:7-16

The Story of Abraham [15]

The angel of the Lord found Hagar by a spring of water in the wilderness, the spring on the way to Shur. And he said, “Hagar, servant of Sarai, where have you come from and where are you going?”

She said, “I am fleeing from my mistress Sarai.” The angel of the Lord said to her, “Return to your mistress and submit to her.” The angel of the Lord also said to her, “I will surely multiply your offspring so that they cannot be numbered for multitude.”

And the angel of the Lord said to her, “Behold, you are pregnant and shall bear a son. You shall call his name Ishmael, because the Lord has listened to your affliction.

He shall be a wild donkey of a man, his hand against everyone and everyone's hand against him, and he shall dwell over against all his kinsmen.”

So she called the name of the Lord who spoke to her, “You are a God of seeing,” for she said, “Truly here I have seen him who looks after me.” Therefore the well was called Beer-lahai-roi; it lies between Kadesh and Bered.

And Hagar bore Abram a son, and Abram called the name of his son, whom Hagar bore, Ishmael. Abram was eighty-six years old when Hagar bore Ishmael to Abram.


Notes on the Scripture

S

hur — a place one encounters repeatedly in Exodus — is the desert wilderness in the northern Sinai. Amazing as it may seem, we know exactly where Beer-lahai-roi is. Many of the places mentioned in Genesis have been lost, largely because they are towns in areas which have been overrun, reinhabited, destroyed and built over countless times in the 30+ centuries since Abraham. But Beer-lahai-roi is a well in the middle of nowhere; it is a geographical feature known to anyone crossing the Sinai and has kept its name to this day.

Hagar seems to fled her senses as well as her mistress. She has walked a very long way, pregnant, into the edge of the desert, 12 miles from the last town before Egypt. This would be dangerous today, but 3500 years ago, there was not even a pretense of civilization. Men finding her there would not have broken even a theoretical law by killing, raping, or enslaving her.

But there, alone in the middle of nowhere, one of the oddest things in the Bible occurs. God becomes involved in the life of Hagar's son, even giving him the name Ishmael, which fittingly means “God has paid attention”.

Ishmael is an enigmatic figure. He is not accursed as, say, Cain was; but neither is he blessed. He will be the patriarch of millions, and his line will prosper; yet, he will be something less than his father and excluded from the company of God's chosen people. (The best description of him may be the unintentionally humorous one in Young's Literal Translation, which calls him “a wild-ass man”.)



<i>Hagar in the Wilderness (detail),</i>  by Camille Corot, ca. 1835
Hagar in the Wilderness (detail), by Camille Corot, ca. 1835.

Daily Inspiration

“Hope”

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Today in Daily Prayer

Memory Verse

Proverbs 3:5: Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding;



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