March 10 Devotional (2021)

And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold and those who bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons.

March 10, 2021

Today’s Readings: Ezra 6:1-18; Mark 11:15-19; Christ’s Mirror by Christian Rossetti

Morning Invocation

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

Opening Prayer

May the Father forgive us, may the Son pardon us, and may the Holy Ghost have mercy upon us. I pray to Thee, O Father; I beseech Thy prayers, O Son; I plead to Thee, O Holy Ghost. [1]

The Hymn

“Hail, O Once Despised Jesus” 

By John Bakewell


Hail, O once despised Jesus! 

Hail, O Galilean King! 

You suffered to release us; 

Free salvation did you bring: 

Hail, O agonizing Savior, 

Bearer of our sin and shame! 

By Your merits we find favor; 

Life is given through Your Name. 

Paschal Lamb, by God appointed, 

All our sins on You were laid; 

By almighty love anointed, 

You have full atonement made: 

All Your people are forgiven, 

Through the virtue of Your blood; 

Opened is the gate of heaven, 

Made is peace ’tween man and God. 

Worship, honor, power, and blessing, 

You are worthy to receive; 

Loudest praises, without ceasing, 

Right it is for us to give: 

Help, you bright angelic spirits, 

Bring your sweetest, noblest ways; 

Help to sing our Savior’s merits, 

Help to chant Immanuel’s praise. [2]

The relief stone of Darius the Great in the Behistun Inscription

Morning Reading: Ezra 6:1-18

King Darius orders the temple rebuilt

1 Then Darius the king made a decree, and search was made in Babylonia, in the house of the archives where the documents were stored. 2 And in Ecbatana, the citadel that is in the province of Media, a scroll was found on which this was written: “A record. 3 In the first year of Cyrus the king, Cyrus the king issued a decree: Concerning the house of God at Jerusalem, let the house be rebuilt, the place where sacrifices were offered, and let its foundations be retained. Its height shall be sixty cubitsa and its breadth sixty cubits, 4 with three layers of great stones and one layer of timber. Let the cost be paid from the royal treasury. 5 And also let the gold and silver vessels of the house of God, which Nebuchadnezzar took out of the temple that is in Jerusalem and brought to Babylon, be restored and brought back to the temple that is in Jerusalem, each to its place. You shall put them in the house of God.”

6 “Now therefore, Tattenai, governor of the province Beyond the River, Shethar-bozenai, and your associates the governors who are in the province Beyond the River, keep away. 7 Let the work on this house of God alone. Let the governor of the Jews and the elders of the Jews rebuild this house of God on its site. 8 Moreover, I make a decree regarding what you shall do for these elders of the Jews for the rebuilding of this house of God. The cost is to be paid to these men in full and without delay from the royal revenue, the tribute of the province from Beyond the River. 9 And whatever is needed—bulls, rams, or sheep for burnt offerings to the God of heaven, wheat, salt, wine, or oil, as the priests at Jerusalem require—let that be given to them day by day without fail, 10 that they may offer pleasing sacrifices to the God of heaven and pray for the life of the king and his sons. 11 Also I make a decree that if anyone alters this edict, a beam shall be pulled out of his house, and he shall be impaled on it, and his house shall be made a dunghill. 12 May the God who has caused his name to dwell there overthrow any king or people who shall put out a hand to alter this, or to destroy this house of God that is in Jerusalem. I Darius make a decree; let it be done with all diligence.”

13 Then, according to the word sent by Darius the king, Tattenai, the governor of the province Beyond the River, Shethar-bozenai, and their associates did with all diligence what Darius the king had ordered. 14 And the elders of the Jews built and prospered through the prophesying of Haggai the prophet and Zechariah the son of Iddo. They finished their building by decree of the God of Israel and by decree of Cyrus and Darius and Artaxerxes king of Persia; 15 and this house was finished on the third day of the month of Adar, in the sixth year of the reign of Darius the king.

16 And the people of Israel, the priests and the Levites, and the rest of the returned exiles, celebrated the dedication of this house of God with joy. 17 They offered at the dedication of this house of God 100 bulls, 200 rams, 400 lambs, and as a sin offering for all Israel 12 male goats, according to the number of the tribes of Israel. 18 And they set the priests in their divisions and the Levites in their divisions, for the service of God at Jerusalem, as it is written in the Book of Moses.

Morning Lesson

God’s people rejoiced

“Many clay and papyrus documents recording business transactions and historical data have been discovered in this area (near present-day Syria). A great library and archives with thousands of such records was also discovered at Ebla in Syria.” [3]

“The emperor Darius approve[d] the building of the temple, sponsor[ed] its sacrifices, and curse[ed] those who would interfere. The God of heaven [had] so radically changed the circumstances that the government that opposed the project [became] its sponsor. Today, do not fail to offer prayers for your officials. Who knows what changes God may bring? Above all, offer thanks to Him for your salvation by Jesus’ sacrifice. ●  Great God of heaven, bless our officials and guide their service for the benefit of Your church. Amen.” [4]

“Ezra carefully pointed out that rebuilding the Temple was commanded first by God and then by the kings, who were His instruments. How ironic and wonderful that God’s work was carried on by the discovery of a lost paragraph in a pagan library. All the opposition of powerful forces was stopped by a clause in a legal document. God’s will is supreme over all rulers… The Temple was completed in 515 B.C.” [5]

“God’s people rejoice[d] in the atonement for all Israel, celebrated at the dedication of the Jerusalem temple. This week, praise God for the blessings of forgiveness you hear and receive in your congregation.There is no greater cause of joy than the pardon of our heavenly king. ●  ‘I was glad when they said to me let us go to the house of the Lord.’ (Ps 122:1) Amen.” [6]

The Cry of the Church

O God, come to my assistance! 

O Lord, make haste to help me!

Morning Prayer

Almighty and everlasting God, who alone works great marvels: Send down upon our clergy and the congregations committed to their charge the life-giving Spirit of your grace, shower them with the continual dew of your blessing, and ignite in them a zealous love of your Gospel; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

The Plea of the Church

Look mercifully on this your family, Almighty God, that by your great goodness they may be governed and preserved evermore; through Christ our Lord. Amen. [7]

A prayer inspired by the forty martyrs of Sebaste, who we remember on March 10th

O Almighty God, by whose grace and power thy holy martyrs of Sebaste triumphed over suffering and were faithful even unto death: Grant us, who now remember them with thanksgiving, to be so faithful in our witness to thee in this world, that we may receive with them the crown of life; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

“Driving of the Merchants From the Temple” 
by Scarsellino

Midday Reading: Mark 11:15-19

Jesus cleanses the temple

15 And they came to Jerusalem. And he entered the temple and began to drive out those who sold and those who bought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons. 16 And he would not allow anyone to carry anything through the temple. 17 And he was teaching them and saying to them, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? But you have made it a den of robbers.” 18 And the chief priests and the scribes heard it and were seeking a way to destroy him, for they feared him, because all the crowd was astonished at his teaching. 19 And when evening came they went out of the city.

Cleansing of the Temple. 
Unknown artist

Midday Lesson

The need for the Church to be kept clean

Those who bought and sold were trading in live animals to be used for sacrifices. The money changers traded Roman coins for Jewish coins since Roman coins, which bore the image of Caesar, were considered defiling in the temple. The cleansing of the temple also points to the necessity that the Church be kept free from earthly pursuits. As each person is considered a temple of God (1Co 3:16; 6:19), it is also a sign that our hearts and minds must be cleansed of earthly matters.” [8]

“As prophesied in Mal 3:1-5, Jesus purifie[d] the temple of those who use religion to line their pockets. He [did] so in the temple court where genuine worship [had] been disrupted. Today, Jesus challenges us to eliminate all such barriers to God’s Word in our lives and in our congregations. He is the proper focus of our prayers, the reason for our service; He hallows us as the temple of His Holy Spirit. ● ‘Your name be hallowed. Help us, Lord, In purity to keep Your Word, That to the glory of Your name We walk before You free from blame. Let no false teaching us pervert; All poor deluded souls convert.’ Amen.” [9]

Casting out the money changers 
by Giotto

Short Verse

The fool has said in his heart, “There is no God.” 

Psalm 14:1

Midday Prayer

For the President of the United States and all in Civil Authority

O Lord our Governor, whose glory is in all the world: We commend this nation to thy merciful care, that, being guided by thy Providence, we may dwell secure in thy peace. Grant to the President of the United States, the Governor of this State (or Commonwealth), and to all in authority, wisdom and strength to know and to do thy will. Fill them with the love of truth and righteousness, and make them ever mindful of their calling to serve this people in thy fear; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen. [10]

The Blessed Virgin

Vespers Reading

Christ’s Mirror 

By Christina Rossetti

Herself a rose, who bore the Rose, 

        She bore the Rose and felt its thorn, 

        All Loveliness new-born 

Took on her bosom its repose, 

        And slept and woke there night and morn. 

Lily herself, she bore the one 

        Fair Lily; sweeter, whiter, far 

        Than she or others are: 

The Sun of Righteousness her Son, 

        She was His morning star. 

She gracious, He essential Grace, 

        He was the fountain, she the rill: 

        Her goodness to fulfill 

And gladness, with proportioned pace 

        He led her steps through good and ill. 

Christ’s mirror she of grace and love, 

        Of beauty and of life and death: 

        By hope and love and faith 

Transfigured to His Likeness “Dove, 

        Spouse, Sister, Mother,” Jesus saith. [11]

Short Verse

Jonah began to go into the city, going a day’s journey. And he called out, “Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown!” 

Jonah 3:4

Vespers Prayer

O God,

you do not desire the death of sinners, 

but you want them to turn to you and live. 

Look with pity on the weakness of our mortal nature. 

We confess that we are but ashes,

and for our wickedness we deserve to return to the dust. 

Forgive all our sins,

and give us the blessings that come with true repentance; 

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen. [12]

“Dark Street”
By Veronika Bednarova

The Felgild Compline 

(from the Northumbria Community’s Daily Prayers [13])

+ 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.) 

Calm me, O Lord, as You stilled the storm. 

Still me, O Lord, keep me from harm. 

Let all the tumult within me cease. 

Enfold me, Lord, in Your peace. 

*  Father, bless the work that is done, and the work that is to be.

*  Father, bless the servant that I am, and the servant that I will be. 

Thou Lord and God of power, 

shield and sustain me this night. 

I will lie down this night with God, 

and God will lie down with me; 

I will lie down this night with Christ, 

and Christ will lie down with me; 

I will lie down this night with the Spirit, 

and the Spirit will lie down with me; 

O God and Christ and the Spirit, 

be lying down with me. 

*  The peace of God be over me to shelter me, 

*  under me to uphold me, 

*  about me to protect me, 

*  behind me to direct me, 

*  ever with me to save me. 

The peace of all peace be mine this night 

+  in the name of the Father, 

and of the Son, 

and of the Holy Spirit. 


Devotionals compiled/written by S.P. Rogers


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

[2] Tickle, P. (2006). March. In The divine hours: Prayers for Springtime (Kindle ed., vol. 2, p. 170). New York, NY: Image Books

[3] Tyndale House Publishers. (2012). Ezra. In Chronological life application study Bible (p. 1173). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Pub.

[4] House, C. P. (2009). Ezra. In HOLY BIBLE: The lutheran study bible (p. 729). St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing HSE.

[5] Tyndale House Publishers. (2012). Ezra. In Chronological life application study Bible (p. 1181). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Pub.

[6] House, C. P. (2009). Ezra. In HOLY BIBLE: The lutheran study bible (p. 729). St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing HSE.

[7] 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

[8] Academic Community of St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology (2008). Matthew. In The Orthodox study Bible (p. 1340). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

[9] House, C. P. (2009). Mark. In HOLY BIBLE: The lutheran study bible (p. 1682). St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing HSE.

[10] 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. 820). New York, NY: Church Publishing Incorporated.

[11] Tickle, P. (2006). February Compline. In The divine hours: Prayers for Springtime (Kindle ed., vol. 2, p. 140). New York, NY: Image Books.

[12] Stratman, P. (2001). Lent. In Prayers from the Ancient Celtic Church (Kindle ed., p. 75). Rossway.

[13] The Northumbria Community. (2015). Felgild Compline. In Celtic Daily Prayer (Kindle ed., p. 92215-92229). London: HarperCollins.

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