May 27 Devotional (2021)

Ascribe to the Lord, O heavenly beings, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength. Ascribe to the Lord the glory of his name; worship the Lord in holy splendor.


A prayer inspired by Bertha and Ethelbert of Kent, Queen and King of Kent, who we remember on May 27th

God our ruler and guide, we honor you for Queen Bertha and King Ethelbert of Kent who, gently persuaded by the truth of your Gospel, encouraged others by their godly example to follow freely the path of discipleship; and we pray that we, like them, may show the goodness of your Word not only by our words but in our lives; through Jesus Christ, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.


May 27, 2021
Ordinary Time

Today’s Readings: Psalm 29 / Isaiah 1:1-4, 16-20 / Romans 8:1-8


Invitatory

The Spirit of the Lord filleth the world: * 

O come, let us worship Him. Alleluia!

Opening Prayer

Almighty God, as we come here today to better know You through the study of Your word, meet us each at the point of our needs, send Your Spirit to guide our hearts and enlighten our minds, and bring us reassurance of Your unfailing love all the day long; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Hymn

“Spirit of mercy, truth, and love”

(1982 Hymnal # 229)

Lyrics [1]:

1. Spirit of mercy, truth and love,

O shed thine influence from above,

and still from age to age convey

the wonders of this sacred day.

2. In every clime, by every tongue,

be God’s amazing glory sung;

let all the listening earth be taught

the deeds our great Redeemer wrought.

3. Unfailing Comfort, heavenly Guide,

still o’er thy holy Church preside;

O shed thine influence from above,

Spirit of mercy, truth and love.



Morning Prayer

The Holy Spirit around us,

In us and with us,

The Holy Spirit to us,

May it come, O Christ, Suddenly!

The Holy Spirit to inhabit

Our body and our soul,

To protect us speedily

Against peril, against disease!

Against demons, against sins,

Against hell with many evils,

O Jesus, may it sanctify us,

May your Spirit free us!

Amen.

  • The Hymn Máel Ísu [2]
  • Short Verse

    Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.

    1 Corinthians 6:19-20
    Malawian Boys Worship 
    by Cameron Annear
    (source)

    Morning Reading: Psalm 29

    Worship God in holiness

    Ascribe to the Lord, O heavenly beings,

    ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.

    Ascribe to the Lord the glory of his name;

    worship the Lord in holy splendor.

    The voice of the Lord is over the waters;

    the God of glory thunders,

    the Lord, over mighty waters.

    The voice of the Lord is powerful;

    the voice of the Lord is full of majesty.

    The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars;

    the Lord breaks the cedars of Lebanon.

    He makes Lebanon skip like a calf,

    and Sirion like a young wild ox.

    The voice of the Lord flashes forth flames of fire.

    The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness;

    the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.

    The voice of the Lord causes the oaks to whirl,

    and strips the forest bare;

    and in his temple all say, “Glory!”

    The Lord sits enthroned over the flood;

    the Lord sits enthroned as king forever.

    May the Lord give strength to his people!

    May the Lord bless his people with peace!

    Listen to Psalm 29

    Morning Lesson

    The Power of God

    “God’s power is a terrifying thing. The sound of His voice brings forth creation, shakes the mountains and trees, and unleashes the great flood that destroyed the earth. We sinners might be destroyed by the power of His holy, powerful voice. Yet “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (Jn 1: 14). God came to us in Jesus to speak His love and grace. In Baptism, flood and voice combine to cleanse us (this psalm was traditionally used at Baptisms). Hearing His gracious voice, we join heaven and earth in praise. • O Word of God, You became flesh to be our Savior. Let us hear Your powerful voice. Amen.” [3]


    OPTIONAL FURTHER READING:
    Commentary from the Early Church

    Verse 1

    “You who are entrusted with the divine message, he is saying, and are called children of God, bear the divine message everywhere with all enthusiasm, transform those reared on nonsense into rational people and offer them first to God; then through them present the worship and the hymns, celebrating the benefactor in the divine dwellings. This resembles what was said by the Savior to the sacred apostles, ‘Go, make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit’ [Mt 28:19].” 

    (Theodoret of Cyrus, Commentary on the Psalms 29.4) [4]

    Verse 5

    “The Lord will grind down in repentance those who lift themselves high in the brilliant distinction of earthly rank, since to their confusion he has chosen to reveal his godhead to the most insignificant of this world.”

    (Augustine, Expositions of the Psalms 29.5) [5]


    Midday Prayer

    The Lorica of Fursa

    May the guiding hands of God be on my shoulders, may the presence of the Holy Spirit be on my head, may the sign of Christ be on my forehead, may the voice of the Holy Spirit be in my ears, may the smell of the Holy Spirit be in my nose, may the sight of the company of heaven be in my eyes, may the speech of the company of heaven be in my mouth, may the work of the church of God be in my hands, may the serving of God and my neighbor be in my feet, may God make my heart his home, and may I belong to God, my Father, completely. 

  •  ​Lorica of St. Fursa (Fursey), 7th Century [6]
  • Short Verse

    If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!

    Luke 11:13

    Midday Reading: Isaiah 1:1-4, 16-20

    A vision concerning God’s people

    1 The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.

    The Wickedness of Judah

    2 Hear, O heavens, and give ear, O earth;

    for the LORD has spoken:

    “Children have I reared and brought up,

    but they have rebelled against me.

    3 The ox knows its owner,

    and the donkey its master’s crib,

    but Israel does not know,

    my people do not understand.”

    4 Ah, sinful nation,

    a people laden with iniquity,

    offspring of evildoers,

    children who deal corruptly!

    They have forsaken the LORD,

    they have despised the Holy One of Israel,

    they are utterly estranged.

    16 Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean;

    remove the evil of your deeds from before my eyes;

    cease to do evil,

    17 learn to do good;

    seek justice,

    correct oppression;

    bring justice to the fatherless,

    plead the widow’s cause.

    18 “Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD:

    though your sins are like scarlet,

    they shall be as white as snow;

    though they are red like crimson,

    they shall become like wool.

    19 If you are willing and obedient,

    you shall eat the good of the land;

    20 but if you refuse and rebel,

    you shall be eaten by the sword;

    for the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”

    Midday Lesson

    Come and reason together

    “Isaiah’s messages are not arranged in strictly chronological order (e.g., compare 1: 1 with 6: 1– 13). Ch 1 introduces two topics elaborated in all subsequent chapters: (1) God’s wrath consumes impenitent sinners, and (2) God’s mercy offers penitent sinners redemption and salvation. Both threat and promise are backed by ‘the Holy One of Israel’ (v 4).” [7]

    L kin 4981

    Verse 1 tells us that Isaiah was the Son of Amoz. Amoz is not to be confused with the prophet Amos. Hebrew nouns comprising the name Isaiah “suggest his calling to proclaim the Lord’s salvation… We do not know Isaiah’s ancestry (or his social standing, see note, 6: 6); far more important than his background is what the vision enabled and compelled him to say.” [7]

    Vision (chazōn, v. 1) “is the technical term for divine revelation. In this case it refers to the entire prophetic epic that follows. Chapters 1–5 serve both as an introduction to the prophecies that follow and as a summary of them.” [8] “God supernaturally revealed these things to Isaiah, showing coming events in light of His eternal plan of salvation (cf 2: 1 ; 13:1).” [9]

    Isaiah’s vision concerned Judah and Jerusalem, the areas which “remain[ed] loyal to [the] Davidic dynasty after Solomon’s death when northern tribes seceded (two centuries before Isaiah). Isaiah saw the role Judah and Jerusalem were to play in God’s plan of salvation.” [10]

    The days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah (v. 1) refers to kings who reigned during Isaiah’s ministry (Uzziah [792– 740], Jotham [750– 735], Ahaz [735– 715], Hezekiah [715– 686]). In these years, Judah and Israel were at their peak of power, prosperity, and territorial expansion. Only David and Solomon’s reigns were greater.” [11] Uzziah is also known as Azariah.

    “Isaiah pictures the southern kingdom of Judah as ungrateful children rebelling against their parents. These verses serve as a “great arraignment” of the chosen people, who have become corrupt and backslidden. The prophet calls them back to obedience to God. The Holy One of Israel is Isaiah’s favorite designation for God. It appears throughout the book.” [12]

    Wash (v.16) “does not indicate that the sinner may cleanse himself. Nor does it refer to mere ritual washing. Rather, it indicates that the sinner must accept the cleansing offered by the Lord, a cleansing of the heart resulting in true repentance.” [13] Additionally, these verses (16-18) “are indications in deed and act of regeneration by Baptism” (St. Gregory of Nyssa). [14]

    “The prophet both urges repentance and adds the promise. . . . He insists that such works are necessary in the new life. At the same time, he means that the forgiveness of sins is received through faith. So the promise is added.” [15]

    “Israel, summoned to the court of divine justice (see note, v 2 ), is guilty. Instead of passing sentence, the Judge proposes a full pardon. The appropriate question is whether the accused will throw themselves on the mercy of the court (cf Rm 4:5; 11:6).” [16]

    “The prophet’s appeal to come and reason together [vv. 18-20] reveals God’s gracious invitation to all men. It literally means to be ‘reasonable’ by repenting and turning to God. Their sin is described as scarlet and red like crimson, referring to their bloodguiltiness before God. The term crimson also means ‘worm,’ referring to the colorfast red dye of the scarlet worm. The eradication of this stain turns it snowy white and is symbolic of the life-changing grace of God, which delivers men from the guilt and condemnation of sin. Thus the prophet reminds his readers that God stands ready to cleanse and forgive all who will turn to Him.” [17]

    “Purge my ears, that no stains of the infidelity they have heard remain anywhere. Cleanse thoroughly, then, our ears, not with water of well, river, or rippling and purling brook, but with words cleansing like water, clearer than water, purer than any snow.” 

    St. Ambrose [18]


    Eventide Prayer

    O CHEERFUL light of the sacred glory of the immortal, heavenly, holy, blessed Father, Jesu Christ. Having reached the setting of the sun, and beholding the star of evening, we praise the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit of God. Worthy art thou at every hour to be celebrated by holy lips, O Son of God, thou giver of life. Therefore the world doth glorify thee.

  • Lancelot Andrews
  • Short Verse

    We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.

    Acts 5:32
    By Elaine Clayton
    (source)

    Eventide Reading: Romans 8:1-8

    The Spirit is life and peace

    1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. 3 For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. 6 For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. 7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. 8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

    Eventide Lesson

    Life in the Spirit

    “Repentant sinners will have no condemnation if they remain in Christ through faith and baptism.” [19]

    “The law of Moses failed because of the weakness of human nature… [O]ur flesh has become corrupt and given over to all manner of sin (see 7:17). Christ fulfilled both the law and human nature by becoming flesh Himself. Christ did not sin, for He came in the likeness of our sinfulness, but did not succumb to it. In doing so, He condemned sin itself, destroying its power over mankind.” [20] In Christ, we have victory over sin.

    Re-read verses 6-8. The word mind(s) occurs 5 times in these verses. The word mind herein “is far more than intellectual capacity. It is the highest knowing faculty of the soul (Gr. nous), the spirit and understanding behind all we think and do. Thus, it follows that repentance literally means to have a ‘change of mind,’ a change not only of intellect but of all our being.” [21]

    “To be carnally minded (v. 6) means to choose to have one’s whole being captivated by sin. This decision against God puts us at enmity with Him (v. 7), and thus we have no lasting peace.” [22] On the other hand, “to be spiritually minded means to accept liberation by the Spirit, so that one’s whole being – body, mind, and soul – becomes directed by and is led to the Holy Spirit.” [23]

    Concluding Prayer of the Church

    Our Father, who art in heaven,

         hallowed be thy Name,

         thy kingdom come,

         thy will be done,

             on earth as it is in heaven.

    Give us this day our daily bread.

    And forgive us our trespasses,

         as we forgive those

             who trespass against us.

    And lead us not into temptation,

         but deliver us from evil.

    Amen.


    Devotionals compiled/written by S.P. Rogers

    Citations:

    [1] The hymnal 1982: According to the use of the Episcopal Church 229. spirit of MERCY, truth, and love. (n.d.). Retrieved April 09, 2021, from https://hymnary.org/hymn/EH1982/229

    [2] Stratman, P. (2001). Easter Prayers. In Prayers from the Ancient Celtic Church (Kindle ed., p. 80). Rossway.

    [3] A., E. E. (2016). Psalms. In The Lutheran study Bible: English standard version (Kindle ed., pp. 3991). Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House.

    [4] Theodoret of Cyrus. (2019). Psalms. In Ancient faith study Bible (Kindle ed., p. 1574). Nashville: Holman Bible.

    [5] Augustine. (2019). Psalms. In Ancient faith study Bible (Kindle ed., p. 1574). Nashville: Holman Bible.

    [6] Stratman, P. (2001). Loricas. In Prayers from the Ancient Celtic Church (Kindle ed., p. 6). Rossway.

    [7] A., E. E. (2016). Isaiah. In The Lutheran study Bible: English standard version (Kindle ed., pp. 4981). Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House.

    [8] Isaiah. (2017). In The King James study Bible (Kindle ed., p. 3164). Nashville, TN, USA: Thomas Nelson.

    [9] A., E. E. (2016). Isaiah. In The Lutheran study Bible: English standard version (Kindle ed., pp. 4981). Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House.

    [10] Ibid. 9

    [11] Ibid. 9

    [12] Isaiah. (2017). In The King James study Bible (Kindle ed., p. 3165). Nashville, TN, USA: Thomas Nelson.

    [13] Ibid. 12, P. 3166

    [14] A., E. E. (2016). Isaiah. In The Lutheran study Bible: English standard version (Kindle ed., pp. 4983). Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House.

    [15] Ibid. 14

    [16] Ibid. 14

    [17] Isaiah. (2017). In The King James study Bible (Kindle ed., p. 3166). Nashville, TN, USA: Thomas Nelson.

    [18] A., E. E. (2016). Isaiah. In The Lutheran study Bible: English standard version (Kindle ed., pp. 4984). Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House.

    [19] Academic Community of St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology (2008). Romans. In The Orthodox study Bible (p. 1566). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

    [20] Ibid. 19

    [21] Ibid. 19

    [22] Ibid. 19

    [23] Ibid. 19

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