May 20 Devotional (2021)

We bear Christ’s image.


A prayer inspired by Alcuin, Deacon and Abbot of Tours, who the Church remembers on May 20th

Almighty God, who in a rude and barbarous age didst raise up Thy deacon Alcuin to rekindle the light of learning: Illumine our minds, we pray thee, that amid the uncertainties and confusions of our own time we may show forth thine eternal truth, through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


May 20, 2021
Eastertide

Today’s readings: Psalm 33:12-22 ; Genesis 2:4b-7 ; 1 Corinthians 15:42b-49


Invitatory

Alleluia! Christ is risen.

The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia!

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. Amen. 

Alleluia!

Opening Prayer

Most merciful Father, You know our needs and the longings of our soul: Hear the prayers of those who have come here today to search Your Word. For those of us who come feeling broken, bring restoration. For those who come feeling weak, bring strength. For those who come weeping and filled with sorrow, bring joy and hope. For those who come with affliction, bring comfort and reprieve. For those who come with doubts, bring faith. For those who come feeling shame, bring liberation. For those who come feeling burdened, bring rest. For those who come feeling anxious, bring peace. This we ask through Your Son Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Hymn

“Awake, arise, lift up your voice”

By Christopher Smart, 1722-1771

(1982 Hymnal # 212)

Lyrics [1]:

1. Awake, arise, lift up your voice,

let Easter music swell;

rejoice in Christ, again rejoice,

and on his praises dwell.

2. Oh, with what gladness and surprise

the saints their Savior greet;

nor will they trust their ears and eyes

but by his hands and feet,

3. those hands of liberal love indeed

in infinite degree,

those feet still free to move and bleed

for millions and for me.

4. His enemies had sealed the stone

as Pilate gave them leave,

lest dead and friendless and alone

he should their skill deceive.

5. O Dead arise! O Friendless stand

by seraphim adored!

O Solitude again command

your host from heaven restored!



Morning Prayer

A Collect for Guidance

Heavenly Father, in you we live and move and have our being: We humbly pray you so to guide and govern us by your Holy Spirit, that in all the cares and occupations of our life we may not forget you, but may remember that we are ever walking in your sight; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. [2]

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. Amen. 

Alleluia!

Short Verse

Come now and look upon the works of the LORD,* what awesome things he has done on earth. 

Psalm 46:9

Morning Reading: Psalm 33:12-22

Our help and our shield

Happy is the nation whose God is the Lord,

the people whom he has chosen as his heritage.

The Lord looks down from heaven;

he sees all humankind.

From where he sits enthroned he watches

all the inhabitants of the earth—

he who fashions the hearts of them all,

and observes all their deeds.

A king is not saved by his great army;

a warrior is not delivered by his great strength.

The war horse is a vain hope for victory,

and by its great might it cannot save.

Truly the eye of the Lord is on those who fear him,

on those who hope in his steadfast love,

to deliver their soul from death,

and to keep them alive in famine.

Our soul waits for the Lord;

he is our help and shield.

Our heart is glad in him,

because we trust in his holy name.

Let your steadfast love, O Lord, be upon us,

even as we hope in you.



Midday Prayer

For the Sick

Heavenly Father, giver of life and health: Comfort and relieve thy sick servants, and give thy power of healing to those who minister to their needs, that those (or N., or NN.) for whom our prayers are offered may be strengthened in their weakness and have confidence in thy loving care; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. [3]

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. Amen. 

Alleluia!

Short Verse

You are the LORD, most high over all the earth;* you are exalted far above all gods. 

Psalm 97:9
The Creation of Man – Hands by Michelangelo Buonarotti
(source)

Midday Reading: Genesis 2:4b-7

God breathes life into humankind

4 These are the generations

of the heavens and the earth when they were created,

in the day that the LORD God made the earth and the heavens.

5 When no bush of the field was yet in the land and no small plant of the field had yet sprung up—for the LORD God had not caused it to rain on the land, and there was no man to work the ground, 6 and a mist was going up from the land and was watering the whole face of the ground— 7 then the LORD God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.

Midday Lesson

We are of the dust of the ground.

“God formed Adam’s body out of dust from the ground. The breath of life is the grace of the Holy Spirit, the Giver of Life (Creed). God breathed the breath of life into man’s body, and he became a living soul. Therefore, Adam was a living soul because he possessed a body, a soul, and the grace of the Holy Spirit.” [4]

“When He rose from the dead, Jesus breathed on His disciples, and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit’ (Jn 20:22). For man failed to keep the grace of the Holy Spirit,” after the fall. [5] As disciples of Christ, our “responsibility is to live by this grace.” [6]

That we are of the dust of the ground “implies that there is nothing fancy about the chemical elements making up our bodies. The body is a lifeless shell until God brings it alive with his ‘breath of life.’ When God removes his life-giving breath, our bodies once again return to dust. Our lives and worth, therefore, come from God’s Spirit. Many boast of their achievements and abilities as though they were the originator of their own strengths. Others feel worthless because their abilities do not stand out. In reality, our worth comes not from our achievements but from the God of the universe, who chooses to give us the mysterious and miraculous gift of life. Value life, as he does.” [7]



Eventide Prayer

For Sleep.

Grant, O Lord, to me that am lying down to sleep, rest both of body and soul. Preserve me from the dismal sleep of sin, from all the black defiling pleasures of the night. Quench the fiery darts of the evil one which he aims craftily against me. Subdue the rebellions of my flesh, and lay asleep in me all earthly and worldly thoughts, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

~ William Laud, Abp of Canterbury and Martyr [8]

Short Verse

I will confess you among the peoples, O LORD;* I will sing praise to you among the nations. For your loving-kindness is greater than the heavens,* and your faithfulness reaches to the clouds. 

Psalm 57:9–10
 “Girl at a Mirror”
By Normal Rockwell
(source)

Evensong Reading: 1 Corinthians 15:42b-49

We bear Christ’s image

42 So is it with the resurrection of the dead. What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. 43 It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. 44 It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a natural body, there is also a spiritual body. 45 Thus it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being”; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit. 46 But it is not the spiritual that is first but the natural, and then the spiritual. 47 The first man was from the earth, a man of dust; the second man is from heaven. 48 As was the man of dust, so also are those who are of the dust, and as is the man of heaven, so also are those who are of heaven. 49 Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.

Evensong Lesson

The last Adam

“Our present body is perishable and prone to decay. Our resurrection body will be transformed. The spiritual body will not be limited by the laws of nature… Our spiritual body will not be weak, will never get sick, and will never die.” [9]

The “last Adam” (v. 45) “refers to Christ. Because Christ rose from the dead, he is a life-giving spirit. This means that he entered into a new form of existence. He is the source of the spiritual life that will result in our resurrection. Christ’s new glorified human body now suits his new glorified life—just as Adam’s human body was suitable to his natural life. When we are resurrected, God will give us a transformed, eternal body suited to our new eternal life.” [10]

“The expression last Adam was coined by the apostle Paul as a reference to Christ (cf. also Rom. 5:14). The contrast here is not so much between the soul and the spirit as it is between ‘living’ and ‘life-giving.’ The principle of life is common with all men. The second Adam offers infinitely more than that (John 5:26).” [11]

Compline Prayer

For Sleep

O heavenly Father, you give your children sleep for the refreshing of soul and body: Grant me this gift, I pray; keep me in that perfect peace which you have promised to those whose minds are fixed on you; and give me such a sense of your presence, that in the hours of silence I may enjoy the blessed assurance of your love; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. [12]

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. Amen. 

Alleluia!


Devotionals compiled/written by S.P. Rogers

Citations:

[1] The hymnal 1982: According to the use of the Episcopal church 212. Awake, Arise, lift up your voice. (n.d.). Retrieved April 11, 2021, from https://hymnary.org/hymn/EH1982/212

[2] Episcopal Church. (1979). Daily Office. 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. 100). New York, NY: Church Publishing Incorporated.

[3] Episcopal Church. (1979). Collects. 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. 208). New York, NY: Church Publishing Incorporated.

[4] Academic Community of St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology (2008). Genesis. In The Orthodox study Bible (p. 95). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

[5] Ibid. 4

[6] Ibid. 4

[7] Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (2013). Study Notes: Genesis. In Life application study Bible: King James version (Kindle ed., p. 6525). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House.

[8] LAUD, W. (1855). Thursday Compline: For Sleep. In The Private Devotions of Dr. William Laud, Archbishop of Canterbury and Martyr

[9] Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (2013). Study Notes: 1 Corinthians. In Life application study Bible: King James version (Kindle ed., p. 6523). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House.

[10] Ibid. 9

[11] 1 Corinthians. (2017). In The King James study Bible (Kindle ed., p. 5320). Nashville, TN, USA: Thomas Nelson.

[12] Episcopal Church. (1979). Ministration to the Sick. 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. 461). New York, NY: Church Publishing Incorporated.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create your website with WordPress.com
Get started
%d bloggers like this: