Feb 16 Devotional Bible Study

*Note: An earlier version of this devotional included a painting accompanying the Morningtide reading. Due to an accidental oversight, we omitted the artist’s name and the title of the work. So as not to use the artist’s piece without accreditation, we have removed the image. Twitter user @melahlborn (also an artist) has our gratitude for calling our attention to the oversight.

February 16, 2022
Epiphanytide

Today’s Readings: 

  1. Jeremiah 22:11-17, Woe to the unjust
    • Lesson: Dishonesty and oppression
  2. Luke 11:37-52, Woe to the sinners
    • Lesson: Christ perfected the Old Law
  3. “The Songs of Prayer”

Invitatory

The mercy of the Lord is everlasting: 

Come let us adore him.

Come let us praise the Lord with joy: let us joyfully sing to God our saviour. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving; and make a joyful noise to him with psalms.

Opening Prayers

(excerpted from Common Worship [1])

The night has passed, and the day lies open before us; let us pray with one heart and mind.

The night has passed, and the day lies open before us; let us pray with one heart and mind.

As we rejoice in the gift of this new day, so may the light of your presence, O God, set our hearts on fire with love for you; now and for ever. Amen.

Lord, you will guide me with your counsel

and afterwards receive me with glory.

      Lord, you will guide me with your counsel 

      and afterwards receive me with glory.

For I am always with you;

you hold me by my right hand.

      And afterwards receive me with glory.

Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.

      Lord, you will guide me with your counsel 

      and afterwards receive me with glory.

from Psalm 73

You show mercy to our ancestors, and remember your holy covenant.

Almighty and everlasting God, we thank you that you have brought us safely to the beginning of this day. Keep us from falling into sin or running into danger, order us in all our doings and guide us to do always what is righteous in your sight; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Let us pray with confidence as our Saviour has taught us.

Our Father, who art in heaven …

The Lord bless us, and preserve us from all evil, and keep us in eternal life. Amen.

The Hymn

“Jesus, Lover of My Soul”

By Charles Wesley

Lyrics:

Jesus, lover of my soul, let me to your bosom fly, 

While the nearer waters roll, while the tempest still is high: 

Hide, O my Savior, hide, till the storm of life is passed; 

Safe into the haven guide; O receive my soul at last. 

Other refuge have I none; hangs my helpless soul on thee; 

Leave, O leave me not alone, still support and comfort me: 

All my trust on you is laid, all my help from you I bring; 

Cover my defenseless head with the shadow of your wing. 

Plenteous grace with you is found, grace to cover all my sin; 

Let the healing streams abound; make and keep me pure within. 

Let the healing streams abound; make and keep me pure within. 

Thou of life the fountain art; freely let me take of thee; 

Spring thou up within my heart, rise to all eternity. [2]


Morning 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. (Prayers to be used at sea, Church of England)

Short Verse

All your works praise you, O LORD,*

and your faithful servants bless you.

They make known the glory of your kingdom*

and speak of your power.

Psalm 145:10–11

Morning Reading

Jeremiah 22:11-17, Woe to the unjust

11 For thus says the Lord concerning Shallum son of King Josiah of Judah, who succeeded his father Josiah, and who went away from this place: He shall return here no more, 12 but in the place where they have carried him captive he shall die, and he shall never see this land again.

13 

Woe to him who builds his house by unrighteousness,

    and his upper rooms by injustice;

who makes his neighbors work for nothing,

    and does not give them their wages;

14 

who says, “I will build myself a spacious house

    with large upper rooms,”

and who cuts out windows for it,

    paneling it with cedar,

    and painting it with vermilion.

15 

Are you a king

    because you compete in cedar?

Did not your father eat and drink

    and do justice and righteousness?

    Then it was well with him.

16 

He judged the cause of the poor and needy;

    then it was well.

Is not this to know me?

    says the Lord.

17 

But your eyes and heart

    are only on your dishonest gain,

for shedding innocent blood,

    and for practicing oppression and violence.

Morning Lesson

Dishonesty and oppression

“Good King Josiah had died at the battle of Megiddo (2 Kgs 23:29); his son Jehoahaz reigned for only three months in 609 B.C. before being taken away to Egypt by Pharaoh Neco. He would be the first ruler to die in exile. The people were told not to waste their tears on the death of Josiah but to cry for the king who was taken into exile and would never return.” [3]

“God passed judgment on King Jehoiakim. His father, Josiah, had been one of Judah’s great kings, but Jehoiakim was evil. Josiah had been faithful in his responsibility to be a model of right living, but Jehoiakim had been unfaithful in his responsibility to imitate his father. God’s judgment was on unfaithful Jehoiakim. He could not claim his father’s blessings when he had not followed his father’s God. We may inherit our parents’ money, but we cannot inherit their faith. A godly heritage, a good education, or a beautiful home doesn’t guarantee moral character. We must have our own relationship with God.” [4]

“Dishonesty or oppression by employers over their employees is a grave offense against justice and human dignity; indeed, it is one of the sins that cry to heaven.” [5]


Midday Prayer

Blessed are you, O Lord God, King of the Universe, for you give us food to sustain our lives and make our hearts glad; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. [6]

Short Verse

Hear the voice of my prayer when I cry out to you,*

when I lift up my hands to your holy of holies.

Psalm 28:2

Midday Reading

Luke 11:37-52, Woe to the sinners

37 While he was speaking, a Pharisee invited him to dine with him; so he went in and took his place at the table. 38 The Pharisee was amazed to see that he did not first wash before dinner. 39 Then the Lord said to him, “Now you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. 40 You fools! Did not the one who made the outside make the inside also? 41 So give for alms those things that are within; and see, everything will be clean for you.

42 “But woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and herbs of all kinds, and neglect justice and the love of God; it is these you ought to have practiced, without neglecting the others. 43 Woe to you Pharisees! For you love to have the seat of honor in the synagogues and to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces. 44 Woe to you! For you are like unmarked graves, and people walk over them without realizing it.”

45 One of the lawyers answered him, “Teacher, when you say these things, you insult us too.” 46 And he said, “Woe also to you lawyers! For you load people with burdens hard to bear, and you yourselves do not lift a finger to ease them. 47 Woe to you! For you build the tombs of the prophets whom your ancestors killed. 48 So you are witnesses and approve of the deeds of your ancestors; for they killed them, and you build their tombs. 49 Therefore also the Wisdom of God said, ‘I will send them prophets and apostles, some of whom they will kill and persecute,’ 50 so that this generation may be charged with the blood of all the prophets shed since the foundation of the world, 51 from the blood of Abel to the blood of Zechariah, who perished between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, I tell you, it will be charged against this generation. 52 Woe to you lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge; you did not enter yourselves, and you hindered those who were entering.”

Midday Lesson

Christ perfected the Old Law

“Christ came to perfect the Old Law, not to abolish it. While the Law was good, its practice and interpretation had become removed from its original intent. The perfection of the Law requires it to be put to the service of charity toward God and neighbor, and its practice requires the grace of God. Because of these teachings, Christ’s enemies sought to discredit him in the eyes of the people.” [7]


Eventide Prayer

O God, the life of all who live, the light of the faithful, the strength of those who labor, and the repose of the dead: We thank you for the blessings of the day that is past, and humbly ask for your protection through the coming night. Bring us in safety to the morning hours; through him who died and rose again for us, your Son our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen. [8]

Short Verse

Rejoice in the LORD, you righteous,*

and give thanks to his holy Name.

Psalm 97:12

Eventide Reading

“The Songs of Prayer”

The songs of prayer lodge in our mouths.

Let us sing through the snow.

At the dinner table.

On the rooftop where we dance.

May these sounds heal our ears and

those distant ears that hear.

Hawksley Workman [9]

Concluding Prayer of the Church

(excerpted from Common Worship)

That this evening may be holy, good and peaceful, let us pray with one heart and mind.

As our evening prayer rises before you, O God, so may your mercy come down upon us to cleanse our hearts and set us free to sing your praise now and for ever. Amen.

Eternal Lord, our beginning and our end: bring us with the whole creation to your glory, hidden through past ages and made known in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. 

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,

and the love of God,

and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit,

be with us all evermore.

Amen.

[10]


Citations:

[1] Church House Publishing. (2005). Morning Prayer on Wednesday. In Common worship: Daily prayer (pp. 190-195)

[2] Tickle, P. (2006). February. In The divine hours: Prayers for Springtime (Kindle ed., vol. 2, p. 77). New York, NY: Image Books.

[3] Tyndale House Publishers. (2012). Jeremiah. In Chronological life application study Bible (Kindle ed., p. 6062). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Pub.

[4] Ibid. 5

[5] Cole, J. (Ed.). (2015). Jeremiah. In Didache Bible: With commentaries based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church (Kindle ed., p. 2279). Downers Grove, IL: Midwest Theological Forum, Ignatius Press.

[6] 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. 835). New York, NY: Church Publishing Incorporated.

[7] Cole, J. (Ed.). (2015). Luke. In Didache Bible: With commentaries based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church (Kindle ed., p. D 3130). Downers Grove, IL: Midwest Theological Forum, Ignatius Press.

[8] http://bcp2019.anglicanchurch.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/08-Daily-Evening-Prayer-11.21.2019.docx

[9] The Northumbria Community. (2015). Daily Prayer. In Celtic Daily Prayer (Kindle ed., p. 21679). London: HarperCollins.

[10] Church House Publishing. (2005). Evening Prayer on Wednesday. In Common worship: Daily prayer (pp. 197-203).

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