January 22 Devotional (2021)

The behavior of scoffers goes hand in hand with self-indulgence and mockery of God’s work in the creation of the world…

January 22, 2021
Epiphanytide

Today’s Readings: Jeremiah 20:7-18; Essay: 2 Peter 3:1-7; Jeremiah’s Faith


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

Morning Invocation

The Lord, the King of Martyrs,* 

O come, let us worship.

Opening Prayer

GLORY be to thee, 

         O Lord, 

    glory be to thee: 

    glory to thee, who hast given me sleep 

to refresh my weakness, 

and to alleviate the labours of this fragile flesh. 

    That this day, and every day, 

we may pass in the perfecting of holiness, 

in peace, health, and innocence, 

         Grant us, O Lord. 

That the angel of peace, our faithful guide, 

the guardian of our souls and bodies, 

may encamp round about us, 

and continually suggest what is needful for our salvation, 

         Grant us, O Lord. 

    The pardon and remission of all our sins 

and all our transgressions, 

         Grant us, O Lord. 

    To our souls what is good and profitable, 

and to the world peace, 

         Grant us, O Lord. 

    That we may accomplish the remainder of our lives 

in penitence and godly fear, 

in health of body and peace of mind, 

         Grant us, O Lord.

             Amen. 

Bp Lancelot Andrewes [1]

The Hymn

“Songs of thankfulness and praise”

By F. Bland Tucker, 1895-1984

Lyrics:

1. Songs of thankfulness and praise,

Jesus, Lord, to thee we raise,

manifested by the star

to the sages from afar;

branch of royal David’s stem

in thy birth at Bethlehem;

anthems be to thee addressed,

God in man made manifest.

2. Manifest at Jordan’s stream,

Prophet, Priest, and King supreme;

and at Cana, wedding-guest,

in thy Godhead manifest;

manifest in power divine,

changing water into wine;

anthems be to thee addressed,

God in man made manifest.

3. Manifest in making whole

palsied limbs and fainting soul;

manifest in valiant fight,

quelling all the devil’s might;

manifest in gracious will,

ever bringing good from ill;

anthems be to thee addressed,

God in man made manifest. [2]

Short Verse

Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days. 

Psalm 90:14
“Study of the Prophet Jeremiah” 
by Henry Fuseli, 1764-1770.
(source)

Morning Reading: Jeremiah 20:7-18

Jeremiah denounces his persecutors

7 O LORD, you have deceived me,

and I was deceived;

you are stronger than I,

and you have prevailed.

I have become a laughingstock all the day;

everyone mocks me.

8 For whenever I speak, I cry out,

I shout, “Violence and destruction!”

For the word of the LORD has become for me

a reproach and derision all day long.

9 If I say, “I will not mention him,

or speak any more in his name,”

there is in my heart as it were a burning fire

shut up in my bones,

and I am weary with holding it in,

and I cannot.

10 For I hear many whispering.

Terror is on every side!

“Denounce him! Let us denounce him!”

say all my close friends,

watching for my fall.

“Perhaps he will be deceived;

then we can overcome him

and take our revenge on him.”

11 But the LORD is with me as a dread warrior;

therefore my persecutors will stumble;

they will not overcome me.

They will be greatly shamed,

for they will not succeed.

Their eternal dishonor

will never be forgotten.

12 O LORD of hosts, who tests the righteous,

who sees the heart and the mind,a

let me see your vengeance upon them,

for to you have I committed my cause.

13 Sing to the LORD;

praise the LORD!

For he has delivered the life of the needy

from the hand of evildoers.

14 Cursed be the day

on which I was born!

The day when my mother bore me,

let it not be blessed!

15 Cursed be the man who brought the news to my father,

“A son is born to you,”

making him very glad.

16 Let that man be like the cities

that the LORD overthrew without pity;

let him hear a cry in the morning

and an alarm at noon,

17 because he did not kill me in the womb;

so my mother would have been my grave,

and her womb forever great.

18 Why did I come out from the womb

to see toil and sorrow,

and spend my days in shame?

† 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!

Morning Lesson

A song of complaint

Today’s reading (verses 7-18) “is the song of complaint that Jeremiah offer[ed] to God from prison. Although tempted to neglect his call as a prophet, Jeremiah [could not] help but act on it (v. 9).” [3]

Verse 13 gives us a “burst of exaltation in the midst of depression.” [4] Here, “Jeremiah exemplifies the attitude of hope found among martyrs. In facing evil persecution, the saints were always aware of the overwhelming power and authority of God.” [5]

The phrase “who brought the good news” in verse 15 “is the same concept as expressed in the NT when a boy was born, that is, the gospel.” [6]

In verse 17, “Jeremiah wishe[d] that his mother had simply carried his fetus with her to the grave.” [7]

“Jeremiah complain[ed] bitterly about the opposition he [had] experienc[ed] in response to the dire warnings he preached to the people. His predictions of destruction [stood] unfulfilled, giving his enemies grounds to beat him, imprison him, and plot against his life. Jeremiah call[ed] on the Lord for help and prais[ed] His name, but he [could not] help expressing the anger and despair he genuinely [felt]. Like Jeremiah, we are often weak and fearful in times of crisis because we doubt the Lord and trust in ourselves. When we are weakest, God’s strength shines through more clearly (cf 2Co 12:10). He is ever our refuge and strength, who hears our confession and forgives all our sins.” [8]

By Your Holy Spirit, Father, keep us strong in faith and grant us the courage to bear the name of Jesus in this evil world. Amen.

[9]

Morning Prayers

O Lord, Almighty God, King of heaven and earth, Savior of the world, bless, lead, rule and govern our hearts and bodies, our senses, words and deeds today, following thy law and commandments, that here and for eternity with thy help we shall be saved in freedom. Who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen. [10]

May Almighty God arrange our deeds and our day in His peace. Amen. [11]

Blessing

May God, by the power that turned water into wine at the wedding feast at Cana, transform your lives and make glad your hearts. Amen. [12]


A prayer inspired by Saint Vincent of Saragossa, Deacon and Martyr, who the Church remembers on January 22nd.

Almighty God, whose deacon Vincent, upheld by you, was not Terrified by threats nor overcome by torments: Strengthen us to endure all adversity with invincible and steadfast faith; through Jesus Christ our Lord, 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

O LORD, watch over us* 

     and save us from this generation for ever. 

The wicked prowl on every side,* 

     and that which is worthless is highly prized by everyone.

Psalm 12:7–8
“The Prophet Jeremiah”
By Marc Chagall
(source)

Midday Reading

Jeremiah’s Faith

“Some might consider Jeremiah the model of faithfulness, while others might think of him as an example of failure and futility. He served as God’s prophet for over 40 years, yet the rulers and the people of Judah did not listen to his warnings. Jeremiah was put in prison, thrown into a well, and taken to Egypt against his will. He was not allowed to marry. He was rejected by his friends, neighbors, family, false priests and prophets, and kings. Jeremiah stood alone in his call for the people to repent and turn to God. he warned them time and time again of their impending punishment. And even though much of what he prophesied came true during his ministry, the people and the leaders continued to ignore him.” [13]

“Yet through all the hardship and humiliation he was forced to endure, Jeremiah remained obedient and faithful to God. Although at first he questioned God’s calling, once he accepted his position he became a model of perseverance and devotion. After decades of enduring abuse, threats, and outright indifference, Jeremiah could easily have turned his back and walked away, but he knew that was exactly the problem God had told him to warn the people about. The people had turned away from God’s will, and Jeremiah was not about to do the same. Some may look back at his ministry and consider it a failure because the people did not respond to his call. In reality, his life was a glorious success because Jeremiah remained faithful to his God. he may not have seen immediate results, but his struggle to obey God in a world that had turned wholesale away from its Creator has inspired generations of believers.” [14] 

Midday Prayer

For Christian Unity

Lord Jesus Christ, at your Last Supper you prayed to the Father that all should be one. Send your Holy Spirit upon all who bear your name and seek to serve you. Strengthen our faith in you, and lead us to love one another in humility. May we who have been reborn in one baptism be united in one faith under one Shepherd. Amen J. Lindsey, Catholic Prayer Book  [15]


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

Jesus said, “I am the light of the world; whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

John 8:12
“Scoffers”
(source)

Evensong Reading: 2 Peter 3:1-7

Scoffers doubt God’s message

1 This is now the second letter that I am writing to you, beloved. In both of them I am stirring up your sincere mind by way of reminder, 2 that you should remember the predictions of the holy prophets and the commandment of the Lord and Savior through your apostles, 3 knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. 4 They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.” 5 For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, 6 and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. 7 But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.


† 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!

The Intrigue (1890) by James Ensor. Photograph: James Ensor/Courtesy Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp
(source)

Evensong Lesson

The behavior of cynical belief

Peter’s use of the word “beloved” in verse 1 “shows Peter’s close relationship with his readers and also his concern. It is a love born of Christ’s love for His people… Peter’s purpose is to arouse the people and to urge them not to neglect their faith but to remain in their understanding of what a true Christian life is.” [16]

By “predictions” (v. 2), Peter is referring to the Old Testament Scriptures, “which confirm the entire apostolic witness of Christ… Peter is placing apostolic teaching on the same level as the OT. Both are the inspired Word of God.” [17]

“The behavior of cynical unbelief,” of scoffers (v. 3), “goes hand in hand with self-indulgence and mockery of God’s work in the creation of the world… Scoffers overlook the fact that by the Word of God the heavens came into existence long ago out of nothing… The heavens and earth came into being, exist now, and are preserved only because God has so commanded and ordered all things. The heavens and earth are preserved through the Word of God alone.” [18]

“God’s Word created and preserves creation. That same Word will be the means by which He will bring about creation’s destruction… Fire is frequently used in the OT as a symbol of God’s punitive and destructive wrath, sometimes in connection with His final judgement… As with the flood, when God judged and destroyed the wicked but saved Noah and his family, so the end of the world will be a time of judgement on the ungodly and a time of deliverance for the faithful.” [19]

Evensong Prayer

Blessed are you, O Lord, the God of our fathers, creator of the changes of day and night, giving rest to the weary, renewing the strength of those who are spent, bestowing upon us occasions of song in the evening. As you have protected us in the day that is past, so be with us in the coming night; keep us from every sin, every evil, and every fear; for you are our light and salvation, and the strength of our life. To you be glory for endless ages. Amen. [20].

Concluding Prayer of the Church

The almighty and merciful Lord, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, bless us and keep us. Amen. [21]


Devotionals compiled/written by S.P. Rogers

Citations:

[1] Andrews, L. (n.d.). In the Morning. In Private Devotions and Manual for the Sick of Lancelot Andrewes (Kindle ed., p. 209). LEEAF.com Classics.

[2] The Hymnal 1982: According to the use of the Episcopal Church 135. Songs of thankfulness and praise. (n.d.). Retrieved January 18, 2021, from https://hymnary.org/hymn/EH1982/135

[3].Academic Community of St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology (2008). Jeremiah. In The Orthodox study Bible (p. 1195). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

[4] Ibid. 3

[5] Ibid. 3

[6] Ibid. 3

[7] Ibid. 3

[8] House, C. P. (2009). Jeremiah. In HOLY BIBLE: The lutheran study bible (p. 1240). St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing HSE.

[9] Ibid. 8

[10] Bellarmine, G. (2020). January 6: Prime. In The Roman Breviary in English, in Order, Every Day for October, November, December 2020 (Kindle ed., p. 316). Christian Books Today.

[11] Ibid. 10

[12] 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

[13] Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (2007). Jeremiah. In NKJV study Bible: New King James Version (Second ed., p. 1150). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

[14] Ibid. 13

[15] Church of England. (n.d.). Praying for Unity [PDF].

[16] House, C. P. (2009). 2 Peter. In HOLY BIBLE: The lutheran study bible (p. 2166). St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing HSE.

[17] Ibid. 16

[18] Ibid. 16

[19] Ibid, 16

[20] 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. 113). New York, NY: Church Publishing Incorporated

[21] 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.

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