January 11, 2021
Today’s Readings: Psalm 69:1-5, 30-36; Genesis 17:1-14; Romans 4:1-12
Christ appeared to us, *
O come, let us worship Him
O God, the King eternal, whose light divides the day from the night and turns the shadow of death into the morning: Drive far from us all wrong desires, incline our hearts to keep your law, and guide our feet into the way of peace; that, having done your will with cheerfulness during the day, we may, when night comes, rejoice to give you thanks; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. 
“Christ, when for us you were baptized”
By F. Bland Tucker, 1895-1984
1 Christ, when for us you were baptized,
God’s Spirit on you came,
as peaceful as a dove,
and yet as urgent as a flame,
as urgent as a flame.
2 God called you, “”My beloved Son””;
you are God’s servant true,
sent to proclaim the reign of heaven,
God’s holy will to do,
God’s holy will do to.
3 Straightway and steadfast until death
you then obeyed the call
to serve with free and willing heart,
to give your life for all,
to give your life for all.
4 Baptize us with your Spirit, Lord;
your cross on us be signed,
that likewise in God’s service we
may perfect freedom find,
may perfect freedom find. 
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.Philippians 1:2
Morning Reading: Psalm 69:1-5, 30-36
God will save through water
Save me, O God,
for the waters have come up to my neck.
I sink in deep mire,
where there is no foothold;
I have come into deep waters,
and the flood sweeps over me.
I am weary with my crying;
my throat is parched.
My eyes grow dim
with waiting for my God.
More in number than the hairs of my head
are those who hate me without cause;
many are those who would destroy me,
my enemies who accuse me falsely.
What I did not steal
must I now restore?
O God, you know my folly;
the wrongs I have done are not hidden from you.
I will praise the name of God with a song;
I will magnify him with thanksgiving.
This will please the Lord more than an ox
or a bull with horns and hoofs.
Let the oppressed see it and be glad;
you who seek God, let your hearts revive.
For the Lord hears the needy,
and does not despise his own that are in bonds.
Let heaven and earth praise him,
the seas and everything that moves in them.
For God will save Zion
and rebuild the cities of Judah;
and his servants shall live there and possess it;
the children of his servants shall inherit it,
and those who love his name shall live in it.
Father in heaven, who at the baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan proclaimed him your beloved Son and anointed him with the Holy Spirit: Grant that all who are baptized into his Name may keep the covenant they have made, and boldly confess him as Lord and Savior; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen. 
And the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be upon you and remain with you for ever. Amen. or this May Christ, the Son of God, be manifest in you, that your lives may be a light to the world; and the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be among you, and remain with you always. Amen. 
Remember me, O LORD, with the favor you have for your people,*
and visit me with your saving help;
That I may see the prosperity of your elect*
and be glad with the gladness of your people, that I may glory with your inheritance.Psalm 106:4–5
Midday Reading: Genesis 17:1-14
Circumcision a covenant sign
1 When Abram was ninety-nine years old the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless, 2 that I may make my covenant between me and you, and may multiply you greatly.” 3Then Abram fell on his face. And God said to him, 4 “Behold, my covenant is with you, and you shall be the father of a multitude of nations. 5 No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham, for I have made you the father of a multitude of nations. 6 I will make you exceedingly fruitful, and I will make you into nations, and kings shall come from you. 7 And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your offspring after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you. 8 And I will give to you and to your offspring after you the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession, and I will be their God.”
9 And God said to Abraham, “As for you, you shall keep my covenant, you and your offspring after you throughout their generations. 10 This is my covenant, which you shall keep, between me and you and your offspring after you: Every male among you shall be circumcised. 11 You shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskins, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and you. 12 He who is eight days old among you shall be circumcised. Every male throughout your generations, whether born in your house or bought with your money from any foreigner who is not of your offspring, 13 both he who is born in your house and he who is bought with your money, shall surely be circumcised. So shall my covenant be in your flesh an everlasting covenant. 14 Any uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin shall be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant.”
God’s covenant with Abraham
“Thirteen years after the birth of Ishmael (16:16), the Lord appeared to Abraham again and identified Himself as God for He said to him, ‘I am your God.’ This appearance is another of the personal appearances of the Son of God to Abraham.” 
“The covenant (vv.2-4) is that established ‘in Christ’ (Gal 3:17). God established it before the Mosaic covenant. Therefore, the Law of Moses, which came later, could not cancel it. Abraham’s faith is multiplied exceedingly in the Church. For he us the father of many nations (see also Rom 4:16, 17).” 
“Abram’s name (meaning ‘ exalted father’) was changed to Abraham (‘father of many’). This very name change proves the gospel of salvation is for many nations, the Gentiles as well as the Jews.” 
“The God of the everlasting covenant is the Holy Trinity, for the Son is God of God, the Only-begotten of the Father. The Holy Spirit is also God of God, for He ‘proceeds from the Father’ (Nicene Creed).” 
“The rite of circumcision was not the covenant itself. It was a temporary sign of the covenant (v. 11). It was a temporary sign, because it applied only to Abraham’s genealogy (v. 12), that is, to Abraham’s physical lineage, and also to those born in his house or bought with his money. Thus, the rite did not apply to the ‘many nations,’ or Gentiles, to be made righteous by faith in the gospel (v. 3; see also Rom 4:9-17). Christ Himself fulfilled this rite and brought it to and end when He was circumcised on the eighth day after His birth from the Virgin (Lk 2:21).” 
About the Book of Genesis
“Traditionally, both Jews and Christians believe Moses is the author and compiler of Genesis and of each of the first five books of the Bible, the Pentateuch… Genesis was written during Israel’s forty years of wandering in the wilderness, in the time between the crossing of the Red Sea and the entrance into Canaan.” 
The early history of man and Israel is the major theme of Genesis. “Genesis, which means ‘origin,’ is divided into two parts. The first is the account of the creation of the world and the beginning of the human race with Adam and Eve, and the history of their descendants. The second part of Genesis concerns the early history of Israel, starting with the three patriarchs of the Hebrews, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and the twelve tribes that were their descendants. God created all things good, and although His creation rebelled and sinned against Him, He still loves and cares for His people.” 
“Genesis covers the longest time span of any book of the Bible, stretching from the creation of the world to the coming of the Hebrews to Egypt. The first three chapters of Genesis are reflected in the last three chapters of Revelation, the Alpha and Omega of writings ‘given by inspiration of God’ (2 Ti 3:16).” 
For Those Who Live Alone
Almighty God, whose Son had nowhere to lay his head: Grant that those who live alone may not be lonely in their solitude, but that, following in his steps, they may find fulfillment in loving you and their neighbors; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. 
Jesus said, “You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid. No one lights a lamp to put it under a bucket, but on a lamp-stand where it gives light for everyone in the house. And you, like the lamp, must shed light among your fellow men, so that they may see the deed you do, and give glory to your Father in heaven.”Matthew 5:14-16
Evensong Reading: Romans 4:1-12
Abraham justified by faith
1 What then shall we say was gained by Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh? 2 For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. 3 For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.” 4 Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. 5 And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness, 6 just as David also speaks of the blessing of the one to whom God counts righteousness apart from works:
7 “Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven,
and whose sins are covered;
8 blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin.”
9 Is this blessing then only for the circumcised, or also for the uncircumcised? For we say that faith was counted to Abraham as righteousness. 10 How then was it counted to him? Was it before or after he had been circumcised? It was not after, but before he was circumcised. 11 He received the sign of circumcision as a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. The purpose was to make him the father of all who believe without being circumcised, so that righteousness would be counted to them as well, 12 and to make him the father of the circumcised who are not merely circumcised but who also walk in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised.
Justified by faith in Christ
“Even Abraham experienced righteousness in the sight of God through faith, and this completely apart from the works of the law, for the law had not yet been given. It this holds true for the Jews’ founding father, it is true for all Jews. Because Abraham responded in faith to God’s promise (Gn 15), he was accounted righteous, or justified. Only through faith in God can the ungodly be justified (v. 5).” 
“Being justified refers to an ongoing state of righteousness and not merely to a one-time event. This justification requires redemption: a sacrificial offering capable of (1) setting us free from sin and death, and (2) uniting us eternally with righteousness and life. In the OT, this sacrificial offering was prefigured by blood sacrifices of physically perfect animals for the temporal remission of sins (see Heb 9). Under the new covenant, Christ is the sacrificial offering that once for all eternally frees us from sin and death (Heb 10:14) and by His grace unites us with righteousness and life.” 
“Faith not only predated the law, it remained active during the time of the law. As revealed in Ps 31, David discovered what Abraham had known: being forgiven comes by God’s mercy through repentance, faith, and humility, not by works of the law.” 
“Because Abraham was circumcised, as a sign of God’s covenant, he is father to all Jews. yet Abraham was living by faith when he was 75, but was not circumcised until he was 99 (Gn 12:4; 17:24). During this time of being uncircumcised, he was still righteous before God by faith; thus he is also the father of uncircumcised believers, the Gentiles.” 
The words “being counted to them” in verse 11 mean ‘reckoned’ or ‘rendered.’ This phrase “does not refer to a mere legal standing, but indicates that God’s righteousness is actually given to mankind by grace. This righteousness transforms the whole person… Those who say God’s righteousness is merely an external declaration or fiat that does not really become ours experientially miss the point and fall short of the truth. God;s righteousness is a gift that indeed becomes our own, leading us to godliness.” 
Almighty God, we give you thanks for surrounding us, as daylight fades, with the brightness of the vesper light; and we implore you of your great mercy that, as you enfold us with the radiance of this light, so you would shine into our hearts the brightness of your Holy Spirit; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. 
Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit;
For you have redeemed me, O Lord, O God of truth.
Keep us, O Lord, as the apple of your eye;
Hide us under the shadow of your wings.
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.
Devotionals compiled/written by S.P. Rogers
 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.
 CHRIST, WHEN FOR US YOU WERE BAPTIZED. (n.d.). Retrieved January 06, 2021, from https://digitalsongsandhymns.com/songs/3340
 Episcopal Church. (1979). Collects: Seasons of the Year. 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. 214). New York, NY: Church Publishing Incorporated.
 The Episcopal Church. (2018). Seasonal Blessings: Christmas. In The Book of Occasional Services (PDF ed., p. 9). Then Episcopal Church. Retrieved November December 15, 2020, from https://episcopalchurch.org/files/lm_book_of_occasional_services_2018.pdf
 Academic Community of St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology (2008). Genesis. In The Orthodox study Bible (p. 95). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.
 Ibid. 5
 Ibid. 5
 Ibid. 5
 Ibid. 5
 Ibid. 5, P. 32
 Ibid. 5, P. 32
 Ibid. 5, P. 32
 Episcopal Church. (1979). Prayers and Thanksgivings: For Those Who Live Alone. 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.
 Academic Community of St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology (2008). Romans. In The Orthodox study Bible (p. 1558). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.
 Ibid. 14, P. 1557
 Ibid. 14
 Ibid. 14
 Ibid. 14
 Episcopal Church. (1979). Daily Office: An order for Worship in the Evening. 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. 110). New York, NY: Church Publishing Incorporated.
 Episcopal Church. (1979). Daily Office: An Order for Compline. 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. 132). New York, NY: Church Publishing Incorporated.