Daily Devotion for September 27, 2009
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.
Prayer for the Morning
Oh Lord, most heavenly Father, Almighty and everlasting God, who has safely brought me to the beginning of this day; I give you thanks for my creation, preservation, and all the blessings of my life. Grant that this day I fall into no sin, neither run into any kind of danger; but that all my doings, being governed by your will, may be righteous in your sight. Through Christ our Lord, I pray.
Prayer for Grace and Strength
Lord God, I pray that you will fill my heart with the blessing of your Holy Spirit. Grant me this day the strength to be temperate in all things, diligent in my duties, and patient under my afflictions. Direct me in all my ways. Give me grace to be just and upright in all my dealings; quiet and peaceable; full of compassion; and ready to do good to all people, according to my abilities and opportunities. For the sake of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ,
Community of Prayer
May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be among the community of all who pray in the name of Christ this morning, and remain among us always.
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.
Gospel of Matthew 9:18-26
Jesus Heals the Ruler's Daughter
While Jesus was teaching [the lesson of new wine in old skins], an official came to him and bowed before him, saying, "My daughter has just died; but come and lay your hand upon her, and she will live." Jesus arose and followed him, as did his disciples.
On their way, a woman, who had suffered from bleeding for twelve years, came up behind him and touched the hem of his robe; for she said to herself, "If I just touch his clothng, I will be cured." But Jesus turned and, seeing her, said, "Daughter, take heart; your faith has healed you." And the woman was healed.
When Jesus came to the official's house and saw flute players and a crowd of noisy guests, he said, "Make way. This girl is not dead, but asleep." And they jeered and laughed at him. But when the crowd had been sent outside, he entered, and took her by the hand; and the girl arose. And the news of the event spread throughout the area.
Notes on the Scripture
The man who came to Christ is identified in Luke 8 as a man named Jairus, who had a leadership position in the local synagogue. The Hebrews did not have the separation of church and state we sometimes take for granted, especially in their justice system, so Jairus would have had civil as well as religious authority. We don't really have a word to translate his position; many translations describe him simply as "a ruler". He would have been accustomed to great deference, and would not have bowed before many residents; although Capernum's size was significant in terms of Palestine 2000 years ago, its population was likely less than 15,000. (Luke also recounts that the daughter was 12 years old.)
The illness of the woman who is healed by touching Christ's robe is described vaguely. One might speculate that it was a gynecological problem, a relatively common cause of chronic hemorrhage without other (more serious) symptoms; the era's sensibility and medical ignorance would likely cause such a problem to be described simply as a "flow of blood" .
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Repin was a Ukrainian icon painter who gave the subject a bit of a Russian flavor. This is apparently a popular subject with artists; a lovely modern treatment of the story was done by Ong Wilson in 1996; it can be seen on Mr. Wilson's website.