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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 November 2, 2017

All Souls’ Day


<i>All Souls Day</i> by Aladar Korosfoi-Kriesch, ca. 1910.
All Souls Day by Aladar Korosfoi-Kriesch, ca. 1910. The Hungarian painter Korosfoi-Kriesch, best known for his Art Nouveau works, here depicts the custom of visiting cemeteries on November 2 and lighting candles at the graves of loved ones.

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.




To Turn My Mind to Heavenly Things

Lord Jesus Christ, who returned from this world to the Father and loved those who were here in this world, make my mind turn from worldly preoccupations to the contemplation of heaven, to despise everything transitory and to yearn only for celestial things, and to burn with the glowing fire of your love. And you, Lord, who deemed yourself worthy to wash the feet of your holy apostles with your sacred hands, cleanse also my heart by pouring in the radiance of the Holy Spirit, so that I may be able to love you, our Lord Jesus Christ, in all things and above all else.

Amen.

Prayer to Cease Hypocrisy

Holy God, I am only human. I know that there are sins that I commit, in my thinking and in my life, that my eye cannot bear to see. I am so afraid of losing self-esteem that I cannot even think about them. Open my eyes and ears to your word, Lord God, that I might hear what I do not want to hear and face my faults with courage. Educate me, O Holy Spirit. Let me hear your voice instead of my own. Stop me dead in my tracks when I start to rationalize my bad conduct.

And when my mind starts to focus on the sins of others — especially sins that hold little temptation for me — take the beam out of my eye. Let me learn my own fault, before I try to correct others of theirs. Lead me to see the sin that I refuse to see, so that I can repent. Restrain me from filtering your word to conform to my will; instead, help me to hear your true word, no matter how it might pain me, that I may conform my conduct to your will. For the sake of Christ, who would bring us to perfect obedience, I pray,

Amen.

Meditation

[Let me learn my own fault, before I try to correct others of theirs.]


Parting Prayer

Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip me with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in me what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever.

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

Psalm 102:15-18 (NKJV)

The nations will fear the name of the Lord,
all the kings of the earth will revere your glory.
For the Lord will rebuild Zion
and appear in his glory.

He will respond to the prayer of the destitute;
he will not despise their plea.
Let this be written for a future generation,
that a people not yet created may praise the Lord:


Blue Latin Cross

Ruth 4:1-12 (ESV)

The Story of Ruth (part 8) -- Ruth Marries Boaz
M

eanwhile Boaz went up to the town gate and sat there. When the kinsman-redeemer he had mentioned came along, Boaz said, “Come over here, my friend, and sit down.” So he went over and sat down.

Boaz took ten of the elders of the town and said, “Sit here,” and they did so. Then he said to the kinsman-redeemer, “Naomi, who has come back from Moab, is selling the piece of land that belonged to our brother Elimelech. I thought I should bring the matter to your attention and suggest that you buy it in the presence of these seated here and in the presence of the elders of my people. If you will redeem it, do so. But if you will not, tell me, so I will know. For no one has the right to do it except you, and I am next in line.”

“I will redeem it,” he said.

Then Boaz said, “On the day you buy the land from Naomi and from Ruth the Moabitess, you acquire the dead man’s widow, in order to maintain the name of the dead with his property.”

At this, the kinsman-redeemer said, “Then I cannot redeem it because I might endanger my own estate. You redeem it yourself. I cannot do it.”

(Now in earlier times in Israel, for the redemption and transfer of property to become final, one party took off his sandal and gave it to the other. This was the method of legalizing transactions in Israel.) So the kinsman-redeemer said to Boaz, “Buy it yourself.” And he removed his sandal.

Ruth and Boaz
Ruth at Boaz’ Feet, by
Wm. de Brailles, ca. 1250.

Then Boaz announced to the elders and all the people, “Today you are witnesses that I have bought from Naomi all the property of Elimelech, Kilion and Mahlon. I have also acquired Ruth the Moabitess, Mahlon’s widow, as my wife, in order to maintain the name of the dead with his property, so that his name will not disappear from among his family or from the town records. Today you are witnesses!”

Then the elders and all those at the gate said, “We are witnesses. May the Lord make the woman who is coming into your home like Rachel and Leah, who together built up the house of Israel. May you have standing in Ephrathah and be famous in Bethlehem. Through the offspring the Lord gives you by this young woman, may your family be like that of Perez, whom Tamar bore to Judah.”


Notes on the Scripture

The complexities of ancient Hebrew land ownership and families are strange to us today, and I don’t really understand why the closest kinsman could not marry Ruth. Also, it is unclear if they are actually the uncles of Ruth’s deceased husband, or use the word “brother” in a more general sense. But the important thing is that he refused (and gave Boaz his sandal). So Ruth was married and was able to take care of her mother-in-law and herself, and got a good (if somewhat old) husband, to boot.

And, as we will see tomorrow, both she and Boaz would create something much more important than anything they ever dreamed of.




<i>Ruth Gleaning Wheat</i>, by Gebhard Fugel, ca. 1922.
Ruth Gleaning Wheat, by Gebhard Fugel, ca. 1922.

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