Saturday Bible Study: Jan 8, 2022

January 8th Commemoration: Martyrs of the Ecuador Mission

Almighty God, who didst call thy faithful servants Nate Saint, Ed McCully, Jim Elliot, Peter Fleming, and Roger Youderian to be witnesses and martyrs to the Huaorani peoples in the rain forests of Ecuador, and by their labors and suffering didst raise up a people for thine own possession: Pour forth thy Holy Spirit upon thy Church in every land, that by the service and sacrifice of many, thy holy Name may be glorified and thy kingdom enlarged; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

January 7, 2022
Epiphanytide

Today’s Readings: 

  1. Essay: Death and Resurrection to New Life in Baptism
  2. Ecclesiastes 3:1-15, All that is, is God’s doing
    • Lesson: Everything Has Its Time
  3. 1 Corinthians 2:11-16, God’s wisdom taught by the Spirit
    • Lesson: The language of faith

Invitatory

The Lord has shown forth his glory: Come let us adore him.

Opening Prayer

God in Christ gives us water welling up for eternal life.

With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation.

        Lord, give us this water and we shall thirst no more. 

        Amen. [1]

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, both now and always, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.

Hymn (German)

 “Schönster Herr Jesu”

(“Fairest Lord Jesus”)

Lyrics in English:

Fairest Lord Jesus, 

Ruler of all nature, 

O you of God and man the Son, 

You will I cherish, 

you will I honor, You, 

my soul’s glory, joy, and crown. 

Fair are the meadows, 

fairer still the woodlands, 

Robed in the blooming garb of spring: 

Jesus is fairer, 

Jesus is purer, 

Who makes the woeful heart to sing. 

Fair is the sunshine, 

fairer still the moonlight, 

And all the twinkling, starry host: 

Jesus shines brighter, 

Jesus shines purer, 

Than all the angels heaven can boast. [2]


Morning Prayer

Grant, Lord God, to all who have been baptized into the death and resurrection of your Son Jesus Christ, that, as we have put away the old life of sin, so we may be renewed in the spirit of our minds, and live in righteousness and true holiness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. [3]

Short Verse

Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.”

John 3:5
Cropped portion of Chandelier, 2019, by Eric Zener

Morning Reading

Death and Resurrection to New Life in Baptism

Tomorrow the Church celebrates the Baptism of our Lord.

“From Gn 3:15 onward, Scripture contains promises, prophecies, and types of Christ and His glorious work on our behalf. Because Holy Baptism plays such an important part in delivering Christ’s work of redemption personally to us, the Bible foreshadows and prophecies the ‘washing of regeneration’ (Ti 3:5) that God gives us through His Son.” [4] In the Old Testament, for example, “baptism was pictured by the passage of God’s people with Moses through the Red Sea (1Co 10:1, 2).” [5] In 2 Kings 5:14, “it was not for nothing that Naaman of old, when suffering from leprosy, was purified upon his being baptized, but as an indication to us. For as we are lepers in sin, we are made clean by means of the sacred water and the invocation of the Lord” (Irenaeus). [6] 

Seeing now, dearly beloved brethren, that these persons are regenerate and grafted into the body of Christs Church, let us give thanks unto Almighty God for these benefits, and with one accord make our prayers unto him, that they may lead the rest of their life according to this beginning.

The Ministration of Baptism,
1662 Book of Common Prayer

[16]

“John the Baptist, the last prophet of the old covenant, baptized in water for repentance (Mk 1:4; Acts 19:4). Jesus received John’s baptism, thereby transforming the water and baptism itself. In the new covenant, baptism is the means by which we enter the Kingdom of God (Jn 3:5), are joined to Christ (Rom. 6:3), and are granted the remission of our sins and the gift of the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:38).” [7]

Thus, Holy Scripture informs us that “Christian Baptism is more than a ceremony representing what God did for us in Christ, and [that] being baptized is more than just obeying God’s command with no personal benefit. Baptism is not an afterthought, as if God decided to add a subplot with no real significance or connection to the main story about Jesus. The Bible records that from the very beginning, God intended to join water to His Word to create new life.” [8]

Cropped portion of a painting by Eric Zener

“Compare Gn1 with Jn 1. Note that the first three words of both chapters are the same (‘In the beginning’). Moses records that while the Holy Spirit hovered over the waters (Gn 1:2), God created the world and everything in it by speaking His Word (Gn 1:3, 6, 9, 11, 14, 20, 24, 26; Ps 148:5; Heb 11:3). John writes about God’s Word, the Son of God: ‘All things were made through Him, and without Him was not any thing made that was made’ (Jn 1:3). By looking at Gn 1 and Jn 1 together, we see the Holy Trinity – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – bringing forth new life in connection with water.”[9]


He spoke His Word, and the water and the air teamed with life. It is the same with Baptism… In Baptism, just as at creation, God speaks His Word and brings forth abundant life…  As the Spirit of God hovered over the waters at creation, so too the Spirit is present at our Baptism (cf Mt 3:15; Ac 2:38-39).” [10]

We yield thee humble thanks, O heavenly Father, that thou hast vouchsafed to call us to the knowledge of thy grace, and faith in thee; Increase this knowledge, and confirm this faith in us evermore. Give thy holy Spirit to [us], that being now born again, and made heirs of everlasting salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, [we] may continue thy servants, and attain thy promises, through the same Lord Jesus Christ thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with thee in the unity of the same holy Spirit everlastingly. Amen.

The Ministration of Baptism,
1662 Book of Common Prayer

[17]

“From its opening chapters, the Bible points to the main plot in God’s great salvation story: the coming of His one and only Son, Jesus Christ, to live, to die, and to rise again for us. But God’s Word also foreshadows Baptism as an integral part of God’s story to personally deliver to us what Christ has done for us.” [11] Christ instituted the Sacrament of Baptism as part of His plan for our salvation (cf. Jn 3:5). “Its waters cleanse us of all guilt… fill us with grace, and make us children of God.” [12]

“Simply put, baptism is our death, burial, and resurrection in union with Jesus Christ. It is a rite of passage, given by Christ to the Church as an entrance into the Kingdom of God and eternal life.” [13] “The apostle Paul describ[ed] the promise of God in this ‘mystery’… most succinctly when he [wrote], ‘Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life’ (Rom 6:4).” [14]

“And as for you, who have now by Baptism put on Christ, it is your part and duty also, being made the children of God, and of the light by faith in Jesus Christ, to walk answerably to your Christian calling, and as becometh the children of light: remembring alwayes that Baptism representeth unto us our profession; which is, to follow the example of our Saviour Christ, and to be made like unto him; that as he died, and rose again for us; so should we who are baptized, die from sin, and rise again unto righteousness, continually mortifying all our evil and corrupt affections, and daily proceeding in all vertue and Godliness of living” (1662 Book of Common Prayer) [15]


Midday Prayer

Believing the promises of God, as our Saviour taught us, so we pray…

Short Verse

Hearken to my voice, O LORD, when I call;* have mercy on me and answer me. You speak in my heart and say, “Seek my face.”* Your face, LORD, will I seek. Hide not your face from me,* nor turn away your servant in displeasure. 

Psalm 27:10–12

Midday Reading

Ecclesiastes 3:1-15, All that is, is God’s doing

1 For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:

a time to be born, and a time to die;

a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;

a time to kill, and a time to heal;

a time to break down, and a time to build up;

a time to weep, and a time to laugh;

a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together;

a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

a time to seek, and a time to lose;

a time to keep, and a time to throw away;

a time to tear, and a time to sew;

a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

a time to love, and a time to hate;

a time for war, and a time for peace.

 

9 What gain have the workers from their toil? 10 I have seen the business that God has given to everyone to be busy with. 11 He has made everything suitable for its time; moreover he has put a sense of past and future into their minds, yet they cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end. 12 I know that there is nothing better for them than to be happy and enjoy themselves as long as they live; 13 moreover, it is God’s gift that all should eat and drink and take pleasure in all their toil. 14 I know that whatever God does endures forever; nothing can be added to it, nor anything taken from it; God has done this, so that all should stand in awe before him. 15 That which is, already has been; that which is to be, already is; and God seeks out what has gone by.

Midday Lesson

Everything Has Its Time

“Solomon introduces the following poem (vv 2–8) and connects it with what has appeared previously by describing changing human affairs and God’s unchanging will. Throughout [this book], he frequently changes his tone, describing both the frustrations of life and the firmness of God’s Word and blessing.” [18] 

“Note the chiastic sequence” in verses 4-8. [19] “The wise grasp the rhythms of life and live in agreement with them… We are subject to times and changes over which we have little control. This contrasts with God’s eternity. (LXX has kairos, ‘a proper season.’)” [20] 

“Timing is important. All the experiences listed in these verses are appropriate at certain times. The secret to peace with God is to discover, accept, and appreciate God’s perfect timing. The danger is to doubt or resent God’s timing. This can lead to despair, rebellion, or moving ahead without his advice.” [21]

“When is the time for hating? We shouldn’t hate evil people, but we should hate what they do. We should also hate it when people are mistreated, when children are starving, and when God is being dishonored. In addition, we must hate the sin in our own lives—this is God’s attitude (see Ps 5:5).” [22]

“All human works and efforts have a certain and definite time of acting, of beginning, and of ending, beyond human control. Thus this is spoken in opposition to free will. It is not up to us to prescribe the time, the manner, or the effect of the things that are to be done; and so it is obvious that here our strivings and efforts are unreliable. Everything comes and goes at the time that God has appointed. He proves this on the basis of examples of human works whose times lie outside the choice of man.”

Martin Luther
[23]

“Your ability to find satisfaction in your work depends to a large extent upon your attitude. You will become dissatisfied if you lose the sense of purpose God intended for your work. We can enjoy our work if we remember that God has given us work to do (Eccl 3:10) and realize that the fruit of our labor is a gift from him (Eccl 3:13). See your work as a way to serve God.” [24]

“God has ‘planted eternity in the human heart.’ This means that we can never be completely satisfied with earthly pleasures and pursuits. Because we are created in God’s image, we have a spiritual thirst, we have eternal value, and nothing but the eternal God can truly satisfy us. God has built in us a restless yearning for the kind of perfect world that can only be found in his perfect rule. He has given us a glimpse of the perfection of his creation. But it is only a glimpse; we cannot see into the future or comprehend everything. So we must trust God now and do his work on earth.” [25]

“To be happy and do good are worthy goals for life, but we can pursue them in the wrong way. God wants us to enjoy life. When we have the proper view of God, we discover that real pleasure is found in enjoying whatever we have as gifts from God, not in what we accumulate.” [26]

“What is the purpose of life? It is that we should fear the all-powerful God. To fear God means to respect and stand in awe of him because of who he is. Purpose in life starts with whom we know, not what we know or how good we are. It is impossible to fulfill your God-given purpose unless you revere God and give him first place in your life.” [27]


Eventide Prayer

To The Holy Spirit 

Breathe in me, O Holy Spirit, 

that my thoughts may all be holy. 

Act in me, O Holy Spirit, that my 

work, too, may be holy. 

Draw my heart, O Holy Spirit, 

that I love but what is holy. 

Strengthen me, O Holy Spirit, to 

defend all that is holy. 

Guard me, then, O Holy Spirit, 

that I may always be holy.

  • Saint Augustine of Hippo [28]

Short Verse

And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.

Isaiah 11:2

Eventide Reading

1 Corinthians 2:11-16, God’s wisdom taught by the Spirit

11 Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man or man independent of woman. 12 For just as woman came from man, so man comes through woman; but all things come from God. 13 Judge for yourselves: is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head unveiled? 14 Does not nature itself teach you that if a man wears long hair, it is degrading to him, 15 but if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For her hair is given to her for a covering. 16 But if anyone is disposed to be contentious—we have no such custom, nor do the churches of God.

Eventide Lesson

The language of faith

“Enlightenment from God in itself is beyond all words, and even beyond evaluation by other men (v. 15). Nevertheless, the Holy Spirit speaks through spiritual people words that truly reflect the unspeakable knowledge of faith. This language of faith in turn leads spiritually minded people to know God better, although it baffles the natural man (v. 14).” [29] “The mind of Christ is enlightenment by the Holy Spirit (v. 10). He brings those [baptized] into communion with Christ and others of like mind in His Body, the Church. The mind of Christ, then, is not private but is given to all: it is the mind of the Church.” [30]


Concluding Prayer of the Church

The almighty and merciful Lord, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, bless us and keep us. Amen.

Citations:

[1] Church House Publishing. (2005). Thanksgiving for Baptism. In Common worship: Daily prayer (pp. 373). 

[2] Tickle, P. (2006). January. In The divine hours: Prayers for Autumn and Wintertime (Kindle ed., vol. 2, p. 512). New York, NY: Image Books.

[3] 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. 252). New York, NY: Church Publishing Incorporated.

[4] House, C. P. (2009). New Life Through Baptism. In HOLY BIBLE: The lutheran study bible (p. 1369). St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing HSE.

[5] Academic Community of St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology (2008). Holy Baptism [Article]. In The Orthodox study Bible (p. 1565). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

[6] Academic Community of St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology (2008). 4 Kingdoms. In The Orthodox study Bible (p. 485). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

[7] Academic Community of St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology (2008). Holy Baptism [Article]. In The Orthodox study Bible (p. 1565). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

[8] House, C. P. (2009). New Life Through Baptism. In HOLY BIBLE: The lutheran study bible (p. 1369). St. Louis, MO: Concordia Publishing HSE.

[9] Ibid. 8

[10] Ibid. 8

[11] Ibid. 8

[12] Cole, J. (Ed.). (2015). Sacrament Of Baptism [Article]. In Didache Bible: With commentaries based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church (Kindle ed., p. 2916). Downers Grove, IL: Midwest Theological Forum, Ignatius Press.

[13] Academic Community of St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology (2008). Holy Baptism [Article]. In The Orthodox study Bible (p. 1564). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

[14] Ibid. 13, P. 1565

[15] Cummings, B. (2011). The book of common prayer: 1662. In The book of common prayer: the texts of 1549, 1559, and 1662 (ebook, pp. 450). prayer, Oxford University Press. 

[16] Ibid.15, P. 449

[17] Ibid.15, P. 449

[18] A., E. E. (2016). Ecclesiastes. In The Lutheran study Bible: English standard version (Kindle ed., pp. 4352). Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House.

[19] Ibid. 18

[20] Ibid. 18

[21] Tyndale House Publishers. (2012). Ecclesiastes. In Chronological life application study Bible (Kindle ed., p. 5782). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Pub.

[22] Ibid. 21

[23] A., E. E. (2016). Ecclesiastes. In The Lutheran study Bible: English standard version (Kindle ed., pp. 4352). Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House.

[24] Tyndale House Publishers. (2012). Ecclesiastes. In Chronological life application study Bible (Kindle ed., p. 5782). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Pub.

[25] Ibid. 24, P. 5783

[26] Ibid. 24, P. 5783

[27] Ibid. 24, P. 5783

[28] Papavassiliou, V. (2014). Prayers of the Saints. In The ancient faith prayer book (Kindle ed., p. 116). Chesterton, IN: Ancient Faith Publishing.

[29] Academic Community of St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology (2008). 1 Corinthians. In The Orthodox study Bible (p. 1591). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

[30] Ibid. 29

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