September 18 Devotional (2021)

September 18, 2021
Ordinary Time

Today’s Readings: “Glorious Trinity”  /  2 Kgs 17:5-18 /  Mat 23:29-39

A prayer inspired by Edward Bouverie Pusey, Priest and Teacher of the Faith, who the Anglican Church remembers on September 18th

Grant unto us, O God, that in all time of our testing we may Know thy presence and obey thy will; that, following the example of thy servants Edward Pusey, Richard Froude, John Keble, and John Newman, we may with integrity and courage accomplish what thou givest us to do, and endure what thou givest us to bear; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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 Nicene Creed

We believe in one God,

    the Father, the Almighty,

    maker of heaven and earth,

    of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,

    the only Son of God,

    eternally begotten of the Father,

    God from God, Light from Light,

    true God from true God,

    begotten, not made,

    of one Being with the Father.

    Through him all things were made.

    For us and for our salvation

        he came down from heaven:

    by the power of the Holy Spirit

        he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary,

        and was made man.

    For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;

        he suffered death and was buried.

        On the third day he rose again

            in accordance with the Scriptures;

        he ascended into heaven

            and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

    He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,

        and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,

    who proceeds from the Father and the Son.

    With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified.

    He has spoken through the Prophets.

    We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.

    We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.

    We look for the resurrection of the dead,

        and the life of the world to come. Amen.

Hymn

“To God be the glory”

Morning Prayer

From The Great Litany

That it may please thee to bless and keep all thy people,

          We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord. [1]

Short Verse

The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.

Numbers 6:24-26

Morning Reading

Holy and blessed Three,

Glorious Trinity,

Wisdom, Love, Might!

Boundless as ocean’s tide,

Rolling in fullest pride,

Through the world, far and wide,

Let there be light!

John Marriott (1813) [2]

Midday Prayer

From The Great Litany

That it may please thee to send forth laborers into thy harvest, and to draw all mankind into thy kingdom,

           We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord. [3]

Midday Intercession

[4]

Short Verse

“Preach the Truth as if you had a million voices. It is silence that kills the world.”

St. Catherine of Siena
[5]

Midday Reading: 2 Kings 17:5-18

Israel refuses to listen to the prophets

6 In the ninth year of Hoshea, the king of Assyria captured Samaria, and he carried the Israelites away to Assyria and placed them in Halah, and on the Habor, the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes.

7 And this occurred because the people of Israel had sinned against the LORD their God, who had brought them up out of the land of Egypt from under the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and had feared other gods 8 and walked in the customs of the nations whom the LORD drove out before the people of Israel, and in the customs that the kings of Israel had practiced. 9 And the people of Israel did secretly against the LORD their God things that were not right. They built for themselves high places in all their towns, from watchtower to fortified city. 10 They set up for themselves pillars and Asherim on every high hill and under every green tree, 11 and there they made offerings on all the high places, as the nations did whom the LORD carried away before them. And they did wicked things, provoking the LORD to anger, 12 and they served idols, of which the LORD had said to them, “You shall not do this.” 13 Yet the LORD warned Israel and Judah by every prophet and every seer, saying, “Turn from your evil ways and keep my commandments and my statutes, in accordance with all the Law that I commanded your fathers, and that I sent to you by my servants the prophets.”

14 But they would not listen, but were stubborn, as their fathers had been, who did not believe in the LORD their God. 15 They despised his statutes and his covenant that he made with their fathers and the warnings that he gave them. They went after false idols and became false, and they followed the nations that were around them, concerning whom the LORD had commanded them that they should not do like them. 16 And they abandoned all the commandments of the LORD their God, and made for themselves metal images of two calves; and they made an Asherah and worshiped all the host of heaven and served Baal. 17 And they burned their sons and their daughters as offerings and used divination and omens and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the LORD, provoking him to anger. 18 Therefore the LORD was very angry with Israel and removed them out of his sight. None was left but the tribe of Judah only.

Midday Lesson

The fall of the Northern Kingdom

‘This was Assyria’s third and final invasion of Israel. (The first two invasions are recorded in 2 Kgs 15:19, 29.) The first wave had been merely a warning to Israel—to avoid further attack, they had to pay Assyria money and not rebel. The people should have learned their lesson and returned to God. When they didn’t, God had allowed Assyria to invade again, this time carrying off some captives from the northern border. But the people still did not realize that they had caused their own troubles. Thus, Assyria invaded for the third and final time.” [6]

By allowing this, God was following through on “what he had said he would do (Deut 28). He had given Israel ample warning; they knew what would come, but they still ignored God. Israel was now no better than the pagan nations it had destroyed in the days of Joshua. The nation had turned sour and rejected its original purpose—to honor God and be a light to the world.” [7]

“The Lord judged the people of Israel because they had copied the evil customs of the surrounding nations, worshiping false gods, accommodating pagan customs, and following their own desires.” [8] When we craft our own religion, our own pick-and-choose version of Christianity, we “tend to live selfishly. And to live for oneself, as Israel learned, brings serious consequences from God. Sometimes following God is difficult and painful, but consider the alternative. You can live for God or die for yourself. Determine to be God’s person and do what he says regardless of the cost. What God thinks of you is infinitely more important than what those around you think. (See Rom 12:1-2; 1 Jn 2:15-17.)” [9]

“Ruin came upon Israel for both their public sins and their secret sins. Not only did they condone wickedness and idolatry in public, but they committed even worse sins in private. Secret sins are the ones we don’t want others to know about because they are embarrassing or incriminating. Sins done in private are not secret to God, and secret defiance of him is just as damaging as open rebellion.” [10]

“The people took on the characteristics of the idols and imitated the godless nations around them. Israel had forgotten the importance and benefits of obeying God’s word. The king and the people had become mired in wickedness. Time and again God had sent prophets to warn them about how far they had turned away from him and to call them to turn back.” [11]

“God’s patience and mercy are beyond our ability to understand. He will pursue us until we either respond to him or, by our own choice and hardness of heart, make ourselves unreachable. Then God’s judgment is swift and sure. The only safe course is to turn to God before our stubbornness puts us out of his reach.” [12]

“After the defeat of Samaria and Israel, Assyria deported a portion of the Israelite population—perhaps ten to twenty percent, and most likely the more elite citizens—to Assyria (ca. 722 BC). The Sacred Author [of 2 Kings] attributes the fall of the Northern Kingdom to the persistent sins of Israel, idolatry, and the failure to worship the one true God. The Lord had sent prophets to warn the people of the consequences of their disobedience, but he was not heeded. Even to the time of Christ, the Samaritans would claim fidelity to the true and proper forms of worship, but the two Books of Kings demonstrate that the faith of Abraham was preserved only in Judah.” [13]


Eventide Prayer

From The Great Litany

That it may please thee to give to all people increase of grace to hear and receive thy Word, and to bring forth the fruits of the Spirit,

          We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord. [14]

Short Verse

“Love God, serve God; everything is in that.”

St. Clare of Assisi
[15]
“Christ and a Pharisees” 
early 17th century
By Anthony van Dyck
(source)

Eventide Reading: Matthew 23:29-39

Woe to those who kill and crucify the prophets

29 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you build the tombs of the prophets and decorate the monuments of the righteous, 30 saying, ‘If we had lived in the days of our fathers, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ 31 Thus you witness against yourselves that you are sons of those who murdered the prophets. 32 Fill up, then, the measure of your fathers. 33 You serpents, you brood of vipers, how are you to escape being sentenced to hell? 34 Therefore I send you prophets and wise men and scribes, some of whom you will kill and crucify, and some you will flog in your synagogues and persecute from town to town, 35 so that on you may come all the righteous blood shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah the son of Barachiah, whom you murdered between the sanctuary and the altar. 36 Truly, I say to you, all these things will come upon this generation.

37 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing! 38 See, your house is left to you desolate. 39 For I tell you, you will not see me again, until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’”

Eventide Lesson

Lament over Jerusalem

Verse 35 of our reading mentions Zechariah, the son of Barachiah. Saint Jerome wrote, “Because we read about so many Zechariahs in Scripture, we need to inquire into the identity of this particular Zechariah, the son of Barachiah. Lest we mistake him for another, the Gospel specifies ‘whom you killed between the sanctuary and the altar.’ Yet there remains a variety of diverse opinions on this question, each of which ought to be considered. Some say that this Zechariah the son of Barachiah is the eleventh of the twelve minor prophets. Although their fathers share the same name, however, they cannot be the same persons because the prophet Zechariah was never said to have been killed between the sanctuary and the altar and especially because the temple had just recently been destroyed in the prophet’s time. Others want us to believe that this Zechariah is the father of John the Baptist, killed because he proclaimed the advent of the Savior on the basis of something he had dreamed. Because this theory doesn’t have the authority of Scripture, however, it can be disproven as easily as it can be proven. Still others maintain that this is the Zechariah who was killed between the sanctuary and the altar by Joash the king of Judah, as is chronicled in the book of Kings. But that Zechariah was the son of Jehoida the priest, not Barachiah, as the Scripture relates: “Joash did not remember the good which Jehoida, Zechariah’s father, had done for him” [2Ch 24:22],” (Commentary on Matthew). [16]

Our passage concludes with a lament over Jerusalem. “God’s deepest desire is the reconciliation of His people, yet most do not want Him. The desolate house [spoken of in verse 38] refers both to the temple and to the nation itself, for house can be used to mean ‘family’ or ‘tribe.'” [17] “Even as he grieved in remembering the prophets who were martyred in Jerusalem, Christ still ardently desired to draw all of God’s people to himself and laments his own rejection. You will not see me again: When Jesus comes again, he will be recognized by all as Messiah. [18]

Compline Prayer

A Collect for Saturdays

We give you thanks, O God, for revealing your Son Jesus Christ to us by the light of his resurrection: Grant that as we sing your glory at the close of this day, our joy may abound in the morning as we celebrate the Paschal mystery; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. [19]

Citations:

[1] Episcopal Church. (1979). The Great Litany. 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. 150). New York, NY: Church Publishing Incorporated.

[2] Marriott, J. (n.d.). Open Hymnal Project: God, Whose Almighty Word. http://openhymnal.org/Lyrics/God_Whose_Almighty_Word-Italian_Hymn.html

[3] Episcopal Church. (1979). The Great Litany. 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. 150). New York, NY: Church Publishing Incorporated.

[4] Forward Movement. (2013). Intercessions. In Prayers for All Occasions (Kindle ed., pp. 643). Cincinnati, OH: Forward Movement.

[5] St. Catherine of Siena. (n.d.). TOP 25 quotes BY St. Catherine Of SIENA (of 106): A-Z Quotes. A. Retrieved September 12, 2021, from https://www.azquotes.com/author/17881-St_Catherine_of_Siena

[6] Tyndale House Publishers. (2012). 2 Kings. In Chronological life application study Bible (Kindle ed., p. 5907). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Pub.

[7] Ibid. 6

[8] Ibid. 6, P. 5909

[9] Ibid. 6, P. 5909

[10] Ibid. 6, P. 5909

[11] Ibid. 6, P. 5910

[12] Ibid. 6, P. 5910

[13] Cole, J. (Ed.). (2015). 2 Kings. In Didache Bible: With commentaries based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church (Kindle ed., p. 980). Downers Grove, IL: Midwest Theological Forum,, Ignatius Press.

[14] Episcopal Church. (1979). The Great Litany. 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. 150). New York, NY: Church Publishing Incorporated.

[15] St. Clare of Assisi. (n.d.). TOP 11 quotes by Clare OF ASSISI: A-Z Quotes. A. Retrieved September 12, 2021, from https://www.azquotes.com/author/30129-Clare_of_Assisi

[16] Jerome. (2019). Matthew. In Ancient faith study Bible (Kindle ed., p. 2760). Nashville: Holman Bible.

[17] Academic Community of St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology (2008). Matthew. In The Orthodox study Bible (p. 1345). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

[18] Cole, J. (Ed.). (2015). Matthew. In Didache Bible: With commentaries based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church (Kindle ed., p. 2940). Downers Grove, IL: Midwest Theological Forum,, Ignatius Press.

[19] 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. 134). New York, NY: Church Publishing Incorporated

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