Daily Devotion for May 5, 2017
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.
This haunting Orthodox anthem comes from the Valaam Brethren, a monastery in northern Russia.
Rejoice, O song of Cherubim.
Rejoice, O hymn of angels.
Rejoice, O ode of Seraphim,
the joy of the archangels.
Rejoice, O peace and happiness
the harbor of salvation.
O sacred chamber of the Word
flower of incorruption,
Rejoice, delightful paradise
of blessed life eternal.
Rejoice, O wood and tree of life
the fount of immortality.
O Lord God of Israel, who has come to all the nations through your Son, Christ Jesus, there is no god like you in heaven or earth, for you are loving and kind and you keep your promises to your people if they only have faith and seek to follow your commandments. You have fulfilled your promise to our fathers Abraham and David, who were your servants, through the mightiest and humblest of all men ever to live: the Word made flesh.
And now, O Lord our God, fulfill your promise to all who confess the name of Jesus Christ, I pray, that we may live in faith of Him, loving you and following your ways as He did, that we might be sanctified as your children and heirs.
For the Humility that Comes from True Wisdom
Mighty God, who has promised that you will grant us wisdom if we but ask; I am beset by pride, by ego, by my unremitting vigilance of my image. When others slight me or give me less deference that I think is my right, I become upset. I find insult even in unintentional remarks. I am easily bruised, and at other times, I feel embarrassed or humiliated at the most trifling discourtesy or even when someone does not pay attention to me. I walk through the world as if I am its center and all should take notice of me; and when it does not, I am hurt and angry.
Heal me, my God. I ask for the wisdom of true humility, through the monumental power of your Holy Spirit. Bring me to a place where my ego is utterly secure in my knowledge and love of you, when I truly am satisfied that all glory is yours, and I may lead my life on earth in security and humble service. Through Christ I pray,
[Feelings of humiliation are generally pride in disguise.]
O God and Father of all, whom the whole heavens adore: Let the whole earth also worship you, all nations obey you, all tongues confess and bless you, and men and women everywhere love you and serve you in peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, I pray,
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.
Proverbs 14:32 (NKJV)
The wicked is banished in his wickedness,
But the righteous has a refuge in his death.
Genesis 24:54-61 (ESV)
The Story of Abraham  - Rebekah
When they arose in the morning, he said, “Send me away to my master.” Her brother and her mother said, “Let the young woman remain with us a while, at least ten days; after that she may go.” But he said to them, “Do not delay me, since the Lord has prospered my way. Send me away that I may go to my master.”
They said, “Let us call the young woman and ask her.” And they called Rebekah and said to her, “Will you go with this man?” She said, “I will go.” So they sent away Rebekah their sister and her nurse, and Abraham's servant and his men. And they blessed Rebekah and said to her,
thousands of ten thousands,
and may your offspring possess
the gate of those who hate him!”
Then Rebekah and her young women arose and rode on the camels and followed the man. Thus the servant took Rebekah and went his way.
Notes on the Scripture
hen we read accounts written at the dawn of civilization (especially from a commentator with a political axe to grind), we sometimes get the notion that daughters were bought and sold like chattel. And indeed, this sometimes happened, even as late as several hundred years ago. Here, however, we see another side of early marriage customs. For it is clear that the people involved are as human as we are today, and they are attached to Rebekah. They don’t want to see her go. And it is Rebekah, not simply her family, who makes the final decisions about her marriage.
Most parents face the moment when a daughter “flies the nest”, going off to work or to attend college in another place, but today we have the comfort of visits and telephone calls. Rebekah’s family has no hope of even a letter; they have no idea when, if ever, they will hear from her again. They want her to stay for ten days, to say goodbye, but she is ready to go start her new life.
They all seem to have a concept of Isaac’s importance, and thereby Rebekah’s, a sense that she has not simply a future but a destiny. She is without doubt young enough that her age, if it were given, would raise our eyebrows. Pretty girls from prosperous families did not make it past 16 without a marriage — the Virgin Mary, very possibly, was 14 when Christ was born! But she seems fearless, perhaps trusting in God to keep her safe, and perhaps, partially, just filled with the excitement of youth over a great adventure in a far-away place.
French “Book of Hours.”