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Lessons in the Lutheran Confessions
The Small Catechism – part 242

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From the Word: And it came about as Aaron spoke to the whole congregation of the children of Israel, that they turned toward the wilderness, and behold, the glory of the Lord appeared in the cloud. (Exodus 16:10)

From the Confessions: The Small Catechism, Daily Prayers

Evening Prayer

Then go to sleep promptly and cheerfully.

Pulling It Together: It seems, these days, that I am looking forward to going to bed as soon as I wake up each morning. When I was a young man and earlier, a teenager, going to bed was the last thing on my mind. As a child, my parents had to threaten me with punishment if I did not go to my bed and sleep. It can take scores of years before we desire what is good for us.

The people of Israel did not want what was good for them. They had to be forced and threatened and coaxed the whole distance from the Red Sea to the Jordan River. They kept looking back to Egypt, longing for the kind of days that they had complained about previously. So, here in today’s verse, we see a wondrous thing. When they turned to face the direction of the promised land, when they faced the desert that lay between, they beheld the presence of the Lord. When we acknowledge God’s will for us, his glory bolsters our spirits.

Some days, there is so much I want to accomplish that sleep seems like a vast desert to traverse before I may work again. Yet, sleep is God’s will. I should do so promptly and cheerfully. God will help me realize his good will in the next day.

Prayer: Give me a spirit, Lord, that would look toward your glory. Amen.

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The biblical focus of The Adventures of Paul, a five-session VBS book, is the life of the Apostle Paul, using lessons from the Book of Acts. Here Scripture tells the story of serious man named Saul who worked to silence Christianity — until the risen Jesus appeared to him on the road to Damascus and changed his life. With his new name, Paul, the one who had persecuted the Church went on to become one of the greatest apostles. 

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