January 9th Devotional (2021)

January 9, 2021
Epiphanytide

Today’s Readings: 1 Kings 2:1-12; Luke 5:1-11; Excerpt from DIVINA COMMEDIA by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow


Nations shall come to your light, 
and kings to the brightness
of your rising.   
 Isaiah 60:3

Invocation

The Lord has shown forth his glory: 

     Come let us adore him.

Opening Prayer

Almighty God, who after the creation of the world rested from all your works and sanctified a day of rest for all your creatures: Grant that we, putting away all earthly anxieties, may be duly prepared for the service of your sanctuary, and that our rest here upon earth may be a preparation for the eternal rest promised to your people in heaven; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. [1]

Hymn

“As with gladness men of old”

By William Chatterton Dix, 1837-1898

Lyrics

1. As with gladness men of old

did the guiding star behold;

as with joy they hailed its light,

leading onward, beaming bright;

so, most gracious Lord, may we

evermore be led to Thee.

2. As with joyful steps they sped

to that lowly manger-bed;

there to bend the knee before

him whom heaven and earth adore;

so may we with willing feet

ever seek the mercy-seat.

3. As they offered gifts most rare

at that manger rude and bare;

so may we with holy joy,

pure and free from sin’s alloy,

all our costliest treasures bring,

Christ! to thee, our heavenly King.

4. Holy Jesus! every day

keep us in the narrow way;

and, when earthly things are past,

bring our ransomed lives at last

where they need no star to guide,

where no clouds thy glory hide.

5. In the heavenly country bright,

need they no created light;

thou its light, its joy, its crown,

thou its sun which goes not down;

there forever may we sing

alleluias to our King. [2]

Short Verse

This is the LORD’S doing,* 

and it is marvelous in our eyes.

Psalm 118:23
“Old Man on Death Bed” 
By Gustave Klimt 
(source)

Morning Reading: 1 Kings 2:1-12

Solomon is designated king by David

1 When David’s time to die drew near, he commanded Solomon his son, saying, 2 “I am about to go the way of all the earth. Be strong, and show yourself a man, 3 and keep the charge of the LORD your God, walking in his ways and keeping his statutes, his commandments, his rules, and his testimonies, as it is written in the Law of Moses, that you may prosper in all that you do and wherever you turn, 4 that the LORD may establish his word that he spoke concerning me, saying, ‘If your sons pay close attention to their way, to walk before me in faithfulness with all their heart and with all their soul, you shall not lack a man on the throne of Israel.’

5 “Moreover, you also know what Joab the son of Zeruiah did to me, how he dealt with the two commanders of the armies of Israel, Abner the son of Ner, and Amasa the son of Jether, whom he killed, avenging in time of peace for blood that had been shed in war, and putting the blood of war on the belt around his waist and on the sandals on his feet. 6 Act therefore according to your wisdom, but do not let his gray head go down to Sheol in peace. 7 But deal loyally with the sons of Barzillai the Gileadite, and let them be among those who eat at your table, for with such loyalty they met me when I fled from Absalom your brother. 8 And there is also with you Shimei the son of Gera, the Benjaminite from Bahurim, who cursed me with a grievous curse on the day when I went to Mahanaim. But when he came down to meet me at the Jordan, I swore to him by the LORD, saying, ‘I will not put you to death with the sword.’ 9 Now therefore do not hold him guiltless, for you are a wise man. You will know what you ought to do to him, and you shall bring his gray head down with blood to Sheol.”10 Then David slept with his fathers and was buried in the city of David. 11 And the time that David reigned over Israel was forty years. He reigned seven years in Hebron and thirty-three years in Jerusalem. 12 So Solomon sat on the throne of David his father, and his kingdom was firmly established.

Early 1900s postcard showing the tomb with its Islamic silk covering
(source)

Morning Lesson

David’s instructions to Solomon

“David was following spiritual precedent as well as the custom of the ancient Middle East by passing on instruction to his son (see 1 Chr. 28; 29). David’s charge to Solomon was reminiscent of Moses’ words to the Israelites (Deut. 31:6) and the Lord’s admonition to Joshua (Josh. 1:6, 7, 9). The specific instructions given here echo the standards of righteousness associated with the Mosaic covenant (Deut. 5:33; 8:6, 11; 11:1, 22).” [3]

God’s covenant with David (2 Sam. 7:12-16; 1 Chr. 17:11-14), granted to him “a continual posterity and a royal dynasty… [However] individual kings through their evil behavior could fail to receive the benefits of the covenant (see Ps. 89:3, 4, 14-24, 27-37).” [4] “”The continual reign of kings in Israel was conditional on their obedience to the Law of Moses.” [5] This “line of promise would be preserved and Israel ‘would not lack a man,’ but there would come a time when the promised Ruler would not be an earthly throne (Hos. 3:4). God’s prophets predict[ed] that the heir of the throne of David [would] yet reign over a repentant, regathered, and restored Israel (see Jer. 33:19-26; Ezek. 34:22-31) in fulfillment of the promises contained in the Abrahamic, Davidic, and New covenants (Ezek. 37:21-28; Mic. 7:18-20).” [6] 

“Disobedience would eventually lead to the collapse of the kingly throne when a Jew would fail to sit on the throne. This failure occurred when Herod the Great sat on the throne, for he was not a Jew, but a Gentile from Edom (or Idumea). According to the prophecy of Gn 49:10, the presence of a Gentile king on the throne of Judah would indicate the presence of Christ in Judea. Indeed, ‘Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king’ (Mt 2:1). The name ‘Shiloh’ in the prophecy means ‘peace,’ for Jesus is the peace that unites and reconciles Jews and Gentiles in one body, the Church  (Eph 2:14).” [7]

“David’s parting advice [to Solomon] singled out some problems that had not been solved. One concerned Joab. The bold, head-strong Joab had murdered two generals (2 Sam. 18:14); he also had joined Adonijah’s ill-fated conspiracy (1:7, 19). Another problem concerned Shimei, who had treated the king shamefully on a previous occasion (2 Sam. 16:5-13; 19:16-23). Both Joab and Shimei had lived a long time (‘gray,’ v. 6) without requital for their wicked deeds. The aged king knew that these men would likely continue to be a problem to Solomon even as they had been to him.” [8]

“David also included directions of kindness for the house of Barzillai, who had stood by him throughout the period associate with Absolom’s rebellion (2 Sam. 17:27-29; 19:31-39). To eat at the king’s table (v. 7) carried with it not only distinct honor, but royal favor (see 2 Sam. 9:7; 2 Kin. 25:29). It meant that the royal household would make provision for this family in perpetuity.” [9] 

Today, a so-called tomb of David marks (approximately) the place where David may have been buried on Mount Zion in Jerusalem.

Morning Prayer

O God, Who by the leading of a star didst, as on this day, manifest thine Only-begotten Son to the Gentiles, mercifully grant that we, which know thee now by faith, may after this life have the fruition of thy glorious Godhead Through the same Jesus Christ, thy Son, Our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with thee in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. [10]

Blessing

May Almighty God arrange our deeds and our day in His peace. Amen.


A prayer inspired by Julia Chester Emery, who we remember on January 9th.

O Almighty God, who have surrounded us with a great cloud of Witnesses: Grant that we, encouraged by the good example of your servant Julia, may persevere in running the race that is set before us, until at last we may with her attain to your eternal joy; through Jesus Christ, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


I will give you as a light to the nations, that my salvation may
reach to the end of the earth.   
 Isaiah 49:6b

Short Verse

Let us examine our path, let us ponder it and return to YAHWEH. Let us raise our hearts and hands to God in heaven. We are the ones who have sinned…

Lamentations 3:40–42

Midday Reading 

from DIVINA COMMEDIA 

By Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Oft have I seen at some cathedral door 

     A laborer, pausing in the dust and heat, 

     Lay down his burden, and with reverent feet 

     Enter, and cross himself, and on the floor 

     Kneel to repeat his paternoster o’er; 

Far off noises of the world retreat; 

     The loud vociferations of the street 

     Become an indistinguishable roar. 

So, as I enter here from day to day, 

     And leave my burden by this minster gate, 

     Kneeling in prayer, and not ashamed to pray, 

     The tumult of the time disconsolate 

     To inarticulate murmurs dies away, 

     While the eternal ages watch and wait. [11]

Midday Prayer

For Young Persons

God our Father, you see your children growing up in an unsteady and confusing world: Show them that your ways give more life than the ways of the world, and that following you is better than chasing after selfish goals. Help them to take failure, not as a measure of their worth, but as a chance for a new start. Give them strength to hold their faith in you, and to keep alive their joy in your creation; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


From the rising of the sun to its setting my Name shall be great
among the nations, and in every place incense shall be offered
to my Name, and a pure offering: for my Name shall be great
among the nations, says the Lord of hosts.    
Malachi 1:11

Short Verse

Yours is the day, O God, yours also the night; you established

the moon and the sun. You fixed all the boundaries of the

earth; you made both summer and winter.  

Psalm 74:15,16

Evensong Reading: Luke 5:1-11

Jesus calls Simon, James, and John

1 On one occasion, while the crowd was pressing in on him to hear the word of God, he was standing by the lake of Gennesaret [the Sea of Galilee], 2 and he saw two boats by the lake, but the fishermen had gone out of them and were washing their nets. 3 Getting into one of the boats, which was Simon’s, he asked him to launch out into the deep. And he sat down and taught the people from the boat. 4 And when he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” 5 And Simon answered, “Master, we toiled all night and took nothing! But at your word I will let down the nets.” 6 And when they had done this, they enclosed a large number of fish, and their nets were breaking. 7 They signaled to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. And they came and filled both the boats, so that they began to sink. 8 But when Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” 9 For he and all who were with him were astonished at the catch of fish that they had taken, 10 and so also were James and John, sons of Zebedee, who were partners with Simon. And Jesus said to Simon, “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men.” 11 And when they had brought their boats to land, they left everything and followed him.

“First Miracle”
By by Jacopo Bassano, 1545
(source)

Evensong Lesson

Fishers of men

In this evening’s reading, Jesus drew Simon Peter, James, and John to Him as His disciples. “The Lord draws people to Himself by things that are familiar to them. As He drew the Magi with a star (Mt 2:2), as He would draw the tax collectors by a tax collector (5:29), here He draws the fisherman with fish (see 1 Co 9:19-23).” [13]

In verse 4, Jesus asked Simon to launch his boat out from the shore, into the deeper water. “ St. Ambrose [saw] the spiritual meaning of this command as an invitation to give one’s life over to the deep mystery of the knowledge of the Son of God.” [14]

In verse 8, Simon Peter fell down at Jesus’ knees and said, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” “Peter’s cry in the face of divine power is not a rejection of Jesus (contrast 8:37). Rather, being suddenly cast in the light of Christ, holy people such as Peter become keenly aware of their own unworthiness (compare Is 6:5; Rev 1:17).” [15] “Peter was awestruck at this miracle, and his first response was to realize his own insignificance in comparison to this man’s greatness. Peter knew that Jesus had healed the sick and driven out demons, but he was amazed that Jesus cared about his day-to-day routine and understood his needs. God is interested not only in saving us but also in helping us in our daily activities.” [16]

“Like Peter, we must recognize our own sinfulness. Then, like these fishermen, we must realize that we can’t save ourselves and that we need help. If we know that Jesus is the only one who can help us, we will be ready to leave everything and follow Him.” [17]

This was the second time Peter had been called (see first call in John 1:35-51). “Peter and Andrew had gone back to fishing. They continued to watch Jesus, however, as He established His authority in the synagogue, healed the sick, and drove out demons. Here, He also established authority in their lives – He met them on their level and helped them in their work. From this point on, they left their nets and remained with Jesus.” [18]

“The great catch of fish (v. 9) is an image of the apostles bringing mankind to the knowledge of Jesus Christ, and it fulfills the prophecy of Jer 16:16.” [19] 

“But now I will send for many fishermen,” declares the LORD, “and they will catch them.”

Jeremiah 16:16

Evensong Prayer

Our Father, the day is over and I turn to you before I take my rest. You have been with me all the day long, and for all your mercies, perceived and unperceived, I give thanks. Of all that has been amiss in me, in thought, word, and deed, I repent, and ask your gracious forgiveness as I also forgive all who have offended me. Grant me now the blessings of a quiet mind and a trustful spirit, the freedom from fear of a child in its father’s house. So let me rest in you, at peace with you and with all people. Amen. [20]

Compline Prayer

I lie down in peace; 

     at once I fall asleep; 

for only you, LORD, make me dwell in safety.

 — Psalm 4:8


Devotionals compiled/written by S.P. Rogers

Citations:

[1] Episcopal Church. (1979). Daily Office: Daily Morning Prayers Rite II. 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. 99). New York, NY: Church Publishing Incorporated.

[2] The Hymnal 1982: According to the use of the Episcopal Church 119. As with gladness men of old. (n.d.). Retrieved January 05, 2021, from https://hymnary.org/hymn/EH1982/119

[3] Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (2007). 1 Kings. In NKJV study Bible: New King James Version (Second ed., p. 521). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

[4] Ibid. 3

[5] Academic Community of St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology (2008). 3 Kingdoms. In The Orthodox study Bible (p. 452). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

[6] Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (2007). 1 Kings. In NKJV study Bible: New King James Version (Second ed., p. 521). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

[7] Academic Community of St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology (2008). 3 Kingdoms. In The Orthodox study Bible (p. 452). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

[8] Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (2007). 1 Kings. In NKJV study Bible: New King James Version (Second ed., p. 521-522). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

[9] Ibid. 8, P. 522

[10] Bellarmine, G. (2020). January 6: Terce. In The Roman Breviary in English, in Order, Every Day for October, November, December 2020 (Kindle ed., p. 320). Christian Books Today.

[11] Tickle, P. (2006). October. In The divine hours: Prayers for Autumn and Wintertime (Kindle ed., vol. 2, p. 134). New York, NY: Image Books. 

[12] Episcopal Church. (1979). Prayers and Thanksgivings: For Young Persons. 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. 829). New York, NY: Church Publishing Incorporated.

[13] Academic Community of St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology (2008). Luke. In The Orthodox study Bible (p. 1403). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

[14] Ibid. 13

[15] Ibid. 13

[16] Tyndale House Publishers. (2012).Luke. In Chronological life application study Bible (p. 1308). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Pub.

[17] Ibid. 16

[18] Ibid. 16

[19] Academic Community of St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology (2008). Luke. In The Orthodox study Bible (p. 1403). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.


[20] Forward Movement. (2013). Daily Prayers. In Prayers for All Occasions (Kindle ed., pp. 162). Cincinnati, OH: Forward Movement.

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