March 15 Devotional (2021)

“And he cried to the LORD, and the LORD showed him a log, and he threw it into the water, and the water became sweet…”

March 15, 2021
Lent

Today’s Readings: Psalm 107:1-16; Exodus 15:22-27; Hebrews 3:1-6



Morning Invocation

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

Opening Prayer

Protect us this day,

O Lord, holy Father, 

almighty and eternal God,

and in your compassion and mercy,

help and guide us. 

Enlighten our hearts 

and keep our thoughts, words, and works 

pleasing in your sight,

that we may do your will 

and walk in your path of righteousness 

our whole life long. 

Amen. [1]

The Hymn

“Throw Out the Lifeline”

By Edward Ufford


“Baguette”
(source)

Morning Reading: Psalm 107:1-16

God gives food and light

O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;

for his steadfast love endures forever.

Let the redeemed of the Lord say so,

those he redeemed from trouble

and gathered in from the lands,

from the east and from the west,

from the north and from the south.

Some wandered in desert wastes,

finding no way to an inhabited town;

hungry and thirsty,

their soul fainted within them.

Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,

and he delivered them from their distress;

he led them by a straight way,

until they reached an inhabited town.

Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love,

for his wonderful works to humankind.

For he satisfies the thirsty,

and the hungry he fills with good things.

Some sat in darkness and in gloom,

prisoners in misery and in irons,

for they had rebelled against the words of God,

and spurned the counsel of the Most High.

Their hearts were bowed down with hard labor;

they fell down, with no one to help.

Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble,

and he saved them from their distress;

he brought them out of darkness and gloom,

and broke their bonds asunder.

Let them thank the Lord for his steadfast love,

for his wonderful works to humankind.

For he shatters the doors of bronze,

and cuts in two the bars of iron.

Short Verse

Hear my voice, O LORD, according to your loving-kindness;* according to your judgments, give me life. 

Psalm 119:149

Morning Prayer

Gracious Father, whose blessed Son Jesus Christ came down from heaven to be the true bread which gives life to the world: Evermore give us this bread, that he may live in us, and we in him; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. [3]

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. [4]



“Floating Log”
By Ramona Kraemer-Dobson
(source)

Midday Reading: Exodus 15:22-27

God gives the people water

22 Then Moses made Israel set out from the Red Sea, and they went into the wilderness of Shur. They went three days in the wilderness and found no water. 23 When they came to Marah, they could not drink the water of Marah because it was bitter; therefore it was named Marah. 24 And the people complained against Moses, saying, “What shall we drink?” 25 And he cried to the LORD, and the LORD showed him a log, and he threw it into the water, and the water became sweet.

There the LORD made for them a statute and a rule, and there he tested them, 26 saying, “If you will diligently listen to the voice of the LORD your God, and do that which is right in his eyes, and give ear to his commandments and keep all his statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you that I put on the Egyptians, for I am the LORD, your healer.”

27 Then they came to Elim, where there were twelve springs of water and seventy palm trees, and they encamped there by the water.

“Water in Desert”
By Steve Carro
(source)

Midday Lesson

Water brings life

“Hagar had been found by the Angel of the Lord by a spring on the way to Sur (Gen. 16:7; see 20:1; 25:18). The life of water in this area would prove a constant test of Israel’s faith in the God who had so miraculously rescued them.” [5]

“The waters of Marah were called Bitterness which describes man’s condition apart from the grace of Christ.” [6]

“The verb complained [v. 24]… expresses dissatisfaction. It is sometimes rendered ‘to murmur’ (16:2, 7; Num. 14:2; 16:11; 17:5). The people’s recent deliverance from the Egyptian armies makes this complaint seem fickle and a true test of God’s mercy. We are often like the Israelites, turning from praise to complaint far too easily.” [7]

“The tree cast into the waters made them fit for the people to drink. This tree speaks of the Cross of Christ in baptism [St. Ambrose of Milan]. For the Cross is baptism, and baptism is the Cross. The Cross is in the baptismal water, and the baptismal water is in the Cross. This is what baptism saves man (1Pt 3:21).” [8] “The use of the tree made the miracle of cleansing easier to perceive.” [9]

“As God had transformed the bitterness of the waters of Marah, so He promised to preserve His people from illness (see 23:25).” [10] The descriptive phrase I am the LORD, your healer [v. 26] “testifies to the mercy and power of God. It is still true: all healing comes from the Lord.” [11] “God heals those who hear His voice and obey Him [v. 26].” [12]

“Elim [v. 27] means ‘Place of Trees.’ The wells and palm trees of Elim were a welcome relief from the barrenness of the wasteland. Many times the Bible compares wells and springs to salvation and palm trees to blessing (see Ps.1). Elim is probably Wadi Gharandal, near the traditional (southerly) site of Mount Sinai.” [13]

“Israel camped by twelve fountains of water and seventy palm trees. Similarly, the Twelve Apostles of Christ were twelve fountains of spiritual water, which quenches the thirst of those who seek the true God. Also, Christ sent forth the seventy to provide heavenly shade from desert heat.” [14]


OPTIONAL FURTHER READING:
Overview of Exodus 15:22–17:15

“As they journey from the Red Sea toward Sinai, the people’s mood of celebration over the Lord’s victory shifts to a basic concern for their hunger and thirst, and the Lord meets their needs. Having demonstrated the Lord’s superiority to Pharaoh in power, the narrative now demonstrates that the Lord provides for the Israelites. When they complain because they are thirsty, the Lord enables Moses to purify bitter water (15:22–25). When they experience hunger, they protest against Moses, wishing to have died in Egypt where they had food (16:1–3). The Lord responds by beginning a supply of manna and quail that will continue throughout their forty-year sojourn, and doing so in a way that teaches them to observe the Sabbath (16:4–36). Suffering from thirst again, they angrily accuse Moses of bringing them into the wilderness to die, and they question whether the Lord is with them (17:1–7).” [15]

“In this last incident, the narrative says that the people “tested” the Lord. Such testing is considered problematic not because the people complain when they are hungry or thirsty, but because they question whether the Lord is with them. In this regard, however, the dynamics of Israelite religion are paradoxical. In Deuteronomy and the Psalms, the story of Meribah and Massah (Ex 17:1–7) is employed as a negative example intended to admonish the people to trust God in the present (Dt 6:16; 9:22; 33:8; Ps 95:8–9). At the same time, other psalms and other biblical poetry actually provide language for questioning and protesting against God. Taken together, these multiple voices allow for protest against God, while continually and strenuously inviting trust in God.” [16]

“The notion of testing is also applied to the Lord. Now that the Lord has rescued the people from oppressive slavery, the idea of whether they will follow the Lord’s instructions emerges with the theme of the Lord’s testing them to find out (Ex 15:25–26; 16:4). To portray the Lord as testing people through certain experiences of difficulty could help people to consider those situations as opportunities to persevere in trusting God, anticipating an eventual end to the difficulty. As with the metaphor of God as judge, the metaphor of God testing people does not imply malevolence.” [17]

Short Verse

Here is a saying you can rely on: If we have died with him, then we shall live with him. If we persevere, then we shall reign with him. If we disown him, then he will disown us. If we are faithless, he is faithful still, for he can not disown his own self. 

2 Timothy 2:11–13

Midday Prayer

For Courts of Justice
Almighty God, who sittest in the throne judging right: We humbly beseech thee to bless the courts of justice and the magistrates in all this land; and give unto them the spirit of wisdom and understanding, that they may discern the truth, and impartially administer the law in the fear of thee alone; through him who shall come to be our Judge, thy Son our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen. [18]



“In the eyes of Moses”
By Macgyvr
(source)

Vespers Reading: Hebrews 3:1-6

The faithfulness of Moses

1 Therefore, holy brothers, you who share in a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession, 2 who was faithful to him who appointed him, just as Moses also was faithful in all God’s house. 3 For Jesus has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses—as much more glory as the builder of a house has more honor than the house itself. 4 (For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God.) 5 Now Moses was faithful in all God’s house as a servant, to testify to the things that were to be spoken later, 6 but Christ is faithful over God’s house as a son. And we are his house, if indeed we hold fast our confidence and our boasting in our hope.

Vespers Lesson

Moses glorifies Christ

“Christians are holy brethren; to be in Christ as a heavenly calling, one that separates those in Christ from those who have not heeded His call.” [19] As sharers [v. 1], our heavenly calling “is to inherit salvation (1:14) and future glory in Christ (2:10).” [20]

“The author of Hebrews invites Jewish believers to consider the faithfulness of Christ Jesus. Apostle means ‘one who is sent.’ This is the only passage in the NT that labels Jesus as the Apostle. The title indicates that Jesus was ‘sent’ by God to reveal the Father.” [21] “As Apostle and High Priest, Christ is both God’s representative to man and man’s mediator before God. In Him the offices of prophet and priest- of Moses and Aaron – are combined.” [22] 

The phrase in all God’s house “is taken from Num. 12:17. House refers to the tabernacle, the center of Israelite worship. Moses had faithfully obeyed God’s instructions concerning the tabernacle. In the same way, Jesus had been obedient to the mission the Father had given Him. Through his obedience God established a new house of God the church.Through His obedience, God established a new house of God, the Church.” [23]

“The glory of the building goes to the architect rather than to the structure itself. Thus, Moses (v. 5) glorifies Christ, and the Church is consecrated to the glory of God, whose house we are (v. 6).” [24]

Short Verse

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,* for his mercy endures for ever. Give thanks to the God of gods,* for his mercy endures for ever. Give thanks to the Lord of lords,* for his mercy endures for ever. 

Psalm 136:1-3

Vespers Prayer

May God, the Lord, bless us with heavenly benediction, and make us pure and holy in his sight. May the riches of his glory abound in us. May He instruct us with the word of truth, inform us with the Gospel of salvation, and enrich us with his love, Through Jesus Christ, our Lord. 

Gelasian Sacramentary [25]


“Sleep”
1877

By Abbott Handerson Thayer (American, 1849–1921)
(source)

The Aidan Compline 

(from the Northumbria Community’s Daily Prayers [26])

+ 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] Stratman, P. (2001). Morning Prayers. In Prayers from the Ancient Celtic Church (Kindle ed., p. 13). Rossway.

[2] Tickle, P. (2006). March. In The divine hours: Prayers for Springtime (Kindle ed., vol. 2, p. 187-188). New York, NY: Image Books

[3] 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. 219). New York, NY: Church Publishing Incorporated.

[4] 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

[5] Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (2007). Exodus. In NKJV study Bible: New King James Version (Second ed., p. 116). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

[6] Academic Community of St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology (2008). Exodus. In The Orthodox study Bible (p. 146). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

[7] Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (2007). Exodus. In NKJV study Bible: New King James Version (Second ed., p. 116). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

[8] Academic Community of St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology (2008). Exodus. In The Orthodox study Bible (p. 146). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

[9] Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (2007). Exodus. In NKJV study Bible: New King James Version (Second ed., p. 116). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

[10] Ibid. 9

[11] Ibid. 9

[12] Academic Community of St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology (2008). Exodus. In The Orthodox study Bible (p. 146). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

[13] Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (2007). Exodus. In NKJV study Bible: New King James Version (Second ed., p. 116). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

[14] Academic Community of St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology (2008). Exodus. In The Orthodox study Bible (p. 146). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

[15] Senior, D., Collins, J. J., & Getty-Sullivan, M. A. (2016). Exodus. In The Catholic study Bible: The New American Bible, revised edition, translated from the original languages with critical use of all the ancient sources (Third ed., p. 273). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

[16] Ibid. 15, P. 274

[17] Ibid. 15, P. 274

[18] 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. 821). New York, NY: Church Publishing Incorporated.

[19] Academic Community of St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology (2008). Hebrews. In The Orthodox study Bible (p. 1686). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

[20] Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (2007). Hebrews. In NKJV study Bible: New King James Version (Second ed., p. 1949). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

[21] Ibid. 20

[22] Academic Community of St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology (2008). Hebrews. In The Orthodox study Bible (p. 1686). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

[23] Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (2007). Hebrews. In NKJV study Bible: New King James Version (Second ed., p. 1949). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

[24] Academic Community of St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology (2008). Hebrews. In The Orthodox study Bible (p. 1686). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

[25] Tickle, P. (2006). February. In The divine hours: Prayers for Springtime (Kindle ed., vol. 2, p. 56). New York, NY: Image Books


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

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