Apr 1, 2022 Devotional Bible Study

April 1, 2022
Lent

Today’s Readings: 

  1. MORNING: Psalm 126, Sowing with tears, reaping with joy
    • Lesson: A time of sowing with bitter tears
  2. MIDDAY: Isaiah 43:1-7, God will gather through fire and water
    • Lesson: God will gather His Church
  3. EVENING: Philippians 2:19-24, Apostolic visits are promised
    • Lesson: Concern for the welfare of others

Invitatory

The Lord is full of compassion and mercy: Come let us adore him.

Opening Prayer

Our Father, who art in heaven,

     hallowed be thy Name,

     thy kingdom come,

     thy will be done,

         on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.

And forgive us our trespasses,

     as we forgive those

         who trespass against us.

And lead us not into temptation,

     but deliver us from evil.

For thine is the kingdom,

     and the power, and the glory,

     for ever and ever. Amen.

The Hymn

“On the Crucifixion” 

By Samuel Wesley

Behold the Savior of mankind 

Nailed to the shameful tree; 

How vast the love that him inclined 

To bleed and die for me! 

Hark how he groans! While nature shakes, 

And earth’s strong pillars bend! 

The temple’s veil in sunder breaks, 

The solid marbles rend. 

It’s done! The precious ransom’s paid! 

“Receive my soul!” he cries; 

See how he bows his sacred head! 

He bows his head and dies! 

But soon he’ll break death’s envious chain 

And in full glory shine. 

O Lamb of God, was ever pain, 

Was ever love, like thine? [1]


Morning Prayer

O heavenly Father, in whom we live and move and have our being: We humbly pray thee so to guide and govern us by thy Holy Spirit, that in all the cares and occupations of our life we may not forget thee, but may remember that we are ever walking in thy sight; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. [2]

Short Verse

The LORD, the God of gods, has spoken;* he has called the earth from the rising of the sun to its setting. 

Psalm 50:1

Morning Reading

Psalm 126, Sowing with tears, reaping with joy

When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion,[a]

    we were like those who dream.

Then our mouth was filled with laughter,

    and our tongue with shouts of joy;

then it was said among the nations,

    “The Lord has done great things for them.”

The Lord has done great things for us,

    and we rejoiced.

Restore our fortunes, O Lord,

    like the watercourses in the Negeb.

May those who sow in tears

    reap with shouts of joy.

Those who go out weeping,

    bearing the seed for sowing,

shall come home with shouts of joy,

    carrying their sheaves.

Morning Lesson

A time of sowing with bitter tears

“This psalm encapsulates the mystery of the great fruitfulness of suffering. What is sown in pain and sorrow is reaped in peace and joy. As Christ taught in the Parable of the Seed, a thing must die and be buried in order to grow and produce an abundance of fruit.” [3]

“May God give us the expectation that times of sudden refreshing will come from Him. Perhaps now you are in a time of sowing with bitter tears; do not despair of His grace. Trust in His power to do the unimaginable through overflowing kindness. • By faith we rejoice, O Lord, in the sowing of Jesus’ body on Good Friday and the harvest of blessings He prepared on Easter morn. Amen.” [4]

Psalm 126 Commentary from the Early Church
St. Bede on Psalm 126, Verse 5:

“[T]his discourse of the Lord is also appropriate to all believers who are striving to arrive at eternal joys through the tears and distress of the present [life]; who rightly lament and weep and are sorrowful during the present [time], since they are not yet capable of seeing him whom they love. As long as they are in their body they recognize that they are on a journey and [absent] from their fatherland and kingdom. They have no doubt that they must reach their crown by labors and contests. Their sorrow will be changed to joy when, after the struggle of this present life is over, they receive the prize of everlasting life, about which it is said in the psalm, “Those who sow in tears will reap in joy.” 

(Homilies on the Gospels 2.13) [5]

St. Augustine on Psalm 126, Verse 6:

“I say this so that we should not nurse hopes of receiving the fruits of our sowing during this time in which we have done the sowing. Here we sow with toil a harvest of good works, but it is in the time to come that we shall garner its fruits with joy, according to what is written [in this verse].”

(Sermon 11.3) [6]


Midday Prayer

Lord Jesus Christ, you said to your apostles, “Peace I give to you; my peace leave with you”: Regard not our sins, but the faith of your Church, and give to us the peace and unity of that heavenly city, where with the Father and the Holy Spirit you live and reign, now and for ever. Amen. [7]

Short Verse

All go to the same place; all come from dust, and to dust all return.

Ecclesiastes 3:20

Midday Reading

Isaiah 43:1-7, God will gather through fire and water

But now thus says the Lord,

    he who created you, O Jacob,

    he who formed you, O Israel:

Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;

    I have called you by name, you are mine.

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;

    and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you;

when you walk through fire you shall not be burned,

    and the flame shall not consume you.

For I am the Lord your God,

    the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.

I give Egypt as your ransom,

    Ethiopia[a] and Seba in exchange for you.

Because you are precious in my sight,

    and honored, and I love you,

I give people in return for you,

    nations in exchange for your life.

Do not fear, for I am with you;

    I will bring your offspring from the east,

    and from the west I will gather you;

I will say to the north, “Give them up,”

    and to the south, “Do not withhold;

bring my sons from far away

    and my daughters from the end of the earth—

everyone who is called by my name,

    whom I created for my glory,

    whom I formed and made.”

Midday Lesson

God will gather His Church

“The Lord names His people you are Mine because He, together with His Father and the Holy Spirit, created man and will assume human nature. Christ will pass through every affliction with us: taking sin, suffering, and death on Himself; overthrowing our adversaries; and offering us His salvation.” [8]

“Though the Lord’s people will be dispersed for their sins, He reminds them that they will be gathered to Him once more (11:11–12; 27:13; 60:4).” [9] “God will gather His Church from all nations. Christ is the Servant (v. 10), chosen by the Father to bear witness to all mankind (Jn 8:18).” [10]


Eventide Prayer

Lord Jesus, stay with us, for evening is at hand and the day is past; be our companion in the way, kindle our hearts, and awaken hope, that we may know thee as thou art revealed in Scripture and the breaking of bread.  Grant this for the sake of thy love. Amen. [11]

Short Verse

Consecrate a fast; call a solemn assembly. Gather the elders and all the inhabitants of the land to the house of the Lord your God, and cry out to the Lord. 

Joel 1:14

Eventide Reading

Philippians 2:19-24, Apostolic visits are promised

19 I hope in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you soon, so that I may be cheered by news of you. 20 I have no one like him who will be genuinely concerned for your welfare. 21 All of them are seeking their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ. 22 But Timothy’s[a] worth you know, how like a son with a father he has served with me in the work of the gospel. 23 I hope therefore to send him as soon as I see how things go with me; 24 and I trust in the Lord that I will also come soon.

Eventide Lesson

Concern for the welfare of others

“These verses portray the leadership and the laity in the primitive Church working together. Paul is confident of his authority to send Timothy (v. 19) to Philippi, which demonstrates Paul’s apostolic or episcopal role. Timothy is an apostle as well, sent to care for this church. Epaphroditus is a fellow worker and fellow soldier (v. 25) who earns high praise. Early tradition tells us Epaphroditus later became bishop of Philippi and died a martyr.” [12]

“Paul [took] a moment to inform the Philippians about the significance and well-being of two close associates, Timothy and Epaphroditus. These men provide remarkable examples of devotion to the Lord’s mission and to His missionary Paul. God’s grace makes a person genuinely concerned for the welfare of others and sustains us in such service. • Dear Lord Jesus, by Your mercy, make us faithful servants, looking after the welfare of Your fellow servants. Amen.” [13]

Concluding Prayer of the Church

Visit this place, O Lord, and drive far from it all snares of the enemy; let your holy angels dwell with us to preserve us in peace; and let your blessing be upon us always; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. [14]


Citations:

[1] Tickle, P. (2006). March. In The divine hours: Prayers for Springtime (Kindle ed., vol. 2, p. 192). New York, NY: Image Books

[2] Episcopal Church. (1979). Daily Office, Rite I. 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. 57). New York, NY: Church Publishing Incorporated.

[3] Cole, J. (Ed.). (2015). Psalms. In Didache Bible: With commentaries based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church (Kindle ed., p. 1634). Downers Grove, IL: Midwest Theological Forum, Ignatius Press.

[4] A., E. E. (2016). Psalms. In The Lutheran study Bible: English standard version (Kindle ed., pp. 3833). Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House.

[5] Bede. (2019). Psalms. In Ancient faith study Bible (Kindle ed., p. 1765). Nashville: Holman Bible.

[6] Augustine. (2019). Psalms. In Ancient faith study Bible (Kindle ed., p. 1765). Nashville: Holman Bible.

[7] 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.

[8] Academic Community of St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology (2008). Isaiah. In The Orthodox study Bible (p. 1141). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

[9] A., E. E. (2016). Isaiah. In The Lutheran study Bible: English standard version (Kindle ed., pp. 4784). Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House.

[10] Academic Community of St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology (2008). Isaiah. In The Orthodox study Bible (p. 1141). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

[11] Episcopal Church. (1979). Daily Office, Rite I. 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. 70). New York, NY: Church Publishing Incorporated.

[12] Academic Community of St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology (2008). Philippians. In The Orthodox study Bible (p. 1644). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

[13] A., E. E. (2016). Philippians. In The Lutheran study Bible: English standard version (Kindle ed., pp. L 8149-8150). Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House.

[14] 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. 133). New York, NY: Church Publishing Incorporated.

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