October 29 Devotional (2021)

A prayer inspired by Martyrs James Hannington and his Companions

Precious in thy sight, O Lord, is the death of thy saints, Whose faithful witness, by thy providence, hath its great reward: We give thee thanks for thy martyrs James Hannington and his companions, who purchased with their blood a road unto Uganda for the proclamation of the Gospel; and we pray that with them we also may obtain the crown of righteousness which is laid up for all who love the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

October 29, 2021
Ordinary Time

Today’s Readings: 

  • Psalm 119:1-8
  • Leviticus 19:32-37
  • Romans 3:21-31

Invitatory

The earth is the Lord’s for he made it: Come let us adore him.

Opening Prayer

O Lord, you are the light in the darkness, Creator of all the elements, Forgiver of Sins. O Lord, may your great mercy be on us as we seek you with our whole heart. We hear of your majesty, O Lord, in the morning. Blot out our sins, for nothing is hidden from you; who lives and reigns, one God, now and forever, Amen. [1]

Today’s Intercession

[2]

Hymn 

“O God of love, O King of peace” by Sir Henry W. Baker
Lyrics:

O God of love, O King of peace, 

Make wars throughout the world to cease; 

The wrath of sinful man restrain: 

Give peace, O God, give peace again! 

Whom shall we trust but you, O Lord? 

Where rest but on Your faithful word? 

None ever called on you in vain: 

Give peace, O God, give peace again! 

Remember, Lord, your works of old, 

The wonders that our fathers told; 

Remember not our sin’s dark stain: 

Give peace, O God, give peace again! 

Where saints and angels dwell above, 

All hearts are knit in holy love; 

O bind us in that heavenly chain: 

Give peace, O God, give peace again! [3]


Morning Prayer

A Collect For Fridays

Almighty God, whose most dear Son went not up to joy but first he suffered pain, and entered not into glory before he was crucified: Mercifully grant that we, walking in the way of the cross, may find it none other than the way of life and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. [4]

Short Verse

But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.

Amos 5:24
Howard Finster, “God is Love. Seek his will and find his peace he saves from sin.”, after 1970, oil on wood paneling, Smithsonian American Art MuseumDirect capture

Morning Reading

Psalm 119:1-8, Seeking God with all our hearts

Happy are those whose way is blameless,

who walk in the law of the Lord.

Happy are those who keep his decrees,

who seek him with their whole heart,

who also do no wrong,

but walk in his ways.

You have commanded your precepts

to be kept diligently.

O that my ways may be steadfast

in keeping your statutes!

Then I shall not be put to shame,

having my eyes fixed on all your commandments.

I will praise you with an upright heart,

when I learn your righteous ordinances.

I will observe your statutes;

do not utterly forsake me.


Midday Prayer

Blessed Savior, at this hour you hung upon the cross, stretching out your loving arms: Grant that all the peoples of the earth may look to you and be saved; for your tender mercies’ sake. Amen. [5]

Short Verse

Jesus wept.

John 11:35

Midday Reading

Leviticus 19:32-37, Aliens to be treated as fellow citizens

32 “ ‘Stand up in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God. I am the Lord.

33 “ ‘When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. 34 The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the Lord your God.

35 “ ‘Do not use dishonest standards when measuring length, weight or quantity. 36 Use honest scales and honest weights, an honest ephah  and an honest hin.  I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt.

37 “ ‘Keep all my decrees and all my laws and follow them. I am the Lord.’ ”

Midday Lesson

Love the stranger

Verse 32 says, Stand up in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God. I am the Lord. “People often find it easy to dismiss the opinions of the elderly and avoid taking time to visit with them. But the fact that God commanded the Israelites to honor the elderly shows how seriously we should take the responsibility of respecting those older than we are. Their wisdom gained from experience can save us from many pitfalls. How do you show respect and honor to your elders?” [6]

Verses 33-34 say, When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them. The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the Lord your God. “Generous treatment of a stranger, or a resident alien, in the land was based on God’s generous treatment of the Israelites when they were strangers in the land of Egypt. What God had done for them they were to pass along to others. This is still a good principle for God’s people to follow. In v. 18, the Israelites were instructed, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Verse 34 expands that standard to include strangers. Jesus gave the definitive illustration of this principle in His story of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:30–36).” [7]

“How do you feel when you encounter strangers and foreigners, especially those who don’t speak your language? Are you impatient? Do you think or act as if they should go back where they came from? Are you tempted to take advantage of them? God says to treat foreigners and strangers as you’d treat fellow citizens, to love them as you love yourself. In reality, we are all foreigners in this world, because it is only our temporary home. View strangers, newcomers, and foreigners as opportunities to demonstrate God’s love.” [8]

Verses 35-36 say, Do not use dishonest standards when measuring length, weight or quantity. Use honest scales and honest weights, an honest ephah  and an honest hin.  I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt. “Injustice in judgment is injustice in legal transactions (vv. 11, 12, 15–18). Injustice . . . in measurement is one kind of injustice in business transactions.” [9] “Honesty through use of standard weights and measures was a common topic in ancient Near Eastern literature. In the Egyptian ‘Book of the Dead,’ an Egyptian claims innocence: ‘I have not added to the weight of the balance. I have not tampered with the plummet of the scales.’ The Code of Hammurapi requires standardization for repayment of debts and for purchases. The Egyptian ‘Instruction of Amenemope’ provides a reminder of accountability to divine power: ‘Do not move the scales nor alter the weights, / Nor diminish the fractions of the measure . . . / Do not make for yourself deficient weights, / They are rich in grief through the might of god.’” [10]

“Once again, the fact that God had brought the Israelites out of the land of Egypt is cited as reason to believe He would provide for all of their needs. God had treated the Israelites generously. They could afford to treat each other fairly in their business dealings.” [11]


Eventide Prayer

A Collect for Fridays

Lord Jesus Christ, by your death you took away the sting of death: Grant to us your servants so to follow in faith where you have led the way, that we may at length fall asleep peacefully in you and wake up in your likeness; for your tender mercies’ sake. Amen. [12]

Short Verse

Be gracious to me, O Lord, for I am languishing; heal me, O Lord, for my bones are troubled.

Psalm 6:2

Eventide Reading

Romans 3:21-31, Atonement through Christ’s blood

21 But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from the law, although the Law and the Prophets bear witness to it— 22 the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: 23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God’s righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins. 26 It was to show his righteousness at the present time, so that he might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus.

27 Then what becomes of our boasting? It is excluded. By what kind of law? By a law of works? No, but by the law of faith. 28 For we hold that one is justified by faith apart from works of the law. 29 Or is God the God of Jews only? Is he not the God of Gentiles also? Yes, of Gentiles also, 30 since God is one—who will justify the circumcised by faith and the uncircumcised through faith. 31 Do we then overthrow the law by this faith? By no means! On the contrary, we uphold the law.

Eventide Lesson

The Righteousness of God Through Faith

“The law may be kept by obedience (Lv 18:5) and by faith (Dt 30:14). Obedience without faith cannot bring anyone to righteousness. Yet faith, even apart from the law, can bring a person to righteousness, because Jesus Christ supersedes the law.” [13]

“The ultimate purpose of man’s existence is to attain the glory of God. Even if a person were to keep the whole law, he would still fall short of that glory, because he would still be bound by death. The glory of God is both eternal righteousness and eternal life. Jesus Christ alone lived in completed righteousness, and He alone was resurrected from the dead. Therefore, He alone is the fullness of the glory of God, and we receive that glory in Him (see Jn 14:6).” [14]

“Being justified refers to an ongoing state of righteousness and not merely to a one-time event. This justification requires redemption: a sacrificial offering capable of (1) setting us free from sin and death, and (2) uniting us eternally with righteousness and life. In the OT, this sacrificial offering was prefigured by blood sacrifices of physically perfect animals for the temporal remission of sins (see Heb 9). Under the new covenant, Christ is the sacrificial offering that once for all eternally frees us from sin and death (Heb 10:14) and by His grace unites us with righteousness and life.” [15]

“To propitiate means ‘to cover’ or ‘to conciliate.’ Propitiation refers to the mercy seat in the tabernacle where God was enthroned among His people (Ex 25:17-22). Once a year, on the Day of Atonement, the blood of the sacrifice was liturgically sprinkled on the mercy seat in the holy of holies. This prefigured the covering of our sins and our reconciliation to God that was to come in Jesus Christ. Heaven holds the true mercy seat (Heb 9:23-26; 10:19-22), and Christ’s blood was taken to heaven through His Passion, Resurrection, and Ascension, thus reconciling us to God once and for all.” [16]

“Ongoing faith in Jesus is the way mankind receives God’s righteousness. Justification (being made righteous) by faith is not a one-time ‘not guilty’ verdict…  Rather, it is Christ living in us and we in Him (Gal 2:20).” [17]

“Thus, to be justified is to be in communion with Jesus Christ in an ongoing, dynamic, and growing life with him [through faith].  The relationship between God and His people is one of Shepherd to sheep, Master to servant, and Father to an adopted child.” [18]

“The law teaches us that: (1) Attaining righteousness through works alone is impossible (v. 27). (2) Righteousness is attained by faith and is a gift from God (vv. 27, 38). (3)  God is impartial – Jews and Gentiles are justified on the same basis of ongoing faith in Jesus Christ (vv. 39, 30). There is ‘no difference’ [St. John Chrysostom] between the terms by faith and through faith (v. 30). (4) By teaching justification by faith in Christ, Christians establish (or uphold) the law (v. 31), because Christ Himself fulfils the law (Mt 5:17).” [19]

“Paul’s underlying purpose here was to explain that Gentiles were not second-class Christians but rather enjoyed equality with the Jewish converts. His argument countered the Pharisees’ perspective that salvation came through a meticulous observance of the Law. It also touched upon the debate over whether Gentile converts must first be circumcised and bound to the Old Law before being baptized as Christians. Paul explained that righteousness, or “justification,” is always a free and unmerited gift from God. Anyone who abides by the Law, even in a most faithful manner, still must rely on God’s gift of grace for salvation. Hence, there is no salvation without grace merited by the redemptive Sacrifice of Jesus Christ. Faith is a virtue bestowed in the Sacrament of Baptism. The grace of the Holy Spirit conferred at Baptism justifies us by cleansing us of Original Sin and all personal sins and making us share in the life of Christ.” [20]

Compline Prayer

O God, your unfailing providence sustains the world we live in and the life we live: Watch over those, both night and day, who work while others sleep, and grant that we may never forget that our common life depends upon each other’s toil; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. [21]


Citations:

[1] Stratman, P. (2001). Morning Prayers. In Prayers from the Ancient Celtic Church (Kindle ed., p. 14). Crossway.

[2] Forward Movement. (2013). Intercessions. In Prayers for All Occasions (Kindle ed., pp. 596). Cincinnati, OH: Forward Movement.

[3] Tickle, P. (2000). October. In The divine hours: Prayers for Prayers for Autumn and Wintertime (Kindle ed., vol. 2, p. 121). New York, NY: Image Books.

[4] 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.

[5] 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. 107). New York, NY: Church Publishing Incorporated.

[6] Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (2013). Study Notes: Leviticus. In Life application study Bible: King James version (Kindle ed., p. 6717). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House.

[7] Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (2018). Leviticus. In Holy Bible Nkjv Study Bible, Personal Size: Full-color Edition (Kindle, Third, p. 837). Thomas Nelson, Inc.

[8] Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (2013). Study Notes: Leviticus. In Life application study Bible: King James version (Kindle ed., p. 6717). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House.

[9] Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (2018). Leviticus. In Holy Bible Nkjv Study Bible, Personal Size: Full-color Edition (Kindle, Third, p. 837). Thomas Nelson, Inc.

[10] Keener, C. S., Walton, J. H., & Matthews, V. A. (2016). Leviticus. In NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible (Kindle, pp. 793). essay, Zondervan.

[11] Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (2018). Leviticus. In Holy Bible Nkjv Study Bible, Personal Size: Full-color Edition (Kindle, Third, p. 837). Thomas Nelson, Inc.

[12] 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.

[13] Academic Community of St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology (2008). Romans. In The Orthodox study Bible (p. 1557). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

[14] Ibid. 13

[15] Ibid. 13

[16] Ibid. 13

[17] Ibid. 13

[18] Ibid. 13

[19] Ibid. 13

[20] Cole, J. (Ed.). (2015). Romans. In Didache Bible: With commentaries based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church (Kindle ed., p. 3417). Downers Grove, IL: Midwest Theological Forum, Ignatius Press.

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

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