July 29 Devotional (2021)

Yet he commanded the skies above, and opened the doors of heaven; he rained down on them manna to eat, and gave them the grain of heaven.

A prayer inspired by Saints Mary and Martha of Bethany, Companions of our Lord, who the Church remembers on July 29th

O God, heavenly Father, whose Son Jesus Christ enjoyed rest and Refreshment in the home of Mary and Martha of Bethany: Give us the will to love thee, open our hearts to hear thee, and strengthen our hands to serve thee in others for his sake; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, now and for ever. Amen.


July 29, 2021
Ordinary Time

Today’s Readings:  Psalm 78:23-29 / Exodus 12:33-42 / 1 Corinthians 11:17-22

Invocation 

O Lord open thou my lips. 

And my mouth shall declare thy praise.

Today if you shall hear his voice, harden not your hearts: As in the provocation, according to the day of temptation in the wilderness: where your fathers tempted me, they proved me, and saw my works. 

O come, let us adore Him.

Hymn

“Glory, love, and praise, and honor”

By Charles Wesley, 1707-1788

Lyrics [1]:

1. Glory, love, and praise, and honor

for our food

now bestowed

render we the Donor.

Bounteous God, we now confess thee:

God who thus

blessest us,

right it is to bless thee.

2. Thankful for our every blessing,

let us sing

Christ the Spring,

never, never ceasing.

Source of all our gifts and graces,

Christ we own;

Christ alone

calls for all our praises.

3. He dispels our sin and sadness,

life imparts,

cheers our hearts,

fills with food and gladness.

Who himself for all hath given,

us he feeds,

us he leads

to a feast in heaven.


Morning Prayer

To whom shall we go? 

You have the words of eternal life, 

and we have believed and have come to know 

that You are the Holy One of God. 

Praise to You, Lord Jesus Christ, 

King of endless glory. [2]

Short Verse

The words of the LORD are pure words,* like silver refined from ore and purified seven times in the fire. 

Psalm 12:6
The Israelites Collecting Manna from Heaven, Rudolf von Ems (Austrian, 1200 – 1254) The J. Paul Getty Museum, L.A.
(source)

Morning Reading: Psalm 78:23-29

Manna rains down

Yet he commanded the skies above,

and opened the doors of heaven;

he rained down on them manna to eat,

and gave them the grain of heaven.

Mortals ate of the bread of angels;

he sent them food in abundance.

He caused the east wind to blow in the heavens,

and by his power he led out the south wind;

he rained flesh upon them like dust,

winged birds like the sand of the seas;

he let them fall within their camp,

all around their dwellings.

And they ate and were well filled,

for he gave them what they craved.

Morning Meditation 

In Spite of It All 

“Lord God, when I read these verses, I want to hide under a rock. I confess I’m like the Israelites. I gorge on all Your good gifts until I’m sick, and then I blame You because I’m not doing well. When You correct me, too often I ignore Your conviction and keep on sinning. Can’t I see the direction I’m headed in? If I don’t pay attention and change my ways, the gifts may stop. I wind up unsatisfied, in utter futility – in terror, in fact. For once I have known Your goodness, Your absence is frightening…. [B]ring me to my senses. Bring me to repentance before it’s too late. Amen.” [3]


Midday Prayer

God of justice, God of mercy, bless all those who are surprised with pain this day from suffering caused by their own weakness or that of others. Let what we suffer teach us to be merciful; let our sins teach us to forgive. This I ask through the intercession of Jesus and all who died forgiving those who oppressed them. Amen.† [4]

Short Verse

Create in me a clean heart, O God,* and renew a right spirit within me. 

Psalm 51:11
“The rural woman is baking bread”
By Peyman
(source)

Midday Reading: Exodus 12:33-42

Unleavened bread for the exodus

33 The Egyptians were urgent with the people to send them out of the land in haste. For they said, “We shall all be dead.” 34 So the people took their dough before it was leavened, their kneading bowls being bound up in their cloaks on their shoulders. 35 The people of Israel had also done as Moses told them, for they had asked the Egyptians for silver and gold jewelry and for clothing. 36 And the LORD had given the people favor in the sight of the Egyptians, so that they let them have what they asked. Thus they plundered the Egyptians.

37 And the people of Israel journeyed from Rameses to Succoth, about six hundred thousand men on foot, besides women and children. 38 A mixed multitude also went up with them, and very much livestock, both flocks and herds. 39 And they baked unleavened cakes of the dough that they had brought out of Egypt, for it was not leavened, because they were thrust out of Egypt and could not wait, nor had they prepared any provisions for themselves.

40 The time that the people of Israel lived in Egypt was 430 years. 41 At the end of 430 years, on that very day, all the hosts of the LORD went out from the land of Egypt. 42 It was a night of watching by the LORD, to bring them out of the land of Egypt; so this same night is a night of watching kept to the LORD by all the people of Israel throughout their generations.

Midday Lesson

The Bread of Affliction and the beginning of the Exodus

The Egyptians wanted the Israelites out of Egypt as soon as possible. The Jews “had that evening mixed their flour with water, and made it into dough, but had put no leaven into it.” [19] With the “Egyptians being so very earnest to have them gone,  [the Jews] stayed not to put any leaven into it.” [20] “Under pressure of necessity, the people were obliged to content themselves with unleavened bread; thus it was also called the bread of affliction.” [5]

Verse 36 tells us that the Jews plundered the Egyptians. The ancient Jews “attended sacred festivals wearing their best. The Israelites had been held captive to forced labor and poverty and were now paid in full.” [6]

The Exodus from Egypt included some six hundred thousand men. “Commentators calculate that there were more than two million Israelite men, women, and children. The number of men 20 years of age and older at Sinai was 603,550 (38:26; Nu 1:46), and there were 22,000 male Levites a month old and upward (Nu 3:39).” [7]

Moses let the Jews out of Egypt, traveling from Rameses to Succoth (verse 37). Rameses is another name for Goshen. See the map below.

[8]

Verse 38 tells us that “a throng of foreign people attached themselves to the people of Israel [Cf Gn 12:3; Dt 29:11; Zec 8:23].” [9] This throng was “likely non-Israelite slaves who escaped with the Israelites and believed in the Lord because of the miracles and plagues.” [10] It is worth noting that this group “may have become a snare to Israel later” (see Numbers 11:4). [11]

“After 430 years in Egypt, most of them spent in slavery, Israel [began] its exodus into religious freedom, which centers on freedom to worship and sacrifice to the one true God. The troubles of Israel’s departure from Egypt are merely the introduction to a new life of liberty, which comes with burdens and responsibilities. God Almighty preserv[ed] His people from the destroyer and [brought] Israel out of the land of bondage by grace alone. Teach about this salvation to your children. Also explain our exodus from sin and death granted through our Lord Jesus. • O Father and God of all comfort, through Your holy Word, grant us a firm faith that delivers us from sin, death, and the devil. By Your gift of faith, may we overcome every trial and realize what Your Son Himself says is true: ‘Take heart; I have overcome the world’ ( Jn 16: 33 ). Amen.” [12]


Eventide Prayer

Let our evening prayers ascend to your ears, O divine Majesty, and let your blessing descend over us, O Lord, as we put our hope in you; for you live and reign with your Son and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. 

  • Antiphonary of Bangor, Collect at Vespers [13]

Short Verse

I have been crucified with Christ and yet I am alive; yet it is no longer I, but Christ living in me. The life that I am now living, subject to the limitation of human nature, I am living in faith, faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave himself for me. 

Galatians 2:20-21
“The Holy Eucharist Triptych. Panel 3: Wine”
By Brandon J. Hudson
(source)

Eventide Reading: 1 Corinthians 11:17-22

Abuses at the Lord’s Supper

17 But in the following instructions I do not commend you, because when you come together it is not for the better but for the worse. 18 For, in the first place, when you come together as a church, I hear that there are divisions among you. And I believe it in part, 19 for there must be factions among you in order that those who are genuine among you may be recognized. 20 When you come together, it is not the Lord’s supper that you eat. 21 For in eating, each one goes ahead with his own meal. One goes hungry, another gets drunk. 22 What! Do you not have houses to eat and drink in? Or do you despise the church of God and humiliate those who have nothing? What shall I say to you? Shall I commend you in this? No, I will not.

Eventide Lesson

Corinthian irreverence

In our Reading from 1 Corinthians, Paul turned his attention to “an abuse connected with the liturgy, and a more serious one, for it involv[ed] neglect of basic Christian tradition concerning the meaning of the Lord’s Supper. Paul recall[ed] that tradition for them and,” as we shall see in tomorrow’s reading, he “remind[ed] them of its implications.” [14]

“When the Corinthians [came] together (v. 17) as the Church, they reveal[ed] the world, not heaven. For divisions (v. 18, Gr. schismata) and factions (v. 19, Gr. haireseis) are contrary to the Church, which is one and indivisible. Paul [found] only one good thing in this ungodly disorder: God’s approved (v. 19) faithful are shown to be trustworthy.” [15]

“Paul situates their divisions within the context of the eschatological separation of the authentic from the inauthentic and the final revelation of the difference. The notion of authenticity-testing recurs in the injunction to self-examination in view of present and future judgment (1 Cor 11:28–32).” [16]

“The agape meal held before or after the Lord’s Supper (see vv. 33-34; also 2Pt 2:13; Jude 12), was intended to build and unify the community in Christ. It gave the rich opportunity to serve the poor, for everyone brought food and shared it – an ancient potluck supper. When the Corinthians [came] together, however, they experienc[ed] drunkenness and gluttony, not Christ and His Body, manifesting not God’s love (Gr. agape) but self-love.” [17]

Concluding Prayer of the Church

From the Amra (Eulogy) of St. Columba

God, God—I pray before I come into your presence. You are my chariot in battle. God of heaven, do not leave me to the demons who shout through the great smoke of hell. Great God, be my protection from the fires of hell and all its sorrows. Righteous God, truly you are always near. My flesh and my heart cry out to you in heaven. 

  • The Amra of St. Columba, date unknown, after 597 The Irish Liber Hymnorum, p. 60-61 Paraphrased translation for Prayers from the Ancient Celtic Church [18]

  • Devotionals compiled/written by S.P. Rogers

    Citations:

    [1] The Hymnal 1982: according to the use of the Episcopal Church 300. Glory, love, and praise, and honor. The Hymnal 1982: according to the use of the Episcopal Church 300. Glory, love, and praise, and honor | Hymnary.org. (n.d.). https://hymnary.org/hymn/EH1982/300

    [2] The Northumbria Community. (2015). Morning Prayer. In Celtic Daily Prayer (Kindle ed., p. 81). London: HarperCollins.

    [3] FRANKLIN, D. (2018). Day 131. In PRAY THROUGH THE BIBLE IN A YEAR JOURNAL: A daily devotional and reading plan. Uhrichsville, OH: BARBOUR PUB.

    [4] Tickle, P. (2000). June. In The divine hours: Prayers for Summertime (Kindle ed., vol. 2, p. 153). New York, NY: Image Books.

    [5] A., E. E. (2016). Exodus. In The Lutheran study Bible: English standard version (Kindle ed., pp. 286). Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House.

    [6] Ibid. 5

    [7] Ibid. [5]

    [8] The Exodus and the Route of the Wandering [Map]. (2017). In The King James study Bible (Kindle ed., p. 500). Nashville, TN, USA: Thomas Nelson.

    [9] A., E. E. (2016). Exodus. In The Lutheran study Bible: English standard version (Kindle ed., pp. 286). Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House.

    [10] A., E. E. (2016). Numbers. In The Lutheran study Bible: English standard version (Kindle ed., pp. 1287). Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House

    [11] A., E. E. (2016). Exodus. In The Lutheran study Bible: English standard version (Kindle ed., pp. 286). Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House.

    [12] Ibid. 11

    [13] Stratman, P. (2001). Evening Prayers. In Prayers from the Ancient Celtic Church (Kindle ed., p. 18). Rossway.

    [14] Senior, D., Collins, J. J., & Getty-Sullivan, M. A. (2016). 1 Corinthians. 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. 4939). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    [15] Academic Community of St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology (2008). 1 Corinthians. In The Orthodox study Bible (p. 1594). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

    [16] Senior, D., Collins, J. J., & Getty-Sullivan, M. A. (2016). 1 Corinthians. 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. 4939). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    [17] Academic Community of St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology (2008). 1 Corinthians. In The Orthodox study Bible (p. 1594). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

    [18] Stratman, P. (2001). Loricas. In Prayers from the Ancient Celtic Church (Kindle ed., p. 9). Rossway.

    [19] Gill’s Exposition of the entire Bible. Retrieved at: https://biblehub.com/commentaries/exodus/12-34.htm

    [20] Ibid. 19

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