September 27 Devotional (2021)

September 27, 2021
Ordinary Time

Today’s Readings: Psalm 5  /  Zech 6:9-15  /  1 Peter 1:3-9

A prayer inspired by Wilson Carlile, Evangelist and and Founder of the Church Army, who the Anglican Church remembers on September 27th

God of boundless energy and light: We thank you for the courage and passion of Wilson Carlile who, after the example of your Son, sought new ways to open your Church to diverse leaders as beacons of the Gospel of Christ. Quicken our hearts to give bold witness to Jesus Christ; who with you and the Holy Spirit, lives and reigns, one God, now and for ever. Amen.


Invitatory

Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness: Come let us adore him.

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.

Proper of the Week

O God, you declare your almighty power chiefly in showing mercy and pity: Grant us the fullness of your grace, that we, running to obtain your promises, may become partakers of your heavenly treasure; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. [1]

Hymn: “All Glory, Laud and Honor”

Translator: J. M. Neale (1854); Author: Theodulf, Bishop of Orléans (c. 820) ; Tune: ST. THEODULPH (Teschner)

Representative Text:

1 All glory, laud, and honor 

to you, Redeemer, King, 

to whom the lips of children 

made sweet hosannas ring. 

You are the King of Israel 

and David’s royal Son, 

now in the Lord’s name coming, 

the King and Blessed One. 

2 The company of angels 

is praising you on high; 

and we with all creation 

in chorus make reply. 

The people of the Hebrews 

with palms before you went; 

our praise and prayer and anthems 

before you we present. 

3 To you before your passion 

they sang their hymns of praise; 

to you, now high exalted, 

our melody we raise. 

As you received their praises, 

accept the prayers we bring, 

for you delight in goodness, 

O good and gracious King! [2]


Morning Prayer from The Great Litany

That it may please thee to grant to all the faithful departed eternal life and peace,

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

Short Verse

Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this: He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun.

Psalm 37:5-6

Morning Reading: Psalm 5

Lead me in righteousness

1 Give ear, O Lord, to my words, understand my cry.

2 Hearken to the voice of my prayer, O my King and my God.

3 For to thee will I pray: O Lord, in the morning thou shalt hear my voice.

4 In the morning I will stand before thee, and will see: because thou art not a God that willest iniquity.

5 Neither shall the wicked dwell near thee: nor shall the unjust abide before thy eyes.

6 Thou hatest all the workers of iniquity: Thou wilt destroy all that speak a lie. The bloody and the deceitful man the Lord will abhor.

7 But as for me in the multitude of thy mercy, I will come into thy house; I will worship towards thy holy temple, in thy fear.

8 Conduct me, O Lord, in thy justice: because of my enemies, direct my way in thy sight.

9 for there is no truth in their mouth; their heart is vain.

10 Their throat is an open sepulchre: they dealt deceitfully with their tongues: judge them, O God. Let them fall from their devices: according to the multitude of their wickedness cast them out: for they have provoked thee, O Lord.

11 But let all them be glad that hope in thee: they shall rejoice for ever, and thou shalt dwell in them. And all they that love thy name shall glory in thee:

12 For thou wilt bless the just. O Lord, thou hast crowned us, as with a shield of thy good will.

Morning Lesson

Psalm 5 and fixed-hour prayer

Many Christians, such as our Orthodox brethren, have been using Psalm 5 as a fixed morning prayer for centuries. Prayer is the most important part of every day, and it is the primary means through which we build a close relationship with God. 

“[F]rom its very earliest days, the Christian community incorporated the Psalms in their prayers (Acts 4:23-30); and the Psalter has remained as the living core of the daily offices [hourly prayers] ever since.” [4] “Fixed-hour prayer, while it is with the Eucharist the oldest surviving form of Christian spirituality, actually had its origins in the Judaism out of which Christianity came. Centuries before the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, the Hebrew psalmist wrote that ‘Seven times a day do I praise you’ (Ps. 119:164).” [5]

By the time of Christ, “Judaism and its adherents…. were scattered across the Roman Empire. It was an empire whose efficiency and commerce depended in no small part upon the orderly and organized conduct of each business day. In the cities of the Empire, the forum bell rang the beginning of that day at six o’clock each morning (prime or ‘first’ hour); noted the day’s progress by striking again at nine o’clock (terce or third hour); sounded the lunch break at noon (sext or sixth hour); called citizens back to work by striking at three o’clock (none or ninth hour); and closed the day’s markets by sounding again at six o’clock in the afternoon (vespers or evening hour). Every part of daily life within Roman culture eventually came, to some greater or lesser extent, to be ordered by the ringing of the forum bells, including Jewish prayer and, by natural extension, Christian prayer as well.” [6] 

“Fixed-hour prayer is also commonly referred to as ‘the divine offices’ or ‘the liturgy of the hours,’ and from the time of the Reformation until very recently was held almost exclusively as a part of Orthodox, Roman Catholic, and Anglican Christian practice. With the re-configurations and re-alignments within Christianity during the last years of the twentieth century, however, there came an increasing push on the part of many Christians from within every sectarian division of the faith to return to the liturgy, or work, of being Church on earth. As the service which was most completely the people’s service in first-century Christianity, the observance of fixed-hour prayer began to emerge once more as the desired discipline for more and more Christians.” [7] 

Today, the Anglican Church observes four times of prayer each day: (1) morning prayers (“matins” / “lauds” / “prime”), midday prayers (“nones” / “Noonday”), evening prayers (“vespers” / “eventide” / “evensong”), and bedtime prayers (“compline”). Each Office (fixed-hour prayers) also includes a reading from Holy Scripture.

“The first detailed miracle of the apostolic Church, the healing of the lame man on the Temple steps by Sts. Peter and John (Acts 3:1), occurred when and where it did because two devout Jews (who did not yet know they were Christians as such) were on their way to ninth-hour (three o’clock) prayers. Not many years later, one of the great defining events of Christianity—St. Peter’s vision of the descending sheet filled with both clean and unclean animals—was to occur at noon on a rooftop because he had gone there to observe the sixth-hour prayers.” [8]

“The directive Peter received during his noon devotion—i.e., to accept all that God had created as clean—was pivotal because it became the basis of the ecumenism that rapidly thereafter expanded Church fellowship beyond Jewry. Peter was on the roof, however, not by some accident of having been in that spot when the noon bell caught him, but by his own intention. In Joppa and far from Jerusalem and the Temple, Peter had sought out the solitude of his host’s rooftop as a substitute site for keeping the appointed time of prayer.” [9]

“Within the third century, the Desert Fathers… began to pursue the universal Christian desideratum of living out St. Paul’s admonition to “pray without ceasing” (I Th. 5:17). To accomplish this, they devised the stratagem, within their communities, of having one group of monks pass the praying of an office on seamlessly to another group of monks waiting to commence the next office. [Think of runners passing the baton during a relay race.] The result was the introduction into Christian thinking of the concept of a continuous cascade of prayer before the throne of God. That concept was to remain into our own time as a realized grace for many, many Christians, both monastic and lay.” [10]

“Christians today, wherever they practice the discipline of fixed-hour prayer, frequently find themselves filled with a conscious awareness that they are handing their worship, at its final “Amen,” on to other Christians in the next time zone. Like relay runners passing a lighted torch, those who do the work of fixed-hour prayer do create thereby a continuous cascade of praise before the throne of God.” [11]

May each of us joyfully inaugurate each morning with prayer!

O Lord, in the morning you hear my voice;

in the morning I plead my case to you, and watch.


Midday Prayer from The Great Litany

That it may please thee to grant that, in the fellowship of all the saints, we may attain to thy heavenly kingdom,

          We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord. [12]

Midday Intercession

[13]

Short Verse

“Lord, help me to live this day, quietly, easily. To lean upon Thy great strength, trustfully, restfully. To wait for the unfolding of Thy will, patiently, serenely. To meet others, peacefully, joyously. To face tomorrow, confidently, courageously.”

St. Francis of Assisi
[14]

Midday Reading: Zechariah 6:9-15

Far and near led to build the temple

9 And the word of the LORD came to me: 10 “Take from the exiles Heldai, Tobijah, and Jedaiah, who have arrived from Babylon, and go the same day to the house of Josiah, the son of Zephaniah. 11 Take from them silver and gold, and make a crown, and set it on the head of Joshua, the son of Jehozadak, the high priest. 12 And say to him, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts, “Behold, the man whose name is the Branch: for he shall branch out from his place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD. 13 It is he who shall build the temple of the LORD and shall bear royal honor, and shall sit and rule on his throne. And there shall be a priest on his throne, and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.”’ 14 And the crown shall be in the temple of the LORD as a reminder to Helem, Tobijah, Jedaiah, and Hen the son of Zephaniah.

15 “And those who are far off shall come and help to build the temple of the LORD. And you shall know that the LORD of hosts has sent me to you. And this shall come to pass, if you will diligently obey the voice of the LORD your God.”

Midday Lesson

The Crown and the Temple

The captives noted in verses 10 and 11 are “the new arrivals from Babylon, who brought gifts of silver and gold to help the restored community of Israelites. The elaborate crown was possibly a composite crown made up of several circlets. The crown was to be placed on the head of Joshua the high priest.” [15]

“Zechariah is commanded by the word of the Lord to collect gifts from the rulers and useful men of captivity into the house of Josiah and place these gifts of gold, silver, and crowns at the feet of Joshua the high priest. The promise is made that the crown goes to the one who endured. Others then shall come to rebuild the temple. In the New Testament, crowns are cast at the feet of Jesus Christ the Great High Priest (Rev 4:1). St. Paul promises crowns to believers who endure (1Co 9:24-27).” [16]

Verse 12 says, And say to him, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts, “Behold, the man whose name is the Branch: for he shall branch out from his place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD.” The word Branch “is variously rendered ‘Dayspring,’ ‘Sunrise,’ and ‘Orient.’ The Hebrew reads ‘Branch,’” meaning “shoot” or “twig.” [17] [18] “This is one title for the coming Messiah, the “Branch” who would “shoot” up from the royal stock of David, a dynasty that had been interrupted with the Babylonian exile (Is. 11:1). Many of the prophets promised that a King from David’s line would reign in righteousness (Jer. 23:5, 6) and as a priest would reestablish true worship of the Lord (6:12, 13). In His ministry, Jesus Christ fulfilled these predictions by taking on both a royal (see John 12:13–15; 1 Tim. 6:13–16) and a priestly role (see Heb. 4:14).” [19]

“He will sit and rule and be a priest. In the Messiah the two offices of king and priest will be united (John 1:49; Heb. 3:1).” [20]


Eventide Prayer from The Great Litany

O Lamb of God, that takest away the sins of the world,

Have mercy upon us.

O Lamb of God, that takest away the sins of the world,

Have mercy upon us.

O Lamb of God, that takest away the sins of the world,

Grant us thy peace. [21]

Short Verse

“The devil fears hearts on fire with love of God.”

St. Catherine of Siena
[22]
“Baptism of Christ” by David Zelenka, 2005. Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.​

Eventide Reading: 1 Peter 1:3-9

The outcome of faith is salvation

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, 5 who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, 7 so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 8 Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, 9 obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

Eventide Lesson

Born Again to a Living Hope

“We are begotten again to a living hope in baptism. As Jesus told Nicodemus, we enter the Kingdom of God by ‘being born being born of water and the Spirit’ (Jn 3:5). This new birth in baptism unites us with Christ and His resurrection (Rom 6:3). The words and actions of Peter also confirm this sacramental reality (see Acts 2:37, 38, 41; 10:43, 47, 48; see also the ‘washing of regeneration’ in Tts 3:5, where baptism and God’s mercy are coupled). Here the sacrament of Baptism (vv. 3-6) is the power by which we suffer faithfully (vv. 7-9). Being regenerated, given new life in Christ, we have a hope by which to live. This grace of God sustains us in the trials of life. (Verses 3-12 in the original constitute one long sentence).” [23]

“Note the home for which we yearn, our inheritance (v. 4), in also described in the context of baptism (1:3)… The incorruptible inheritance is reserved for those who have true faith, the faith that by God’s grace perseveres to the end” (v. 5).  [24]

“To reach the joy and blessing of eternal life in Christ, we first experience the sadness of the passing world, along with the afflictions we must face here (see also Jam 1:1-12). To the watching world, the perseverance of the faithful during affliction appears foolish and even contemptible. But Peter shows that faith under trial is precious indeed, bearing more glory and honor as it continues to stand under trial (see Mt 25:31-46; 1Co 3:10-15).” [25]

“Peter knew by experience the failure to perceive the truth until he saw it with his eyes (see Lk 24:8-12; Acts 10:39-43). Here he addresses those who believe [in Christ] who they have not seen. This is the faith of baptism and the faith of eternal life.” [26]

“We are born in sin and continue to commit sins in this fallen world. By ourselves, we have no hope of salvation or blessings. But God foretold His gracious plans through the prophets. In the fullness of time, He sent His Son to be our Redeemer. He has given us the gift of His Holy Spirit, that we might be brought to faith and persevere in the faith. Through Jesus Christ, we now have a living hope and know the promise of God that we will live in Him forever. We can face any trial or challenge , knowing that we are safe in His care. • Lord God, heavenly Father, give grace to preachers who proclaim Christ and Your Word. Grant that those who hear Your Word may learn of His all-availing sacrifice on the cross. Strengthen us in our faith in the midst of suffering, that we may gaze upon the glory of our Savior. Amen.” [27]

Compline Prayer

May your holy angels, O Christ, Son of living God, guard our sleep, our rest, our shining bed. Let them reveal true visions to us in our sleep, O high Prince of the universe, O great King of the mysteries! May no demons, no ill, no calamity or terrifying dreams disturb our rest, our willing, prompt repose. May our watch be holy, our work, our task, our sleep, our rest without let, without break. 

  • Attributed to St. Patrick, 5th Century Translated by Kuno Meyer Selections from Ancient Irish Poetry, 1911, p. 28 [28]

Devotionals compiled/written by S. P. Rogers

Citations:

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

[2] Author: Theodulf, B. of O. T. of O. appears to have been a native of I. H. was brought to F. by C. the G. (n.d.). All glory, laud and honor. Hymnary.org. Retrieved September 13, 2021, from https://hymnary.org/text/all_glory_laud_and_honor

[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. 152). New York, NY: Church Publishing Incorporated

[4] Tickle, P. (2006). A Brief History of Fixed-Hour Prayer. In The divine hours: Prayers for summertime (Kindle ed., p. 65). New York, NY: Image Books.

[5] Ibid. 4, P. 48

[6] Ibid. 4, P. 48-57

[7] Tickle, P. (2015). About Fixed-Hour Prayer. Retrieved October 29, 2020, from https://www.phyllistickle.com/fixed-hour-prayer/

[8] Tickle, P. (2006). A Brief History of Fixed-Hour Prayer. In The divine hours: Prayers for summertime (Kindle ed., p. 57-65). New York, NY: Image Books.

[9] Ibid. 8, P. 65

[10] Ibid. 8, P. 82

[11] Ibid. 8, P. 82-90

[12] 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. 152). New York, NY: Church Publishing Incorporated

[13] Forward Movement. (2013). Intercessions. In Prayers for All Occasions (Kindle ed., pp. 684). Cincinnati, OH: Forward Movement.

[14] St. Francis of Assisi. (n.d.). TOP 25 quotes by Francis OF ASSISI (of 117): A-Z Quotes. A. Retrieved September 13, 2021, from https://www.azquotes.com/author/616-Francis_of_Assisi

[15] Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (2018) Zechariah. In Holy Bible Nkjv Study Bible, Personal Size: Full-color Edition (Kindle, Third, p. 5641). essay, Thomas Nelson, Inc. 

[16] Academic Community of St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology (2008). Zechariah. In The Orthodox study Bible (p. 1082). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

[17] Ibid. 16

[18] Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (2018) Zechariah. In Holy Bible Nkjv Study Bible, Personal Size: Full-color Edition (Kindle, Third, p. 5641). essay, Thomas Nelson, Inc. 

[19] Ibid. 18

[20] Ibid. 18, P. 1642

[21] 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. 152). New York, NY: Church Publishing Incorporated

[22] St. Catherine of Siena. (n.d.). TOP 25 quotes BY St. Catherine Of SIENA (of 106): A-Z Quotes. A. Retrieved September 13, 2021, from https://www.azquotes.com/author/17881-St_Catherine_of_Siena

[23] Academic Community of St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology (2008). 1 Peter. In The Orthodox study Bible (p. 1714). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

[24] Ibid. 23

[25] Ibid. 23

[26] Ibid. 23

[27] A., E. E. (2016). 1 Peter. In The Lutheran study Bible: English standard version (Kindle ed., pp. 8568). Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House.

[28] Stratman, P. (2001). Evening Prayers. In Prayers from the Ancient Celtic Church (Kindle ed., p. 18). Rossway.

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