Toward the end of the first four years of my ministry when I was a campus minister, one of the teachers at Canisius College in Buffalo, N.Y. where I was serving, criticized by efforts with the remark: “The trouble with you is that you want everybody to be friends.” “No,” I replied, “but I would like to provide opportunities for everyone to meet at least once.”
The enmity between Esau and Jacob, while not over for their descendants, did at least cease in the tender moment of meeting between these two brothers. How beautiful is the verse for the day! Perhaps Jacob became open to see the face of God in his former enemy Esau, because he had struggled the night before with the presence of God. Jacob wanted blessings—either by deceit, as he did with Esau, or by not letting go of God until a blessing came. Cling to the Lord in your prayer until the blessing comes.
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Example: Steadfast love and faithfulness 32:10
For the entire portion for this Sabbath:
The Saturday passages follow the reading list that Jewish people use in their synagogue worship
throughout the world. They are taken from
“The Torah,” the first five books of the Bible from Genesis to Deuteronomy
that are read each year beginning with autumn.
For all the Firestarters I recommend the ebook. You will have the entire program of well over a thousand of these introductions with you on your phone or tablet. Check the menu options at the site for more information
Morning, afternoon and evening can beautifully receive these three parts of today’s Gospel—the annunciation to Mary in the morning, the afternoon visit of Mary to Elizabeth and the evening song of Mary’s praise, the Magnificat. Each of these three segments take their movement from the stirrings of the Holy Spirit within the two women.
You will come to appreciate why for centuries the Magnificat has been the church’s evening prayer in the Catholic and Anglican traditions. Your heart will be one with the heart of Mary in her explosive prayer, if the prior hours of your day are filled with the awareness of what God wants to do for you as God did for Mary. Witness God’s compassion as Mary did to Elizabeth. May Jesus grow within you as he did within Mary. For you too, Jesus will be bone of your bone, and flesh of your flesh.
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Example: The child in me leaps for joy. v. 44
Fridays are dedicated to the Gospels.
In the seasons of Advent to Epiphany this year we read Luke 1 2; Matthew 1 7.
For all the Firestarters I recommend the ebook. You will have the entire program of well over a thousand of these introductions with you on your phone or tablet. Check the menu options at the site for more information.
Pause before each of the virtues listed by Paul to Titus. They will wash you as the Baptism of John, cleansing you to receive ever-deeper penetrations of these gifts from the fire of the Holy Spirit.
The text from v. 11 is often the reading for Christmas Eve. These words of profound hope will launch you into a loving embrace of Jesus who wants to appear before you right now and come to you. May your heart long to possess the One with you in every successive minute of your life.
Repeat today’s reading often, such as at the hours that mark the quarter parts of the day. In this way, this holy Word of life, which encourages you and makes you eager to do the good, will transform the entire day.
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Example: Temp’rate, serious, prudent. v. 2
Rev’rent, loving, self-controlled v. 3-4
Chaste, kind, and integrity v. 5-7
Thursdays are dedicated to the letters of Paul, other letters,
the Book of Acts, and the Book of Revelation.
In the seasons of Advent to Epiphany this year we read Titus, Philemon, Galatians and Philippians.
For all the Firestarters in the original version, I recommend the ebook. You will have the entire program of well over a thousand of these Firestarters with you on your phone or tablet. Check the menu options at the site for more information.