Put off your old self… and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
August 2, 2021
Today’s Readings: Psalm 107:1-3, 33-43 / Numbers 11:4-23, 31-32 / Ephesians 4:17-24
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.
Collect of the Week
Let your continual mercy, O Lord, cleanse and defend your Church; and, because it cannot continue in safety without your help, protect and govern it always by your goodness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. 
“O Food to pilgrims given”
(1982 Hymnal # 309)
Our limbs refreshed with slumber now,
And sloth cast off, in prayer we bow;
And while we sing thy praises dear,
O Father, be thou present here.
To thee our earliest morning song,
To thee our hearts full powers belong;
And thou, O Holy One, prevent
Each following action and intent. Amen. 
Morning Reading: Psalm 107:1-3, 33-43
God feeds the hungry
O give thanks to the Lord, for he is good;
for his steadfast love endures forever.
Let the redeemed of the Lord say so,
those he redeemed from trouble
and gathered in from the lands,
from the east and from the west,
from the north and from the south.
He turns rivers into a desert,
springs of water into thirsty ground,
a fruitful land into a salty waste,
because of the wickedness of its inhabitants.
He turns a desert into pools of water,
a parched land into springs of water.
And there he lets the hungry live,
and they establish a town to live in;
they sow fields, and plant vineyards,
and get a fruitful yield.
By his blessing they multiply greatly,
and he does not let their cattle decrease.
When they are diminished and brought low
through oppression, trouble, and sorrow,
he pours contempt on princes
and makes them wander in trackless wastes;
but he raises up the needy out of distress,
and makes their families like flocks.
The upright see it and are glad;
and all wickedness stops its mouth.
Let those who are wise give heed to these things,
and consider the steadfast love of the Lord.
O Lord, support us all the day long, until the shadows lengthen, and the evening comes, and the busy world is hushed, and the fever of life is over, and our work is done. Then in thy mercy, grant us a safe lodging, and a holy rest, and peace at the last. Amen.
John Henry Newman 
Midday Reading: Numbers 11:4-23, 31-32
God sends quail
4 Now the rabble that was among them had a strong craving. And the people of Israel also wept again and said, “Oh that we had meat to eat! 5 We remember the fish we ate in Egypt that cost nothing, the cucumbers, the melons, the leeks, the onions, and the garlic. 6 But now our strength is dried up, and there is nothing at all but this manna to look at.”
7 Now the manna was like coriander seed, and its appearance like that of bdellium. 8 The people went about and gathered it and ground it in handmills or beat it in mortars and boiled it in pots and made cakes of it. And the taste of it was like the taste of cakes baked with oil. 9 When the dew fell upon the camp in the night, the manna fell with it.
10 Moses heard the people weeping throughout their clans, everyone at the door of his tent. And the anger of the LORD blazed hotly, and Moses was displeased. 11 Moses said to the LORD, “Why have you dealt ill with your servant? And why have I not found favor in your sight, that you lay the burden of all this people on me? 12 Did I conceive all this people? Did I give them birth, that you should say to me, ‘Carry them in your bosom, as a nurse carries a nursing child,’ to the land that you swore to give their fathers? 13 Where am I to get meat to give to all this people? For they weep before me and say, ‘Give us meat, that we may eat.’ 14 I am not able to carry all this people alone; the burden is too heavy for me. 15 If you will treat me like this, kill me at once, if I find favor in your sight, that I may not see my wretchedness.”
16 Then the LORD said to Moses, “Gather for me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom you know to be the elders of the people and officers over them, and bring them to the tent of meeting, and let them take their stand there with you. 17 And I will come down and talk with you there. And I will take some of the Spirit that is on you and put it on them, and they shall bear the burden of the people with you, so that you may not bear it yourself alone. 18 And say to the people, ‘Consecrate yourselves for tomorrow, and you shall eat meat, for you have wept in the hearing of the LORD, saying, “Who will give us meat to eat? For it was better for us in Egypt.” Therefore the LORD will give you meat, and you shall eat. 19 You shall not eat just one day, or two days, or five days, or ten days, or twenty days, 20 but a whole month, until it comes out at your nostrils and becomes loathsome to you, because you have rejected the LORD who is among you and have wept before him, saying, “Why did we come out of Egypt?”’” 21 But Moses said, “The people among whom I am number six hundred thousand on foot, and you have said, ‘I will give them meat, that they may eat a whole month!’ 22 Shall flocks and herds be slaughtered for them, and be enough for them? Or shall all the fish of the sea be gathered together for them, and be enough for them?” 23 And the LORD said to Moses, “Is the LORD’s hand shortened? Now you shall see whether my word will come true for you or not.”
31 Then a wind from the LORD sprang up, and it brought quail from the sea and let them fall beside the camp, about a day’s journey on this side and a day’s journey on the other side, around the camp, and about two cubits above the ground. 32 And the people rose all that day and all night and all the next day, and gathered the quail. Those who gathered least gathered ten homers. And they spread them out for themselves all around the camp.
Quail and Plague
Today’s reading from Numbers takes place during the Israelites’ journey to the plains of Moab (which is written about in Numbers 10:11-22:1). “The people’s complaining on the way toward Canaan parallels that of their journey from Egypt to Sinai, during which their complaints were answered by divine provision with water, quail, and manna. (In the journey from Sinai toward Canaan, the order in which these three are provided is partially reversed; with manna and quail in the present section, and water in Numbers 20.)” 
“In addition to treating the people’s demands on the Lord, the present section [Numbers 10:11-22:1] also addresses the people’s inability to act upon the Lord’s demands that they accept the leaders that the Lord has chosen for them and that they trust the Lord to bring them into the land. In the narrative of the journey from Sinai toward Canaan, the people’s complaints thus become pointedly symptomatic of the larger problem: their lack of trust.” 
“The narrative dramatizes the level of trust demanded by the people’s having entered into a covenant relationship with the Lord at Sinai. It also expands the presentation of Moses in the role of a mediator, portraying him as engaging with the Lord more passionately than during the journey toward Sinai. It is helpful to see such exchanges between Moses and the Lord over against widely held assumptions in the biblical world that suffering resulted from divine anger over offenses against the divine. Portraying Moses, the archetypal prophet, engaging the Lord in this way would have offered Israelite hearers a way to imagine in their own time that the Lord’s anger would not last forever, and that their own prophets could be effective in restoring a favorable relationship with the Lord.” 
“The Israelites [were] disgusted with the manna provided by God and focus[ed] their longing on fond memories of Egypt (11:4–6). The larger narrative context, however, suggests the selectivity of their memory about Egypt and their willingness to abandon the goal of entering the promised land, a goal that they accepted when they agreed to the covenant with the Lord. Moses’s appeal to the Lord shifts quickly from direct complaint to over the people’s suffering under divine punishment, ‘Why do you treat your servant so badly?’ (11:11a), to a play upon the Lord’s parental responsibility for them: ‘Why are you so displeased with me that you burden me with all this people? (11:11b) Was it I who conceived all this people? or was it I who gave them birth, that you tell me to carry them at my breast, like a nurse carrying an infant, to the land you have promised under oath to their fathers? (11:12) . . . I cannot carry all this people by myself, for they are too heavy for me’ (11:14). In Deuteronomy 1:31, Moses recounts that the Lord carried the people through the wilderness as one carries one’s child. In the present narrative, the Lord responds to Moses’s complaint by appointing seventy elders to assist him. But in responding to the people’s desire for meat, the Lord first gives them quails but then strikes them with a plague. The lack of the people’s repentance and of any mention of healing or alleviation of the plague fits the larger narrative context: the generation that left Egypt demonstrates rebelliousness and so will not be allowed to enter the promised land, while the new generation represents hope for a more faithful relationship to the Lord. By contrast to the present account, the story of the bronze serpent (Nm 21:4–9) occurs after Aaron’s death and so represents a transition to the new generation. In that story, the people repent of their rebellion, and many are healed of their illness.” 
“Kibroth-hattaavah [vv. 34, 35] means ‘Graves of Craving.’ Much of the discontent among the Israelites centered around the supply of food and water and their discontent with God’s provision (Ex. 16:2; Num. 20). Mixt multitude is translated ‘rabble’ [v. 4] by some commentators. It must refer to the non-Israelites who joined the Exodus (Ex. 12:38; Lev. 24:10). They are the ones who began to complain and stir up Israel. They longed for the fresh vegetables, fish, and meat they had eaten in Egypt. Actually they were expressing their opposition to God’s purpose that they should settle in Canaan (vv. 18, 20; 14:2ff.; 20:5; Ex. 14:11ff.; 16:3; 17:3). And they were certainly displeased with God’s provision of manna for food.” 
“The quails [v. 31] may not have covered the ground to a depth of two cubits (three feet), but, as the Vulgate, the Targums, and Rashi agree, they may have kept flying around the camp at a height of about three feet so the people could knock them down easily. The psalmist remarks concerning this episode: ‘And he gave them their request; but sent leanness into their soul’ (Ps. 106:15).” 
“The heaps of quail lying upon the ground all around the Israelites’ camp suggest the ambiguity of God’s response to the people’s lament for meat in v. 4 and foreshadow the plague which God will now bring upon Israel (v. 33). Their request had been nothing less than a rejection of what God has done for them (v. 20).” 
Almighty Father, you have given me the strength to work throughout this day. Receive my evening sacrifice of praise in thanksgiving for your countless gifts. I ask this through my Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
THE LITURGY OF THE HOURS, VOL. III 
Eventide Reading: Ephesians 4:17-24
The new life
17 Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds. 18 They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to their hardness of heart. 19 They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity. 20 But that is not the way you learned Christ!— 21 assuming that you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, 22 to put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, 23 and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds, 24and to put on the new self, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.
The old self and the new self
Our passage from Ephesians comes from a section focusing on the world mission of the Church (3:1–4:24). “The author of Ephesians identifies himself as ‘Paul, a prisoner of Christ [Jesus] for you Gentiles’ (3:1). He then abruptly interrupts this self-introduction to elaborate on his role in the mystery of God’s plan for the salvation of the world. Now imprisoned, Paul continues the work of intercession. Through prayer Paul brings the Gentiles to God. The church, the body of Christ and the family of God, is entrusted with the work of salvation that is to fill all things ‘with the fullness of God’ (3:19). Paul understands his work to be essential in God’s plan and yet he is unperturbed either by his own imprisonment or by the failure of some to accept the message of Christ. Salvation as well as creation is in God’s hands and God’s plan is being fulfilled in inscrutable mystery.” 
“The language reflects that introduced by Paul in his earlier writings. But the conception of the divine plan of salvation is more developed. The church, under the impetus of the Spirit, is bringing all to the ‘one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all’ (4:6). Paul’s prayer is that ‘you may be filled with the fullness of God’ (3:19). The mystery of God who ordained that ‘all Israel will be saved’ (Rom 11:26) now prescribes that we ‘no longer live as the Gentiles do’ (Eph 4:17), but ‘put on the new self, created in God’s way in righteousness and holiness of truth’ (4:24). Having described this mystery, Paul goes on to exhort the Ephesians to express their common call to holiness and unity in their daily life.” 
In today’s passage, “Paul begins to indicate how the new life in Christ contrasts with the Gentiles’ old way of existence. Literally, the old self (Eph 4:22) and the new self (Eph 4:24) are ‘the old man’ and ‘the new man’ (anthrōpos, person), as at Eph 2:15.” 
“Paul described the implications of living a new life in Christ and his truth. As a new creation, those who live by faith have put off their old, corrupt ways and are renewed in spirit.”  “The predicate ‘put on’ [v. 24] reminds us of the white garments that are placed on a newly baptized person. The baptized die to sin and are raised to a new life in Christ.” 
O Lord God, Life of mortals, Light of the faithful, strength of those who labor, and the rest for your saints, give us a peaceful night free of all trouble, that after quiet sleep we may enjoy your blessings at the return of the light, and be empowered by your Holy Spirit, and moved to give you thanks.
Mozarabic Rite, 7th-8th century, Ancient Collects, p. 11.2, The New Ancient Collects, #33 
Devotionals compiled/written by S.P. Rogers
 piscopal 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. 232). New York, NY: Church Publishing Incorporated.
 Bellarmine, G. (2021). Matins. In The Roman Breviary in English, in Order, Every Day for April, May, and June 2021 (Kindle ed., p. 3205). Christian Books Today.
 Forward Movement. (2013). Daily Prayers. In Prayers for All Occasions (Kindle ed., pp. 167). Cincinnati, OH: Forward Movement.
 Senior, D., Collins, J. J., & Getty-Sullivan, M. A. (2016). Numbers. 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. 315). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
 Ibid. 4
 Ibid. 4
 Ibid. 4, P. 315-316
 Numbers. (2017). In The King James study Bible (Kindle ed., p. 846). Nashville, TN, USA: Thomas Nelson.
 Ibid. 8
 Senior, D., Collins, J. J., & Getty-Sullivan, M. A. (2016). Numbers. 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. 1571). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
 Tickle, P. (2000). July. In The divine hours: Prayers for Summertime (Kindle ed., vol. 2, p. 199). New York, NY: Image Books.
 Senior, D., Collins, J. J., & Getty-Sullivan, M. A. (2016). Ephesians. 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. 1011). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
 Ibid. 13
 Ibid. 12, P. 1542
 Cole, J. (Ed.). (2015). Ephesians. In Didache Bible: With commentaries based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church (Kindle ed., p. 3569). Downers Grove, IL: Midwest Theological Forum,, Ignatius Press.
 Ibid. 15
 Stratman, P. (2001). Evening Prayers. In Prayers from the Ancient Celtic Church (Kindle ed., p. 20). Rossway.