September 11 Devotional (2021)

September 11, 2021
Ordinary Time


Prayers for use on the anniversary of September 11

O God of grace and glory, we remember before you this day those who perished on September 11, 2001. We thank you for giving them to us as fellow citizens and companions on our earthly pilgrimage. In your boundless compassion, console all who mourn, especially their family and friends. Give them, and us, peace and guide us in the way of justice and truth, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Almighty God, we commend to your gracious care and keeping all the men and women who serve in emergency response services. Comfort those who mourn this day; Strengthen them in their service of others; give them courage to face the perils of their service; and grant them a sense of your abiding presence wherever they may be; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Everliving God, whose will it is that all should come to you through your Son Jesus Christ: Inspire our witness to him, that all may know the power of his forgiveness and the hope of his resurrection; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

O God, the Father of all, whose Son commanded us to love our enemies: Lead them and us from prejudice to truth: deliver them and us from hatred, cruelty, and revenge; and in your good time enable us all to stand reconciled before you, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Almighty God our heavenly Father, guide the nations of the world into the way of justice and truth, and establish among them that peace which is the fruit of righteousness, that they may become the kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

Prayers of the People

With all our heart and all our mind, we pray to you, O Lord.
Make us instruments of your peace.

For the peace of the world, that a spirit of respect and forbearance may grow among nations and peoples, we pray to you, O Lord:
Where there is hatred, let us sow love.

For our enemies and those who wish us harm, especially those who are led to acts of terror; that in the aftermath of the destruction in New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington on September 11th, 2001 we may grow ever more deeply in your spirit of justice and peace, we pray to you, O Lord:
Where there is injury, let us sow pardon.

For all who believe in you, Lord Christ, and all whose faith is known to you alone, that they may be delivered from the darkness of fanaticism that arises from poverty and oppression, and from the pride that arises from wealth and comfort, and brought into your light, so that divisions that foster violence may cease, we pray to you, O Lord:
Where there is discord, let us sow union.

For those who have lost their faith in you Lord God, for those who continue to mourn those who died in the World Trade Center, the airplanes and the Pentagon, may your Church give comfort and hope in this time of remembrance, we pray to you, O Lord:
Where there is doubt, let us sow faith.

For all those whose spirit has been broken and whose lives have been irrevocably disrupted by the violence of that day and its aftermath, we offer our prayers along with the persecuted, the lonely, and the sick who have bid our prayers today, that they may be relieved and protected. Especially we pray for_____________________________. We pray to you, O Lord:
Where there is despair, let us sow hope.

For all who died in the terror of September 2001 and for those others whom we remember today, for those who believed in your resurrection and those who knew not your promise of eternal life, in trust that they have been found by you and are at rest in your holy habitation, we pray to you, O Lord:
Where there is sadness, let us sow joy.

We pray for the concerns of our parish. And we pray for the forgiveness of our sins.
(Silence)

Grant that we may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood, as to understand; to be loved as to love.
Take heart, in Christ we have been reconciled to God.

Amen.

_


Today’s Readings: Joshua 6:22-27 / “I felt His presence when you laughed just now.” / Matthew 21:23-32

Invocation

O Lord open thou my lips 

And my mouth shall declare thy praise. 

O God + come to my assistance; 

O Lord, make haste to help me. 

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, * and to the Holy Ghost: As it was in the beginning, is now, * and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

The Apostles’ Creed

I believe in God, the Father almighty,

    maker of heaven and earth;

And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord;

    who was conceived by the Holy Ghost,

    born of the Virgin Mary,

    suffered under Pontius Pilate,

    was crucified, dead, and buried.

    He descended into hell.

    The third day he rose again from the dead.

    He ascended into heaven,

    and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father almighty.

    From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Ghost,

    the holy catholic Church,

    the communion of saints,

    the forgiveness of sins,

    the resurrection of the body,

    and the life everlasting. Amen.

Hymn

Like a river glorious 

Morning Prayer

Lord Jesus Christ, who didst stretch out thine arms of love on the hard wood of the cross that everyone might come within the reach of thy saving embrace: So clothe us in thy Spirit that we, reaching forth our hands in love, may bring those who do not know thee to the knowledge and love of thee; for the honor of thy Name. Amen. [1]

Short Verse

“Those who want to understand the unfathomable depths of God must first consider the world of nature. Knowledge of the Trinity is rightly compared to the depths of the sea.”

St. Columban
[2]

Morning Reading: Joshua 6:22-27

Rahab and her family are spared

22 But to the two men who had spied out the land, Joshua said, “Go into the prostitute’s house and bring out from there the woman and all who belong to her, as you swore to her.” 23 So the young men who had been spies went in and brought out Rahab and her father and mother and brothers and all who belonged to her. And they brought all her relatives and put them outside the camp of Israel. 24 And they burned the city with fire, and everything in it. Only the silver and gold, and the vessels of bronze and of iron, they put into the treasury of the house of the LORD. 25 But Rahab the prostitute and her father’s household and all who belonged to her, Joshua saved alive. And she has lived in Israel to this day, because she hid the messengers whom Joshua sent to spy out Jericho.

26 Joshua laid an oath on them at that time, saying, “Cursed before the LORD be the man who rises up and rebuilds this city, Jericho.

“At the cost of his firstborn shall he

lay its foundation,

and at the cost of his youngest son

shall he set up its gates.”

27 So the LORD was with Joshua, and his fame was in all the land.

Morning Lesson

A scene of mercy and safety 
  • Verse 22: “In the midst of judgment and destruction comes a scene of mercy and safety. The former prostitute, with her God-given faith (Heb 11:31; Jas 2:25–26), and her family are delivered from the judgment that surrounds them— a picture and reminder of God’s mercy in Christ as the place of refuge.” [3]
  • Verse 23: outside the camp “Temporarily; v 25 says Rahab lives “in Israel.” Initially, she and her family may have been considered ceremonially unclean. Cf Lv 13:46.” [4]
  • Verse 24: treasury “Metal coins were not used as money; minting of coins was a much later development… These precious metals were likely used to allow Israel and its priests to carry out the worship prescribed by the Lord.” [5]
  • Verse 25: she has lived in Israel to this day “May mean that Rahab still “lived” in Israel through her offspring; 24: 31 seems to show that Jsh was written at least a generation or two after the time of the man Joshua.” [6]
  • Verse 26:  “God had ordered the destruction of Jericho because of its sin. It would thus be an evil act to rebuild what God had condemned and destroyed. The collapsed foundation and gates would be a continuing reminder of His judgment against sin and His victory for Israel. Israel could live in the city (18:21; Jgs 3:13 [the ‘city of palms’ is Jericho]; 2Sm 10:5) but not rebuild its foundation and gates. This curse was ‘according to the word of the LORD,’ and not merely Joshua’s idea (cf 1Ki 16: 34 ).” [7]
  • Verse 27: fame “Or, ‘report,’ ‘news.’ The Lord has given Joshua success and has exalted him according to His promises of 1: 8 and 3: 7 . The victory over Jericho was God’s work; yet by grace, He shares His fame with His leader.” [8]

Chapter 6 of Joshua: “As a woman of faith in the Lord, Rahab is kept safe in the middle of the destruction of unrepentant Jericho; she becomes part of Israel. God is a God of justice, who cannot let sin go unpunished. Judgment awaits those who refuse His loving forgiveness in Christ. Yet, God is also a God of love, whose justice was satisfied when His Son took the punishment for the sin of the world. The Lord delivers us, through faith in Jesus, from the destruction awaiting this present evil age. • We thank You, O Lord, that while You are just, You are the justifier of all who rest their faith in Jesus. We praise You, O Jesus, that You gave Yourself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age. Amen.” [9]


Midday Prayer

BEFORE USING THE INTERNET 

Be the helper of my soul, O God, for I walk in the midst of many snares. Deliver me from them and save me, for You are good, and You love mankind. [10]

Short Verse

‘This is my Son, the Chosen One. Listen to him.’

Luke 9:35

Midday Reading

“I felt His presence when you laughed just now.”

        Not only in the words you say,        

not only in your deeds confessed,        

but in the most unconscious way        

is Christ expressed.

        Is it a beatific smile? a holy light upon your brow?        

Oh no, I felt His presence when you laughed just now.        

For me ’twas not the truth you taught,        

to you so clear, to me so dim;        

but when you came to me, you brought a sense of Him.        

And from your eyes He beckons me;        

from your lips His love is shed, ’til I lose sight of you        

and see the Christ instead.

  • By Beatrice Clelland, from Portrait of a Christian [11]

Eventide Prayer

As the time of day is turning and the night is coming over us, let us pray for the mercy of God, that we may increase in our divine knowledge and renounce the works of darkness; you reign as one God, now and forever. [12]

Short Verse

Come forth, O Christ, and help me. For your name’s sake deliver me.

Eventide Reading: Matthew 21:23-32

The faith of tax collectors and prostitutes

23 And when he entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came up to him as he was teaching, and said, “By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?” 24 Jesus answered them, “I also will ask you one question, and if you tell me the answer, then I also will tell you by what authority I do these things. 25 The baptism of John, from where did it come? From heaven or from man?” And they discussed it among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say to us, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ 26 But if we say, ‘From man,’ we are afraid of the crowd, for they all hold that John was a prophet.” 27 So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And he said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.

28 “What do you think? A man had two sons. And he went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work in the vineyard today.’ 29 And he answered, ‘I will not,’ but afterward he changed his mind and went. 30 And he went to the other son and said the same. And he answered, ‘I go, sir,’ but did not go. 31 Which of the two did the will of his father?” They said, “The first.” Jesus said to them, “Truly, I say to you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes go into the kingdom of God before you. 32 For John came to you in the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes believed him. And even when you saw it, you did not afterward change your minds and believe him.

Eventide Lesson

The two sons

In the first part of today’s reading from Matthew, the Jewish religious leaders challenged Jesus’s authority. “Why didn’t Jesus directly answer their question? Jesus was concerned with their salvation, wanting to work repentance and faith in them. He asked them the same question about John the Baptist that they had asked of Him. Instead of searching their hearts and seeking the truth, they refused to answer because they were concerned only with how they would look to the crowds. But saying “we don’t know” was an embarrassment to them because it was their responsibility as chief priests to know whether John and Jesus were from God or from men.” [13]

In the second part of today’s reading, Jesus gives the parable of the two sons. “What was Jesus teaching through this parable? It may have looked like Jesus left the chief priests’ question about His authority unanswered, but Jesus actually teaches this parable and the next to answer the question. First, in this parable, He shows that John’s authority was from heaven—that is, God sent him to baptize. But Jesus exposed the disobedience of the Jewish leaders to God’s will (the second son in the parable) by showing their refusal to repent and receive John’s Baptism. By comparing the first son—who was ultimately repentant and obedient—to the hated tax collectors and prostitutes, Jesus really shone the Jewish leaders in a bad light.” [14]

Compline Prayer

*  The peace of God be over me to shelter me, *  under me to uphold me, *  about me to protect me, *  behind me to direct me, *  ever with me to save me. The peace of all peace be mine this night +  in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. [15]


Citations:

[1] 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. 58). New York, NY: Church Publishing Incorporated.

[2] The unfathomable depths of God – Saint Columban, abbot. St. Mary Rockledge, FL. (2019, July 16). https://stmaryrockledge.org/the-unfathomable-depths-of-god-saint-columban-abbot/

[3] A., E. E. (2016). Joshua. In The Lutheran study Bible: English standard version (Kindle ed., pp. 1745). Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House.

[4] Ibid. 3

[5] Ibid. 3

[6] Ibid. 3

[7] Ibid. 3, P. 1746

[8] Ibid. 3, P. 1746

[9] Ibid. 3, P. 1746

[10] Papavassiliou, V. (2014). Prayers for Various Occasion. In The ancient faith prayer book (Kindle ed., p. 101). Chesterton, IN: Ancient Faith Publishing.

[11] The Northumbria Community. (2015). Daily Prayer. In Celtic Daily Prayer (Kindle ed., p. 15774-15785). London: HarperCollins.

[12] Stratman, P. C. (Trans.). (2018). Office of Vespers. In The Antiphonary of Bangor and The Divine Offices of Bangor: The Liturgy of Hours of the ancient Irish church (Kindle, p. 155). essay, Crossway. 

[13] Palmer, W. (2019). Matthew 21:23-27. In Books of the Bible Study Questions:Matthew (PDF ed., pp. 32). St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing House. Retrieved at: https://communication.cph.org/cs/c/?cta_guid=75a13134-f789-4815-a1b9-a36a241fe96a&signature=AAH58kGQIU0oJNWYhHJ3VyQSLTcduMyjfg&pageId=12528320923&placement_guid=db3dd156-3dfb-46bb-9a82-50cbe2e83965&click=f6b923d4-f79a-49f9-9161-970b17ffc44e&hsutk=67a6ab24719ac4fc4b95b8d288ec6a5d&canon=https%3A%2F%2Fcommunication.cph.org%2Fbible-study-download&portal_id=487463&redirect_url=APefjpGEEwDHiDwPqpshFCdIp5nftxUedPetqWPTamu9TaALr0olXK76ysXU2p_IyGno4A6nEOg6btlGXIDl1cuoaKxiX8rQC6n0GXaJZfGaITANPX7FMuvDX34Vopzg1GSUK0b8kQlJrLCu8C39fa1bQgE02f0OJOklFs3YVnOFAIVA42kZCfaXtLdiqgbRFtndp9WBGIls4tqrcETakeDbdE3qx8mnWMYxFj1L5o9uR6oQeRhI33cZHphhp85T566XafOhr1JJmFd4zqAXRuz8T1TqU-2C2hUTs5f4u7gxe8ATbGMkvxyyh9Hcgw3_cRfcKIM-V5-afemox-G2puqMpmy4oVjNgg&__hstc=25153893.67a6ab24719ac4fc4b95b8d288ec6a5d.1626717651643.1628103149041.1628186733466.12&__hssc=25153893.1.1628186733466&__hsfp=1550108260&contentType=standard-page

[14] Ibid. 13

[15] The Northumbria Community. (2015). Compline. In Celtic Daily Prayer (Kindle ed., p. 92237). London: HarperCollins.

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