Prayer of the Day O Lord God, you led yo

Prayer of the Day

O Lord God, you led your people through the wilderness and brought them to the promised land. Guide us now, so that, following your Son, we may walk safely through the wilderness of this world toward the life you alone can give, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.

Today’s Scriptural Reading Psalm 91 1Yo

Today’s Scriptural Reading

Psalm 91

1You who live in the shelter of the Most High, who abide in the shadow of the Almighty,

2will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress; my God, in whom I trust.”

3For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence;

4he will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.

5You will not fear the terror of the night, or the arrow that flies by day,

6or the pestilence that stalks in darkness, or the destruction that wastes at noonday.

7A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you.

8You will only look with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked.

9Because you have made the Lord your refuge, the Most High your dwelling place,

10no evil shall befall you, no scourge come near your tent.

11For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways.

12On their hands they will bear you up, so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.

13You will tread on the lion and the adder, the young lion and the serpent you will trample under foot.

14Those who love me, I will deliver; I will protect those who know my name.

15When they call to me, I will answer them; I will be with them in trouble, I will rescue them and honor them.

16With long life I will satisfy them, and show them my salvation.

A Prayer for the Evening The darkness lo

A Prayer for the Evening

The darkness loves to parade itself, God,
to draw our attention and steal our energy,
with fearful threats
and dire prophecies of doom;
and we all too easily give it just what it seeks.

But, if we can just drag our gaze away
we discover that there is another reality;
that your light shines undimmed,
that your care is undiminished,
that your strength and protection
are unfailing.

And so, even in the midst of pain, suffering, evil
even when it seems your light is almost out,
we choose to remain under the shadow of your wings;
to trust in your salvation,
to speak your words,
and to dispel the darkness
by lighting the flame of faith again
in our hearts.

An Evening Thought on Our Readings There

An Evening Thought on Our Readings

There are so many things at issue in this week’s readings, and similarly in our lives today: issues of identity; issues of security; issues of power; issues of appetite and consumption. It is out of these issues – and the knowledge that it is only “under the shadow of God’s wing” that we can hope to face them satisfactorily – that the three disciplines emerge – fasting (to confront our consumption and appetites); giving of time, abilities and resources (to confront our love of power and pride); prayer (to confront our self-dependence and security issues).

As individuals, and as faith communities, embracing these practices is the easiest way to confront the evil within and without.

As Mother Teresa famously said: “It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness.”

Today’s Devotional With little scratchi

Today’s Devotional

With little scratching of the surface, the three temptations of Jesus are no different than the ones we wrestle with in the world today – power and influence, wealth and consumption, personal appetites and greed. Are there any of the big justice issues that don’t fall into one of these general categories?

But, it is important for us to focus on God’s care and protection, or we can easily fall into the trap of fighting this evil on its own terms. Jesus refuses to do so. Trusting in God, and immersing himself in God’s word, Jesus simply embraces a different set of values – self-giving, humility and servanthood, fasting and self-control.

Even in the big issues, simply working to create communities of faith that trust in God’s ways to live out these alternative values is a significant way so as to contribute and to push back the forces of evil.

How can our community of faith embody the values of Christ more visibly and publicly?

A Word about Your Readings What is inter

A Word about Your Readings

What is interesting about the readings for this week is that the focus, rather than being on Jesus’ temptation, is on God’s care, protection and provision for God’s people.

When the temptation narrative is placed in that context, our focus shifts dramatically – and importantly – away from fear of failure or succumbing to evil, and on to God’s resources that are at our disposal to keep us strong and faithful.

Perhaps the great temptation of this week in our readings is to make them all about evil and it’s attack on us and our world. The readings, however, rightly call us to make this week about God – God’s care, God’s Word, God’s protection, God’s provision – which means that we can rest assured that whatever we may face, “the best of all is ‘God is with us’” as Wesley said.

Our Readings for the Week Deuteronomy 26

Our Readings for the Week

Deuteronomy 26:1-11: Instructions to bring the first produce from each crop as a thanksgiving offering to God, and a recognition of God’s care, provision and liberation of God’s people in the past and the present.

Psalm 91:1-2, 9-16: A psalm celebrating God’s care and protection of those who dwell in God, and make God’s presence their safe refuge.

Romans 10:8b-13: The message of faith in Christ that ensures that we will never be disgraced, because all who call on God’s name are saved.

Luke 4:1-13: Jesus is tempted by the devil in the wilderness. He is challenged to turn stones into food, to jump from the top of the temple, and to gain all the world’s wealth and glory by bowing to the tempter. But, he resists, using God’s word as his guide.

Today’s Prayer Praise the Lord! Blessed

Today’s Prayer

Praise the Lord! Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, Who delights greatly in His commandments. His descendants will be mighty on earth; The generation of the upright will be blessed. Wealth and riches will be in his house, And his righteousness endures forever. Unto the upright there arises light in the darkness; He is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous. A good man deals graciously and lends; He will guide his affairs with discretion. Surely he will never be shaken; The righteous will be in everlasting remembrance. He will not be afraid of evil tidings; His heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord. His heart is established; He will not be afraid,
He has dispersed abroad, He has given to the poor; His righteousness endures forever; His horn will be exalted with honor. The wicked will see it and be grieved; He will gnash his teeth and melt away; The desire of the wicked shall perish. Praise God! Thank You Jesus!

Today’s Scripture Deuteronomy 26:1-11 2

Today’s Scripture

Deuteronomy 26:1-11

When you have come into the land that the Lord your God is giving you as an inheritance to possess, and you possess it, and settle in it, 2you shall take some of the first of all the fruit of the ground, which you harvest from the land that the Lord your God is giving you, and you shall put it in a basket and go to the place that the Lord your God will choose as a dwelling for his name. 3You shall go to the priest who is in office at that time, and say to him, “Today I declare to the Lord your God that I have come into the land that the Lord swore to our ancestors to give us.” 4When the priest takes the basket from your hand and sets it down before the altar of the Lord your God, 5you shall make this response before the Lord your God: “A wandering Aramean was my ancestor; he went down into Egypt and lived there as an alien, few in number, and there he became a great nation, mighty and populous. 6When the Egyptians treated us harshly and afflicted us, by imposing hard labor on us, 7we cried to the Lord, the God of our ancestors; the Lord heard our voice and saw our affliction, our toil, and our oppression. 8The Lord brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, with a terrifying display of power, and with signs and wonders; 9and he brought us into this place and gave us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey. 10So now I bring the first of the fruit of the ground that you, O Lord, have given me.” You shall set it down before the Lord your God and bow down before the Lord your God. 11Then you, together with the Levites and the aliens who reside among you, shall celebrate with all the bounty that the Lord your God has given to you and to your house.

Today’s Devotional Proverbs 28 “The wi

Today’s Devotional

Proverbs 28

“The wicked run away when no one is chasing them, but the godly are as bold as lions.”

Lillian Daniel

When I was little, and I got exasperated with my parents, they would say, “Well, don’t get so mad at us that you run away and join the circus.”

That expression didn’t make any sense to me. For one thing, I had never been to a circus. For another, if I were to run away, it was more likely to be to the corner store a block away, because at least they sold candy. So when I grew older, I asked them about the expression and what it meant to them.

They said it was the kind of thing that little kids said back when they were little kids. When those travelling circus buses, trailers and caravans pulled into your small town, you knew something exciting was in store.

As children, they believed the life of a circus performer was one of adventure. Why, if you ran away to this circus, and snuck into one of those buses just as it was leaving, you would have a ride out of town, a job, and a new life on the road where your parents could never find you!

“You must have been awfully mad at your parents to want to do that,” I said.

“Our parents drove us crazy,” they said. “They could be exasperating.”

And that was when it hit me. These exasperating parents of mine, who often drove me crazy, had once been children themselves. And what are the odds, they too had exasperating parents?

It would never happen to me, I promised my young self. I would never become an exasperating parent.

Well, as of this date, neither one of my children has actually run away to join the circus.

Although there are times when, as a mom, I have considered it.


God of eternity, give to each generation a balance of boldness and humility. Amen.

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