March 8 Devotional (2021)

Blessed are those who dwell in your house, ever singing your praise! Selah

March 8, 2021
Lent

Today’s Readings: Psalm 84; 1 Kings 6:1-22; 1 Corinthians 3:10-23



Morning Invocation

The Lord is full of compassion and mercy: Come let us adore him.

Opening Prayer

Almighty and everlasting God, Who hast redeemed Thy people by the Blood of Thine only- begotten One, destroy the works of satan, burst the chains of sin, so that they who by the confession of Thy Holy Name have obtained eternal life, may owe nothing to the author of death. We pray this through our Lord Jesus Christ Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, One God world without end. R: Amen. [1]

The Hymn

“From deepest woe I cry to thee”

By Martin Luther, 1483-1546

Lyrics:

1. From deepest woe I cry to thee;

Lord, hear me, I implore thee!

Bend down thy gracious ear to me;

I lay my sins before thee.

If thou rememberest every sin,

if nought but just reward we win,

could we abide thy presence?

2. Thou grantest pardon through thy love;

thy grace alone availeth.

Our works could ne’er guild remove;

yea, e’en the best life faileth.

For none may boast themselves of aught,

but must confess thy grace hath wrought

whate’er in them is worthy.

3. And thus my hope is in the Lord,

and not in my own merit;

I rest upon his faithful word

to them of contrite spirit.

That he is merciful and just,

here is my comfort and my trust;

his help I wait with patience. [2]

Morning Reading: Psalm 84

How lovely is God’s dwelling place 

To the choirmaster: according to The Gittith.a A Psalm of the Sons of Korah.

1 How lovely is your dwelling place,

O LORD of hosts!

2 My soul longs, yes, faints

for the courts of the LORD;

my heart and flesh sing for joy

to the living God.

3 Even the sparrow finds a home,

and the swallow a nest for herself,

where she may lay her young,

at your altars, O LORD of hosts,

my King and my God.

4 Blessed are those who dwell in your house,

ever singing your praise! Selah

5 Blessed are those whose strength is in you,

in whose heart are the highways to Zion.b

6 As they go through the Valley of Baca

they make it a place of springs;

the early rain also covers it with pools.

7 They go from strength to strength;

each one appears before God in Zion.

8 O LORD God of hosts, hear my prayer;

give ear, O God of Jacob! Selah

9 Behold our shield, O God;

look on the face of your anointed!

10 For a day in your courts is better

than a thousand elsewhere.

I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God

than dwell in the tents of wickedness.

11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield;

the LORD bestows favor and honor.

No good thing does he withhold

from those who walk uprightly.

12 O LORD of hosts,

blessed is the one who trusts in you!

A maA person kneels in prayer outside a closed church during the coronavirus pandemic in Manila, Philippines, April 9. (CNS/Reuters/Eloisa Lopez)
(source)

Morning Lesson

Longing to return

“Someone who has been separated from the sanctuary, where God is rightly worshipped, now longs to return. Many homebound and shut-in Christians long for worship in God’s house,  yearning for the days they were strong enough to go.” [3] Others may have been hurt in a church setting and feel both lost without a church to call home and frightened to return. “Meanwhile, many other Christians, especially those in the height of their strength, neglect the worship of the Lord to their own detriment. God gives strength to His people (vv. 5-7) through the hearing of His Word, specifically through His Gospel promises of salvation on account of Christ. ●  Teach me to love the hearing of Your Word, O Lord, and the reception of Your gifts, that I may carry them to those in need. When I am separated from Your congregation, stir my desire to return again according to Your mercy. Amen.” [4]

Short Verse

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?* and are so far from my cry and from the words of my distress? O my God, I cry in the daytime, but you do not answer;* by night as well, but I find no rest. Yet you are the Holy One,* enthroned upon the praises of Israel. Our forefathers put their trust in you;* they trusted, and you delivered them. They cried out to you and were delivered;* they trusted in you and were not put to shame. 

Psalm 22:1–5

Morning Prayer

Almighty God, you know that we have no power in ourselves to help ourselves: Keep us both outwardly in our bodies and inwardly in our souls, that we may be defended from all adversities which may happen to the body, and from all evil thoughts which may assault and hurt the soul; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. [5]

The Plea of the Church

Look down in mercy, Lord, on your people who kneel before you; and grant that those whom you have nourished by your Word and Sacraments may bring forth fruit worthy of repentance; through Christ our Lord. Amen. [6]


A prayer inspired by St. Felix of Dunwich, Bishop of East Anglia, who we remember on March 8th

Everlasting God,

whose servant Felix. carried the good news of your Son

to the people of the East Angles

grant that we who commemorate his service

may know the hope of the gospel in our hearts

and manifest its light in all our ways;

through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,

who is alive and reigns with you,

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever. Amen



Plan of Solomon’s Temple, published 1905
(source)

Midday Reading: 1 Kings 6:1-22

Solomon builds a temple

1 In the four hundred and eightieth year after the people of Israel came out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, in the month of Ziv, which is the second month, he began to build the house of the LORD. 2 The house that King Solomon built for the LORD was sixty cubits long, twenty cubits wide, and thirty cubits high. 3 The vestibule in front of the nave of the house was twenty cubits long, equal to the width of the house, and ten cubits deep in front of the house. 4 And he made for the house windows with recessed frames. 5 He also built a structure against the wall of the house, running around the walls of the house, both the nave and the inner sanctuary. And he made side chambers all around. 6 The lowest story was five cubits broad, the middle one was six cubits broad, and the third was seven cubits broad. For around the outside of the house he made offsets on the wall in order that the supporting beams should not be inserted into the walls of the house.

7 When the house was built, it was with stone prepared at the quarry, so that neither hammer nor axe nor any tool of iron was heard in the house while it was being built.

8 The entrance for the lowest story was on the south side of the house, and one went up by stairs to the middle story, and from the middle story to the third. 9 So he built the house and finished it, and he made the ceiling of the house of beams and planks of cedar. 10 He built the structure against the whole house, five cubits high, and it was joined to the house with timbers of cedar.

11 Now the word of the LORD came to Solomon, 12 “Concerning this house that you are building, if you will walk in my statutes and obey my rules and keep all my commandments and walk in them, then I will establish my word with you, which I spoke to David your father. 13 And I will dwell among the children of Israel and will not forsake my people Israel.”14 So Solomon built the house and finished it. 15 He lined the walls of the house on the inside with boards of cedar. From the floor of the house to the walls of the ceiling, he covered them on the inside with wood, and he covered the floor of the house with boards of cypress. 16 He built twenty cubits of the rear of the house with boards of cedar from the floor to the walls, and he built this within as an inner sanctuary, as the Most Holy Place. 17 The house, that is, the nave in front of the inner sanctuary, was forty cubits long. 18 The cedar within the house was carved in the form of gourds and open flowers. All was cedar; no stone was seen. 19 The inner sanctuary he prepared in the innermost part of the house, to set there the ark of the covenant of the LORD. 20 The inner sanctuary was twenty cubits long, twenty cubits wide, and twenty cubits high, and he overlaid it with pure gold. He also overlaid an altar of cedar. 21 And Solomon overlaid the inside of the house with pure gold, and he drew chains of gold across, in front of the inner sanctuary, and overlaid it with gold. 22 And he overlaid the whole house with gold, until all the house was finished. Also the whole altar that belonged to the inner sanctuary he overlaid with gold.

[12]

Midday Lesson

Because the Lord dwelled there

The house was a type of the Church. The foundation stones speak of the twelve apostles, and Jesus Christ is the chief cornerstone (Eph 2:19, 20).” [7]

“The completion of the house was according to every word and mandate of the king. Likewise, the completion of the Church is based on ‘every word that proceeds from the mouth of God’ (Mt 4:4). His people live by these words.” [8]

The temple was built with stones finished at the quarry.  When they brought them to the temple site, they fit. Speaking of the Church, St. Paul writes, ‘the whole building being joined together grows into a holy temple of the Lord’ (Eph 2:21). Similarly, ‘you also as living stones are being built up a spiritual house’ (1Pt 2:5).  Christ Himself fashions these stones and brings them together.” [9]

“Even before Solomon finished the temple (vv. 9, 14; 9:1), God reminded him that there was no magical power that could impound Him within its walls. God would ‘dwell’ in this house only for the purpose of blessing the king and people according to his covenant promises.” [10]
The temple was made beautiful not as a show of riches but because the Lord dwelled there (8:25; 9:3). St. Paul calls the church ‘a dwelling place of God in the spirit’ (Eph 2:22).” [11]

Engraving of De templo Hierosolymitano from Jacob Judah Leon’s book on the subject, published by Johannes Saubertus (Latin Edition), Helmstadt, 1665, engraving, 6.1” x 4.3”, this artwork is in the public domain
(source)
About the above image:

“The Temple of Solomon has great significance in Jewish history since it was the first Jewish temple constructed in Jerusalem. Built by Salomon, King of the Israelites, in the 10th century BCE on the Temple Mount, it housed the Ark of the Covenant. The Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar destroyed the temple in 587 BCE.” [17]

“In the 17th century, an expatriate from Portugal, rabbi Jacob Judah Aryeh Leon Templo, who lived in Amsterdam, made plans to rebuild Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem.  He built a model of the temple and wrote a book to accompany his proposal that was translated into several languages and both toured around Europe.  Eventually, the model and the book would be exhibited before Charles II of England.” [18]

Short Verse

“My song is about loyalty and justice, and I sing it to you, O Lord. My conduct will be faultless. When will you come to me? I will live a pure life in my house and will never tolerate evil.”

Psalm 101:1-3

Midday Prayer

For Justice
Grant, O God, that your holy and life-giving Spirit may so move every human heart [and especially the hearts of the people of this land], that barriers which divide us may crumble, suspicions disappear, and hatreds cease; that our divisions being healed, we may live in justice and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. [13]



Emily Carr, Indian Church, 1929, oil on canvas. Bequest of Charles S. Band, Toronto, 1970. 
(source)

Evensong Reading: 1 Corinthians 3:10-23

You are God’s temple

10 According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. 11 For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— 13 each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. 14 If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. 15 If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.

16 Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you? 17 If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy him. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.

18 Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you thinks that he is wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. 19 For the wisdom of this world is folly with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their craftiness,” 20 and again, “The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise, that they are futile.” 21 So let no one boast in men. For all things are yours, 22 whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas or the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours, 23 and you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s.

Evensong Lesson

The body of Christ

“The wisdom of the world (v. 19) is attractive and reasonable, and on the surface appears to be true. But such earthly wisdom denies God and leads us away from Him – not to fulfilment, but to death. True wisdom and life are found only in Christ, in our total abandonment to the love of God and neighbor.” [14]

Yours and you [in verses 18-20] are plural. They refer not to the individual but to the corporate Church. The Church possesses the whole, all things, because the Church is the body of Christ – His perfect and glorified humanity – and Christ is God. Individual opinion in doctrine and private interpretation of Scripture that stand apart from… apostolic tradition [from apostolic teaching], are marks of worldly wisdom.” [15]

Short Verse

So we fasted and implored our God for this, and he listened to our entreaty. 

Ezra 8:23

Evensong Prayer

LORD JESUS CHRIST, Son of the living God, we pray you to set your passion, cross, and death between your judgment and our souls, now and in the hour of our death. Give mercy and grace to the living; pardon and rest to the dead; to your holy Church, peace and concord; and to us sinners everlasting life and glory; for with the Father and the Holy Spirit, you live and reign, one God, now and for ever. Amen.



‘Eddystone Lighthouse, During a Storm’
By William Daniell
(source)

The Aidan Compline 

(from the Northumbria Community’s Daily Prayers [16])

+ indicates that you may make the sign of the cross. 

* indicates a change of reader. 

All say together the sections in bold type. 

The words in bold italic type set between lines should be said by each in turn. 

+ (silently.)

*  O Christ, Son of the living God, 

may Your holy angels guard our sleep, 

may they watch over us as we rest 

and hover around our beds. *  

Let them reveal to us in our dreams 

visions of Your glorious truth, 

O High Prince of the universe, 

O High Priest of the mysteries. 

*  May no dreams disturb our rest 

and no nightmares darken our dreams. 

May no fears or worries delay 

our willing, prompt repose. 

*  May the virtue of our daily work 

hallow our nightly prayers. 

May our sleep be deep and soft 

so our work be fresh and hard. 

I will lie down and sleep in peace 

for You alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety. 

My dear ones, O God, bless Thou and keep, 

in every place where they are. 

*  Into Your hands I commit my spirit; 

I give it to You with all the love of my heart. 

*  How precious to me are Your thoughts, O God! 

How vast is the sum of them! 

Were I to count them, 

they would outnumber the grains of sand. 

When I awake, I am still with You. 

I make the cross of Christ upon my breast, 

+  over the tablet of my hard heart, 

and I beseech the Living God of the universe – 

may the Light of Lights come 

to my dark heart from Thy place; 

may the Spirit’s wisdom come to my heart’s tablet 

from my Saviour. 

*  Christ without sin, Christ of wounds, 

I am placing my soul and my body 

under Thy guarding this night, 

Christ of the poor, Christ of tears. 

Thy cross be my shielding this night, 

O Thou Son of tears, of the wounds, of the piercing. 

I am going now into the sleep: 

O be it in Thy dear arm’s keep, 

O God of grace, that I shall awake. 

*  My Christ! my Christ! 

my shield, my encircler, 

each day, each night, 

each light, each dark. 

*  My Christ! my Christ! 

my shield, my encircler, 

each day, each night, 

each light, each dark. 

Be near me, uphold me, 

my treasure, my triumph. 

Circle me, Lord, 

keep protection near 

and danger afar. 

*  Circle me, Lord, 

keep light near 

and darkness afar. 

*  Circle me, Lord, 

keep peace within; 

keep evil out.

The peace of all peace be mine this night 

+  in the name of the Father, 

and of the Son, 

and of the Holy Spirit. 

Amen.


Devotionals compiled/written by S.P. Rogers

Citations:

[1] WOOD, F. M. (2016). LITURGY OF SAINT JOHN THE DIVINE (Kindle ed.). Kellbridge Press.

[2] The hymnal 1982: According to the use of the Episcopal church 151. FROM deepest woe I cry to thee. (n.d.). Retrieved February 06, 2021, from https://hymnary.org/hymn/EH1982/151

[3] House, C. P. (2009). Psalms. In HOLY BIBLE: The lutheran study bible (p. 929). St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing HSE.

[4] Ibid. 3

[5] 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. 218). New York, NY: Church Publishing Incorporated.

[6] The Episcopal Church. (2018). Seasonal Blessings. In The Book of Occasional Services (PDF ed., p. 11). Then Episcopal Church. Retrieved November December 15, 2020, from https://episcopalchurch.org/files/lm_book_of_occasional_services_2018.pdf

[7] Academic Community of St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology (2008). 3 Kingdoms. In The Orthodox study Bible (p. 453). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

[8] Ibid. 7

[9] Ibid. 7

[10] House, C. P. (2009). 1 Kings. In HOLY BIBLE: The lutheran study bible (p. 540). St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing HSE.

[11] Academic Community of St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology (2008). 3 Kingdoms. In The Orthodox study Bible (p. 453). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

[12] House, C. P. (2009). Solomon’s Temple [Image]. In HOLY BIBLE: The lutheran study bible (p. 541). St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing HSE.

[13] Episcopal Church. (1979). Prayers and Thanksgivings. 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. 823). New York, NY: Church Publishing Incorporated.

[14] Academic Community of St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology (2008). 1 Corinthians. In The Orthodox study Bible (p. 1591). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

[15] Ibid. 14

[16] The Northumbria Community. (2015). Aiden Compline. In Celtic Daily Prayer (Kindle ed., p. 92076-92131). London: HarperCollins.

[17] Coleman, B., & Coleman, S. (2013, May 01). Rebuilding Solomon’s Temple: The Art minute. Retrieved March 04, 2021, from http://www.the-art-minute.com/rebuilding-solomons-temple/

[18] Ibid. 17

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