October 1 Devotional (2021)

A prayer inspired by Saint Remigius, Bishop of Reims and Missionary to the Franks, who the Church remembers on October 1st

O God, who by the teaching of thy faithful servant and bishop Remigius [and the loving influence and example of thy handmaid Clotilda] didst turn the nation of the Franks from vain idolatry to the worship of thee, the true and living God, in the fullness of the catholic faith; Grant that we who glory in the name of Christian may show forth our faith in worthy deeds; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

October 1, 2021
Ordinary Time

Today’s Readings: Profile of Abraham / Gen 21:22-34 / Rom 8:1-11


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.

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.

Hymn: “Take Time to be Holy”

A Second Century Prayer for a Pure Heart 

O God, the Father of our Saviour Jesus Christ, whose name is great, whose nature is blissful, whose goodness is inexhaustible, God and Ruler of all things, who art blessed forever; before whom stand thousands and thousands, and ten thousand times ten thousand, the hosts of holy angels and archangels; sanctify, O Lord, our souls and bodies and spirits, search our consciences, and cast out of us every evil thought, every base desire, all envy and pride, all wrath and anger, and all that is contrary to Your holy will. And grant us, O Lord, Lover of men, with a pure heart and contrite soul, to call upon You, our holy God and Father who art in heaven. AMEN. 

—Liturgy of St. James [1]

Short Verse

O God, we have heard with our ears, and our fathers have declared unto us, the noble works that thou didst in their days, and in the old time before them.

O Lord, arise, help us; and deliver us for thy Name’s sake.

Morning Reading: Profile of Abraham

“We all know that there are consequences to our actions. What we do can set into motion a series of events that may continue long after we’re gone. Unfortunately, when we are making a decision, most of us think only of the immediate consequences. These are often misleading because they are short-lived.” [2]

“Abraham had a choice to make. His decision was between setting out with his family and belongings for parts unknown or staying right where he was. He had to decide between the security of what he already had and the uncertainty of traveling under God’s direction. All he had to go on was God’s promise to guide and bless him. Abraham could hardly have been expected to visualize how much of the future was resting on his decision of whether to go or stay, but his obedience affected the history of the world. His decision to follow God set into motion the development of the nation that God would eventually use as his own when he visited earth himself. When Jesus Christ came to earth, God’s promise was fulfilled; through Abraham the entire world was blessed.” [3]  

“You probably don’t know the long-term effects of most decisions you make. But shouldn’t the fact that there will be long-term results cause you to think carefully and seek God’s guidance as you make choices and take action today?” [4]

Strengths and accomplishments
  • His faith pleased God [5a]
  • Became the founder of the Jewish nation [5b]
  • Was not only a caring father to his own family, but practiced hospitality to others [5c]
  • Was a successful and wealthy rancher [5d]
  • Usually avoided conflicts, but when they were unavoidable, he allowed his opponent to set the rules for settling the dispute [5e]
Weaknesses and mistakes 
  • Under direct pressure, he distorted the truth [6] 
Vital statistics 
  • Where: Born in Ur of the Chaldeans; spent most of his life in the land of Canaan [7a]
  • Occupation: Wealthy livestock owner [7b]
  • Relatives: Brothers: Nahor and Haran. Father: Terah. Wife: Sarah. Nephew: Lot. Sons: Ishmael and Isaac. [7c]
  • Contemporaries: Abimelech, Melchizedek [7d]
Key verses 
  • “And Abram believed the LORD, and the LORD counted him as righteous because of his faith” (Gen 15:6). [8a]
  • Abraham’s story is told in Genesis 11–25. He is also mentioned in Exodus 2:24; Matthew 1:1-2; Luke 3:34; Acts 7:2-8; Romans 4; Galatians 3; Hebrews 2; 6–7; 11. [8b]

A Second Century Prayer: To Witness for Christ 

Grant, O merciful God, that as Your holy Apostle St. James, leaving his father and all that he had, without delay, was obedient to the call of Your son Jesus Christ, and followed Him, and at last cheerfully laid down his life for His gospel’s sake, so I, forsaking all worldly and carnal affections, may be evermore ready to follow Your holy commandments, and, whenever Your providence shall make it my duty, may readily and cheerfully embrace death, though armed with his utmost terror, rather than forsake or deny You. Let me rejoice in every happy occasion of testifying the sincerity of my love, by suffering for Your truth, and let the firm belief of those glorious eternal rewards which You have prepared for them who lay down their lives for Your sake, support me under all the cruelties of the most merciless persecutors. Grant this, O blessed Lord, who died for me, and rose again, and now sits at the right hand of the Father, to intercede for me, and all Your faithful disciples. AMEN. 

—Liturgy of St. James [9]

A First Century Intercession: For Rulers and Governors 

To our rulers and governors on the earth —to them You, Lord, gavest the power of the kingdom by Your glorious and ineffable might, to the end that we may know the glory and honour given to them by You and be subject to them, in nought resisting Your will; to them, Lord, give health, peace, concord, stability, that they may exercise the authority given to them without offence. For You, O heavenly Lord and King eternal, gives to the sons of men glory and honour and power over the things that are on the earth; do You, Lord, direct their counsel according to that which is good and well-pleasing in Your sight, that, devoutly in peace and meekness exercising the power given them by You, they may find You propitious. O You, who only have power to do these things and more abundant good with us, we praise You through the High Priest and Guardian of our souls Jesus Christ, through whom be glory and majesty to You both now and from generation to generation and forevermore. 


—Clement of Rome [10]

Short Verse

“Start being brave about everything. Drive out darkness and spread light. Don’t look at your weaknesses. Realize instead that in Christ crucified you can do everything.”

St. Catherine of Siena

Midday Reading: Genesis 21:22-34

Abraham reconciles with Abimelech

22 About this time, Abimelech came with Phicol, his army commander, to visit Abraham. “God is obviously with you, helping you in everything you do,” Abimelech said. 23 “Swear to me in God’s name that you will never deceive me, my children, or any of my descendants. I have been loyal to you, so now swear that you will be loyal to me and to this country where you are living as a foreigner.”

24 Abraham replied, “Yes, I swear to it!” 25 Then Abraham complained to Abimelech about a well that Abimelech’s servants had taken by force from Abraham’s servants.

26 “This is the first I’ve heard of it,” Abimelech answered. “I have no idea who is responsible. You have never complained about this before.”

27 Abraham then gave some of his sheep, goats, and cattle to Abimelech, and they made a treaty. 28 But Abraham also took seven additional female lambs and set them off by themselves. 29 Abimelech asked, “Why have you set these seven apart from the others?”

30 Abraham replied, “Please accept these seven lambs to show your agreement that I dug this well.” 31 Then he named the place Beersheba (which means “well of the oath”), because that was where they had sworn the oath.

32 After making their covenant at Beersheba, Abimelech left with Phicol, the commander of his army, and they returned home to the land of the Philistines. 33 Then Abraham planted a tamarisk tree at Beersheba, and there he worshiped the LORD, the Eternal God. 34 And Abraham lived as a foreigner in Philistine country for a long time.

Midday Lesson

A Treaty with Abimelech

“Abimelech wished to preserve friendly relations with Abraham by a covenant. Covenants always involved oaths… Abraham wished to protect the well by a gift and an oath, in case the Canaanites would claim the well in the future.” [12]

“Abraham agrees to a covenant and works out his differences with the government so that he might live in peace. Good and orderly government is always helpful for the mission of the Church, and God’s people are required to support their government with proper citizenship. At the same time, the salvation God provides does not depend on good governments like that of Abimelech, for God will continue to save His elect by the power of Gospel preaching and Sacraments, at times despite evil governments. • O Lord, give good government throughout the world so that the Gospel of Christ’s cross may be preached without obstacle or persecution. Amen.” [13]

A Second Century Prayer: Sanctify Us, O Lord 

God and Father of our Lord and God and Saviour Jesus Christ, the glorious Lord, the blessed essence, the bounteous goodness, the God and Sovereign of all, who art blessed to all eternity, who sits upon the cherubim, and art glorified by the seraphim, before whom stand thousand thousands and ten thousand times ten thousand hosts of angels and archangels: You have accepted the gifts, offerings, and fruits brought unto You as an odour of a sweet spiritual smell, and have been pleased to sanctify them, and make them perfect, O good One, by the grace of Your Christ, and by the presence of Your all-holy Spirit.

—Liturgy of St. James [14]

Short Verse

“It is right for a man to take up the burden for those who are akin (or near) to him.”

Sayings of the Holy Fathers

Eventide Reading: Romans 8:1-11

Life in the Spirit

1 There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death. 3 For God has done what the law, weakened by the flesh, could not do. By sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh and for sin, he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. 5 For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. 6 For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. 7 For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. 8 Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

9 You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. 10 But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness. 11 If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.

Eventide Lesson

No condemnation in Christ

Chapter 8 begins with the words “no condemnation . . . in Christ and closes with the victorious affirmation of no separation from God’s love in Christ. In between is an unparalleled presentation of the Spirit’s work (referred to 19 times in vv 1– 27) to sanctify and keep us in the faith. There are no imperatives in the chapter, for we are led by the Spirit, not driven by the Law.” [16]

Martin Luther wrote, “In chapter 8 [Paul] comforts these fighters, telling them that this flesh does not condemn them. He shows further what the nature of flesh and spirit is, and how the Spirit comes from Christ. Christ has given us his Holy Spirit; he makes us spiritual and subdues the flesh, and assures us that we are still God’s children, however hard sin may be raging within us, so long as we follow the spirit and resist sin to slay it. Since, however, nothing else is so good for the mortifying of the flesh as the cross and suffering, he comforts us in suffering with the support of the Spirit of love, and of the whole creation, namely, that the Spirit sighs within us and the creation longs with us that we may be rid of the flesh and of sin. So we see that these three chapters (6–8) drive home the one task of faith, which is to slay the old Adam and subdue the flesh.” [17]

“God’s Law declares that all people are guilty of sin and deserve to die (cf 7:5, 10–11, 13, 24).” [18] In our passage from chapter 8, “Paul now concisely summarizes God’s reverse declaration for those in Christ: ‘Not guilty!’” [19] Martin Luther expounded, “We fell under God’s wrath and displeasure and were doomed to eternal damnation, just as we had merited and deserved. There was no counsel, help, or comfort until this only and eternal Son of God— in His immeasurable goodness— had compassion upon our misery and wretchedness. He came from heaven to help us [ John 1: 9 ]. So those tyrants and jailers are all expelled now. In their place has come Jesus Christ, Lord of life, righteousness, every blessing, and salvation. He has delivered us poor, lost people from hell’s jaws, has won us, has made us free [ Romans 8: 1– 2 ], and has brought us again into the Father’s favor and grace” (LC II 28– 30). in Christ Jesus. Expression in Rm for union with Christ and His saving work ( 3: 24 ; 6: 11 , 23 ; 8: 39 ; 15: 17 ; 16: 3 ). Those who believe and are baptized into Him ( 6: 3– 4 ) are now and forever free from the Law’s cold verdict and terrifying sentence.” [20]

“Because Christ justifies sinners, God’s life-giving Spirit dwells in believers. He frees us from the bondage of sin and death. Those who are preoccupied with satisfying their selfish desires often become angry with God and rebel against Him. God promises release from this deadly cycle and brings life and peace. • Father, by Your Spirit, direct our hearts to Christ, where true joys are found. Amen.” [21]

Compline Prayer

Grant me wholesome sleep, and to pass this night without fear. O thou Keeper of Israel, who neither slumberest nor sleepest; Preserve me this night from all evil, preserve my soul, O Lord. Amen.

  • Lancelot Andrewes [22]


[1] Potts, J. M. (2020). Second Century Prayers. In Prayers of the Early Church (Kindle, pp. 23). essay. 

[2] Tyndale House Publishers. (2012). Abraham [Profile]. In Chronological life application study Bible (Kindle ed., p. 7952). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Pub.

[3] Ibid. 2

[4] Ibid. 2

[5a] Ibid. 2

[5b] Ibid. 2

[5c]  Ibid. 2

[5d] Ibid. 2

[5e] Ibid. 2

[6] Ibid. 2

[7a] Ibid. 2

[7b] Ibid. 2

[7c] Ibid. 2

[7d] Ibid. 2

[8a] Ibid. 2

[8b] Ibid. 2

[9] Potts, J. M. (2020). Second Century Prayers. In Prayers of the Early Church (Kindle, pp. 23). essay. 

[10] Potts, J. M. (2020). First Century Prayers. In Prayers of the Early Church (Kindle, pp. 18). essay. 

[11] TOP 25 quotes BY St. Catherine Of SIENA (of 106): A-Z Quotes. A. (n.d.). Retrieved September 14, 2021, from https://www.azquotes.com/author/17881-St_Catherine_of_Siena

[12] A., E. E. (2016). Genesis. In The Lutheran study Bible: English standard version (Kindle ed., pp. 502). Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House.

[13] Ibid. 12, P. 502-203

[14] Potts, J. M. (2020). Second Century Prayers. In Prayers of the Early Church (Kindle, pp. 23). essay. 

[15] Of Love, and Charity, and of the Welcoming of Strangers. (1907). In The Sayings of the Holy Fathers: Books I and II (Kindle ed., p. 136).  W. Budge (Ed.)

[16] A., E. E. (2016). Romans. In The Lutheran study Bible: English standard version (Kindle ed., pp. 7726). Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House.

[17] Ibid. 16, P. 7726-7727

[18] Ibid. 16, P. 7727

[19] Ibid. 16, P. 7727

[20] Ibid. 16, P. 7727

[21] Ibid. 16, P. 7729

[22] Andrewes, Lancelot. The Private Devotions and Manual for the Sick of Launcelot Andrews (Kindle ed., p. 2653). Unknown. Kindle Edition. 

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