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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 May 27, 2024


jawbone
A fresco from the recently unearthed catacombs under the Via Latina, in Rome, showing Samson and the jawbone of an ass. Ca. 300-400 A.D.

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.

Power of Your Love comes from the Australian phenomenon, Hillsong Worship. The lyrics are onscreen.




For the Presence of God

O  God, be present with me always, dwell within my heart. With your light and your Spirit guide my soul, my thoughts, and all my actions, that I may teach your Word, that your healing power may be in me and in all the saints of your church universal.

Amen.

Prayer to Grow Closer to God

Dear Lord, I am trying to do better and better each day; I am trying to walk with you and do your will, but sometimes it seems like I am slipping backwards no matter how hard I try. And I get confused sometimes; even if I want to do the right thing, I don’t always know what it is.

Daily prayer | woman

So this is my prayer, heavenly Lord, for your help in straightening out my mind and straightening out my life. Lead me, Lord, and let your Holy Spirit guide me. Even if the correction is painful, help me to keep my mind open to your truth. Let me do your will in my every action, and know your will, that I might do it. Help me not be deceived by false assertions or glib intelligence, by those who would excuse or promote sinful actions, by those who simply do not know; and above all, help me not to deceive myself.

Guide me away from excuses and rationalizations when I have sinned, but into your holy truth, that I might know my sin, and correct what I can, and ask forgiveness for what I cannot. By the grace and mercy of holy Christ, I ask this,

Amen.

Meditation

Freedom is the power to do what we ought to do, not to be slave to our selfish instincts.

Affirmation

Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead, our Lord Jesus Christ, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant equip us with every good thing that we may do His will, working in us that which is pleasing in His sight; 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 63:1-2 (NLKV)

O God, You are my God;
Early will I seek You;
My soul thirsts for You;
My flesh longs for You
In a dry and thirsty land
Where there is no water.

So I have looked for You in the sanctuary,
To see Your power and Your glory.


Blue Latin Cross

Judges 15:14-20 (ESV)

Samson [7] — The Jawbone of an Ass
W


hen he came to Lehi, the Philistines came shouting to meet him. Then the Spirit of the Lord rushed upon him, and the ropes that were on his arms became as flax that has caught fire, and his bonds melted off his hands. And he found a fresh jawbone of a donkey, and put out his hand and took it, and with it he struck 1,000 men. And Samson said,

“With the jawbone of a donkey, heaps upon heaps, with the jawbone of a donkey have I struck down a thousand men.”

As soon as he had finished speaking, he threw away the jawbone out of his hand. And that place was called Ramath-lehi.

And he was very thirsty, and he called upon the Lord and said, “You have granted this great salvation by the hand of your servant, and shall I now die of thirst and fall into the hands of the uncircumcised?” And God split open the hollow place that is at Lehi, and water came out from it. And when he drank, his spirit returned, and he revived. Therefore the name of it was called En-hakkore; it is at Lehi to this day.

And he judged Israel in the days of the Philistines twenty years.


Notes on the Scripture

Samson’s famous thrashing of a Philistine horde, using the jawbone of an ass he picked up from the ground, has given rise to a number of witticisms over the centuries. One of the funniest involves Oscar Wilde, who gave a speech on the importance of aesthetics to an audience in Washington, D.C.. Wilde went on a tirade against the invasion of the arts by the uneducated, telling the audience that they were “nothing but a herd of Philistines.”

An aging journalist named Henry Watterson, hard of hearing, had to ask the person beside him what Wilde had said. When it was repeated to him, he said—rather loudly—“I see. We are Philistines. I suppose that is why we are being assaulted by the jawbone of an ass!”

One can find some more serious symbolism in the story. A donkey is seen repeatedly as a sign of humility in the Bible. The most notable example is, perhaps, Jesus riding a donkey to Jerusalem. And perhaps we can see a jawbone as a symbol of speech, the speech of humility, the “foolishness of Christ.” (See 1 Corinthians 1:18-25.) It is not greatness or physical power that will ultimately save the Hebrews—and the world—but the Word.

The last verse sets the story in history. We see the peculiar Hebrew noun “judge” — meaning a sort of ad hoc leader with loosely undefined powers and duties — used as a verb. Samson, remember was a Danite, i.e. from the tribe of Dan. So he came to have authority over other tribes, ruling them to some degree in a period called “the days of the Philistines.” Again, we refer back to Judges 13:1 and remember the broad setting of the story. “And the people of Israel again did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, so the Lord gave them into the hand of the Philistines for forty years.”



Illustration from a Book of Hours, Italy ca. 1450. The man and woman appear to be harvesting letters; one must assume they will be woven or baked into words.

Daily Inspiration

“Lawsuits”

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Today in Daily Prayer

Memory Verse

Matthew 5:40: If anyone wants to sue you and take your shirt, let him have your coat also.



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