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Daily Devotion for September 26, 2010



Victorian stained glass (ca. 1899), created as part of the restoration of 13th-century St. Mary’s Church, Matching, Essex. Depicted are the two Marys bringing spices to Christ’s tomb.

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.

Read about this remarkable woman and the equally remarkable song.




For a Steady Mind While at Prayer

O  Lord, take from me idleness of spirit, which destroys time; and vanity of thought, which hinders Your presence and distracts my attention to prayer. And if, while in prayer, I turn away from You in my thoughts, help me to return to my purpose; so that I might not avert my heart from You, during the few precious moments I dedicate to talking with You.

And grant me this day, dear Lord, that You may never be completely out of my thoughts. Let me carry you as a voice to guide my every step as I slip down the path of this precious day, that I might always remember Your will, and lighten the world around me. Help me to make every moment of my day, every word from my mouth, a prayer, that I might live in Your presence.

Amen.

Prayer for Decision-Making

Gracious God, it’s time. It’s time to make the hard decisions. Sometimes I’m scared, sometimes I’m confused, and sometimes I just don’t want to believe I have to make a decision. Help me to trust You. Give me strength and wisdom so that whatever happens honors my fellow humans and You. Thank You for hearing me and answering my prayer.

Amen.

Closing Praise

Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honor and 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.


Today’s “Remember the Bible” Question

What Bible verse tells us to “accept” other Christians, even if their faith is weak?

Answer: Romans 14:1



<i>The Dead Christ with Angels</i> by Edouard Manet, ca. 1864.
The Dead Christ with Angels by Edouard Manet, ca. 1864.

Psalm 34:19-20 (NKJV)

Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
But the Lord delivers him out of them all.
He guards all his bones;
Not one of them is broken.


Blue Latin Cross

John 19:31-42 (ESV)

The Burial of Jesus
S

ince it was the day of Preparation, and so that the bodies would not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken and that they might be taken away. So the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first, and of the other who had been crucified with him. But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water.

He who saw it has borne witness—his testimony is true, and he knows that he is telling the truth—that you also may believe. For these things took place that the Scripture might be fulfilled: “Not one of his bones will be broken.” And again another Scripture says, “They will look on him whom they have pierced.” (Zech 12:10)

After these things Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus, and Pilate gave him permission. So he came and took away his body. Nicodemus also, who earlier had come to Jesus by night, came bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds in weight.

So they took the body of Jesus and bound it in linen cloths with the spices, as is the burial custom of the Jews. Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb in which no one had yet been laid. So because of the Jewish day of Preparation, since the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there.


Notes on the Scripture

Without going into the gory details of death by crucifixion, the reason the legs of the crucified were broken is that it guaranteed they would die quickly, and the reason the soldiers pierced Jesus’ body with a spear is that blood and water flow faster from such a wound if the person has died. The Pharisees, who didn’t want to dirty their hands by actually performing the crucifixion themselves, also didn’t want to break their Sabbath—especially the Sabbath of Passover—by tending to dead bodies. The hypocrisy is very strong.

Jesus laid in the tomb Beguinage

The part about “the man who saw it” is interesting. John wrote his account based on a story told to him by an unnamed person, who was present for the events. Nicodemus is another interesting character. He was a member of the Sanhedrin and is mentioned in the Gospel of John (but not the other gospels) three times. It was he who insisted that Jesus have a trial before he could be condemned. (John 7:51). And at the end, Nicodemus proves to be a secret admirer of Christ, by spending a great deal of money, and risking his life, to care for Christ’s body.

Fear and confusion were rampant among Christ’s followers. Keep in mind, there were no newspapers or telephones. None of the apostles dared to get involved. As we learn later, they were hiding in a locked room. Joseph of Arimathea was a bit braver, perhaps because he was not as well-known as the twelve apostles. He managed to get Christ’s body without exposing himself to the Jewish officials. He therefore went to Pilate, who really did not want to see Jesus crucified in the first place. He knew that Pilate was unlikely to stir things up further by accusing any of Christ’s sympathizers; Pilate’s primary concern was to prevent public unrest.

Jewish law requires that a person be buried a quickly as possible, at least within 24 hours; however, burial is a task that cannot be performed on the Sabbath. So the two men hurried to get Jesus into an empty tomb (most likely before nightfall).



endless knot

Daily Inspiration

“Joyful Thanksgiving”

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Today in Daily Prayer


Memory Verse

Matthew 28:19: Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.



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