Daily Reading: 01 April – The Tower of Babel – Genesis 11:1-9 ~ orchestrated confusion

First Friday of Easter

+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!

This is the day which was made by the Lord: let us rejoice and be glad, alleluia.

E100:1.e In the Beginning:
The Tower of Babel – Genesis 11:1-9 (NLT)

Genesis 11 At one time all the people of the world spoke the same language and used the same words. 2 As the people migrated to the east, they found a plain in the land of Babylonia and settled there.

The Tower of Babel by Pieter Bruegel the Elder (1563)
The Tower of Babel
by Pieter Bruegel the Elder (1563) Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

3 They began saying to each other, “Let’s make bricks and harden them with fire.” (In this region bricks were used instead of stone, and tar was used for mortar.) 4 Then they said, “Come, let’s build a great city for ourselves with a tower that reaches into the sky. This will make us famous and keep us from being scattered all over the world.”

5 But the Lord came down to look at the city and the tower the people were building. 6 “Look!” he said. “The people are united, and they all speak the same language. After this, nothing they set out to do will be impossible for them! 7 Come, let’s go down and confuse the people with different languages. Then they won’t be able to understand each other.”

8 In that way, the Lord scattered them all over the world, and they stopped building the city. 9 That is why the city was called Babel, because that is where the Lord confused the people with different languages. In this way he scattered them all over the world.

Catherine Tate – The Offensive Translator
(A CEO is desperate to find someone who knows how to speak 7 languages.)

Prayer

I give thanks to You, heavenly Father, for protecting me through the night and granting me another day. I ask You to fortify me with the grace of Your Holy Spirit, and give Your peace to my soul, that I may be free from all needless anxiety and worry. Help me to desire always that which is pleasing and acceptable to You, so that Your will may be my will.

+ Today, make known to me, and take from my heart, every kind, form and degree of pride.

+ Today, empty me of self, and awaken in me the deepest depth and truth of that humility which can make me capable of your revealing light.

+ Today, do not allow attribution to me, for the good that you perform in me and through me, but rather, that all honor be to you.

+ Today, may your presence in me, and your work through me, testify of your holiness and saving grace.

Help me to die to self each day, and continuously seek your glorification in all that I think or do. This I ask in the name of Jesus Christ, the exemplar of humility. Amen.

Closing Sentence

Cleanse our hearts by your truth and guide our lives by your holiness; may we do what is right and pleasing to you.

+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!

Daily Reading: 31 March – God’s Covenant with Noah – Genesis 8:1—9:17 ~ the rainbow is my sign

First Thursday of Easter

+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!

This is the day which was made by the Lord: let us rejoice and be glad, alleluia.

E100:1.d In the Beginning:
God’s Covenant with Noah – Genesis 8:1—9:17 (NLT)

The Flood Recedes

Genesis 8 But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and livestock with him in the boat. He sent a wind to blow across the earth, and the floodwaters began to recede. 2 The underground waters stopped flowing, and the torrential rains from the sky were stopped. 3 So the floodwaters gradually receded from the earth. After 150 days, 4 exactly five months from the time the flood began, the boat came to rest on the mountains of Ararat. 5 Two and a half months later, as the waters continued to go down, other mountain peaks became visible.

Wildlife Photography

6 After another forty days, Noah opened the window he had made in the boat 7 and released a raven. The bird flew back and forth until the floodwaters on the earth had dried up. 8 He also released a dove to see if the water had receded and it could find dry ground. 9 But the dove could find no place to land because the water still covered the ground. So it returned to the boat, and Noah held out his hand and drew the dove back inside. 10 After waiting another seven days, Noah released the dove again. 11 This time the dove returned to him in the evening with a fresh olive leaf in its beak. Then Noah knew that the floodwaters were almost gone. 12 He waited another seven days and then released the dove again. This time it did not come back.

13 Noah was now 601 years old. On the first day of the new year, ten and a half months after the flood began, the floodwaters had almost dried up from the earth. Noah lifted back the covering of the boat and saw that the surface of the ground was drying. 14 Two more months went by, and at last the earth was dry!

15 Then God said to Noah, 16 “Leave the boat, all of you—you and your wife, and your sons and their wives. 17 Release all the animals—the birds, the livestock, and the small animals that scurry along the ground—so they can be fruitful and multiply throughout the earth.”

18 So Noah, his wife, and his sons and their wives left the boat. 19 And all of the large and small animals and birds came out of the boat, pair by pair.

20 Then Noah built an altar to the Lord, and there he sacrificed as burnt offerings the animals and birds that had been approved for that purpose. 21 And the Lord was pleased with the aroma of the sacrifice and said to himself, “I will never again curse the ground because of the human race, even though everything they think or imagine is bent toward evil from childhood. I will never again destroy all living things. 22 As long as the earth remains, there will be planting and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night.”

God Confirms His Covenant

Genesis 9  Then God blessed Noah and his sons and told them, “Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth. 2 All the animals of the earth, all the birds of the sky, all the small animals that scurry along the ground, and all the fish in the sea will look on you with fear and terror. I have placed them in your power. 3 I have given them to you for food, just as I have given you grain and vegetables. 4 But you must never eat any meat that still has the lifeblood in it.

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5 “And I will require the blood of anyone who takes another person’s life. If a wild animal kills a person, it must die. And anyone who murders a fellow human must die. 6 If anyone takes a human life, that person’s life will also be taken by human hands. For God made human beings in his own image. 7 Now be fruitful and multiply, and repopulate the earth.”

8 Then God told Noah and his sons, 9 “I hereby confirm my covenant with you and your descendants, 10 and with all the animals that were on the boat with you—the birds, the livestock, and all the wild animals—every living creature on earth. 11 Yes, I am confirming my covenant with you. Never again will floodwaters kill all living creatures; never again will a flood destroy the earth.”

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12 Then God said, “I am giving you a sign of my covenant with you and with all living creatures, for all generations to come. 13 I have placed my rainbow in the clouds. It is the sign of my covenant with you and with all the earth. 14 When I send clouds over the earth, the rainbow will appear in the clouds, 15 and I will remember my covenant with you and with all living creatures. Never again will the floodwaters destroy all life. 16 When I see the rainbow in the clouds, I will remember the eternal covenant between God and every living creature on earth.” 17 Then God said to Noah, “Yes, this rainbow is the sign of the covenant I am confirming with all the creatures on earth.”

Prayer

Lord God, you have made us one family out of many different races and nations, united through confessing the glory of your name. May we find favor with you.

+ Thank you for giving all your creatures a new beginning through the faithfulness of Noah.
+ Thank you for giving Noah’s family the mandate to be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth.
+ Thank you for creating every human being in your image, thereby establishing the sanctity of every human life.
+ Thank you for giving humanity dominion and responsibility for every aspect of your creation.
+ Thank you for your promise to never again destroy all life with floodwaters.
+ Thank you for placing your bow in the sky as a sign of your covenant.

Lord God: in baptism we have died with Christ to sin, and have been raised to new life in him. May your family be one in faith in our hearts, and one in love in our new way of life. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

“Beneath the Waters” – Hillsong (UCC Baptism Video)

Closing Sentence

Bring your people to safety, Lord, and bless those who are your inheritance.

+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!

Daily Reading: 30 March – The Flood – Genesis 6:5—7:24 ~ everything they thought or imagined was consistently and totally evil

First Wednesday of Easter

+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!

O God, come to our aid. O Lord, make haste to help us.

Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. Alleluia.

E100:1.c In the Beginning: The Flood – Genesis 6:5—7:24 (NLT)

Genesis 6

Genesis 6.5-6

5 The Lord observed the extent of human wickedness on the earth, and he saw that everything they thought or imagined was consistently and totally evil. 6 So the Lord was sorry he had ever made them and put them on the earth. It broke his heart. 7 And the Lord said, “I will wipe this human race I have created from the face of the earth. Yes, and I will destroy every living thing—all the people, the large animals, the small animals that scurry along the ground, and even the birds of the sky. I am sorry I ever made them.” 8 But Noah found favor with the Lord.

The Story of Noah

9 This is the account of Noah and his family. Noah was a righteous man, the only blameless person living on earth at the time, and he walked in close fellowship with God. 10 Noah was the father of three sons: Shem, Ham, and Japheth.

11 Now God saw that the earth had become corrupt and was filled with violence. 12 God observed all this corruption in the world, for everyone on earth was corrupt. 13 So God said to Noah, “I have decided to destroy all living creatures, for they have filled the earth with violence. Yes, I will wipe them all out along with the earth!

Icon of Noah 19th Century
Icon of Noah
19th Century

14 “Build a large boat from cypress wood and waterproof it with tar, inside and out. Then construct decks and stalls throughout its interior. 15 Make the boat 450 feet long, 75 feet wide, and 45 feet high. 16 Leave an 18-inch opening below the roof all the way around the boat. Put the door on the side, and build three decks inside the boat—lower, middle, and upper.

17 “Look! I am about to cover the earth with a flood that will destroy every living thing that breathes. Everything on earth will die. 18 But I will confirm my covenant with you. So enter the boat—you and your wife and your sons and their wives. 19 Bring a pair of every kind of animal—a male and a female—into the boat with you to keep them alive during the flood. 20 Pairs of every kind of bird, and every kind of animal, and every kind of small animal that scurries along the ground, will come to you to be kept alive. 21 And be sure to take on board enough food for your family and for all the animals.”

22 So Noah did everything exactly as God had commanded him.

The Flood Covers the Earth

Genesis 7  When everything was ready, the Lord said to Noah, “Go into the boat with all your family, for among all the people of the earth, I can see that you alone are righteous. 2 Take with you seven pairs—male and female—of each animal I have approved for eating and for sacrifice, and take one pair of each of the others. 3 Also take seven pairs of every kind of bird. There must be a male and a female in each pair to ensure that all life will survive on the earth after the flood. 4 Seven days from now I will make the rains pour down on the earth. And it will rain for forty days and forty nights, until I have wiped from the earth all the living things I have created.”

5 So Noah did everything as the Lord commanded him.

6 Noah was 600 years old when the flood covered the earth. 7 He went on board the boat to escape the flood—he and his wife and his sons and their wives. 8 With them were all the various kinds of animals—those approved for eating and for sacrifice and those that were not—along with all the birds and the small animals that scurry along the ground. 9 They entered the boat in pairs, male and female, just as God had commanded Noah. 10 After seven days, the waters of the flood came and covered the earth.

11 When Noah was 600 years old, on the seventeenth day of the second month, all the underground waters erupted from the earth, and the rain fell in mighty torrents from the sky. 12 The rain continued to fall for forty days and forty nights.

noahark

13 That very day Noah had gone into the boat with his wife and his sons—Shem, Ham, and Japheth—and their wives. 14 With them in the boat were pairs of every kind of animal—domestic and wild, large and small—along with birds of every kind. 15 Two by two they came into the boat, representing every living thing that breathes. 16 A male and female of each kind entered, just as God had commanded Noah. Then the Lord closed the door behind them.

17 For forty days the floodwaters grew deeper, covering the ground and lifting the boat high above the earth. 18 As the waters rose higher and higher above the ground, the boat floated safely on the surface. 19 Finally, the water covered even the highest mountains on the earth, 20 rising more than twenty-two feet above the highest peaks. 21 All the living things on earth died—birds, domestic animals, wild animals, small animals that scurry along the ground, and all the people. 22 Everything that breathed and lived on dry land died. 23 God wiped out every living thing on the earth—people, livestock, small animals that scurry along the ground, and the birds of the sky. All were destroyed. The only people who survived were Noah and those with him in the boat. 24 And the floodwaters covered the earth for 150 days.

Prayer

Heavenly Father: Thank you for claiming me as your child – may I live a life of love following the example of Christ.

+ Deliver me from every form of sexual immorality, impurity, or greed.
+ Protect me from obscene stories, foolish talk, and coarse jokes.
+ Give me your wisdom so that I can understand what you want me to do.
+ Fill me with the light of life that I may do what is good and right and true.

Heavenly Father: Fill me with your Holy Spirit so that I can make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. Place a song in my heart so that I can make music to you; and thank you for everything. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

“Friend ’till the End” – Half a Mile

Closing Sentence

The Lord bless us, and keep us from all evil, and bring us to everlasting life.

+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!

Daily Reading: 29 March – The Fall – Genesis 3 ~ paradise lost

First Tuesday of Easter

+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!

This is the day which was made by the Lord: let us rejoice and be glad, alleluia.

E100:1.b In the Beginning: The Fall – Genesis 3 (NLT)

The Man and Woman Sin

Genesis 3 The serpent was the shrewdest of all the wild animals the Lord God had made. One day he asked the woman, “Did God really say you must not eat the fruit from any of the trees in the garden?”

2 “Of course we may eat fruit from the trees in the garden,” the woman replied. 3 “It’s only the fruit from the tree in the middle of the garden that we are not allowed to eat. God said, ‘You must not eat it or even touch it; if you do, you will die.’”

4 “You won’t die!” the serpent replied to the woman. 5 “God knows that your eyes will be opened as soon as you eat it, and you will be like God, knowing both good and evil.”

AdamEveApple1

6 The woman was convinced. She saw that the tree was beautiful and its fruit looked delicious, and she wanted the wisdom it would give her. So she took some of the fruit and ate it. Then she gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it, too. 7 At that moment their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they sewed fig leaves together to cover themselves.

8 When the cool evening breezes were blowing, the man and his wife heard the Lord God walking about in the garden. So they hid from the Lord God among the trees. 9 Then the Lord God called to the man, “Where are you?”

10 He replied, “I heard you walking in the garden, so I hid. I was afraid because I was naked.”

11 “Who told you that you were naked?” the Lord God asked. “Have you eaten from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat?”

12 The man replied, “It was the woman you gave me who gave me the fruit, and I ate it.”

13 Then the Lord God asked the woman, “What have you done?”

“The serpent deceived me,” she replied. “That’s why I ate it.”

14 Then the Lord God said to the serpent,

power_crushserpent

“Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all animals, domestic and wild. You will crawl on your belly, groveling in the dust as long as you live. 15 And I will cause hostility between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring. He will strike your head, and you will strike his heel.”

16 Then he said to the woman,

“I will sharpen the pain of your pregnancy, and in pain you will give birth. And you will desire to control your husband, but he will rule over you.”

17 And to the man he said,

drought_1

“Since you listened to your wife and ate from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat, the ground is cursed because of you. All your life you will struggle to scratch a living from it. 18 It will grow thorns and thistles for you, though you will eat of its grains. 19 By the sweat of your brow will you have food to eat until you return to the ground from which you were made. For you were made from dust, and to dust you will return.”

Paradise Lost: God’s Judgment

20 Then the man—Adam—named his wife Eve, because she would be the mother of all who live. 21 And the Lord God made clothing from animal skins for Adam and his wife.

22 Then the Lord God said, “Look, the human beings have become like us, knowing both good and evil. What if they reach out, take fruit from the tree of life, and eat it? Then they will live forever!” 23 So the Lord God banished them from the Garden of Eden, and he sent Adam out to cultivate the ground from which he had been made. 24 After sending them out, the Lord God stationed mighty cherubim to the east of the Garden of Eden. And he placed a flaming sword that flashed back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life.

Prayer

Lord God, Maker of heaven and earth – nothing is hidden from your sight; all is exposed. Against you have I sinned.

+ Forgive me – for doubting your Word.
+ Forgive me – for thinking that I know what’s best for me.
+ Forgive me – for participating in the schemes of the evil one.
+ Forgive me – for overstepping the boundaries you have established for me.
+ Forgive me – for compounding the effects of Adam and Eve’s sin.

Heavenly Father – Forgive me my trespasses as I forgive those who trespass against me; and deliver me from evil. Alert me to the temptations around me, and lead me in the path of righteousness for your name’s sake. Lord, have mercy – through Jesus Christ, your Son and my Savior, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God forever. Amen.

“The Lords Prayer” – Andrea Bocelli

Closing Sentence

The Lord bless us, and keep us from all evil, and bring us to everlasting life.

+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!