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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 February 12, 2024


<i>Communion of the Apostles</i> by James Tissot, ca. 1886.
Communion of the Apostles, by James Tissot, ca. 1886.

Prayers

Scripture

243 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.

A pretty and inspirational reminder that Jesus has paid our ransom in full, from the Doxology Singers at Southern Baptist Seminary.




prayer for morning (e. e. cummings)

i thank God for most this
amazing
day; for the leaping greenly
spirits of trees
and a blue true dream of sky;
and for everything
which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes

Amen.

Prayer for Enthusiasm

Young white woman and others praising in church

Holy God, I have spent many hours trying to do Your will, but sometimes I do not feel the excitement and freshness I once felt in my prayers, in my charitable work, in my giving, in my Bible study—in all the ways I try to serve and please you in my life. Let me not become weary in doing Your work. I pray for Your Holy Spirit to grant me a sense of enthusiasm, lest I be led astray and into sin by boredom and unconcern. “Thy will be done” in all things and in every way.

Amen.

Meditation

“This is the unique element in the gospel, which tells us that what we could never do, God has done. We cannot climb up to heaven to discover God, but God has come down to earth, in the person of his Son, to reveal himself to us in the only way we could really understand: in terms of a human life.”

~ J. N. D. Anderson

Benediction

Almighty God, by your Holy Spirit you have made me one with your saints in heaven and on earth. Grant that in my earthly pilgrimage I may always be supported by this fellowship of love and prayer, and know myself to be surrounded by their witness to your power and mercy. I ask this for the sake of Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns 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.



Reliquary cross, German ca. 1150.

Proverbs 3:1-4 (The Message)

Good friend, don’t forget all I’ve taught you;
take to heart my commands.
They’ll help you live a long, long time,
a long life lived full and well.

Don’t lose your grip on Love and Loyalty.
Tie them around your neck; carve their initials on your heart.
Earn a reputation for living well
in God’s eyes and the eyes of the people.


Blue Latin Cross

John 6:52-59 (ESV)

The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?”

S

o Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him.

As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like the bread the fathers ate, and died. Whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.”

Jesus said these things in the synagogue, as he taught at Capernaum.


Notes on the Scripture

Bread of Life (4)

Jesus gives us the foundation for the sacrament or ritual of Holy Communion, which most denominations celebrate in one form or another. The more ritual churches (especially Catholic and Orthodox) place more emphasis upon it, while the more evangelical denominations place less. Holy Communion services usually recite the more familiar words Jesus spoke at the Last Supper, but here, in the middle of his teaching years, he supplies the same argument.

One can imagine the listeners going bug-eyed when Christ said that people were going to need to eat his flesh. They certainly worried that He was going to make some sort of cannibalistic sacrifice. He doesn't explain it, but instead, continues to speak in the same metaphor.

This adds a physical element to the teachings that have gone just before. Jesus has spent John 6 teaching that he brings living water that, unlike the water from a well, will give eternal life; unlike the water from a well, which one drinks and then must drink again, his spirit will quench spiritual thirst forever.

Bread of Life

In this passage, he turns the metaphor slightly from his teachings to himself, his physical life. His body is part of the miracle. He lets the people know that He will be the last sacrifice that will have to be made. The Jews at the time killed animals as a sacrifice to God for a number of different reasons, one of which was a “sin offering.” The people who might eat sacrificial meat was precisely controlled. But Christ tells us, here, that we all may participate in the physical offering of his own body, as the sacrifice for our sins. Everyone will be allowed to participate in the sacrifice He will make of himself.

So we eat a bit of bread, standing for the meat of the sacrificial lamb, which previously only a select few could eat; Jesus has tied this to the body of the lamb actually eaten by Jews observing the Law. Moreover, his death is the last such sacrifice that will ever need to be made -- in other words, it was “sufficient” to cleanse the sins of the whole world, forever.

Some denominations believe that the bread and wine (or grape juice) of communion literally and mystically become Christ’s actual flesh and blood, while others view it more symbolically, but this is one of those questions that does not need to divide us. Religious practice is a very personal matter. At the opposite extreme, belief in Christ must be public, not private. He has charged us with letting the world know his message and loving one another like brothers and sisters. We should keep this in mind whenever we are tempted to start dickering about how we worship.



endless knot

Daily Inspiration

“If We Confess . . .”

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Today in Daily Prayer

Memory Verse

1 John 1:9: If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.



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