November 15 Devotional (2021)

November 15, 2021
Ordinary Time

Today’s Readings: 

  • Psalm 13, Prayer for salvation
  • Daniel 8:1-14, A vision of destructive power
  • Hebrews 10:26-31, Falling into the hands of the living God

Invitatory

The Lord, the King of Confessors, * O come, let us worship.

Collect

Blessed Lord, who caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning: Grant us so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them, that we may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life, which you have given us in our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. [1]

Intercession

For All Sorts and Conditions of Men

O God, the creator and preserver of all mankind, we humbly beseech thee for all sorts and conditions of men; that thou wouldest be pleased to make thy ways known unto them, thy saving health unto all nations. More especially we pray for thy holy Church universal; that it may be so guided and governed by thy good Spirit, that all who profess and call themselves Christians may be led into the way of truth, and hold the faith in unity of spirit, in the bond of peace, and in righteousness of life. Finally, we commend to thy fatherly goodness all those who are in any ways afflicted or distressed, in mind, body, or estate; [especially those for whom our prayers are desired]; that it may please thee to comfort and relieve them according to their several necessities, giving them patience under their sufferings, and a happy issue out of all their afflictions. And this we beg for Jesus Christ’s sake. Amen. [2]

Hymn

“Open My Eyes, That I May See” by Clara Scott
Lyrics:

Open my eyes, that I may see 

Glimpses of the truth you have for me; 

Place in my hands the wonderful key 

That will unclasp and set me free. 

Silently now I wait for thee, 

Ready, my God, your will to see. 

Open my eyes, illumine me, Spirit divine! 

Open my ears, that I may hear 

Voices of truth you send me clear; 

And while the wave notes fall on my ear, 

Everything false will disappear. 

Silently now I wait for thee, 

Ready, my God, your will to see. 

Open my ears, illumine me, Spirit divine! 

Open my mouth and let me bear 

Gladly the warm truth everywhere; 

Open my heart and let me prepare 

Love with your children thus to share. 

Silently now I wait for thee, 

Ready, my God, your will to see. 

Open my heart, illumine me, Spirit divine! [3]


Morning Suffrages

Save your people, Lord, and bless your inheritance; 

      Govern and uphold them, now and always. 

Day by day we bless you;

      We praise your name for ever. 

Lord, keep us from all sin today; 

      Have mercy upon us, Lord, have mercy. 

Lord, show us your love and mercy; 

      For we put our trust in you. 

In you, Lord, is our hope; 

      And we shall never hope in vain. 

Amen. [4]

Short Verse

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.

Psalm 91:1

Morning Reading

Psalm 13, Prayer for salvation

How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever?

How long will you hide your face from me?

How long must I bear pain in my soul,

and have sorrow in my heart all day long?

How long shall my enemy be exalted over me?

Consider and answer me, O Lord my God!

Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep the sleep of death,

and my enemy will say, “I have prevailed”;

my foes will rejoice because I am shaken.

But I trusted in your steadfast love;

my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.

I will sing to the Lord,

because he has dealt bountifully with me.

Morning Lesson

Petition the Lord

Psalm 13 “teaches the Church how to attain to an exceedingly joyful heart in singing to the Lord (v. 6b), who is the End (v. 1): (1) by godly sorrow and repentance over sins committed, lest the devil and sinful passions (my enemy) be victorious (vv. 3, 5; see also 2Co 7:10); (2) by petitioning the Lord to enlighten the eyes of the heart, lest the sleep in death overtake one (v. 4; see also Eph 1:18; 5:14); and (3) by hoping in the Lord’s mercy (v. 6a).” [5]

Commentary from the Early Church
Psalm 13:1-3 

Eusebius of Caesarea

“The face of God, full of light, is a certain power looking to confer gifts, by which each partaker will be enlightened, as if they were enjoying the rays of the sun. But if one has turned away, his spirit lives in the shadows without light; because the eyes within, namely, the thoughts of the mind, can see nothing. When one persists in sin, more and more shadows come, because deep within him the face of God remains turned away.”
(Commentary on Psalms 13.3–5) [6]

Psalm 13:5 

Cassiodorus

“The love of God is a spring shower of virtues under which a blessed desire begins to bud and holy action bears fruit. This love is patient under adversities in this life, temperate in prosperity, powerful in its humility, joyful in affliction, benevolent toward enemies, and overcomes the wicked by its goodness. From this source, even heavenly creatures are constantly ignited by God’s love as a restoring flame, a growing desire for salvation. To summarize all of this with a phrase from the Apostle: “God himself is love” [1Jn 4:8].” 

(Explanation of the Psalms 13.1.13.1) [7]


Midday Prayer

For Holy Thought

O God, without whose beauty and goodness our souls are unfed, without whose truth our reason withers: Consecrate our lives to your will, giving us such purity of heart, such depth of faith, and such steadfastness of purpose, that in time we may come to think your own thoughts after you; through Jesus Christ our Savior. Amen. [8]

Short Verse

but let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.

1 Peter 3:4
The ram and the goat.

Midday Reading

Daniel 8:1-14, A vision of destructive power

1 In the third year of the reign of King Belshazzar a vision appeared to me, Daniel, after that which appeared to me at the first. 2 And I saw in the vision; and when I saw, I was in Susa the citadel, which is in the province of Elam. And I saw in the vision, and I was at the Ulai canal. 3 I raised my eyes and saw, and behold, a ram standing on the bank of the canal. It had two horns, and both horns were high, but one was higher than the other, and the higher one came up last. 4 I saw the ram charging westward and northward and southward. No beast could stand before him, and there was no one who could rescue from his power. He did as he pleased and became great.

5 As I was considering, behold, a male goat came from the west across the face of the whole earth, without touching the ground. And the goat had a conspicuous horn between his eyes. 6 He came to the ram with the two horns, which I had seen standing on the bank of the canal, and he ran at him in his powerful wrath. 7 I saw him come close to the ram, and he was enraged against him and struck the ram and broke his two horns. And the ram had no power to stand before him, but he cast him down to the ground and trampled on him. And there was no one who could rescue the ram from his power. 8 Then the goat became exceedingly great, but when he was strong, the great horn was broken, and instead of it there came up four conspicuous horns toward the four winds of heaven.

9 Out of one of them came a little horn, which grew exceedingly great toward the south, toward the east, and toward the glorious land. 10 It grew great, even to the host of heaven. And some of the host and some of the stars it threw down to the ground and trampled on them. 11 It became great, even as great as the Prince of the host. And the regular burnt offering was taken away from him, and the place of his sanctuary was overthrown. 12 And a host will be given over to it together with the regular burnt offering because of transgression,b and it will throw truth to the ground, and it will act and prosper. 13 Then I heard a holy one speaking, and another holy one said to the one who spoke, “For how long is the vision concerning the regular burnt offering, the transgression that makes desolate, and the giving over of the sanctuary and host to be trampled underfoot?” 14 And he said to me,c “For 2,300 evenings and mornings. Then the sanctuary shall be restored to its rightful state.”

Midday Lesson

Daniel’s Vision of the Ram and the Goat

Daniel 8:1, third year:

Approximately 550 B.C., two years after Daniel’s dream in chap. 7.

[9]

Daniel 8:2-14

Daniel’s second vision concerns the Medo- Persian empire (the ram, 8:20) and its conquest by the Greeks (the he-goat, 8:21). The goat’s “conspicuous horn” is Alexander the Great (8:5), and the “four conspicuous horns” that replace him are the four generals who assumed control of Alexander’s empire after his death in 323 B.C. (8:8). Finally, the “little horn” that comes later is Antiochus IV Epiphanes (8:9), the Seleucid king responsible for persecuting the Jews and desecrating the Jerusalem Temple in the second century B.C.

[10]

Daniel 8:2, Susa:

Former capital of the Medes and royal residence of later Persian kings (Esther 11:3). It lies over 200 miles east of Babylon in modern Iran. Ulai: A canal that connected the rivers Choaspes and Coprates near Susa.

[11]

Daniel 8:3, one was higher:

Recalls how the bear in Daniel’s first vision was “raised up on one side” (7:5). Both images make the same point: Persia was the stronger and superior partner in the Medo-Persian union.

[12]

Daniel 8:4, westward … southward:

The imperial expansion of the Medo-Persian empire over the eastern Mediterranean world.

[13]

Daniel 8:5, from the west:

Alexander and his armies swept over the Near East from his home in Macedon (northern Greece). without touching the ground: i.e., with incredible speed.

[14]

Daniel 8:7, trampled upon:

Medo-Persia was fully overrun by Greek conquerors by 323 B.C.

[15]

Daniel 8:8, four conspicuous horns:

Four generals who succeeded Alexander the Great and took control of various parts of his empire: Cassander (Macedonia, Greece), Lysimachus (Thrace, Asia Minor), Ptolemy (Egypt, Palestine, Cyprus), and Seleucis (Syria, Mesopotamia). These may be depicted in 7:6 as the four heads of the leopard.

[16]

Daniel 8:9, the glorious land:

The land of Israel.

[17]

Daniel 8:10, even to … heaven:

Antiochus Epiphanes was a man of colossal arrogance and ego, here symbolized by the horn that exalts itself up to the stars (cf. Is 14:13). the stars: Represent the wise among God’s people (12:3).

[18]

Daniel 8:11, Prince of the host:

Yahweh, often described in the Bible as “the Lord of hosts” (1 Sam 1:3; Ps 24:10; Is 6:3). continual burnt offering: Refers to the twice-daily liturgy of the Temple, where a lamb was sacrificed along with incense, grain, and wine every morning and evening (Ex 29:38-42; Num 28:2-8). These and all sacrifices were halted by Antiochus’ suppression of Judaism (1 Mac 1:44-45).

[19]

Daniel 8:11, overthrown:

Antiochus seized control of the Jerusalem Temple for three years, from December 167 to December 164 B.C.

[20]

Daniel 8:13 a holy one:

An angel (4:13). the transgression that makes desolate: The erection of a pagan altar in the sanctuary at Jerusalem. Elsewhere this is called “the abomination that makes desolate” (11:31; 12:11). For details, see note on 11:31.

[21]

Daniel 8:14, evenings and mornings:

Perhaps 2,300 is the sum of evenings and mornings added together. It would thus refer to 1,150 days (= 3 years and 55 days), a close approximation to the three years that Antiochus Epiphanes desecrated Israel’s sanctuary.

[22]

Daniel 8:14, restored:

By the Maccabees, who cleansed and rededicated the Temple in 164 B.C. (1 Mac 4:36-58).

[23]

Eventide Prayer

Almighty and most merciful God, kindle within us the fire of love, that by its cleansing flame we may be purged of all our sins and made worthy to worship you in spirit and in truth; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. [4]

Short Verse

You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God.

Isaiah 62:3

Eventide Reading

Hebrews 10:26-31, Falling into the hands of the living God

26 For if we go on sinning deliberately after receiving the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a fearful expectation of judgment, and a fury of fire that will consume the adversaries. 28 Anyone who has set aside the law of Moses dies without mercy on the evidence of two or three witnesses. 29 How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace? 30 For we know him who said, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people.” 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.

Eventide Lesson

Against persistent sin

Sinning deliberately is “persistently doing what we know is wrong. no longer remains a sacrifice for sins.” [25] St. John Chrysostom explained, “He did not say, no more is there repentance, or no more is there remission , but ‘no more’ is there a ‘sacrifice,’ that is, there is no more a second Cross.” [26] “There is no salvation apart from Christ’s sacrifice.” [27]

“While many sins are willful, to sin willfully is defiant sin or a deliberate repudiation of God (see 5:2; 6:4-6). Christ is the offering for all sin -voluntary and involuntary—which demonstrates God’s incomparable grace toward us. But if we deliberately and with full knowledge reject the sacrifice of Christ—which is all- encompassing and final—then where can we possibly turn to obtain forgiveness?” [28]

Verse 29 asks, How much worse punishment, do you think, will be deserved by the one who has trampled underfoot the Son of God, and has profaned the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified, and has outraged the Spirit of grace? To profane the blood of the covenant is to consider “Christ’s blood to be common and so despising Christ’s sacrifice. Cf Mt 26: 28.” [29] “‘God will receive into grace all who repent and believe in Christ.’ But ‘He also will punish those who willfully . . . despise God’s Spirit. . . . They will be hardened, blinded, and eternally condemned if they persist in such things.’” [30]

Compline Prayer

O God, you shine your light on the deep darkness of night. Shine your light on our deep darkness, and guard our hearts in the way of your commandments, Lord; for you live and reign with your Son and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. 

– Antiphonary of Bangor, Collect at First Nocturn (Compline) [31]


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. 236). New York, NY: Church Publishing Incorporated.

[2] Episcopal Church. (1979). Prayers and Thanksgivings. 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. 814-815). New York, NY: Church Publishing Incorporated.

[3] Tickle, P. (2000). November. In The divine hours: Prayers for Prayers for Autumn and Wintertime (Kindle ed., vol. 2, p. 230). New York, NY: Image Books.

[4] 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. 98). New York, NY: Church Publishing Incorporated.

[5] Academic Community of St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology (2008). Psalms. In The Orthodox study Bible (p. 720). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

[6] Eusebius of Caesarea. (2019). Psalms. In Ancient faith study Bible (Kindle ed., p. 1543). Nashville: Holman Bible.

[7] Cassiodorus. (2019). Psalms. In Ancient faith study Bible (Kindle ed., p. 1543). Nashville: Holman Bible.

[8] Occasional Prayers. (2019). In The Book of Common Prayer (PDF). Anglican Church in North America. Retrieved at: http://bcp2019.anglicanchurch.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/08/56-Occasional-Prayers.docx

[9] Hahn, S., Mitch, C., & Walters, D. (2013). Commentary. In Daniel (Sec Catholic ed., p. 2163). San Francisco, CA: Ignatius Press.

[10] Ibid. 9, P. 2167

[11] Ibid. 9, P. 2174

[12] Ibid. 9, P. 2174

[13] Ibid. 9, P. 2174

[14] Ibid. 9, P. 2174

[15] Ibid. 9, P. 2182

[16] Ibid. 9, P. 2182

[17] Ibid. 9, P. 2182

[18] Ibid. 9, P. 2182

[19] Ibid. 9, P. 2189

[20] Ibid. 9, P. 2189

[21] Ibid. 9, P. 2189

[22] Ibid. 9, P. 2193

[23] Ibid. 9, P. 2193

[24] 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. 111). New York, NY: Church Publishing Incorporated.

[25] A., E. E. (2016). Hebrews. In The Lutheran study Bible: English standard version (Kindle ed., pp. 8457). Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House.

[26] Ibid. 25

[27] Ibid. 25

[28] Academic Community of St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology (2008). Hebrews. In The Orthodox study Bible (p. 1697). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

[29] A., E. E. (2016). Hebrews. In The Lutheran study Bible: English standard version (Kindle ed., pp. 8457). Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House.

[30] Ibid. 29

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

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