August 27 Devotional (2021)

 “And as soon as he came near the camp and saw the calf and the dancing, Moses’ anger burned hot, and he threw the tablets out of his hands and broke them at the foot of the mountain.”

August 27, 2021
Ordinary Time

Today’s Readings:    Exodus 32:15-35 /“To hallow the name of God” by Jean-Pierre de Caussade / James 1:9-16


A prayer inspired by St. Monica, Mother of Augustine of Hippo, who we remember on August 27th

O Lord, who through spiritual discipline didst strengthen thy Servant Monnica to persevere in offering her love and prayers and tears for the conversion of her husband and of Augustine their son: Deepen our devotion, we beseech thee, and use us in accordance with thy will to bring others, even our own kindred, to acknowledge Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord; who with thee and the Holy Spirit liveth and reigneth, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.


Invitatory 

Come, O child of God. Come and drink from the well of God’s Word. Refresh your soul, revive your mind, renew your hope. 

Opening Prayer

O God, guide us on the sea of our life. Lead us, over the waves of uncertainty. Protect us  from the depths we cannot see. Guide us with the wind of your Holy Spirit. So through you we set our course and in you we find our purpose and our peace. In Jesus name, Amen. [1]

Hymn

“I want to walk as a child of the light”

By Kathleen Thomerson

Lyrics:

I want to walk as a child of the light

I want to follow Jesus

God sent the stars to give light to the world

The star of my life is Jesus

In Him, there is no darkness at all

The night and the day are both alike

The Lamb is the light of the city of God

Shine in my heart, Lord Jesus

I want to see the brightness of God

I want to look at Jesus

Clear sun of righteousness, shine on my path

And show me the way to the Father

In Him, there is no darkness at all

The night and the day are both alike

The Lamb is the light of the city of God

Shine in my heart, Lord Jesus

I’m looking for the coming of Christ

I want to be with Jesus

When we have run with patience the race

We shall know the joy of Jesus

In Him, there is no darkness at all

The night and the day are both alike

The Lamb is the light of the city of God

Shine in my heart, Lord Jesus [2]


Morning Lorica

Lorica of Leyden, possibly 7th century

“Lorica” was originally the word for a breastplate that a Roman soldier would wear. Loricas were prayers for protection—sometimes praying for protection from every angle, or protection for every part of the body.” [3]

The following is “a shortened, paraphrased translation of the Lorica of Leyden. Like the Lorica of Mugron above, the original goes into much greater detail than “arms, legs, hands, feet, etc.” It also has a section that charges the saints, the angels of heaven and the forces of nature to ‘cleanse my heart for the love of God.’” [4]

O Lord, hear me until the end.

Let your love descend upon all my members.

Search my members for your love,

from the top of my head to the soles of my feet,

arms, legs, hands, feet, front, back, fingers, toes. …

God, search me, and cleanse my heart for your love.

– Lorica of Leyden, possibly 7th century, condensed [5]

Short Verse

The LORD is gracious and full of compassion,* slow to anger and of great kindness. The LORD is loving to everyone* and his compassion is over all his works.

Psalm 145:8-9
“The Golden Calf”
(image source)

Morning Reading: Exodus 32:15-35

Moses punishes the Israelites’ evil

15 Then Moses turned and went down from the mountain with the two tablets of the testimony in his hand, tablets that were written on both sides; on the front and on the back they were written. 16 The tablets were the work of God, and the writing was the writing of God, engraved on the tablets. 17 When Joshua heard the noise of the people as they shouted, he said to Moses, “There is a noise of war in the camp.” 18 But he said, “It is not the sound of shouting for victory, or the sound of the cry of defeat, but the sound of singing that I hear.” 19 And as soon as he came near the camp and saw the calf and the dancing, Moses’ anger burned hot, and he threw the tablets out of his hands and broke them at the foot of the mountain. 20 He took the calf that they had made and burned it with fire and ground it to powder and scattered it on the water and made the people of Israel drink it.

21 And Moses said to Aaron, “What did this people do to you that you have brought such a great sin upon them?” 22 And Aaron said, “Let not the anger of my lord burn hot. You know the people, that they are set on evil. 23 For they said to me, ‘Make us gods who shall go before us. As for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.’ 24 So I said to them, ‘Let any who have gold take it off.’ So they gave it to me, and I threw it into the fire, and out came this calf.”

25 And when Moses saw that the people had broken loose (for Aaron had let them break loose, to the derision of their enemies), 26 then Moses stood in the gate of the camp and said, “Who is on the LORD’s side? Come to me.” And all the sons of Levi gathered around him. 27 And he said to them, “Thus says the LORD God of Israel, ‘Put your sword on your side each of you, and go to and fro from gate to gate throughout the camp, and each of you kill his brother and his companion and his neighbor.’” 28 And the sons of Levi did according to the word of Moses. And that day about three thousand men of the people fell. 29 And Moses said, “Today you have been ordained for the service of the LORD, each one at the cost of his son and of his brother, so that he might bestow a blessing upon you this day.”

30 The next day Moses said to the people, “You have sinned a great sin. And now I will go up to the LORD; perhaps I can make atonement for your sin.” 31 So Moses returned to the LORD and said, “Alas, this people has sinned a great sin. They have made for themselves gods of gold. 32 But now, if you will forgive their sin—but if not, please blot me out of your book that you have written.” 33 But the LORD said to Moses, “Whoever has sinned against me, I will blot out of my book. 34 But now go, lead the people to the place about which I have spoken to you; behold, my angel shall go before you. Nevertheless, in the day when I visit, I will visit their sin upon them.”

35 Then the LORD sent a plague on the people, because they made the calf, the one that Aaron made.

[6]

Morning Lesson

When Moses broke the tablets 

“It appears that Joshua had accompanied Moses on at least a part of the journey to Mt. Sinai (see 24:13, 14). While Moses was alone with God, Joshua seems to have remained nearby. From his base, he was the first to hear the raucous worship of the golden calf and report that startling news to Moses.” [7]

“Overwhelmed by the actual sight of the blatant idolatry and revelry, Moses broke the stone tablets containing the commandments which had already been broken in the hearts and actions of the people. There is a place for righteous anger. However angry Moses might have been, God was angrier still—he wanted to kill all the people. Anger at sin is a sign of spiritual vitality. Don’t squelch this kind of anger. But when you are justifiably angry at sin, be careful not to do anything that you will regret later.” [8]

“Aaron’s decision nearly cost him his life [vv. 21-24]. His absurd excuse shows the spiritual decline in his leadership and in the people. Those who function as spokespersons and assistants need to be doubly sure their theology and morality are in tune with God so they will not be influenced by pressure from people.” [9]

“Moses sent the Levites [vv. 27-28] to kill the people engaged in evil (most likely sexual degeneracy, see Num. 25). It was painful for a Levite to slay his brother . . . his companion . . . his neighbor. But the wicked, even if they were relatives, had to be destroyed lest the whole camp perish under God’s judgment.” [10]

Verse 32 says, But now, if you will forgive their sin—but if not, please blot me out of your book that you have written.” “This is the most touching moment in Moses’ leadership of the Israelites. Like Paul many centuries later, he could almost wish himself to be cursed, if by being so he could secure the salvation of his people (see Rom. 9:3). Moses’ offer could not be accepted. But his selfless gesture also resembles the self-sacrifice of Jesus, which God accepted as the atonement for the sins of every generation of humanity (Mark 10:45). My book is the Book of Life (Ps. 87:6; Rev. 3:5).” [11]

In verse 34, “God promises that His Angel (23:20–23) will still lead the people, but coupled with that promise is a solemn threat of punishment. The expression in the day may refer to the Day of the Lord, proclaimed by later prophets (see Joel 2; Zeph. 1).” [12]

Today’s reading ends with verse 35: Then the LORD sent a plague on the people, because they made the calf, the one that Aaron made. “It is not clear whether the LORD plagued the people after Moses’ prayer or if this passage refers to the judgment God had already sent upon the people (see vv. 26–28). It is possible that this refers both to the punishment of the Lord for this particular sin and to later plagues (punishments) that would befall the Israelites in the wilderness as they continued to disobey the Lord.” [13]


Midday Prayer

Of the Holy Cross

Almighty God, whose beloved Son willingly endured the agony and shame of the cross for our redemption: Give us courage to take up our cross and follow him; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. [14]

Short Verse

Unless the LORD builds the house,* their labor is in vain who build it.

Psalm 127:1
“One of the most beautiful waterfalls in Iceland, it is well known as the most photogenic waterfalls in Iceland. This waterfall plunges from a height of 60 meters from an ancient cliff into a shallow pool of water. Located in the Southern coast of Iceland, the waterfalls is just 120 km from Reykjavik or a 2-hour drive from the Capital. Take route 249 from the Ring Road to reach this magical wonder.”
(source)

Midday Reading

“To hallow the name of God”

To hallow the name of God is, in the language of the Scripture, to love him, adore Him, and to recognize His holiness in all things. Things, like words, do indeed proceed from the mouth of God. The events of each moment are divine thoughts expressed by created objects. Thus, all those things by which He makes His will known to us are so many names, so many words by which He shows us His will.… To hallow the name of God is to know, adore, and love the Ineffable One expressed by this name. It is also to know, adore and love His blessed will at all times, in all its effects, seeing all things as so many veils, shadows and names of this eternally holy will. It is holy in all its works, holy in all its words, holy in all its forms of manifestation, holy in all the names it bears.

Jean-Pierre de Caussade [15]

Eventide Prayer

Our Lord Jesus Christ, who offered himself to be sacrificed for us to the Father, forgives our sins by the grace of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

(adapted from the Book of Common Prayer) [16]

Short Verse

Tremble, then, and do not sin;* speak to your heart in silence upon your bed. Offer the appointed sacrifices* and put your trust in the LORD.

Psalm 4:4-5

Eventide Reading: James 1:9-16

Blessed are those who endure temptation

9 Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation, 10 and the rich in his humiliation, because like a flower of the grassc he will pass away. 11 For the sun rises with its scorching heat and withers the grass; its flower falls, and its beauty perishes. So also will the rich man fade away in the midst of his pursuits.

12 Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. 13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. 14 But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. 15 Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.

16 Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. 17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change. 18 Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.

Eventide Lesson

The origin of temptation 

“Note the reversal of the order of the world. The lowly (v. 9), those who have the least here, will have the most in the Kingdom of Heaven (see 2:5; Mt 5:3; Lk 1:52), but they are tempted to be bitter and envious. The rich (v. 10) may perceive their goods as passing, but they are tempted to be greedy and arrogant and may thereby lose true wealth (see 5:1-12).” [17]

Verse 12 says, Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial… “We are to rejoice even in temptations. They reveal whether or not we are prepared for heaven (see 1Co 9:25).” [18]

In verses 1-11, James discussed outward trials. In verse 12, “he now turns to inward temptations, which deceive us and lead us into sin. God tries us, but He never tempts us.” [19]

“The immediate origin of a temptation is our own sinful passions, which the devil energizes. Temptation begins with desires or lusts, then progresses to being conceived, a fixation on or delight in sinful desires. We fall to temptation because we allow ourselves to do so. Neither God nor circumstances force us to yield.” [20]

“As Father of lights [v. 17], God reigns over both the visible and invisible creation. He is Creator of all and the giver of spiritual gifts.” [21]

Today’s reading concludes with verse 18: Of his own will he brought us forth by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures. “God provides our salvation of His own  will, not of necessity.” [22] He brought us forth, “He ‘begot’ us, a reference to baptism, by which we become children of God by grace. The word of truth is the Gospel, the precious, unchanging doctrines of the faith. We are the first fruits of His creatures: In salvation we benefit not by taking on the essence or nature of God, but by putting on a new humanity consecrated to God (as with firstfruits in the OT). Humanity is preeminent over all creation, and through our salvation all creation is likewise being changed.” [23]

Compline Prayer

I will lie down and sleep in peace for You alone, Lord, make me dwell in safety. [24]


Devotionals compiled/written by S. P. Rogers

Citations:

[1] Opening Prayer: https://twitter.com/anglicanreader/status/1189979913132089349

[2] Thomerson, K. (n.d.). Scripture verse. I Want to Walk as a Child of the Light. http://www.hymntime.com/tch/htm/i/w/a/n/iwanwalk.htm

[3] Stratman, P. (2001). Loricas. In Prayers from the Ancient Celtic Church (Kindle ed., p. 1). Crossway.

[4] Ibid. 3, P. 6

[5] Ibid. 3, P. 6

[6] Tyndale House Publishers. (2012). AARON [PROFILE/CHART. In Chronological life application study Bible (p. 186). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Pub.

[7] Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (2018). Exodus. In Holy Bible Nkjv Study Bible, Personal Size: Full-color Edition (Kindle, Third, p. 640). essay, Thomas Nelson, Inc. 

[8] Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (2013). Study Notes: Exodus. In Life application study Bible: King James version (Kindle ed., p. 6675). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House.

[9] Ibid. 8

[10] Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (2018). Exodus. In Holy Bible Nkjv Study Bible, Personal Size: Full-color Edition (Kindle, Third, p. 640). essay, Thomas Nelson, Inc. 

[11] Ibid. 10, P. 641

[12] Ibid. 10, P. 641

[13] Ibid. 10, P. 641

[14] Episcopal 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. 252). New York, NY: Church Publishing Incorporated.

[15] Tickle, P. (2000). August Compline. In The divine hours: Prayers for Summertime (Kindle ed., vol. 491, p. 9). New York, NY: Image Books.

[16] Episcopal Church. (1979). The Reconciliation of a Penitent. 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. 448). New York, NY: Church Publishing Incorporated.

[17] Academic Community of St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology (2008). James. In The Orthodox study Bible (p. 1705). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

[18] Ibid. 17

[19] Ibid. 17

[20] Ibid. 17

[21] Ibid. 17

[22] Ibid. 17

[23] Ibid. 17

[24] The Northumbria Community. (2015). Compline. In Celtic Daily Prayer (Kindle ed., p. 92085). London: HarperCollins.

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