December 16 Devotional (2020)

Ember Wednesday, December 16, 2020
Third Week of Advent

Today’s readings: Malachi 3:16-4:6; Mark 9:9-13; “Give just one minute” by Amy Carmichael

A Bidding Prayer

(an exhortation to prayer) [28]

Beloved in Christ, in this season of Advent, let it be our care and delight to prepare ourselves to hear the message of the Angels, and in heart and mind to go even unto Bethlehem, to see the Babe lying in a manger. 

Let us read and mark in Holy Scripture the tale of the loving purposes of God from the first days of our disobedience unto the glorious Redemption brought us by His holy Child; and let us look forward to the yearly remembrance of His birth with hymns and songs of praise. 

But first, let us pray for the needs of His whole world; for peace and goodwill over all the earth; for the mission and unity of the Church for which He died, and especially in this country and within this city. 

And because this of all things would rejoice His heart, let us at this time remember in His name the poor and the helpless; the hungry and the oppressed; the sick and those who mourn; the lonely and the unloved; the aged and the little children; and all those who know not the Lord Jesus, or who love Him not, or who by sin have grieved His heart of love. 

Lastly, let us remember before God his pure and lowly Mother, and all those who rejoice with us, but upon another shore and in a greater light, that multitude which no one can number, whose hope was in the Word made flesh, and with whom, in this Lord Jesus, we for evermore are one. 

These prayers and praises let us humbly offer up to the throne of heaven, in the words which Christ himself hath taught us…

Our Father, who art in heaven, 

hallowed be thy Name, 

thy kingdom come, 

thy will be done, 

on earth as it is in heaven. 

Give us this day our daily bread. 

And forgive us our trespasses, 

as we forgive those who trespass against us. 

And lead us not into temptation, 

but deliver us from evil. 

For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, 

for ever and ever. Amen. 

The Almighty God bless us with His grace; Christ give us the joys of everlasting life; and unto the fellowship of the citizens above may the King of Angels bring us all. Amen.


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

The Invitatory

The Lord is now near; O come, let us adore Him!

🕇 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!

Opening Prayer

I thank you, O God, for keeping me through the night, and for the promise of this new day. I would begin it with you, and pray that it may be to me a day of growth in the Spirit and of service for you and your kingdom in the world. Help me to meet with quiet confidence whatever trials the day holds for me; strengthen me against temptation; and keep me always loyal to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.  [3]

The Hymn by James Montgomery

Hail to the Lord’s Anointed, great David’s greater Son! 

Hail in the time appointed, his reign on earth begun! 

He comes to break oppression, to set the captive free; 

To take away transgression, and rule in equity. 

He comes with succor speedy to those who suffer wrong; 

To help the poor and needy, and bid the weak be strong; 

To give them songs for sighing, their darkness turn to light, 

Whose souls condemned and dying, are precious in his sight. 

He shall come down like showers upon the fruitful earth; 

Love, joy, and hope like flowers, spring in his path to birth. 

Before him, on the mountains, shall peace, the herald, go, 

And righteousness, in fountains, from hill and valley flow. 

To him shall prayer unceasing and daily vows ascend; 

His kingdom still increasing, a kingdom without end. 

The tide of time shall never his covenant remove; 

His name shall stand forever; that name to us is love. [4]

The Small Verse

In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for our God.   

(Isaiah 40:3)
“The Last Judgement” 
By Michelangelo 
(source)

Morning Reading: Malachi 3:16—4:6

Elijah and the coming one

The Book of Remembrance

16 Then those who feared the LORD spoke with one another. The LORD paid attention and heard them, and a book of remembrance was written before him of those who feared the LORD and esteemed his name. 17 “They shall be mine, says the LORD of hosts, in the day when I make up my treasured possession, and I will spare them as a man spares his son who serves him. 18 Then once more you shall see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between one who serves God and one who does not serve him.

The Great Day of the LORD

1 “For behold, the day is coming, burning like an oven, when all the arrogant and all evildoers will be stubble. The day that is coming shall set them ablaze, says the LORD of hosts, so that it will leave them neither root nor branch. 2 But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall. 3 And you shall tread down the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet, on the day when I act, says the LORD of hosts.

4 “Remember the law of my servant Moses, the statutes and rules that I commanded him at Horeb for all Israel.

5 “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes. 6 And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a decree of utter destruction.”

Morning Lesson

The Last Judgement

“God will remember those who remain faithful to Him, and who love, fear, honor, and respect Him… God’s special treasure are those faithful to Him. This fulfills the promise He made in the covenant to His people (Exod 19:5). According to 1 Peter 2:9, believers are God’s very own possession. Have you committed your life to God for safekeeping?” [5]

“In the Day of the Lord, God’s wrath toward the wicked will burn like a furnace. But He will be like the warmth of the sun to those who love and obey Him. John the Baptist prophesied that with the coming of Jesus, the dawn was about to break with light for those in sin’s darkness (Luke 1:76-79). In Isaiah 60:20; Revelation 21:23-24, we learn that no light will be needed in God’s holy city because God Himself will be the light.” [6]

These verses of Malachi “are filled with hope. Regardless of how life looks now, God controls the future and everything will be made right. We who have loved and served God look forward to a joyful celebration. This hope for the future becomes ours when we trust God with our lives.” [7]

Verse 4 references the “decrees and regulations, given to Moses at Mount Sinai, [which] were the foundation of the nation’s civil, mora, and ceremonial life (Exod 20; Deut 4:5-6).” [8]

“Elijah was one of the greatest prophets who ever lived (his story is recorded in 1 kgs 17 – 2 Kings 2). With Malachi’s death, the voice of God’s prophets would be silent for 400 years. Then a prophet would come, like Elijah, to herald the Messiah’s coming (Matt 17:10-13; Luke 1:17). This prophet was John the Baptist. John prepared people’s hearts for Jesus by urging people to repent of their sins. Christ’s coming would bring not only unity and peace but also judgement on those who refused to turn from their sins.” [9]

“Malachi closes his messages by pointing to that great final day of judgement. For those who are committed to God, judgement day will be a day of joy because it will usher in eternity in God’s presence. Those who have ignored God will be ‘straw’, to be burned up (Mal 4:1). To help the people prepare for that day of judgement, God would send a prophet like Elijah (John the Baptist), who would prepare the way for Jesus, the Messiah. The New Testament begins with this prophet calling the people to turn from their sins to God. Such a commitment to God demands great sacrifice on our part, but we can be sure it will be worth it all in the end.” [10]

Morning Prayer

     Celestial Word, proceeding from The Eternal Father’s breast,

And in the wend of ages come To aid a world distressed: 

     Enlighten, Lord, and set on fire Our Spirits with Your love, 

That dead to earth they may aspire And live to joys above. 

     To God the Father, God the Son And Holy Ghost to Thee 

As heretofore, when time is done Unending glory be. [11]

(adapted from THE SHORT BREVIARY)


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

The Invitatory

The Lord is now near; O come let us adore Him!

🕇 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! [13]

Antiphon

Every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall be made straight: and the rough places plain.

Come, O Lord, and tarry not. Alleluia! 

Let us live soberly, righteously, and godly: looking for that blessed hope and the coming of the Lord.  [14]

“Elijah Taken Up in a Chariot of Fire” 
by Giuseppe Angeli 
(source)

Midday Reading: Mark 9:9-13

Questions about Elijah

9 And as they were coming down the mountain, he charged them to tell no one what they had seen, until the Son of Man had risen from the dead. 10 So they kept the matter to themselves, questioning what this rising from the dead might mean. 11 And they asked him, “Why do the scribes say that first Elijah must come?” 12 And he said to them, “Elijah does come first to restore all things. And how is it written of the Son of Man that he should suffer many things and be treated with contempt? 13 But I tell you that Elijah has come, and they did to him whatever they pleased, as it is written of him.”

Midday Lesson

After the Transfiguration…

“Jesus told Peter, James, and John not to speak about what they had seen because they would not fully understand it until Jesus had risen from the dead. Then they would realize that only through dying could Jesus show His power over death and His authority  to be King of all. The disciples would not be powerful witnesses for God until they had grasped this truth.” [15]

“It was natural for the disciples to be confused about Jesus’ death and resurrection because they could not see into the future. We, on the other hand, have God’s revealed Word, the Bible, to give us the full meaning of Jesus’ death and resurrection. We have no excuse for our unbelief.” [16]

“When Jesus said that Elijah had already come, He was speaking of John the Baptist (Matt 17:11-13), who had fulfilled the role prophesied for Elijah.” [17]

Midday Prayers

Lord Jesus Christ, by your death you took away the sting of death: Grant me to so follow in faith where you have led the way, that I may at length fall asleep peacefully in you and wake in your likeness; for your tender mercies’ sake. Amen.† [18]

Blessed be the Lord God of Israel for he has visited and delivered us. Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia. [19]

(Traditional)

Embertide Prayer:

Almighty God, the giver of all good gifts,

by your Holy Spirit you have appointed

various orders of ministry in the Church:

look with mercy on your servants

now called to be deacons and priests;

maintain them in truth and renew them in holiness,

that by word and good example they may faithfully serve you

to the glory of your name and the benefit of your Church;

through the merits of our Saviour Jesus Christ,

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

Amen. [26]


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

The Invitatory

The Lord is now near; O come let us adore Him!

🕇 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! [21]

December 16th Great Antiphon 

[Antiphon Day: This day is traditionally known by its Latin name ‘O Sapientia’, meaning ‘O Wisdom’. In the lead-up to Christmas Eve a particular prayer is used for each of the preceding seven days. The Advent carol ‘O come, O come, Immanuel’, is based on them. For many years we have walked the Pilgrims’ Way over the sands to Holy Island on this day in all kinds of weather, pausing to say the prayers and sing the verses. The same tradition could be followed in different locations on Antiphon Day.” (27)]

Evening Reading 

Give just one minute

By Amy Carmichael

The pilgrim worried that sometimes he would not have much time to care for his love-relationship with God. Then the Lord spoke to him, and answered his unspoken question:            

Do you have only one minute? Hem it with quietness. Do not spend it in thinking how little time you have. I can give you much in one minute. 

The pilgrim sat by the water, and his dear Lord said to him: 

As the ripples of the river glance up to the light, let your heart glance up to Me in little looks of love very often through the day. [23]

The Small Verse

You, O LORD, are my lamp;* 

my God, you make my darkness bright. 

(Psalm 18:29)

Vespers Prayer 

Grant us, Lord, the lamp of charity which never fails, that it may burn in us and shed its light on those around us, and that by its brightness we may have a vision of that holy City, where dwells the true and never-failing Light, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. [24]

The Concluding Prayer of the Church

Give me a candle of the Spirit, O God, as I go down into the deeps of my being. Show me the hidden things, the creatures of my dreams, the storehouse of forgotten memories and hurts. Take me down to the spring of my life, and tell me my nature and my name. Give me freedom to grow, so that I may become that self, the seed of which You planted in me at my making. 

Out of the depths I cry to You… 

~ George Appleton [25]


Devotionals compiled/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. 3683). Christian Books Today.

[3] Forward Movement. (2013). Daily Prayers. In Prayers for All Occasions (Kindle ed., pp. 146). Cincinnati, OH: Forward Movement.

[4] Tickle, P. (2006). Advent. In The divine hours: Prayers for Autumn and Wintertime (Kindle ed., vol. 2, p. 380). New York, NY: Image Books.

[5] Tyndale House Publishers. (2012). Malachi. In Chronological life application study Bible (p. 1248-1249). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Pub.

[6] Ibid. 5, P. 1249

[7] Ibid. 5, P. 1249

[8] Ibid. 5, P. 1249

[9] Ibid. 5, P. 1249

[10] Ibid. 5, P. 1249

[11] Tickle, P. (2006). Advent. In The divine hours: Prayers for Autumn and Wintertime (Kindle ed., vol. 2, p. 375). New York, NY: Image Books.

[12] 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.

[13] Bellarmine, G. (2020). December 17 Lauds. In The Roman Breviary in English, in Order, Every Day for October, November, December 2020 (Kindle ed., p. 3835). Christian Books Today.

[14] 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.108). New York, NY: J. Pott &.

[15] Tyndale House Publishers. (2012). Mark. In Chronological life application study Bible (p. 1379). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Pub.

[16] Ibid. 15

[17] Ibid. 15

[18] Tickle, P. (2006). Advent. In The divine hours: Prayers for Autumn and Wintertime (Kindle ed., vol. 2, p. 376). New York, NY: Image Books.

[19] Ibid. 18

[20] 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.

[21] Bellarmine, G. (2020). December 16 Matins. In The Roman Breviary in English, in Order, Every Day for October, November, December 2020 (Kindle ed., p. 3777). Christian Books Today.

[22] 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.109). New York, NY: J. Pott &.

[23] The Northumbria Community. (2015). Daily Prayer (December 3). In Celtic Daily Prayer (Kindle ed., p. 22217). London: HarperCollins.

[24] Episcopal Church. (1979). Daily Office: Order for Evening Worship. In The Book of common prayer: And administration of the sacramednts, 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. 110). New York, NY: Church Publishing Incorporated.

[25] The Northumbria Community. (2015). Daily Prayer (December 3). In Celtic Daily Prayer (Kindle ed., p. 22229). London: HarperCollins.


[26] Church of England. (2006). Embertide. Retrieved December 05, 2020, from https://www.churchofengland.org/prayer-and-worship/worship-texts-and-resources/common-worship/churchs-year/times-and-seasons-3

[27] The Northumbria Community. (2015). Daily Prayer: December 16 (Aiden). In Celtic Daily Prayer (Kindle ed., p. 22842). London: HarperCollins.

[28] The Episcopal Church. (2018). Advent Festivals of Lessons and Carols. In The Book of Occasional Services (PDF ed., p. 20-21). Then Episcopal Church. Retrieved November December 15, 2020, from https://episcopalchurch.org/files/lm_book_of_occasional_services_2018.pdf

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