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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 January 24, 2023


<i>Vision after the Sermon</i> by Paul Gauguin ca. 1894.
Vision after the Sermon by Paul Gauguin ca. 1894.We don’t think of Gaugin as a Christian visionary, but he was apparently moved deeply by a sermon about Jacob wrestling the angel.

Prayers

Scripture

286 people in our community are currently praying with you.

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.

Wow! I need to hear this message on a regular basis; maybe some of you do, too. Lauren Daigle gives us a brilliant illustration of Ephesians 4.




Morning Prayer of George Washington

Almighty God, and most merciful father, who commanded the children of Israel to offer a daily sacrifice to thee, that thereby they might glorify and praise thee for thy protection both night and day; receive, O Lord, my morning sacrifice which I now offer up to thee. I yield thee humble and hearty thanks that thou has preserved me from the danger of the night past, and brought me to the light of the day, and the comforts thereof, a day which is consecrated to thine own service and for thine own honor.

Washington praying at Valley Forge

Let my heart, therefore, Gracious God, be so affected with the glory and majesty of it, that I may not do my own works, but wait on thee, and discharge those weighty duties thou require of me.

And since thou art a God of pure eyes, and will be sanctified in all who draw near to thee, who does not regard the sacrifice of fools, nor hear sinners who tread in thy courts: Pardon, I beseech thee, my sins, remove them from thy presence, as far as the east is from the west, and accept of me for the merits of thy son Jesus Christ, that when I come into thy temple, and compass thine altar, my prayers may come before thee as incense.

And as thou would hear me calling upon thee in my prayers, so give me grace to hear thee calling on me in thy word, that it may be wisdom, righteousness, reconciliation and peace to the saving of the soul in the day of the Lord Jesus.

Grant that I may hear it with reverence, receive it with meekness, mingle it with faith, and that it may accomplish in me, Gracious God, the good work for which thou have sent it.

Bless my family, kindred, friends and country, be our God & guide this day and for ever for his sake, who lay down in the Grave and arose again for us, Jesus Christ our Lord,

Amen.

Epitaph of Winifred Holtby

God give me work
Till my life shall end
And life
Till my work is done.

Amen.

Meditation

“When God put a calling in your life, He already factored in your stupidity.”


Benediction

And finally, may the grace of Christ our Savior, and the Father’s boundless love, with the Holy Spirit’s favor, rest upon me, and all of us, from above. Thus may we abide in union, with each other and the Lord, and possess, in sweet communion, joys which earth cannot afford.

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

Today

And now, this is the sweetest and most glorious day that ever my eyes did see.

      ~Donald Cargill


Blue Latin Cross

Genesis 32:22-32 (TLB)

B

ut during the night he got up and wakened his two wives and his two concubines and eleven sons, and sent them across the Jordan River at the Jabbok ford with all his possessions, then returned again to the camp and was there alone; and a Man wrestled with him until dawn. And when the Man saw that he couldn’t win the match, he struck Jacob’s hip and knocked it out of joint at the socket.

Then the Man said, “Let me go, for it is dawn.”

But Jacob panted, “I will not let you go until you bless me.”

“What is your name?” the Man asked. “Jacob,” was the reply.

“It isn’t anymore!” the Man told him. “It is Israel—one who has power with God. Because you have been strong with God, you shall prevail with men.”

“What is your name?” Jacob asked him.

“No, you mustn’t ask,” the Man told him. And he blessed him there.

Jacob named the place “Peniel” (“The Face of God”), for he said, “I have seen God face to face, and yet my life is spared.” The sun rose as he started on, and he was limping because of his hip. (That is why even today the people of Israel don’t eat meat from near the hip, in memory of what happened that night.)


Notes on the Scripture

The Story of Jacob [10] - Jacob Wrestles with the Angel

This bizarre account of Jacob wrestling with God —often known in tradition as Jacob wrestling with the Angel — actually makes a great deal of sense. Jacob was dispossessed of Isaac’s wealth for reasons that are never given to us; but the fact is, he was sent into a foreign land without possessions to make his own way.

He had to earn first Isaac’s blessing, then his first wife (Leah), then his second wife (Rachel, whom he thought he would marry first). Trickery and deception, both by and against him, characterized these 14 years. Then, for the next six years, he is involved in constant turmoil with Laban, while his two wives wrangle with one another for precedence; plus, he must accumulate his own flock, which he demands as wages from Laban.

Nothing has been given to Jacob for free. He has earned everything he has, by hard work, by fighting, and by his wits, even when this meant deception. His entire life has been an unremitting struggle. Now, he finds himself in Canaan, promised to him by God — but God isn't going to give him Canaan for nothing, either. Jacob is stuck between two stronger and richer men, Laban and Esau, both of them potentially hostile.

The one thing God has given Jacob is enormous strength of character. He has struggled and fought his entire life, and all he sees in the future is more struggle and strife. But he is up to the challenge. His persistence is so enormous that he will wrestle with God Himself. God finally knocks Jacob’s hip out of its socket; yet, Jacob will still not call “uncle.”

Does he wrestle with this “Man” — who is in reality a theophany, a physical manifestation of God Himself — out of hostility, in order to best Him or hurt Him? No. All Jacob wants is His blessing! He is not fighting God as an enemy; he is proving himself, showing God that His blessing is worth everything that Jacob has to give. The wrestling match is a physical prayer.

But we cannot think that Jacob is proving himself to God, for God knows how this will turn out. It is Jacob to whom God proves something: the adequacy of Jacob’s strength to be Israel. Jacob actually becomes Israel at the dawn of a new day, the culmination of his lifelong struggle to be the true heir of Abraham, and the ancestor of Christ.



<i>Jacob and the Angel</i>, by Odilon Redon, ca. 1910
Jacob and the Angel, by Odilon Redon, ca. 1905-10.

Daily Inspiration

“Light Of The Night”

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Today in Daily Prayer

Memory Verse

1 Corinthians 1:13: Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?



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