October 26, 2021
- 2 Kings 6:8-23
- Acts 9:32-35
- Mark 8:22-26
October 26th Commemoration: Alfred the Great
O Sovereign Lord, who didst bring thy servant Alfred to a Troubled throne that he might establish peace in a ravaged land and revive learning and the arts among the people: Awake in us also, we beseech thee, a keen desire to increase our understanding while we are in this world, and an eager longing to reach that endless life where all will be made clear; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
The earth is the Lord’s for he made it: Come let us adore him.
O God, rescue all who sing praises to you as Three, and confess and sing to you as One with sacred hymns; who reigns forever. AMEN. 
The Hymn: “More Love to Thee” by Elizabeth Prentiss
More love to Thee,
O Christ, more love to Thee!
Hear Thou the Prayer I make on bended knee;
this is my earnest plea,
more love to Thee,
O Christ, more love to Thee.
Once earthly joy I craved,
sought peace and rest;
now Thee alone I seek; give me what is best:
this all my prayer shall be,
more love to Thee,
O Christ, more love to Thee.
Then shall my latest breath
whisper Thy praise;
this be the parting cry my heart shall raise;
this still my prayer shall be,
more love to Thee,
O Christ, more love to Thee. 
A Collect For Peace
O God, the author of peace and lover of concord, to know you is eternal life and to serve you is perfect freedom: Defend us, your humble servants, in all assaults of our enemies; that we, surely trusting in your defense, may not fear the power of any adversaries; through the might of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. 
Morning Reading: 2 Kings 6:8-23
Elisha has power over sight
8 When the king of Aram was at war with Israel, he would confer with his officers and say, “We will mobilize our forces at such and such a place.”
9 But immediately Elisha, the man of God, would warn the king of Israel, “Do not go near that place, for the Arameans are planning to mobilize their troops there.” 10 So the king of Israel would send word to the place indicated by the man of God. Time and again Elisha warned the king, so that he would be on the alert there.
11 The king of Aram became very upset over this. He called his officers together and demanded, “Which of you is the traitor? Who has been informing the king of Israel of my plans?”
12 “It’s not us, my lord the king,” one of the officers replied. “Elisha, the prophet in Israel, tells the king of Israel even the words you speak in the privacy of your bedroom!”
13 “Go and find out where he is,” the king commanded, “so I can send troops to seize him.”
And the report came back: “Elisha is at Dothan.” 14 So one night the king of Aram sent a great army with many chariots and horses to surround the city.
15 When the servant of the man of God got up early the next morning and went outside, there were troops, horses, and chariots everywhere. “Oh, sir, what will we do now?” the young man cried to Elisha.
16 “Don’t be afraid!” Elisha told him. “For there are more on our side than on theirs!” 17 Then Elisha prayed, “O LORD, open his eyes and let him see!” The LORD opened the young man’s eyes, and when he looked up, he saw that the hillside around Elisha was filled with horses and chariots of fire.
18 As the Aramean army advanced toward him, Elisha prayed, “O LORD, please make them blind.” So the LORD struck them with blindness as Elisha had asked.
19 Then Elisha went out and told them, “You have come the wrong way! This isn’t the right city! Follow me, and I will take you to the man you are looking for.” And he led them to the city of Samaria.
20 As soon as they had entered Samaria, Elisha prayed, “O LORD, now open their eyes and let them see.” So the LORD opened their eyes, and they discovered that they were in the middle of Samaria.
21 When the king of Israel saw them, he shouted to Elisha, “My father, should I kill them? Should I kill them?”
22 “Of course not!” Elisha replied. “Do we kill prisoners of war? Give them food and drink and send them home again to their master.”
23 So the king made a great feast for them and then sent them home to their master. After that, the Aramean raiders stayed away from the land of Israel.
Morning Lesson: The power of Elisha’s prayers
“Hostilities between the Syrians (Arameans) and Israelites continued after the death of Ahab.”  “Though the story of Naaman presupposes that there was peace between Aram and Israel, [2 Kings] asserts that the situation changed as it describes two incidents between Israel and its neighbor to the north.”  The first incident is found in today’s reading, and “shows that of itself Aram posed no danger to Israel (2 Kgs 6:8–23). The prophet made the Arameans look foolish as he led them into Samaria. Fortunately for them, the prophet told the king to spare the lives of his prisoners.” 
“Elisha’s prophetic gifts and powerful prayers allowed him to bring what otherwise could have been a bloody battle to a peaceful resolution, even to the point of feeding the prisoners of war before sending them home.” 
For Strength and Zeal
Father of all mercies, you revealed your boundless compassion to your apostle Saint Peter in a three-fold vision: Forgive our unbelief, we pray, and so strengthen our hearts and enkindle our zeal, that we may fervently desire the salvation of all people, and diligently labor in the extension of your kingdom; through him who gave himself for the life of the world, your Son our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen. 
Midday Reading: Acts 9:32-35
The healing of Aeneas
32 Now as Peter went here and there among them all, he came down also to the saints who lived at Lydda. 33 There he found a man named Aeneas, bedridden for eight years, who was paralyzed. 34 And Peter said to him, “Aeneas, Jesus Christ heals you; rise and make your bed.” And immediately he rose. 35 And all the residents of Lydda and Sharon saw him, and they turned to the Lord.
Midday Lesson: Share Christ by caring for the sick
“Aeneas, paralyzed for eight years, is healed through the power of the Gospel. Seeing this miracle, the residents of Lydda and Sharon repent and believe in the Lord. As God grants you opportunity, share the love of Jesus by caring for the sick. His abiding care will sustain you in every need. • Father, thank You for healing me from the paralysis and death of sin and giving me the hope of eternal life. Amen.” 
A Collect for Aid against Perils
Be our light in the darkness, O Lord, and in your great mercy defend us from all perils and dangers of this night; for the love of your only Son, our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen. 
Eventide Reading: Mark 8:22-26
Jesus heals a blind man
22 And they came to Bethsaida. And some people brought to him a blind man and begged him to touch him. 23 And he took the blind man by the hand and led him out of the village, and when he had spit on his eyes and laid his hands on him, he asked him, “Do you see anything?” 24 And he looked up and said, “I see people, but they look like trees, walking.” 25 Then Jesusc laid his hands on his eyes again; and he opened his eyes, his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly. 26 And he sent him to his home, saying, “Do not even enter the village.”
Eventide Lesson: An allegory for our journey of faith
“The people of Bethsaida were unbelieving (Mt 11:21); thus, Jesus leads the blind man out of the town to heal him, so that the people would not scoff at the miracle and bring upon themselves greater condemnation. That the blind man was healed in stages (vv. 23-25) shows that he had only a small amount of faith… yet this little faith was enough, and it increased with the touch of Christ.” 
“The curing of the blind man is an allegory for our journey of faith. Christ cures us of our spiritual blindness until we see him in all the circumstances.” 
“Christ’s command not to return to the town (v. 26) symbolizes that we must not return to out sins once we have been forgiven.” 
“Jesus heals a blind man as His disciples continue to struggle with the issue of who Jesus is and what He has come to do. Sin blinds all of us. Yet, Jesus’ gracious touch opens our eyes so that, despite our weaknesses, we recognize Him as the Christ and believe in Him unto life everlasting. • Lord, open our eyes to see You and Your ways. Help us to recognize and confess You clearly as our great physician. Amen.” 
Lord, keep us safe this night, Secure from all our fears; May angels guard us while we sleep, Till morning light appears.
-John Leland (1754-1841) 
 Stratman, P. (2001). Morning Prayers. In Prayers from the Ancient Celtic Church (Kindle ed., p. 14). Crossway.
 Forward Movement. (2013). Intercessions. In Prayers for All Occasions (Kindle ed., pp. 588). Cincinnati, OH: Forward Movement.
 Tickle, P. (2000). October. In The divine hours: Prayers for Prayers for Autumn and Wintertime (Kindle ed., vol. 2, p. 112). New York, NY: Image Books.
 Episcopal Church. (1979). Daily Office, Rite II. 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. 99). New York, NY: Church Publishing Incorporated.
 Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (2018). 2 Kings. In Holy Bible Nkjv Study Bible, Personal Size: Full-color Edition (Kindle, Third, p. 1865). essay, Thomas Nelson, Inc.
 Senior, D., Collins, J. J., & Getty-Sullivan, M. A. (2016). 1 & 2 Kings. In The Catholic study Bible: The New American Bible, revised edition, translated from the original languages with critical use of all the ancient sources (Third ed., p. 432). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
 Ibid. 6
 Cole, J. (Ed.). (2015). 1 Kings. In Didache Bible: With commentaries based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church (Kindle ed., p. 979). Downers Grove, IL: Midwest Theological Forum, Ignatius Press.
 2019 Book of Common Prayer, Midday Prayer, Anglican Church in North America. Retrieved at: http://bcp2019.anglicanchurch.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/07-Midday-Prayer-11.21.2019.docx
 A., E. E. (2016). Acts. In The Lutheran study Bible: English standard version (Kindle ed., pp. 7499). Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House.
 Episcopal Church. (1979). Daily Office, Rite II. 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. 123). New York, NY: Church Publishing Incorporated.
 Academic Community of St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology (2008). Mark. In The Orthodox study Bible (p. 1372-1373). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.
 Cole, J. (Ed.). (2015). Mark. In Didache Bible: With commentaries based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church (Kindle ed., p. 3007). Downers Grove, IL: Midwest Theological Forum, Ignatius Press.
 Academic Community of St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology (2008). Mark. In The Orthodox study Bible (p. 1373). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.
 A., E. E. (2016). Mark. In The Lutheran study Bible: English standard version (Kindle ed., pp. 6787). Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House.
 Kitch, A. E. (2004). Bedtime Prayers. In The Anglican family prayer book (Kindle ed., pp. 214). Harrisburg, PA: Morehouse Pub.