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Mar 18, 2022 Devotional Bible Study

March 18, 2022
Lent

Today’s Readings: 

  1. Kyrie Pantokrator – A Song of Penitence
  2. Daniel 12:1-4, God sends Michael
    • Lesson: The Resurrection of the Dead
  3. Revelation 3:1-6, Warning to the church in Sardis
    • Lesson: Alive, but dead

Invocation

Praise be to thee, O Lord, King of eternal glory.

Before thee only have I sinned, * O Lord, have mercy on me.

Have mercy on me, O God, * according to thy great mercy.

O God + come to my assistance; 

O Lord, make haste to help me. 

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, * and to the Holy Ghost. 

As it was in the beginning, is now, * and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

Opening Prayer

O God Who art offended by transgression, and art appeased by penitence, behold the groaning of the afflicted, and mercifully turn away those evils which Thou dost justly permit, through our Lord Jesus Christ Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, One God world without end. [1]

The Hymn

“Eternal Lord of love, behold your Church”

By Thomas H. Cain, b. 1931


Morning Prayer

Lord Jesus Christ, you stretched out your arms of love on the hard wood of the Cross that everyone might come within the reach of your saving embrace: So clothe us in your Spirit that we, reaching forth our hands in love, may bring those who do not know you to the knowledge and love of you; for the honor of your Name. Amen. [2]

Short Verse

Teach me your way, O LORD, and I will walk in your truth;* knit my heart to you that I may fear your Name. 

Psalm 86:11

Francisco Goya’s “The Repentant St. Peter” (1820)

Morning Reading

Kyrie Pantokrator – A Song of Penitence

          (Prayer of Manasseh 1-2, 4, 6-7, 11-15)

O Lord and Ruler of the hosts of heaven, *

    God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob,

    and of all their righteous offspring:

You made the heavens and the earth, *

    with all their vast array.

All things quake with fear at your presence; *

    they tremble because of your power.

But your merciful promise is beyond all measure; *

    it surpasses all that our minds can fathom.

O Lord, you are full of compassion, *

    long-suffering, and abounding in mercy.

You hold back your hand; *

    you do not punish as we deserve.

In your great goodness, Lord,

you have promised forgiveness to sinners, *

    that they may repent of their sin and be saved.

And now, O Lord, I bend the knee of my heart, *

    and make my appeal, sure of your gracious goodness.

I have sinned, O Lord, I have sinned, *

    and I know my wickedness only too well.

Therefore I make this prayer to you: *

    Forgive me, Lord, forgive me.

Do not let me perish in my sin, *

    nor condemn me to the depths of the earth.

For you, O Lord, are the God of those who repent, *

    and in me you will show forth your goodness.

Unworthy as I am, you will save me,

in accordance with your great mercy, *

    and I will praise you without ceasing all the days of my life.

For all the powers of heaven sing your praises, *

    and yours is the glory to ages of ages. Amen.


Midday Prayer

O MOST MERCIFUL GOD, who in forgiving our sins, rememberest them no more against us forever, accept my unworthy thanks for thy great goodness in blotting out my transgressions. Let the grace of this absolution strengthen and sustain me, and may thy great mercy defend me evermore from all assaults of the enemy. Amen. [3]

Short Verse

Even so come, Lord Jesus.

Midday Reading

Daniel 12:1-4, God sends Michael

12 “At that time Michael, the great prince, the protector of your people, shall arise. There shall be a time of anguish, such as has never occurred since nations first came into existence. But at that time your people shall be delivered, everyone who is found written in the book. 2 Many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth[a] shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. 3 Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the sky,[b] and those who lead many to righteousness, like the stars forever and ever. 4 But you, Daniel, keep the words secret and the book sealed until the time of the end. Many shall be running back and forth, and evil[c] shall increase.”

Midday Lesson

The Resurrection of the Dead

“Though most did not, a few early Fathers and writers believed in a literal thousand year binding of Satan and reign of Christ and the saints on earth (vv. 2-7). The Church, however, authoritatively rejected this teaching (called chiliasm) at the Second Ecumenical Council.” [4] we are in the Church Age (final days, tribulation, etc.), the “era between the first and second comings of Christ, also called the ‘last times,’ when Satan’s effectiveness at deceit is restricted through the Cross and Resurrection of Christ, and the saints share in Christ’s earthly reign through the Church.” [5] St. Ignatius of Antioch wrote, “These are the last times (see iCo 7:29]. Let us then be ashamed and fear God’s patience so that it may not become condemnation for us.” [6]

“The resurrection was something that God revealed incrementally to his people, building upon the experiences of Israel in order to deliver the full understanding of salvation and eternal life.” [7] “Suffering and salvation await[ed] Israel after Daniel’s lifetime. Despite the tribulation to come, readers can know that a resurrection of the dead and a general judgment are certain. Those who remain faithful, even unto death, are thereby assured of the blessings that the messianic kingdom of God will bring (7:18).” [8]

“At Christ’s Second Coming, the antichrist will be crushed, the tribulation will end, and all the dead will awake (v. 2). Resurrection to everlasting life is the destiny of those who have endured to the end. Resurrection to everlasting shame is the destiny of those who, in the end, are found outside of Christ.” [9]


Eventide Prayer

Be favourable, spare us, O Lord: Be favourable, deliver us, O Lord: From all evil deliver us, O Lord: By Thy Cross deliver us. Amen. [10]

Short Verse

Therefore I despise myself, and repent in dust and ashes.” 

Job 42:6

Eventide Reading

Revelation 3:1-6, Warning to the church in Sardis

1 “And to the angel of the church in Sardis write: These are the words of him who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars:

“I know your works; you have a name of being alive, but you are dead. 2 Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is on the point of death, for I have not found your works perfect in the sight of my God. 3 Remember then what you received and heard; obey it, and repent. If you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come to you. 4 Yet you have still a few persons in Sardis who have not soiled their clothes; they will walk with me, dressed in white, for they are worthy. 5 If you conquer, you will be clothed like them in white robes, and I will not blot your name out of the book of life; I will confess your name before my Father and before his angels. 6 Let anyone who has an ear listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches.

Eventide Lesson

Alive, but dead

“Sardis, 30 miles southeast of Thyatira, was known for its wealth and unassailable fortifications. It was an ancient city, once very powerful, fallen into decline. The church there was also in decline, not falling into heresy or immorality, but into death. For the church in Sardis had so completely compromised with the surrounding pagan world that although it appeared to be alive, it was spiritually dead (Mt 21:19). There is irony in Christ’s accusation [v. 1]. Sardis boasted of a venerable temple to the Asiatic mother- goddess Cybele, purportedly able to restore the dead to life.” [11]

“In the letter to Ephesus (2:1-7), the seven stars [v. 1] represented the angels that guided the churches. The seven Spirits of God [v. 1] is either an expression indicating the fullness of God’s powerful presence in the Church, or an allusion to the sevenfold operation of the Spirit of God spoken of by Isaiah (11:2), a connection proposed by St. Justin. The earliest recorded interpreter of Revelation, St. Melito, was bishop of Sardis c. 190.” [12]

“Christ’s exhortation to vigilance [in verse 2] would be especially relevant the citizens of Sardis. Though its fortress was considered impregnable, the city was overconfident and had twice fallen because of its guards’ failure to be watchful.” [13]

“In Sardis, some claimed to be Christian but did not live according to the teachings of Christ: ‘You have the name of being alive, and you are dead.’ Christ called them to repentance and warned that he would come to judge them unexpectedly.” [14]

“Worn by the saints in Heaven (cf. Rev 6:11), the white garments symbolize purity. From the earliest days of the Church, it has been customary to robe the newly baptized in white garments; in this metaphor, the white robes of many in Sardis had become soiled due to their regression to their former, sinful ways.” [15]

Concluding Prayer of the Church

Lighten my darkness, Lord. 

Let the light of Your presence 

dispel the shadows of night. 

*  Christ with me sleeping, 

Christ with me waking, 

Christ with me watching, 

each day and each night. 

Amen. [16]


Citations:

[1] WOOD, F. M. (2016). LITURGY OF SAINT JOHN THE DIVINE (Kindle ed.). Kellbridge Press.

[2] Episcopal Church. (1979). Daily Office: Morning Prayer 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. 101). New York, NY: Church Publishing Incorporated.

[3] Cobb, D., & Olsen, D. A. (2014). Saint Augustine’s prayer book: A book of devotions (Kindle ed., p. 102). Cincinnati, OH: Forward Movement.

[4] Academic Community of St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology (2008). Revelation. In The Orthodox study Bible (p. 1772). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

[5] Academic Community of St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology (2008). 1 John. In The Orthodox study Bible (p. 1730). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

[6] Ibid. 6

[7] Cole, J. (Ed.). (2015). Daniel. In Didache Bible: With commentaries based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church (Kindle ed., p. 2519). Downers Grove, IL: Midwest Theological Forum, Ignatius Press.

[8] Hahn, S., Mitch, C., & Walters, D. (2013). Commentary. In Daniel (Sec Catholic ed., p. 2428). San Francisco, CA: Ignatius Press.

[9] Academic Community of St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology (2008). Daniel. In The Orthodox study Bible (p. 1293). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

[10] WOOD, F. M. (2016). LITURGY OF SAINT JOHN THE DIVINE (Kindle ed.). Kellbridge Press.

[11] Academic Community of St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology (2008). Revelation. In The Orthodox study Bible (p. 1748). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

[12] Ibid. 11

[13] Ibid. 11

[14] Cole, J. (Ed.). (2015). Daniel. In Didache Bible: With commentaries based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church (Kindle ed., p. 3832). Downers Grove, IL: Midwest Theological Forum, Ignatius Press.

[15] Ibid. 14

[16] The Northumbria Community. (2015). Daily Prayer: Compline. In Celtic Daily Prayer (Kindle ed., p. 92313). London: HarperCollins.

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