December 18 Devotional (2020)

Ember Friday, December 18, 2020
Third Week of Advent

Today’s readings: 2 Samuel 6:12-19; Hebrews 1:5-14; Essay: Embertide Intercessions


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

The Invitatory

Our King and Savior now draws near:  come, let us adore him.

Glorify the Lord, you angels and all powers of the Lord, *

    O heavens and all waters above the heavens.

Sun and moon and stars of the sky, glorify the Lord, *

    praise him and highly exalt him for ever.

🕇 Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. 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. [2]

The Hymn

“Come, thou long-expected Jesus”

Lyrics

1 Come, thou long expected Jesus

born to set Thy people free;

from our fears and sins release us,

let us find our rest in Thee.

2 Israel’s strength and consolation,

hope of all the earth thou art;

dear desire of every nation,

joy of every longing heart.

3 Born thy people to deliver,

born a child, and yet a King,

born to reign in us forever,

now thy gracious kingdom bring.

4 By thine own eternal Spirit

rule in all our hearts alone;

by Thine all sufficient merit,

raise us to thy glorious throne. [3]

Antiphon 

Unto Thee, O Lord, have I lifted up my soul: Come and deliver me, O Lord, for unto Thee have I fled. 

[4]
“David bearing the Ark of Testament into Jerusalem” 
By Domenico Garguilo 
(source)

Morning Reading: 2 Samuel 6:12-19

The ark of God enters Jerusalem

12 And it was told King David, “The LORD has blessed the household of Obed-edom and all that belongs to him, because of the ark of God.” So David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-edom to the city of David with rejoicing. 13And when those who bore the ark of the LORD had gone six steps, he sacrificed an ox and a fattened animal. 14 And David danced before the LORD with all his might. And David was wearing a linen ephod. 15 So David and all the house of Israel brought up the ark of the LORD with shouting and with the sound of the horn

16 As the ark of the LORD came into the city of David, Michal the daughter of Saul looked out of the window and saw King David leaping and dancing before the LORD, and she despised him in her heart. 17 And they brought in the ark of the LORD and set it in its place, inside the tent that David had pitched for it. And David offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the LORD. 18 And when David had finished offering the burnt offerings and the peace offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the LORD of hosts 19 and distributed among all the people, the whole multitude of Israel, both men and women, a cake of bread, a portion of meat,e and a cake of raisins to each one. Then all the people departed, each to his house.

Morning Lesson

David allows the ark to enter Jerusalem

“Having seen that the ark has brought blessing to this house of a Philistine, David is willing to have it enter Jerusalem after all (see 1Ch 15:25-29). Greeting the ark with dancing is perhaps an import from Canaan practices. A tabernacle (‘tent of meeting’) is pitched for the ark in Jerusalem. The distribution of the offering, and thus the blessing associated with it, is made from Dan to Beersheeba (v. 19), the geographical boundaries of Israel at the height of David’s rule.” [5]

Antiphon 

Stand ye still: and see the salvation of the Lord with you.

[6]

Morning Prayer

Embers Prayer

Almighty and everlasting God,

by whose Spirit the whole body of the Church

is governed and sanctified:

hear our prayer which we offer for all your faithful people,

that in their vocation and ministry

they may serve you in holiness and truth

to the glory of your name;

through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever.

Amen. [7]

The Blessing

May He whose second Coming in power and great glory we await, make us steadfast in faith, joyful in hope, and constant in love. Amen. [23]


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

The Invitatory

Glorify the Lord, O chill and cold, *

    drops of dew and flakes of snow.

Frost and cold, ice and sleet, glorify the Lord, *

    praise him and highly exalt him for ever.

🕇 Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Alleluia!

Antiphon 

God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, not counting our trespasses against us, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.

We are all one in Christ Jesus. We belong to him through faith, heirs of the promise of the Spirit of peace.

[9]
“At Prayer” 
By Edwin Long 
(source)

Midday Reading

Embertide Intercessions 

We pray for the flourishing of God’s gifts to his Church, saying:

          Lord of the Church, in your mercy hear us.

God our Father, you give us gifts that we may work together in the service of your Son:

bless the leaders of your Church, that they may be firm in faith, and humble before you.

        Lord of the Church, in your mercy hear us.

Bless those who teach, that they may increase our understanding, and be open to your word for them.

        Lord of the Church, in your mercy hear us.

Bless those who minister healing, that they may bring wholeness to others, yet know your healing in themselves.

        Lord of the Church, in your mercy hear us.

Bless those through whom you speak, that they may proclaim your word in power,

yet open their ears to your gentle whisper.

        Lord of the Church, in your mercy hear us.

Bless those who work in your world today, that in the complexity of their daily lives they may live for you, fulfil your purposes, and seek your kingdom first.

        Lord of the Church, in your mercy hear us.

Bless those who are uncertain of their gifts and those who are powerless in this world’s eyes, that they may be made strong in your gift of the Holy Spirit.

        Lord of the Church, hear our prayer, 

        and make us one in heart and mind to serve you with joy for ever. 

Amen. [10]

Midday Prayer 

Advent prayer 

May the almighty God, our heavenly Father, who has promised forgiveness of sins by his great mercy to all who turn to him with sincere repentance and true faith have mercy on us, pardon and deliver us from all our sins, confirm and strengthen us in all goodness, and bring us to everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. [12]

May the boldness of the Spirit transform you,

may the gentleness of the Spirit lead you,

may the gifts of the Spirit equip you

to serve and worship God;

and the blessing …[11]

Benediction


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

The Invitatory

Glorify the Lord, O nights and days, *

    O shining light and enfolding dark.

Storm clouds and thunderbolts, glorify the Lord, *

    praise him and highly exalt him for ever.

🕇 Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Alleluia!

December 18th Great Antiphon

“Statue of Angel” 
(source)

Evening Reading: Hebrews 1:5-14

The advent of one higher than angels

5 For to which of the angels did God ever say,

“You are my Son,

today I have begotten you”?

Or again,

“I will be to him a father,

and he shall be to me a son”?

6 And again, when he brings the firstborn into the world, he says,

“Let all God’s angels worship him.”

7 Of the angels he says,

“He makes his angels winds,

and his ministers a flame of fire.”

8 But of the Son he says,

“Your throne, O God, is forever and ever,

the scepter of uprightness is the scepter of your kingdom.

9 You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness;

therefore God, your God, has anointed you

with the oil of gladness beyond your companions.”

10 And,

“You, Lord, laid the foundation of the earth in the beginning,

and the heavens are the work of your hands;

11 they will perish, but you remain;

they will all wear out like a garment,

12 like a robe you will roll them up,

like a garment they will be changed.a

But you are the same,

and your years will have no end.”

13 And to which of the angels has he ever said,

“Sit at my right hand

until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet”?

14 Are they not all ministering spirits sent out to serve for the sake of those who are to inherit salvation?

Evening Lesson

The Groom is King

“Much of first-century Judaism believed angels were present at creation and had mediated the old covenant. By using the rabbinic method of demonstration, Hebrews proves to lovers of Judaism that even the OT argues for the superiority of the Son.” [15]

“Christ is superior to angels. They are in some Judiac thought, only ‘the sons of God,’ whereas Christ is the Son of God. (The LXX [Septuagint] at Dt. 32:43, which Hebrews paraphrases in v. 6 [of today’s reading], literally reads ‘sons of God,’ not ‘angels of God.’) While Christ is recognized as God’s eternal Son at His Baptism and Transfiguration, it is His enthronement in heaven that settles the matter (v. 4; see Rom 1:4). Begotten is a reference to the Son in His divine, eternal nature. The Nicene Creed states He is ‘begotten, not made, begotten from the Father before all time.Today is eternity. There never was a time when God the Son did not exist.” [16]

“Christ is the firstborn (1) of God, in the He is His one and only eternal Son; (2) of all creation, in that He is the image (icon) by which creation was made and toward which creation is to move; and (3) of man, in that Christ incarnate is the model for man’s creation and the goal of man’s existence. The angels… worship Him because He is God.” [17]

Psalm 45, which is quoted in verses 8 and 9 of today’s reading, “celebrates a royal enthronement and wedding. The groom is a king who has conquered for righteousness and is called ‘god’ (Elohim), though the king is distinct from God. This celebration is fulfilled with the messianic enthronement and wedding in the kingdom of God. The OT gives the title ‘god’ to Moses, Samuel, descendants of David, and angels, but it is primarily the Messiah who embodies this title. Here, God the Father calls the Son ‘God’.” [18]

“The role of the angels is to minister for those who will inherit salvation. During the NT era, many Jews believed angels mediated the Old covenant. Certainly they served the Angel of the Lord, the Son of God. In the new covenant, they serve Him in His humanity. Instead of ruling over man, angels are partners in service with us, our guardian angels.” [19]

Antiphon 

God shall come from Teman, and the Holy One from Mount Paran: His brightness shall be as the light.

Therefore I will look unto the Lord: I will wait for the God of my salvation.

[20]

Vespers Prayer 

Lord as evening approaches

Grant us time to relax

A chance to review our day

Time to wind down

Whether with family and friends

Or simply alone with you..

Amen. [21]

The Small Verse

Bow your heavens, O LORD, and come down;* 

touch the mountains, and they shall smoke. 

(Psalm 144:5)

The Concluding Prayers of the Church

Lighten our darkness, we beseech thee, O Lord; and by thy

great mercy defend us from all perils and dangers of this

night; for the love of thy only Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Amen. [22]


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 and 88). New York, NY: Church Publishing Incorporated.

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

[3] Wesley, C. (n.d.). The Hymnal 1982: According to the use of the Episcopal Church 66. Come, thou long-expected Jesus. Retrieved December 09, 2020, from https://hymnary.org/hymn/EH1982/66

[4] 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. 111). New York, NY: J. Pott &.

[5] Academic Community of St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology (2008). 2 Samuel. In The Orthodox study Bible (p. 416). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

[6] 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. 111). New York, NY: J. Pott &.

[7] 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

[8] 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. 88). New York, NY: Church Publishing Incorporated.

[9] 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

[10] Ibid. 9

[11] Ibid. 9

[12] Stratman, P. (2001). Advent. In Prayers from the Ancient Celtic Church (Kindle ed., p. 73). Rossway.

[13] 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. 89). New York, NY: Church Publishing Incorporated.

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

[15] Academic Community of St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology (2008). Hebrews. In The Orthodox study Bible (p. 1684). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

[16] Ibid. 15

[17] Ibid. 15

[18] Ibid 15, P. 1684-1685

[19] Ibid, 15, P. 1685

[20] 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. 111). New York, NY: J. Pott &

[21] Lucas, D. (2020). Evening Prayer. Retrieved December 05, 2020, from https://www.anordinaryoffice.co.uk/evening-prayer


[22] Episcopal Church. (1979). Daily Office: Order for Evening Worship. 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. 111). New York, NY: Church Publishing Incorporated.

[23] The Episcopal Church. (2018). Seasonal Blessings. In The Book of Occasional Services (PDF ed., p. 8). Then Episcopal Church. Retrieved November December 15, 2020, from https://episcopalchurch.org/files/lm_book_of_occasional_services_2018.pdf

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