May 29 Devotional (2021)

If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you.

May 29, 2021
Ordinary Time

Today’s Readings:   Isaiah 5:8-30 / A Profile of the Prophet Isaiah / John 15:18-27


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.


“Come Holy Ghost”

Morning Prayer

Father, Son and Holy Spirit,

Three persons, but one God,

Enlighten our hearts and minds,

Make us steadfast in the true faith,

Equip us for good works,

And bring us to eternal life;

Through your mercy, O our God,

You are blessed,

And live and govern all things,

Now and forever.


– New Mozarabic Collects [1]

Short Verse

But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.

John 14:26
The Seven Deadly Sins and the Four Last Things
By Hieronymus Bosch

Morning Reading: Isaiah 5:8-30

A vision concerning God’s people

8 Woe to those who join house to house,

who add field to field,

until there is no more room,

and you are made to dwell alone

in the midst of the land.

9 The LORD of hosts has sworn in my hearing:

“Surely many houses shall be desolate,

large and beautiful houses, without inhabitant.

10 For ten acres of vineyard shall yield but one bath,

and a homer of seed shall yield but an ephah.”

11 Woe to those who rise early in the morning,

that they may run after strong drink,

who tarry late into the evening

as wine inflames them!

12 They have lyre and harp,

tambourine and flute and wine at their feasts,

but they do not regard the deeds of the LORD,

or see the work of his hands.

13 Therefore my people go into exile

for lack of knowledge;

their honored men go hungry,

and their multitude is parched with thirst.

14 Therefore Sheol has enlarged its appetite

and opened its mouth beyond measure,

and the nobility of Jerusalem and her multitude will go down,

her revelers and he who exults in her.

15 Man is humbled, and each one is brought low,

and the eyes of the haughty are brought low.

16 But the LORD of hosts is exalted in justice,

and the Holy God shows himself holy in righteousness.

17 Then shall the lambs graze as in their pasture,

and nomads shall eat among the ruins of the rich.

18 Woe to those who draw iniquity with cords of falsehood,

who draw sin as with cart ropes,

19 who say: “Let him be quick,

let him speed his work

that we may see it;

let the counsel of the Holy One of Israel draw near,

and let it come, that we may know it!”

20 Woe to those who call evil good

and good evil,

who put darkness for light

and light for darkness,

who put bitter for sweet

and sweet for bitter!

21 Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes,

and shrewd in their own sight!

22 Woe to those who are heroes at drinking wine,

and valiant men in mixing strong drink,

23 who acquit the guilty for a bribe,

and deprive the innocent of his right!

24 Therefore, as the tongue of fire devours the stubble,

and as dry grass sinks down in the flame,

so their root will be as rottenness,

and their blossom go up like dust;

for they have rejected the law of the LORD of hosts,

and have despised the word of the Holy One of Israel.

25 Therefore the anger of the LORD was kindled against his people,

and he stretched out his hand against them and struck them,

and the mountains quaked;

and their corpses were as refuse

in the midst of the streets.

For all this his anger has not turned away,

and his hand is stretched out still.

26 He will raise a signal for nations far away,

and whistle for them from the ends of the earth;

and behold, quickly, speedily they come!

27 None is weary, none stumbles,

none slumbers or sleeps,

not a waistband is loose,

not a sandal strap broken;

28 their arrows are sharp,

all their bows bent,

their horses’ hoofs seem like flint,

and their wheels like the whirlwind.

29 Their roaring is like a lion,

like young lions they roar;

they growl and seize their prey;

they carry it off, and none can rescue.

30 They will growl over it on that day,

like the growling of the sea.

And if one looks to the land,

behold, darkness and distress;

and the light is darkened by its clouds.

Morning Lesson

Isaiah’s poem of lament

This poem of lamentation condemns the sins of the Jews. In verses 8-24 “the prophet Isaiah describes [Judah’s] sins: greed (v. 8); love of pleasure (v. 11); indifference to God (v. 12); intentional evil acts (v. 18); mocking God (v. 19); perversion of truth (v. 20); vanity and conceit (v. 21); dishonesty (v. 23); and finally, rejecting God’s law and despising His word (v. 24).” [2] Then, verses 26-30 “describe the historical consequences of the sins laid out” in verses 8-24. [3]

Because the people would not repent, “the Lord [would] send Assyria to punish them with conquest and exile… • Lord, snap the tethers of sin that hold me back and rob me of genuine freedom in Christ. Amen.” [4]

Midday Prayer

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.

Short Verse

And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

Ephesians 4:30
The Prophet Isaiah
fresco painted by Michelangelo and his assistants for the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican between 1508 to 1512

Midday Reading

A Profile of the Prophet Isaiah

“Trees and prophets share at least one important characteristic—both are planted for the future. Yet seedlings are often overlooked and prophets often ignored. Isaiah is one of the best examples of this. The people of his time could have been rescued by his words. Instead, they refused to believe him. With the passing of centuries, however, Isaiah’s words have cast a shadow on all of history.” [5]

“Isaiah was a famous Old Testament prophet who predicted the coming of Messiah (7:14; 9:6, 7; 11:1–10; 42:1–9; 49:1–9; 50:4–11; 52:13–53:12). Isaiah’s ministry extended from about 740 B.C. to 681 B.C. He was probably born in Jerusalem to a family related to the royal house of Judah. He spent his early years as an official of King Uzziah (Azariah) of Judah (2 Chr. 26:22). When Uzziah died (c. 740 B.C.), Isaiah received his prophetic calling in a stirring vision of God in the temple (ch. 6). Isaiah was married to ‘the prophetess’ (8:3). They had two sons (7:3; 8:3) whose names along with Isaiah’s (‘Yahweh Is Salvation’) embody the two basic themes of the Book of Isaiah (see 8:18): (1) ‘A Remnant Shall Return’ (Shear-jashub); and (2) ‘Speed the Spoil, Hasten the Booty’ (Maher-shalal-hash-baz). Isaiah’s primary work was that of preaching judgment (6:10; Matt. 13:14, 15). Judah would ultimately experience devastation at the hands of the Babylonians in 586 B.C. (6:11; 39:5–8). Isaiah was a writer of considerable skill who was steadfast in his devotion to the Lord. According to popular Jewish tradition, Isaiah met his death by being sawn in two during the reign of the evil King Manasseh of Judah (cf. Heb. 11:37). Certainly he is one of the heroes of the faith ‘of whom the world was not worthy’ (Heb. 11:38).” [6]

“Isaiah was active as a prophet during the reigns of five kings, but he did not set out to be a prophet. By the time King Uzziah died, Isaiah may have been established as a scribe in the royal palace in Jerusalem. It was a respectable career, but God had other plans for his servant. Isaiah’s account of God’s call leaves little doubt about what motivated the prophet for the next half century. His vision of God was unforgettable.” [7]

“His encounter with God permanently affected Isaiah’s character. He reflected the God he represented. Isaiah’s messages—some comforting, some confronting—are so dissimilar that some have guessed they came from different authors. Isaiah’s testimony is that the messages came from the only one capable of being perfect in justice as well as in mercy—God himself.” [8]

“When he called Isaiah as a prophet, God did not encourage him with predictions of great success. God told Isaiah that the people would not listen. But he was to speak and write his messages anyway because eventually some would listen. God compared his people to a tree that would have to be cut down so that a new tree could grow from the old stump (Isa 6:13).” [9]

“We who are part of that future can see that many of the promises God gave through Isaiah have been fulfilled in Jesus Christ. We also gain the hope of knowing that God is active in all of history, including our own.” [10]


Eventide Prayer

That it may please thee to give us true repentance; to forgive

us all our sins, negligences, and ignorances; and to endue

us with the grace of thy Holy Spirit to amend our lives

according to thy holy Word,

We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.

(From the great literary) [15]

Short Verse

While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.

Acts 13:2
Artist Unknown

Eventide Reading: John 15:18-27

Testify in the face of persecution

18 “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. 20 Remember the word that I said to you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you. If they kept my word, they will also keep yours. 21 But all these things they will do to you on account of my name, because they do not know him who sent me. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have been guilty of sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 Whoever hates me hates my Father also. 24 If I had not done among them the works that no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin, but now they have seen and hated both me and my Father. 25 But the word that is written in their Law must be fulfilled: ‘They hated me without a cause.’

26 “But when the Helper comes, whom I will send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, who proceeds from the Father, he will bear witness about me. 27 And you also will bear witness, because you have been with me from the beginning.

Eventide Lesson

The Hatred of the World

“The term world is used in several distinct ways in Scripture. In some cases, it refers to everything that is glorious, beautiful, and redeemable in God’s creation (3:16). Other times, it refers to that which is finite in contrast to that which is eternal (11:9; 18:36). In still other instances, as here, it indicates all that is in rebellion against God (see 8:23).” [16] This varying meaning of world is one example of why it is so important to read and study Scripture in context.

“The rebellion of the world against God reveals several things: (1) While union with Christ brings love, truth, and peace, it also brings persecution because the world hates love and truth (v. 19). (2) The world hated Christ; therefore, it will hate all who try to be Christlike (v. 20). (3) The world hates Christ because it neither knows nor desires to know the Father (vv. 21-24). (4) Hatred for Jesus Christ is irrational and unreasonable, for Christ brings love and mercy; thus, Christ is hated without a cause (v. 25).” [7]

In working salvation in the world, “the Son sends the Holy Spirit from the Father. With respect to the divine nature, the Holy Spirit eternally proceeds from the Father.” [8]

In our reading from the Gospel of John, “Christ warned his Apostles that they would experience the same kind of rejection and persecution in the world as he did himself. He alerted his followers that the Cross would accompany their efforts in spreading the Gospel. He promised that the Holy Spirit would inspire them with the right words when falsely accused and would grant them the courage to bear all burdens.” [9]

Compline Prayer

Before the ending of the day, 

Creator of the world, we pray 

That with thy wonted favor thou 

Wouldst be our guard and keeper now.   

From all ill dreams defend our eyes, 

From nightly fears and fantasies; 

Tread under foot our ghostly foe, 

That no pollution we may know. 

O Father, that we ask be done, 

Through Jesus Christ, thine only Son; 

Who, with the Holy Ghost and thee, 

Doth live and reign eternally. 

Amen. [20]

Devotionals compiled/written by S.P. Rogers


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

[2] Academic Community of St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology (2008). Isaiah. In The Orthodox study Bible (p. 1141). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

[3] Ibid. 2

[4] A., E. E. (2016). Isaiah. In The Lutheran study Bible: English standard version (Kindle ed., pp. 4996). Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House.

[5] Tyndale House Publishers. (2012). Ezekiel. In Chronological life application study Bible (p. 1112). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Pub.

[6] Tyndale House Publishers. (2012). Ezekiel. In Chronological life application study Bible (Kindle ed., p. 8098). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Pub.

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

[8] Tyndale House Publishers. (2012). Ezekiel. In Chronological life application study Bible (Kindle ed., p. 8098). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Pub.

[9] Ibid. 9

[10] Ibid. 8

[11] Tyndale House Publishers. (2012). Profile of Isaiah [Image]. In Chronological life application study Bible (Kindle ed., p. 8098). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Pub.

[12] Ibid. 11

[13] Ibid. 11

[14] Ibid. 11

[15] Episcopal Church. (1979). The Great Litany. 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. 152). New York, NY: Church Publishing Incorporated.

[16] Academic Community of St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology (2008). John. In The Orthodox study Bible (p. 1486). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

[17] Ibid. 16

[18] Ibid. 16, P. 1486-1487

[19] Cole, J. (Ed.). (2015). John. In Didache Bible: With commentaries based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church (Kindle ed., p. 3250). Downers Grove,, IL: Midwest Theological Forum,, Ignatius Press.

[20] Bellarmine, G. (2021). May 7: Compline. In The Roman Breviary in English, in Order, Every Day for April, May, and June 2021 (Kindle ed., p. 1708). Christian Books Today.

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