August 4 Devotional (2021)

“Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come…  and delight yourselves in rich food.”

August 4, 2021
Ordinary Time

Today’s Readings: Isaiah 55:1-9 / Mark 8:1-10 / “Many a ship…” by Frances Roberts

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.

Opening Prayer

Most merciful Father, You know our needs and the longings of our soul: Hear the prayers of those who have come here today to search Your Word. For those of us who come feeling broken, bring restoration. For those who come feeling weak, bring strength. For those who come weeping and filled with sorrow, bring joy and hope. For those who come with affliction, bring comfort and reprieve. For those who come with doubts, bring faith. For those who come feeling shame, bring liberation. For those who come feeling burdened, bring rest. For those who come feeling anxious, bring peace. This we ask through Your Son Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Hymn

“This is the hour of banquet and of song”

By Horatius Bonar, 1808-889

Lyrics [1]:

1. This is the hour of banquet and of song;

this is the heavenly table spread for me;

here let me feast, and feasting, still prolong

the brief, bright hour of fellowship with thee.

2. Too soon we rise; we go our several ways;

the feast, though not the love, is past and gone,

the Bread and Wine consumed: yet all our days

thou still art here with us–our Shield and Sun.

3. Feast after feast thus comes and passes by,

yet, passing, points to the glad feast above,

giving us foretaste of the festal joy,

the Lamb’s great marriage feast of bliss and love.


Morning Prayer

One thing I have asked of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life; to behold the beauty of the Lord and to seek Him in His temple. 

           Who is it that you seek?

            We seek the Lord our God.

           Do you seek Him with all your heart?

            Amen. Lord, have mercy.

           Do you seek Him with all your soul?

            Amen. Lord, have mercy.

           Do you seek Him with all your mind?

             Amen. Lord, have mercy.

            Do you seek Him with all your strength?

             Amen. Christ, have mercy. [2]

Short Verse

Be my strong rock, a castle to keep me safe;* you are my crag and my stronghold

PSalm 71:3
“FEASTING AND A LONGING FOR THE FARAWAY”
By Peter Brueghel II
(source)

Morning Reading: Isaiah 55:1-9

Come and eat

1 “Come, everyone who thirsts,

come to the waters;

and he who has no money,

come, buy and eat!

Come, buy wine and milk

without money and without price.

2 Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,

and your labor for that which does not satisfy?

Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good,

and delight yourselves in rich food.

3 Incline your ear, and come to me;

hear, that your soul may live;

and I will make with you an everlasting covenant,

my steadfast, sure love for David.

4 Behold, I made him a witness to the peoples,

a leader and commander for the peoples.

5 Behold, you shall call a nation that you do not know,

and a nation that did not know you shall run to you,

because of the LORD your God, and of the Holy One of Israel,

for he has glorified you.

6 “Seek the LORD while he may be found;

call upon him while he is near;

7 let the wicked forsake his way,

and the unrighteous man his thoughts;

let him return to the LORD, that he may have compassion on him,

and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.

8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts,

neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD.

9 For as the heavens are higher than the earth,

so are my ways higher than your ways

and my thoughts than your thoughts.

Morning Lesson

“Come”

“The prophetic speeches of Isaiah 40–55 are set late in the period of the Babylonian Exile, and were presumably written at that time. The prophetic voice heralds an end to Babylon’s supremacy (Is 43:14; 47:1; 48:14) and urges the Judahite exiles, ‘Go forth from Babylon, flee from Chaldea!’ (Is 48:20). Cyrus, the ruler of Persia, a kingdom east of Babylon, is named as God’s ‘anointed,’ or royal agent (Is 45:1). Cyrus conquered the kingdom of the Medes to the north of Persia in 550. He continued to expand his dominion westward, subjecting territories once dominated by the Babylonians to his rule and, in 339, capturing the city of Babylon. Once firmly in power, Cyrus issued a widely distributed decree permitting exiled peoples living in the region of Babylon to return to their native lands to rebuild their sacred cities and shrines. He is referred to in Second Isaiah as a ‘champion of justice’ and the Lord’s ‘attendant’ (Is 41:2), the Lord’s ‘shepherd,’ who carries out the divine will to rebuild the Jerusalem temple (Is 44:28).” [3]

“It should be understood that the Judahites and other exiled groups were most likely settled in Babylon on vacated land, which they worked as tenant farmers. In the letter of Jeremiah to the first group of exiles, he sends them divine instructions to build houses, plant gardens, marry, and even pray for the welfare of the city on which they were now dependent (Jer 29:4–7). Second Isaiah’s call to the exiles almost a generation later to leave their lives in Babylon and return to a city and land in ruins may have seemed less than appealing. The lyric praise and bold claims about what God can do in the speeches of Isaiah 40–55 are directed toward illuminating this leap in the dark. The question posed in Is 50:10 hits the mark: ‘Who among you fears the Lord, heeds his servant’s voice? / Whoever walk in darkness, without any light, / Yet trust in the name of the Lord, and rely upon their God!’” [4]

Chapters 54-55 “conclude Isaiah 40–55 with assurances of God’s tender care (Is 54:1–17) and exhortations to the community to seek what the Lord offers (Is 55:1–9). God’s promises are the lot, or inheritance, of ‘the servants of the Lord’ (Is 54:17), who can look forward to becoming a community taught by the Lord, at peace, grounded in and protected by justice (Is 54:13–14). To inherit these promises, however, some action is required. The community must seek and call upon God, which means that the wicked must give up their ways of acting and thinking and look to divine mercy and forgiveness (Is 55:1–3, 6–7).” [5]

“Isaiah 40–55 ends by echoing the opening affirmation of the durability of the divine word (Is 40:6–8) with an affirmation of its life-giving capacity. God’s word, like rain, is ultimately fruitful in bringing about what the Lord sends it to do (Is 55:10–11). The transformation of nature in the last two verses of Isaiah 55 is a sign of this generative force.” [6]

In today’s reading, “the prophet invites all to return, under the figure of a banquet [vv. 1-3]: cf. the covenant banquet in Ex 24:9–11 and wisdom’s banquet in Prv 9:1–6. The Lord’s covenant with David (2 Sm 7) is now to be extended beyond his dynasty.” [7] “In the OT, longing for God and His wisdom is often associated with longing for water and food (cf Ps 36:8; Pr 18:4; Jer 2:13)… Though readily available in many parts of the world, water was most precious in dry Israel.” [8].

The repeated cry come in verse 1 “mimics the sounds of the marketplace, where the staples of life— water, bread, milk, wine— could be bought. Attendance at salvation’s banquet, prepared by the Servant, is not restricted to the socially and financially elite. As a town crier, God broadcasts the invitation: ‘Come, for everything is now ready’ (Lk 14:17). No one is forced to obey the summons. However, those who disregard it must reckon with the possibility that they have heard it for the last time (Is 49:8; Jn 12:35 ; 2Co 6:2).” [9] Unlike at the market, however, “this merchant offers staples at no cost, because the Suffering Servant has already paid the price (cf Is 53:11–12).” [10]

The witness in verse 4 is the Messiah. “God’s testimony to ‘the peoples’ through Israel’s king reached full clarity in ‘Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth’ (Rv 1:5; cf Jn 18:37).” [11]

“The ‘nation’ is Persia under Cyrus, but the perspective is worldwide.” [12] “Many nations, esp those thus far unknown, will stream to Israel because of the deeds of the Lord (cf 2: 1– 5; chs 13–23). This envisioned worldwide outreach [began] with the Lord’s summons to Abram (Gn 12:1– 3), who [would] be the source of blessing to all the families of the earth (Gn 18:18; 22:18; 26:4; 28:14). The election of Israel is the very means of salvation for the nations (cf Ex 19:5–6). At Sinai, Israel [was] distinctly marked and empowered to be an evangelist.” [13]

“The invitation to seek the Lord [vv. 6-9] is motivated by the mercy of a God whose ‘ways’ are completely mysterious.” [14] “The Servant reconcil[ed] the sinner to the Lord. The Lord has come near [v. 6] through His Word. The kind of ‘seeking’ [v. 6] this chapter calls for is ‘listening’ to the Lord’s Word (cf Jer 29:13–14; Hos 3:5; Am 5:6, 14).” [15]

“Though all are invited, there is no room in the kingdom of grace for those who refuse to turn from their wicked ways [v. 7] or for those who think only of their own righteousness and feel insulted by God’s offer to ‘abundantly pardon’ their sins. Let no one presume to come on his or her own terms, because none can comprehend God’s ways and thoughts to save fallen mankind.” [16] Return to the LORD “by the Lord’s Word, which accomplishes that which He purposes (cf v 11)… He will pardon and have mercy on every penitent sinner, no matter how much sin is ‘increased’ (Rm 5:20). All others remain wicked and unrighteous in His sight.)” [17]

“Seeking to understand all things about the ways of the Lord is futile [vv. 8-9]. His plans and reasons are beyond our understanding (Jb 38:1– 40: 2; Rm 11:33–36).” [18]

“Whether or not we understand the ways of the Lord, we can trust that His Word is true and will do what it says.” [19] “This is all because of the Word, which is a heavenly, holy Word, which no one can praise enough. For it has, and is able to do, all that God is and can do.” [20]


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.

For thine is the kingdom,

     and the power, and the glory,

     for ever and ever. Amen.

Short Verse

In the evening, in the morning, and at noonday, I will complain and lament,* and he will hear my voice. 

Psalm 55:18

Midday Reading: Mark 8:1-10

Jesus feeds 4000

1 In those days, when again a great crowd had gathered, and they had nothing to eat, he called his disciples to him and said to them, 2 “I have compassion on the crowd, because they have been with me now three days and have nothing to eat. 3 And if I send them away hungry to their homes, they will faint on the way. And some of them have come from far away.” 4 And his disciples answered him, “How can one feed these people with bread here in this desolate place?” 5 And he asked them, “How many loaves do you have?” They said, “Seven.” 6 And he directed the crowd to sit down on the ground. And he took the seven loaves, and having given thanks, he broke them and gave them to his disciples to set before the people; and they set them before the crowd. 7 And they had a few small fish. And having blessed them, he said that these also should be set before them. 8 And they ate and were satisfied. And they took up the broken pieces left over, seven baskets full. 9 And there were about four thousand people. And he sent them away. 10 And immediately he got into the boat with his disciples and went to the district of Dalmanutha.

Midday Lesson

Prefiguration of the Blessed Sacrament

“The first half of Mark’s Gospel covers most of Jesus’s public ministry, beginning in the Jewish region of Galilee, and then extending into Gentile territory. It consists largely of mighty deeds and controversy stories, interspersed with occasional call and commissioning narratives. Initial successes in Jesus’s ministry lead to determined opposition by religious leaders and incomprehension by others, including Jesus’s kin and disciples. His powerful words and deeds increasingly raise questions about his identity: ‘Who then is this whom even wind and sea obey?’ (4:41).” [21]

“The two accounts of the multiplication of loaves and fishes (Mk 8:1–10; 6:31–44) have eucharistic significance.” [22] The sequence of “taking the bread, speaking a blessing, breaking, and then giving… also occurs in the institution of the Lord’s Supper (14:22).” [23] “In the breaking of the bread [v. 6], Christ used Eucharistic language, thus prefiguring the Sacrament of the Eucharist that he would institute at his Last Supper.” [24]

The “similarity of structure and themes but dissimilarity of detail” in the two accounts are considered by some “to refer to a single event that… developed in two distinct traditions, one Jewish Christian and the other Gentile Christian, since Jesus in Mark’s presentation (Mk 7:24–37) has extended his saving mission to the Gentiles.” [25]

“The second miracle of the loaves gives another reference to the new People of God… While the first miracle was performed for Jews, it appears that many in the crowd here were Gentiles. Whereas the earlier miracle saw twelve baskets of scraps collected, representing the twelve tribes of Israel, this miracle resulted in seven baskets collected, representing the seven Gentile nations that neighbored Israel. As was indicated to the Syro-Phoenician woman in the previous chapter, the Gospel is first preached to the Jews, then to the Gentiles, but ultimately all are invited to worship and [to] partake in the Eucharist.” [26]


Eventide Prayer

Our hearts and hands by night, O Lord, 

We lift them in Our need; 

As holy Psalmists give the word, 

And holy Paul the deed.   

Each sin to thee of years gone by, 

Each hidden stain lies bare; 

We shrink not from thine awful eye, 

But pray that thou wouldst spare.   

Grant this, O Father, Only Son 

And Spirit, God of grace, 

To whom all worship shall be done 

In every time and place, Amen. [27]

Short Verse

Light shines in the darkness for the upright;* the righteous are merciful and full of compassion.

Psalm 112:4

Eventide Reading

Many a ship…

Many a ship has sailed from port to port with no interference from Me, because Strong Will has been at the wheel. Multitudes of pleasure cruises go merrily on their ways, untouched by the power of My hand. But you have put your life into My keeping, and because you are depending on Me for guidance and direction, I shall give it. Move on steadily, and know that the waters that carry you are the waters of My love and My kindness, and I will keep you on the right course.

By Frances J. Roberts [28]

Compline Prayer

As is the end of the day, even so is the end of life, even near at hand. We, therefore, remembering this, beseech thee, O Lord, to grant that our ends may be truly Christian, acceptable to thee, void of sin and shame, and, so far as thou shalt think proper, void of pain. Amen.

  • Lancelot Andrews 

  • Devotionals compiled/written by S.P. Rogers

    Citations:

    [1] The Hymnal 1982: according to the use of the Episcopal Church 316. This is the hour of banquet and of song. The Hymnal 1982: according to the use of the Episcopal Church 316. This is the hour of banquet and of song | Hymnary.org. (n.d.). https://hymnary.org/hymn/EH1982/316

    [2] The Northumbria Community. (2015). Morning Prayer. In Celtic Daily Prayer (Kindle ed., p. 60-81). London: HarperCollins.

    [3] Senior, D., Collins, J. J., & Getty-Sullivan, M. A. (2016). Isaiah. 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. 643). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    [4] Ibid. 3

    [5] Ibid. 3, P. 649

    [6] Ibid. 3, P. 649

    [7] Ibid. 3, P. 3633

    [8] A., E. E. (2016). Isaiah. In The Lutheran study Bible: English standard version (Kindle ed., pp. 5131). Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House

    [9] Ibid. 8

    [10] Ibid. 8

    [11] Ibid. 8, P. 5132

    [12] Senior, D., Collins, J. J., & Getty-Sullivan, M. A. (2016). Isaiah. 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. 3633). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    [13] A., E. E. (2016). Isaiah. In The Lutheran study Bible: English standard version (Kindle ed., pp. 5132). Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House.

    [14] Senior, D., Collins, J. J., & Getty-Sullivan, M. A. (2016). Isaiah. 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. 3633). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    [15] A., E. E. (2016). Isaiah. In The Lutheran study Bible: English standard version (Kindle ed., pp. 5132). Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House.

    [16] Ibid. 15

    [17] Ibid. 15

    [18] Ibid. 15, P. 5132-5133

    [19] Ibid. 15, P. 5133

    [20] Ibid. 15, P. 5133

    [21] Senior, D., Collins, J. J., & Getty-Sullivan, M. A. (2016). Mark. 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. 837). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    [22] Ibid. 21, P. 4506

    [23] A., E. E. (2016). Mark. In The Lutheran study Bible: English standard version (Kindle ed., pp. 7197). Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House

    [24] Cole, J. (Ed.). (2015). Mark. In Didache Bible: With commentaries based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church (Kindle ed., p. 3606). Downers Grove, IL: Midwest Theological Forum,, Ignatius Press.

    [25] Senior, D., Collins, J. J., & Getty-Sullivan, M. A. (2016). Mark. 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. 4506). Oxford: Oxford University Press.

    [26] Cole, J. (Ed.). (2015). Mark. In Didache Bible: With commentaries based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church (Kindle ed., p. 3606). Downers Grove, IL: Midwest Theological Forum,, Ignatius Press.

    [27] Bellarmine, G. (2021). Matins. In The Roman Breviary in English, in Order, Every Day for April, May, and June 2021 (Kindle ed., p. 3295). Christian Books Today.

    [28] The Northumbria Community. (2015). Morning Prayer. In Celtic Daily Prayer (Kindle ed., p. 79159). London: HarperCollins.

    Leave a Reply

    Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

    WordPress.com Logo

    You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

    Google photo

    You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

    Twitter picture

    You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

    Facebook photo

    You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

    Connecting to %s

    Create your website with WordPress.com
    Get started
    %d bloggers like this: