Apr 28, 2022 Devotional Bible Study

April 28, 2022
Eastertide

Today’s Readings: 

Invitatory

Alleluia! Christ is risen.

The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia!

Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and upon those in the tombs bestowing life.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen. 

Alleluia!

Opening Prayers

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.

May God, who has brought us out of bondage to sin into true and lasting freedom in the Redeemer, bring us to our eternal inheritance. Amen. [1]

Hymn

Sam Cooke – “Touch the hem of his garment”

Morning Canticle

Benedictus Dominus 

      Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he hath visited and redeemed his people; And hath raised up a mighty salvation for us in the house of his servant David. As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began: That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all who hate us; To perform the mercy promised to our forefathers, and to remember his holy covenant; To perform the oath which he swore to our forefather Abraham, that he would give us; That we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear, In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life. 

      And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest, for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways; To give knowledge of salvation unto his people for the remission of their sins, Through the tender mercy of our God, whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us; To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, and to guide our feet into the way of peace. [2]

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen. 

Alleluia!

Short Verse

May God be merciful to us and bless us,* show us the light of his countenance and come to us. 

Psalm 67:1

Oberon, Titania and Puck with Fairies Dancing – William Blake (1786)

Morning Reading

Psalm 30, My wailing turns to dancing

I will extol you, O Lord, for you have drawn me up,

and did not let my foes rejoice over me.

O Lord my God, I cried to you for help,

and you have healed me.

O Lord, you brought up my soul from Sheol,

restored me to life from among those gone down to the Pit.

Sing praises to the Lord, O you his faithful ones,

and give thanks to his holy name.

For his anger is but for a moment;

his favor is for a lifetime.

Weeping may linger for the night,

but joy comes with the morning.

As for me, I said in my prosperity,

“I shall never be moved.”

By your favor, O Lord,

you had established me as a strong mountain;

you hid your face;

I was dismayed.

To you, O Lord, I cried,

and to the Lord I made supplication:

“What profit is there in my death,

if I go down to the Pit?

Will the dust praise you?

Will it tell of your faithfulness?

Hear, O Lord, and be gracious to me!

O Lord, be my helper!”

You have turned my mourning into dancing;

you have taken off my sackcloth

and clothed me with joy,

so that my soul may praise you and not be silent.

O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever.

Listen to Psalm 30

Let us pray.

Lord, you hide your face when we trust in ourselves; strip us of false security and re-clothe us in your praise, that we may know you as the one who raises us from death, as you raised your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen. [3]

Morning Lesson

Trust in God’s deliverance

In 2 Samuel 24 and 1 Chronicles 21, “David took a census of all men capable of fighting, indicating a reliance on human power over God’s strength. As a consequence for this rebellion, a plague came on Israel, and 70,000 men died. In repentance, David bought land, built an altar, and offered a sacrifice to the Lord. This psalm was likely written to dedicate this land, the place where God’s temple would later be built.” [4]

“David summariz[ed] his feelings and God’s response in v 5 (Ps 30). Sorrowful times in life are sometimes caused by things outside of our control and sometimes by our own sins. Trusting in God’s deliverance, David [knew] that the sorrow he [felt] [would] be replaced with joy as God comfort[ed] him. We, too, are confident in God’s promise to comfort us and dry our tears (Rv 7:17). • O God, comfort me with Your presence, and fill me with joy. Amen.” [5]

Psalm 30 Commentary from the Early Church

Verse 5

“We weep only until that morning of resurrection gladness, looking to the joy that blossomed in advance in the early-morning resurrection of the Lord.”

(Augustine, Exposition 1 of Psalm 30.6) [6]

Verse 7

“God is said to turn away his face when in times of troubles he permits us to be delivered up to trials, in order that the strength of him who is struggling may be known. . . . We pray always for the face of God to shine on us, in order that we may be in a state becoming to a holy person, gentle and untroubled in every way, because of our readiness for the good.”

(Basil the Great, Homilies on the Psalms 14.6 (Ps 30)) [7]

Verse 12

“When you granted me pardon because of my repentance and led me back into glory, taking away the shame of my sins, for this I shall give praise to you for all eternity. In fact, what space of time could be so great, that it could produce in my soul forgetfulness of such mighty benefits?”

(Basil the Great, Homilies on the Psalms 14.8 (Ps 30) [8]

Midday Prayer

Heavenly Father, send your Holy Spirit into our hearts, to direct and rule us according to your will, to comfort us in all our afflictions, to defend us from all error, and to lead us into all truth; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. [9]

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen. 

Alleluia!

Short Verse

You strengthen me more and more; you enfold and comfort me. 

Psalm 71:21

Midday Reading

Isaiah 5:11-17, Appetites that lead to hunger

11 

Woe to those who rise early in the morning

    to run after their drinks,

who stay up late at night

    till they are inflamed with wine.

12 

They have harps and lyres at their banquets,

    pipes and timbrels and wine,

but they have no regard for the deeds of the Lord,

    no respect for the work of his hands.

13 

Therefore my people will go into exile

    for lack of understanding;

those of high rank will die of hunger

    and the common people will be parched with thirst.

14 

Therefore Death expands its jaws,

    opening wide its mouth;

into it will descend their nobles and masses

    with all their brawlers and revelers.

15 

So people will be brought low

    and everyone humbled,

    the eyes of the arrogant humbled.

16 

But the Lord Almighty will be exalted by his justice,

    and the holy God will be proved holy by his righteous acts.

17 

Then sheep will graze as in their own pasture;

    lambs will feed[a] among the ruins of the rich.

Midday Lesson

Who are your “heroes”?

Verse 12 says, They have harps and lyres at their banquets, pipes and timbrels and wine, but they have no regard for the deeds of the Lord, no respect for the work of his hands. “The people were oblivious to the reality of the work of God in their midst (Ps. 10:4). The work of the LORD includes justice, entailing punishing the tyrants and saving the oppressed (vv. 24, 25).” [10] “These people spent many hours drinking and partying, but Isaiah predicted that eventually many would die of hunger and thirst. Ironically, our pleasures—if they do not have God’s blessing—may destroy us. Leaving God out of our lives allows sin to come in. Pursuing our own pleasure while ignoring or exploiting the needs of others leaves us empty and under God’s anger. God wants us to enjoy life (1 Tim 6:17) but to avoid those activities that could lead us away from him.” [11]

Isa 5:13 “The nation’s heroes” — those of high rank (v. 13) — “would suffer the same humiliation as the common people. Why? Because they lived by their own values rather than God’s.” [12] Many of today’s heroes — politicians, businessmen, sports stars, movie stars, celebrity pastors — are idolized, all the while living as they please. “Are your heroes those who defy God or those who defy the world in order to serve God?” [13]


Eventide Prayer

For Peace

O God, from whom all holy desires, all good counsels, and all just works do proceed, give unto me, and all Thy servants, that peace which the world cannot give; that both our hearts may be set to obey Thy commandments, and also that by Thee we being defended from the fear of our enemies, may pass our time in rest and quietness, through the merits of Jesus Christ our Saviour. Amen.

  • William Laud, Abp of Canterbury [14]

Short Verse

For God alone my soul in silence waits;* from him comes my salvation. 

Psalm 62:1

Eventide Reading

Revelation 3:14-22, Words to the church at Laodicea

14 “To the angel of the church in Laodicea write:

These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation. 15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 You say, ‘I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.’ But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked. 18 I counsel you to buy from me gold refined in the fire, so you can become rich; and white clothes to wear, so you can cover your shameful nakedness; and salve to put on your eyes, so you can see.

19 Those whom I love I rebuke and discipline. So be earnest and repent. 20 Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.

21 To the one who is victorious, I will give the right to sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat down with my Father on his throne. 22 Whoever has ears, let them hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”

Eventide Lesson

The one who cooperates with God

“Laodicea (modern Eski-hisar) was 40 miles southeast of Philadelphia on the same road. It was the most prosperous city of the area, boasting a special type of wool, a large banking industry, and a famous medical school. Many Jews lived there. Paul wrote a letter to Laodicea (which no longer exists, unless it was identical to what we know as Ephesians) to be exchanged with the Colossians (see Col 4:16).” [15]

Amen (verse 14) “is a divine title applied here to Christ, who is the final ratification and accomplishment of the promise of God (2Co 1:19, 20). It affirms His sureness and steadfastness, amplified by Faithful and True Witness. The word beginning (Gr. arche) has been seized upon by ancient Arians and modern Jehovah’s Witnesses, who attempt to prove Christ is created, thus denying His eternal existence. However, the term is more accurately translated as ‘source’ or ‘origin,’ signifying He is the Master of all. Christ the Beginning is the principle, the source of God’s creation (see Pr 8:23; Jn 1:3; 1Co 8:6; Col 1:16, 17; Heb 1:2), the creative Word and Wisdom of God.” [16]

“Six miles from Laodicea, hot springs at Hierapolis gave forth water that became lukewarm (v. 16) by the time it reached Laodicea. It was contaminated with many minerals, impossible to drink and nauseating. The Laodiceans were lukewarm in spiritual fervor and good works; their lack of commitment is revolting to the Lord, who would have them go one way or the other.” [17]

“Preoccupation with material wealth and comfort have deadened the fervor of the Laodiceans, who have fallen into a complacent self-satisfaction denounced by the Physician of our souls and bodies. Christ counsels them to seek spiritual wealth, forgiveness and resurrection life, and enlightenment, offering a loving chastisement that can bring about true healing, true and lasting riches. Gold, white garments, and eye salve (v. 18) correspond to the three leading Laodicean industries.” [18]

In verse 20, Christ says, Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me. “God does not force anyone to cooperate with Him. He keeps knocking, awaiting a response. This promise looks toward both the messianic banquet, the wedding supper of the Lamb of God (19:9; Lk 22:30), and the Holy Eucharist, which is a foretaste of the heavenly feast. Faithful disciples are promised they will eat and drink at table with Him (Lk 22:28- 30) in the ultimate reality of the Kingdom of heaven. Note the parallels with the parable of the bridegroom (Mt 25:1-13) and with the teaching about those who will shut themselves out of the feast of the Kingdom (Lk 13:25-30).” [19]

The one who cooperates with God overcomes, or conquers. Those who heed God’s rebuke and chastening (v. 19) conquer lukewarmness and become ‘hot’ in their spiritual lives (vv. 15, 16). Those who share Christ’s trials will share His table and His throne in His Kingdom (4:4; 20:4-6; 22:3- 5; Lk 22:30; 2Ti 2:12).” [20]

Concluding Prayer of the Church

Evening Canticle: Magnificat 

It is customary to bow at the words: “And holy is his Name…” 

My soul doth magnify the Lord, and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Savior. For he hath regarded the lowliness of his handmaiden. For behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. For he that is mighty hath magnified me, and holy is his Name. And his mercy is on them that fear him throughout all generations. He hath shown strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. He hath put down the mighty from their seat, and hath exalted the humble and meek. He hath filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he hath sent empty away. He remembering his mercy hath holden his servant Israel, as he promised to our forefathers, Abraham and his seed for ever. [21]

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen. 

Alleluia!

Magnificat gregoriano with lyrics


Citations:

[1] The Episcopal Church. (2018). Seasonal Blessings. In The Book of Occasional Services (PDF ed., p. 12). Then Episcopal Church. Retrieved November December 15, 2020, from https://episcopalchurch.org/files/lm_book_of_occasional_services_2018.pdf

[2] Cobb, D., & Olsen, D. A. (2014). Saint Augustine’s prayer book: A book of devotions (Kindle ed., p. 32). Cincinnati, OH: Forward Movement.

[3] Church House Publishing. (2005). Psalter. In Common worship: Daily prayer (pp. 810). 

[4] A., E. E. (2016). Psalms. In The Lutheran study Bible: English standard version (Kindle ed., pp. 3991). Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House.

[5] Ibid. 2, P. 3993

[6] Augustine. (2019). Psalms. In Ancient faith study Bible (Kindle ed., p. 1575). Nashville: Holman Bible.

[7] Basil the Great. (2019). Psalms. In Ancient faith study Bible (Kindle ed., p. 1576). Nashville: Holman Bible.

[8] Ibid. 5

[9] 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.

[10] Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (2018). Isaiah. In Holy Bible Nkjv Study Bible, Personal Size: Full-color Edition (Kindle, Third, p. 4241). essay, Thomas Nelson, Inc. 

[11] Tyndale House Publishers. (2012). Isaiah. In Chronological life application study Bible (Kindle ed., p. 6437). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Pub.

[12] Ibid. 11

[13] Ibid. 11

[14] LAUD, W. (1855). Thursday: For Peace. In The Private Devotions of Dr. William Laud, Archbishop of Canterbury and Martyr (Ebook ed., p. 40). London and Oxford: John Henry & Jas. Parker.

[15] Academic Community of St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology (2008). Revelation. In The Orthodox study Bible (p. 1749). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

[16] Ibid. 15

[17] Ibid. 15

[18] Ibid. 15

[19] Ibid. 15

[20] Ibid. 15

[21] Cobb, D., & Olsen, D. A. (2014). Saint Augustine’s prayer book: A book of devotions (Kindle ed., p. 34). Cincinnati, OH: Forward Movement.

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