July 1 Devotional (2021)

We are weak, but you are strong.


A prayer inspired by Catherine Winkworth, Hymnwriter and Educator, who we remember on July 1st

Heavenly Father, by whose grace thy servant Catherine was moved To render into English the words of praise which she had heard in the German tongue: grant unto us a like devotion, that we may be moved to proclaim thy glory in sacred song; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


July 1, 2021
Ordinary Time

Today’s Readings:   Psalm 123 / Jeremiah 7:1-15 / 1 Corinthians 4:8-13

Invitatory

Come let us praise the Lord with joy: let us joyfully sing to God our saviour. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving; and make a joyful noise to him with psalms.

Hymn

“What a friend we have in Jesus”
By Joseph Medlicott Scriven (1855)
Lyrics [1]:

1 What a friend we have in Jesus,

all our sins and griefs to bear!

What a privilege to carry

everything to God in prayer!

O what peace we often forfeit,

O what needless pain we bear,

all because we do not carry

everything to God in prayer!

2 Have we trials and temptations?

Is there trouble anywhere?

We should never be discouraged;

take it to the Lord in prayer!

Can we find a friend so faithful

who will all our sorrows share?

Jesus knows our every weakness;

take it to the Lord in prayer!

3 Are we weak and heavy laden,

cumbered with a load of care?

Precious Savior, still our refuge–

take it to the Lord in prayer!

Do your friends despise, forsake you?

Take it to the Lord in prayer!

In his arms he’ll take and shield you;

you will find a solace there.


Morning Prayer

THE JESUS PRAYER 

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner. Amen.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,

As it was in the beginning, and now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen

Alleluia!

Short Verse

Abba Macarius the monk loved money so little that, on one occasion when thieves came to his cell by night, and took out whatsoever they could find in it, as soon as he perceived what they were doing, he helped them in their work and also to carry [their plunder] out of the desert.

Sayings of the Holy Desert Fathers, Of Patient Endurance [2]

Morning Reading: Psalm 123

Our eyes look to you, O God

A Song of Ascents.

1 To you I lift up my eyes,

O you who are enthroned in the heavens!

2 Behold, as the eyes of servants

look to the hand of their master,

as the eyes of a maidservant

to the hand of her mistress,

so our eyes look to the LORD our God,

till he has mercy upon us.

3 Have mercy upon us, O LORD, have mercy upon us,

for we have had more than enough of contempt.

4 Our soul has had more than enough

of the scorn of those who are at ease,

of the contempt of the proud.

Listen to Psalm 123

Morning Lesson

Set your eyes on Him

“Our eyes are to be upon God, both to receive His blessings and to do His bidding. We are servants of a merciful Lord. However, when our time of service is filled with contempt from others, we grow tired of waiting for God’s justice. The Lord does indeed have mercy for us in Christ Jesus. • I do not despair, O Lord, but pray to the One who sees my service and my enemies. May Your reward and Your justice come. Amen.” [3]


OPTIONAL FURTHER READING:
Commentary from the Early Church

Verses 1-2 

“Behold the eyes of the Lord are on them that fear him” [Ps 33:18]. [In Ps 34:15] it says, “The eyes of the Lord are on the just,” but here, “on those that fear him.” When we look upon the Lord and our eyes are on him, so that we say then, we, as it were, draw the eye of the Lord to watch over us. 

  • Basil the Great, Homilies on the Psalms 15.10. [4]
  • Verse 4 

    We must find out whence true patience, worthy of the name, is to be had. There are those who attribute it to the powers of human will, not those that people have from divine assistance but from their own free will. But that is an arrogant error. . . . “Deliver me, O my God, out of the hand of the sinner and out of the hand of the transgressor of the law and of the unjust. For you are my patience, O Lord: my hope, from my youth” [Ps 71:4-5]. 

  • Augustine, On Patience 15.12. [5]

  • Midday Prayer

    For Guidance of the Holy Spirit 

    O God, because without you I am not able to please you, mercifully grant that your Holy Spirit may in all things direct and rule my heart. Amen. [6]

    Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,

    As it was in the beginning, and now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen

    Alleluia!

    Short Verse

    A certain brother asked an old man, saying, ‘What will I do because of my negligence?’ The old man said to him, ‘If you will root out this small plant, which is negligence, a great forest will come into being.’

    Sayings of the Holy Desert Fathers, Of Scrupulous Watchfulness in our Thoughts and Words and Deeds [7]
    “Natural Lies”
    By Ronal Ventura
    (source)

    Midday Reading: Jeremiah 7:1-15

    Do not trust deceptive words

    1 The word that came to Jeremiah from the LORD: 2 “Stand in the gate of the LORD’s house, and proclaim there this word, and say, Hear the word of the LORD, all you men of Judah who enter these gates to worship the LORD. 3 Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Amend your ways and your deeds, and I will let you dwell in this place. 4Do not trust in these deceptive words: ‘This is the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD, the temple of the LORD.’

    5 “For if you truly amend your ways and your deeds, if you truly execute justice one with another, 6 if you do not oppress the sojourner, the fatherless, or the widow, or shed innocent blood in this place, and if you do not go after other gods to your own harm, 7 then I will let you dwell in this place, in the land that I gave of old to your fathers forever.

    8 “Behold, you trust in deceptive words to no avail. 9 Will you steal, murder, commit adultery, swear falsely, make offerings to Baal, and go after other gods that you have not known, 10 and then come and stand before me in this house, which is called by my name, and say, ‘We are delivered!’—only to go on doing all these abominations? 11 Has this house, which is called by my name, become a den of robbers in your eyes? Behold, I myself have seen it, declares the LORD. 12 Go now to my place that was in Shiloh, where I made my name dwell at first, and see what I did to it because of the evil of my people Israel. 13 And now, because you have done all these things, declares the LORD, and when I spoke to you persistently you did not listen, and when I called you, you did not answer, 14 therefore I will do to the house that is called by my name, and in which you trust, and to the place that I gave to you and to your fathers, as I did to Shiloh. 15 And I will cast you out of my sight, as I cast out all your kinsmen, all the offspring of Ephraim.

    Midday Lesson

    God did not preserve Shiloh

    As this section of Jeremiah (7:1–10:25) opens, “God sends Jeremiah to the temple gates to confront the false belief that God would not let harm come to the temple and to those who lived near it. Jeremiah rebukes the people for their false and worthless religion, their idolatry, and the shameless behavior of the people and their leaders. Judah, he says, is ripe for judgment and exile. This happened during the reign of Jehoiakim, a puppet of Egypt. The nation, in shock over the death of Josiah, was going through a spiritual reversal that removed much of the good Josiah had done. The themes of this section are false religion, idolatry, and hypocrisy. Jeremiah was almost put to death for this sermon, but he was rescued by some of Judah’s leaders (see chapter 26).” [8]

    “The people followed a worship ritual but maintained a sinful lifestyle [vv. 2-3]. It was religion without personal commitment to God. We can easily do the same. Attending church, taking communion, teaching church school, singing in the choir—all are empty exercises unless we are truly doing them for God. It is good to do these activities, not because we ought to do them for the church, but because we want to do them for God.” [9]

    “There are several parallels between how the people of Judah viewed their temple [vv. 9-11] and how many today view their churches. (1) They didn’t make the temple part of their daily living. We may go to beautiful churches well-prepared for worship, but often we don’t take the presence of God with us through the week. (2) The image of the temple became more important than the substance of faith. Going to church and belonging to a group can become more important than a life changed for God. (3) The people used their temple as a refuge from trouble. Many think that religious affiliation will protect them from evil and problems.” [10]


    “Jesus used these words from 7:11 in clearing the temple (Mark 11:17; Luke 19:46). This passage applied to the evil in the temple in Jesus’ day as well as in Jeremiah’s. God’s tabernacle had been at Shiloh, but Shiloh had been abandoned (Psalm 78:60; Jeremiah 26:6). If God did not preserve Shiloh because the tabernacle was there, why would he preserve Jerusalem because of the temple?” [11]


    Eventide Prayer

    A Collect for the Presence of Christ

    Lord Jesus, stay with us, for evening is at hand and the day is past; be our companion in the way, kindle our hearts, and awaken hope, that we may know you as you are revealed in Scripture and the breaking of bread. Grant this for the sake of your love. Amen. [12]

    Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,

    As it was in the beginning, and now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen

    Alleluia!

    Short Verse

    ‘Be not humble in your words only, but also in your deeds.’

    Sayings of the Holy Desert Fathers, Of humility and of how a Man should think lightly of himself, and should esteem himself the Inferior of every Man [13]
    “Strength”
    (source)

    Eventide Reading: 1 Corinthians 4:8-13

    We are weak, but you are strong

    8 Already you have all you want! Already you have become rich! Without us you have become kings! And would that you did reign, so that we might share the rule with you! 9 For I think that God has exhibited us apostles as last of all, like men sentenced to death, because we have become a spectacle to the world, to angels, and to men. 10 We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are strong. You are held in honor, but we in disrepute. 11 To the present hour we hunger and thirst, we are poorly dressed and buffeted and homeless, 12 and we labor, working with our own hands. When reviled, we bless; when persecuted, we endure; 13 when slandered, we entreat. We have become, and are still, like the scum of the world, the refuse of all things.

    Eventide Lesson

    Bitter medicine

    “Irony and sarcasm are bitter medicine, and Paul uses them here (vv. 8-13) with full force. The three parallel statements we are fools, we are weak, we are dishonored [in disrepute, v. 10] are heaped upon each other in a stinging series. The relative comfort of the Corinthian Christians is contrasted with the persecuted, poverty-stricken and uncertain life of the apostles (vv. 11-13; see Mk 6:4; 9:35; 10:31).” [14]

    “The apostles [had] endured all kinds of humiliation, being treated as filth, and instead of fighting back have responded with love toward their persecutors – all for the joy of serving Christ and reconciling the world to God.” [15]

    St. John Chrysostom explained, “Paul is saying that the main point is not that he and his fellow apostles are suffering, for that is common to all. What is unique about them is that they are suffering without despair or anger. . . . [T]hey are full of rejoicing, and they prove it by returning good for the evil they receive.” [16]

    Concluding Prayer

    God of mystery, God of love, send your Spirit into our hearts with gifts of wisdom and peace, fortitude and charity. We long to love and serve you. Faithful God, make us faithful. Amen. 

  • THE NEW COMPANION TO THE BREVIARY [17]

  • Devotionals compiled/written by S.P. Rogers

    Citations:

    [1] Author: Joseph Medlicott ScrivenJoseph M. Scriven (b. Seapatrick, C. (n.d.). What a friend we have in Jesus. Retrieved April 22, 2021, from https://hymnary.org/text/what_a_friend_we_have_in_jesus_all_our_s

    [2] Of Patient Endurance. (1907). In The Sayings of the Holy Fathers: Books I and II (Kindle ed., p. 57).  W. Budge (Ed.)

    [3] A., E. E. (2016). Psalms. In The Lutheran study Bible: English standard version (Kindle ed., pp. 4172). Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House.

    [4] Basil the Great. (2019). Psalms. In Ancient faith study Bible (Kindle ed., p. 1671). Nashville: Holman Bible.

    [5] Augustine. (2019). Psalms. In Ancient faith study Bible (Kindle ed., p. 1671). Nashville: Holman Bible.

    [6] Forward Movement. (2013). Personal Prayers. In Prayers for All Occasions (Kindle ed., pp. 336). Cincinnati, OH: Forward Movement.

    [7] Of Scrupulous Watchfulness in our Thoughts and Words and Deeds. (1907). In The Sayings of the Holy Fathers: Books I and II (Kindle ed., p. 89).  W. Budge (Ed.)

    [8] Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (2013). Study Notes: Jeremiah. In Life application study Bible: King James version (Kindle ed., p. 7769). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House.

    [9] Ibid. 8

    [10] Ibid. 8

    [11] Ibid. 8

    [12] 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. 124). New York, NY: Church Publishing Incorporated.

    [13] Of humility and of how a Man should think lightly of himself, and should esteem himself the Inferior of every Man. (1907). In The Sayings of the Holy Fathers: Books I and II (Kindle ed., p. 149).  W. Budge (Ed.)

    [14] Academic Community of St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology (2008). 1 Corinthians. In The Orthodox study Bible (p. 1592). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

    [15] Ibid. 14

    [16] Chrysostom. (2019). 1 Corinthians. In Ancient faith study Bible (Kindle ed., p. 3258). Nashville: Holman Bible.

    [17] Tickle, P. (2000). June. In The divine hours: Prayers for Summertime (Kindle ed., vol. 2, p. 113). New York, NY: Image Books.

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