December 11 Devotional (2020)

December 11, 2020
Second Week of Advent

Today’s Readings: Habakkuk 3:1-6; Philippians 3:12-16; A Hymn by Geoffrey Laylock

O God, make speed to save us.
O Lord, make haste to help us.

The Invitatory

The Lord, the King who is to come 

O come, let us adore Him

Come let us praise the Lord with joy: let us joyfully sing to God our saviour. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving; and make a joyful noise to him with psalms. [2]

🕇 Glory 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. 

Opening Prayer

God, to whom the hosts of heaven sing, to whom the church of the saints gives praise, to whom the spirits of all worship in song, have mercy, I pray, on all your people; you reign forever and ever. Amen. [3]

The Hymn (Greek)

The King shall come when morning dawns and light triumphant breaks; 

When beauty gilds the eastern hills and life to joy awakes. 

Not, as of old, a little child, to bear, and fight, and die, 

But crowned with glory like the sun that lights the morning sky. 

The King shall come when morning dawns and earth’s dark night is past; 

O haste the rising of that morn, the day that shall ever last; 

And let the endless bliss begin, by weary saints foretold, 

When right shall triumph over wrong, and truth shall be extolled. 

The King shall come when morning dawns and light and beauty brings: 

Hail, Christ the Lord! Your people pray, come quickly, King of Kings. [4]

Antiphon

Say to them that are of faithful heart, be strong:

behold, the Lord your God will come.

[5]
“Light Shine Bright” 
By Lisa DuBois 
(source)

Morning Reading: Habakkuk 3:1-6

A prayer for God’s glory and mercy

1 A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet, according to Shigionoth.

2 O LORD, I have heard the report of you,

and your work, O LORD, do I fear.

In the midst of the years revive it;

in the midst of the years make it known;

in wrath remember mercy.

3 God came from Teman,

and the Holy One from Mount Paran. Selah

His splendor covered the heavens,

and the earth was full of his praise.

4 His brightness was like the light;

rays flashed from his hand;

and there he veiled his power.

5 Before him went pestilence,

and plague followed at his heels.

6 He stood and measured the earth;

he looked and shook the nations;

then the eternal mountains were scattered;

the everlasting hills sank low.

His were the everlasting ways.

Morning Lesson

Habakkuk’s prayer

“Habakkuk knew the stories of God’s mighty acts as celebrated in song and in the feasts and festivals of Israel. These mighty acts included the Exodus from Egypt, the miracles by the Red Sea, and the conquest of the [Promised] land… As he meditated on God’s work in human affairs, Habakkuk was overcome with an awe-inspiring sense of the greatness of the Lord.” [6]

In that moment, Habakkuk prayed that “he [would] again bring to life His salvation and punish the oppressor… [The] prophet ask[ed] God to temper His fierce wrath with His abundant mercy.” [7]

Verse 4 says, “His brightness was like the light; rays flashed from his hand; and there he veiled his power.” Here, in a vision, the prophet experienced a theophany, a special appearance of God among human beings. “The God who ‘dwells in unapproachable light’ (1Tm 6:16), whom no one can look at and live (Ex 33:20), reveals His radiant presence in bright and flashing rays (Hbr “horns”) of light coming from His hand.” [8]

“In the passion and the sign of the cross is all virtue and power.”

~ St. Cyprian

[9]

Verse 5 says, “Before him went pestilence, and plague followed at his heels.” This refers to “the 10 plagues [upon Egypt] that revealed God’s glory in death and destruction (cf Ex 7:14-12:30).” [10]

In this verse [10], Habakkuk refers to a “him,” (lower case), personifying the word “plague.” The Hebrew word for “plague” is also the word for a Canaanite god of disease and healing. “Pestilence” meant a burning fever. “Though Habakkuk personifies ‘plague,’ Yahweh is the only ‘Holy One.’” [11]

Unlike the mountains which can be rocked and which only appear to be permanent and eternal, God’s ways are everlasting.

Morning Prayer

Now in the time of this mortal life in which your Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. [12]


O God, make speed to save us.
O Lord, make haste to help us.

The Invitatory

We will praise thee, O God: we will praise, and we will call upon thy name.

🕇 Glory 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. Alleluia! [14]

Antiphon

Sing to the Lord a new song: and His praise from the end of the earth.

[15]
“Olympics 10000m Run 01” 
By Miki De Goodaboom 
(source)

Midday Reading: Philippians 3:12-16

The prize of God’s call in Christ

12 Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 15 Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. 16 Only let us hold true to what we have attained.

Midday Lesson

Eyes on the prize 

“What is the goal (v. 14) of the maturing Christian? For Paul it is that we be engaged in  the struggle of faith, confident that Christ has made us His own, but knowing we are not yet perfected. Thus, we are zealous to press on (v. 12) toward the.. prize of the upward call of God (v. 14) – the resurrection to eternal life.” [16] Therefore, keep your eyes on the prize.

Midday Prayer 

(“Focusing on different aspects of faith each day of the week helps to keep our daily prayer life alive. In the Anglican tradition, certain commemorations are set aside for each day of the week. You may incorporate these commemorations into Morning or Evening Prayer or simply use them on their own.” [17])

Friday: The Holy Cross 

Almighty God, whose beloved Son willingly endured the agony and shame of the cross for our redemption: Give us courage to take up our cross and follow him; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

We pray for the spread of the faith, for missionaries, for teachers and mentors,

 for godparents and for all who witness their faith. [18]

O God, make speed to save us.
O Lord, make haste to help us.

The Invitatory

Give ye glory to the Lord, for his mercy endureth for ever.

Give ye glory to the Lord, for he was mindful of us in our affliction.

🕇 Glory 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. Alleluia! [20]

The Small Verse 

Then a shoot will spring from the stem of Jesse, and a branch from his roots will bear fruit. The Spirit of the Lord will rest on Him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and strength, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.

(Isaiah 11:1-2)
“Sunset Palm” 
(source)

Evening Reading

A hymn by Geoffrey Laylock

The setting sun now dies away, 

And darkness comes at close of day; 

Your brightest beams, dear Lord impart, 

And let them shine within our heart. 

We praise your name with joy this night; 

Please watch and guide us till the light; 

Joining the music of the blessed, 

O Lord, we sing ourselves to rest. 

To God the Father, God the Son, 

And Holy Spirit, Three in One, 

Trinity blessed whom we adore, 

Be praise and glory evermore. [21]

Vespers Prayer 

A Litany of the cross

Surely he has borne our griefs; 

he has carried our sorrows. 

        Surely he has borne our griefs; 

        he has carried our sorrows.

He was despised; he was rejected, 

a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. 

        He has carried our sorrows.

He was pierced for our sins, 

bruised for no fault but ours. 

        He has carried our sorrows.

His punishment has won our peace, 

and by his wounds we are healed. 

        He has carried our sorrows.

We had all strayed like sheep, 

but the Lord has laid on him the guilt of us all. 

        He has carried our sorrows.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. 

        Surely he has borne our griefs; 

        he has carried our sorrows. [22]

The Concluding Prayer of the Church

May God the Father bless you, God the Son heal you, God the Holy Spirit give you strength. May God the holy and undivided Trinity guard your body, save your soul, and bring you safely to his heavenly country; where he lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen. [23]


Devotionals are compiled and written by S.P. Rogers

Citations:

[1] Episcopal Church. (1979). Daily Office: Daily Morning Prayer: Rite Two. In The Book of common prayer: And administration of the sacraments, and other rites and ceremonies of the church, according to the use of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America: Together with the psalter, or, Psalms of David (pp. 80). New York, NY: Church Publishing Incorporated.

[2] Bellarmine, G. (2020). December 10 Matins. In The Roman Breviary in English, in Order, Every Day for October, November, December 2020 (Kindle ed., p. 3483). Christian Books Today.

[3] Stratman, P. (2001). Praise for God. In Prayers from the Ancient Celtic Church (Kindle ed., p. 40). Rossway.

[4] Tickle, P. (2006). Advent. In The divine hours: Prayers for Autumn and Wintertime (Kindle ed., vol. 2, p. 348). New York, NY: Image Books.

[5] Episcopal Church. (1911). Proper of Seasons. In Breviary offices from Lauds to Compline inclusive: Translated from the Sarum Book and Supplemented from Gallican and Monastic Uses (Ebook ed., Printed For The Society Of S. Margaret, Boston, U.S., pp. 107). New York, NY: J. Pott &.

[6] Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (2007). Habakkuk. In NKJV study Bible: New King James Version (Second ed., p. 1438). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

[7] House, C. P. (2009). Habakkuk. In HOLY BIBLE: The lutheran study bible (p. 1509). St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing HSE.

[8] Ibid. 7

[9] Ibid. 7

[10] Ibi. 7

[11] Ibid. 7

[12] Kitch, A. E. (2004). Faith Rituals Throughout the Year. In The Anglican family prayer book (Kindle ed., pp. 406). Harrisburg, PA: Morehouse Pub.

[13] Episcopal Church. (1979). Daily Office: Daily Noonday Prayer: Rite Two. In The Book of common prayer: And administration of the sacraments, and other rites and ceremonies of the church, according to the use of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America: Together with the psalter, or, Psalms of David (pp. 107). New York, NY: Church Publishing Incorporated.

[14] Bellarmine, G. (2020). December 10 Sext. In The Roman Breviary in English, in Order, Every Day for October, November, December 2020 (Kindle ed., p. 3515). Christian Books Today.

[15] Episcopal Church. (1911). Proper of Seasons. In Breviary offices from Lauds to Compline inclusive: Translated from the Sarum Book and Supplemented from Gallican and Monastic Uses (Ebook ed., Printed For The Society Of S. Margaret, Boston, U.S., pp. 107). New York, NY: J. Pott &.

[16] Academic Community of St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology (2008). Philippians. In The Orthodox study Bible (p. 1645). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

[17] Kitch, A. E. (2004). Prayers for Days of the Week. In The Anglican family prayer book (Kindle ed., pp. 222). Harrisburg, PA: Morehouse Pub.

[18] Ibid. 17, P. 240

[19] Episcopal Church. (1979). Daily Office: Daily Evening Prayer: Rite Two. In The Book of common prayer: And administration of the sacraments, and other rites and ceremonies of the church, according to the use of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America: Together with the psalter, or, Psalms of David (pp. 109). New York, NY: Church Publishing Incorporated.

[20] Bellarmine, G. (2020). December 10 Vespers.  In The Roman Breviary in English, in Order, Every Day for October, November, December 2020 (Kindle ed., p. 3519). Christian Books Today.

[21] Tickle, P. (2006). Advent. In The divine hours: Prayers for Autumn and Wintertime (Kindle ed., vol. 2, p. 399). New York, NY: Image Books.

[22] Kitch, A. E. (2004). Litanies. In The Anglican family prayer book (Kindle ed., pp. 329-336). Harrisburg, PA: Morehouse Pub.
[23] Episcopal Church. (1979). Ministration of the Sick. In The Book of common prayer: And administration of the sacraments, and other rites and ceremonies of the church, according to the use of the Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America: Together with the psalter, or, Psalms of David (pp. 460). New York, NY: Church Publishing Incorporated.

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