May 6, 2022 Devotional Bible Study

(Image: Christ’s Charge to Peter c.1515-6 by RAPHAEL (URBINO 1483-ROME 1520])

May 6, 2022
Eastertide

Today’s Readings: 


Invocation

O Lord, open our lips 

      and our mouth shall proclaim your praise. 

In your resurrection, O Christ, 

      let heaven and earth rejoice. 

      Alleluia.

Morning Prayers

Rejoicing in God’s new creation, as our Saviour taught us, so we pray…

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.

God of life, who for our redemption gave your only-begotten Son to the death of the cross, and by his glorious resurrection have delivered us from the power of our enemy: grant us so to die daily to sin, that we may evermore live with him in the joy of his risen life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. [1]

A Collect for Fridays

Almighty God, whose most dear Son went not up to joy but first he suffered pain, and entered not into glory before he was crucified: Mercifully grant that we, walking in the way of the cross, may find it none other than the way of life and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. [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!

Come let us praise the Lord with song!

Hymn

“That Easter day with joy was bright”

(1982 Hymnal # 194)

Short Verse

In the sight of the Angels I praise You. I adore at Your holy temple and give praise to Your Name. 

(adapted from THE SHORT BREVIARY)

Morning Reading

Ezekiel 20:39-44, God will gather the scattered people

39 As for you, O house of Israel, thus says the Lord God: Go serve your idols, every one of you now and hereafter, if you will not listen to me; but my holy name you shall no more profane with your gifts and your idols.

40 For on my holy mountain, the mountain height of Israel, says the Lord God, there all the house of Israel, all of them, shall serve me in the land; there I will accept them, and there I will require your contributions and the choicest of your gifts, with all your sacred things. 41 As a pleasing odor I will accept you, when I bring you out from the peoples, and gather you out of the countries where you have been scattered; and I will manifest my holiness among you in the sight of the nations. 42 You shall know that I am the Lord, when I bring you into the land of Israel, the country that I swore to give to your ancestors. 43 There you shall remember your ways and all the deeds by which you have polluted yourselves; and you shall loathe yourselves for all the evils that you have committed. 44 And you shall know that I am the Lord, when I deal with you for my name’s sake, not according to your evil ways, or corrupt deeds, O house of Israel, says the Lord God.

Morning Lesson

The need for daily repentance

“As in the past, God would not make a full end of the unfaithful people, because the honor of His name was still at stake (vv 39, 44). He would manifest His holiness in the sight of the nations by doing again what He did at the time of the exodus from Egypt.” [3]

“God continues His prophetic dialogue with Ezekiel. While the elders come seeking counsel, God speaks only to Ezekiel and reveals how the withdrawal of His blessings will ultimately lead to Israel’s repentance. God will use the Babylonian captivity to bring Israel back into a covenant agreement with Himself (v 37). When difficulties or even disasters enter your life, let them remind you of the need for daily repentance and the refreshing blessings of the Gospel extended to you through Christ. • Merciful Father, forgive my sins and restore me to a right relationship through Your Son, Jesus Christ. Amen.” [4]


Midday Prayers

The Apostles’ Creed

I believe in God, the Father almighty,

    maker of heaven and earth;

And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord;

    who was conceived by the Holy Ghost,

    born of the Virgin Mary,

    suffered under Pontius Pilate,

    was crucified, dead, and buried.

    He descended into hell.

    The third day he rose again from the dead.

    He ascended into heaven,

    and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father almighty.

    From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Ghost,

    the holy catholic Church,

    the communion of saints,

    the forgiveness of sins,

    the resurrection of the body,

    and the life everlasting. Amen.

ACT OF HOPE 

IN THEE, O LORD is my hope, and I shall never hope in vain. Amen. [5]

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

As a father cares for his children,* so does the LORD care for those who fear him. 

Psalm 103:13

Christ’s Charge to Peter by Peter Paul Rubens

Midday Meditation

The Tenth Station Of The Resurrection: Jesus And Peter 

(From St. AUgustine’s Prayer Book [6])

Reading: John 21:15-17 

When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my lambs.” A second time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Tend my sheep.” He said to him the third time, “Simon son of John, do you love me?” Peter felt hurt because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” And he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.” 

We have this treasure, alleluia. 

In earthen vessels that the glory may be God’s alone, alleluia. 

LET US PRAY. 

Gracious Lord, when we falter and deny you and when we clutch and hoard what is yours to give, recall us to yourself that love may be renewed in repentance; then open our hands to give and inspire us to work once more for the good of others and always for your glory. Amen. 

To you the whole creation now 

Must in its ordered nature bow: 

All things on earth, in sky, and sea, 

And to the farthest galaxy.


Eventide Prayer

At Night.

Grant me, O Lord, a watchful mind and sober thoughts, a pure heart and pleasant sleep, and free from all diabolical fancies. And raise me again, O Lord, at the hour of prayer, that I may adhere firmly to Thy precepts, and keep an entire remembrance of Thy judgements. Amen.

  • William Laud, Abp of Canterbury and Martyr [7]

Short Verse

‘I am the Alpha and the Omega’ says the Lord God, ‘who is, who was, and who is to come, the Almighty.’ 

Revelation 1:8

Eventide Reading

Revelation 6:1—7:4, The servants of God are sealed

The Seven Seals

6:1 Then I saw the Lamb open one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures call out, as with a voice of thunder, “Come!”[a] 2 I looked, and there was a white horse! Its rider had a bow; a crown was given to him, and he came out conquering and to conquer.

3 When he opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature call out, “Come!”[b] 4 And out came[c] another horse, bright red; its rider was permitted to take peace from the earth, so that people would slaughter one another; and he was given a great sword.

5 When he opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature call out, “Come!”[d] I looked, and there was a black horse! Its rider held a pair of scales in his hand, 6 and I heard what seemed to be a voice in the midst of the four living creatures saying, “A quart of wheat for a day’s pay,[e] and three quarts of barley for a day’s pay,[f] but do not damage the olive oil and the wine!”

7 When he opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature call out, “Come!”[g] 8 I looked and there was a pale green horse! Its rider’s name was Death, and Hades followed with him; they were given authority over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword, famine, and pestilence, and by the wild animals of the earth.

9 When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slaughtered for the word of God and for the testimony they had given; 10 they cried out with a loud voice, “Sovereign Lord, holy and true, how long will it be before you judge and avenge our blood on the inhabitants of the earth?” 11 They were each given a white robe and told to rest a little longer, until the number would be complete both of their fellow servants[h] and of their brothers and sisters,[i] who were soon to be killed as they themselves had been killed.

12 When he opened the sixth seal, I looked, and there came a great earthquake; the sun became black as sackcloth, the full moon became like blood, 13 and the stars of the sky fell to the earth as the fig tree drops its winter fruit when shaken by a gale. 14 The sky vanished like a scroll rolling itself up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place. 15 Then the kings of the earth and the magnates and the generals and the rich and the powerful, and everyone, slave and free, hid in the caves and among the rocks of the mountains, 16 calling to the mountains and rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of the one seated on the throne and from the wrath of the Lamb; 17 for the great day of their wrath has come, and who is able to stand?”

The 144,000 of Israel Sealed

7:1 After this I saw four angels standing at the four corners of the earth, holding back the four winds of the earth so that no wind could blow on earth or sea or against any tree. 2 I saw another angel ascending from the rising of the sun, having the seal of the living God, and he called with a loud voice to the four angels who had been given power to damage earth and sea, 3 saying, “Do not damage the earth or the sea or the trees, until we have marked the servants[j] of our God with a seal on their foreheads.”

4 And I heard the number of those who were sealed, one hundred forty-four thousand, sealed out of every tribe of the people of Israel:

Eventide Lesson

Sealed by the Holy Spirit

“With the Lamb’s opening of the seals, John begins a description of the signs of the end, much of it already set forth by Jesus in the Gospels (Mt 24; Mk 13; Lk 21). The seals are consequences of man’s condition, an overview of conditions manifest since the birth of the Church, which will continue until Christ’s second coming. The four horsemen (see Zec 1:8-17; 6:1-8 for the model of this imagery) personify the scourges which, through the prophets, God has threatened as judgment on the faithless: war, famine, plague, natural disasters.” [8]

“The first rider (on the white horse, carrying a bow) [6:2] represents the spirit of conquest, reminiscent of fierce divine judgment in the OT, usually wrought through the military power of adversaries (Jer 27:29; Ezk 5:15). Jesus taught “nation will rise against nation” (Mt 24:7). The figure here probably represents liberators of the oppressed people of God.” [9] “The second rider [6:3, 4] represents war, violent bloodshed, and death- removal of peace from the earth, the result of the conquests of the first rider. Jesus predicted there will be “wars and rumors of wars” (Mt 24:6).” [10] “The third rider [6:5, 6] represents famine and inflation, frequent

accompaniments of war.” [11] “The fourth horseman [6:7, 8] represents widespread human death, pale green being the color of rotting flesh. Pestilence and starvation follow the famine of warfare.” [12]

“The cry of the martyrs [6:9-11] for vengeance is not vindictive; they are pleading with God to hasten the end of persecution and the consummation of His plans for the world. In the interim, the martyrs are consoled by the white robe (v. 11) – a Jewish symbol of resurrection from the dead. Elsewhere it is a symbol of blessedness, good deeds, innocence, victory, purity, new and eternal life, transfiguration, a resurrected and glorified body, vesting in Christ, and the wedding garment of salvation (3:5; 7:9, 13-17; 19:8, 9; Is 61:10; Dan 10:5; Mt 22:1-4; Gal 3:27; see also 1En 62:16). The martyrs are called to have patience until the fullness of their number is complete. The vision of the souls of the martyrs under the altar (v. 9) derives from the OT practice of pouring the blood (the physical manifestation of the life of the soul) of sin offerings at the base of the altar of burnt offering. It is a basis for the historic Christian practices of building church buildings over tombs of martyrs, placing relics of saints in the altar when a church is consecrated, and burying baptized people under the altar.” [13]

“The sixth seal [6:12-17] represents the cosmic disturbances that often accompany descriptions of “the day of the Lord,” the return of Christ (Joel 3:3, 4; Mt 24:29, 30; and parallels). People in rebellion against God (v. 15) are terror-stricken before God’s judgmental wrath.” [14]

“The four winds [7:1-3] are symbolic “winds of judgment,” as in Jewish apocalyptic literature (Jer 25:16; Zec 2:10; Dan 8:8; Mk 13:27; see also 1En 76:1-4). They are restrained until God’s servants (Is 44:5; 2Co 1:22; 2Ti 2:19) are sealed (v. 3), that is, given a special protection from the ensuing judgments (Ezk 9:1-11).” [15]

“The servants of God are sealed (v. 4) by the Holy Spirit [7:4-8]. Extensive debates have taken place regarding the 144,000. Some regard the number as symbolizing the entire faithful Church as the new Israel (12 tribes times the churches of the 12 apostles times 1000 -a number which means “a great amount”). Thus, the contention is that the number simply stands for completeness and perfection- twelve times twelve equals the perfect square. Slightly differently, some see the 144,000 as the Church militant, the Church on earth, and the white-robed multitude (vv. 9, 10) as the Church triumphant.” [16]

Concluding Prayer of the Church

Be our light in the darkness, O Lord, and in your great mercy defend us from all perils and dangers of this night; for the love of your only Son, our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen. [17]

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!


Citations:

[1] Church House Publishing. (2005). Morning Prayer: Easter Season. In Common worship: Daily prayer (pp. 328). 

[2] 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. 99). New York, NY: Church Publishing Incorporated.

[3] A., E. E. (2016). Ezekiel. In The Lutheran study Bible: English standard version (Kindle ed., pp. 5565). Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House.

[4] Ibid. 3, P. 5566

[5] Cobb, D., & Olsen, D. A. (2014). Saint Augustine’s prayer book: A book of devotions (Kindle ed., p. 51). Cincinnati, OH: Forward Movement

[6] Cobb, D., & Olsen, D. A. (2014). Saint Augustine’s prayer book: A book of devotions (Kindle ed., p. 224). Cincinnati, OH: Forward Movement.

[7] LAUD, W. (1855). Friday Compline: At Night. In The Private Devotions of Dr. William Laud, Archbishop of Canterbury and Martyr (Ebook ed., p. 63). London and Oxford: John Henry & Jas. Parker.

[8] Academic Community of St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology (2008). Revelation. In The Orthodox study Bible (p. 1753). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

[9] Ibid. 8

[10] Ibid. 8

[11] Ibid. 8

[12] Ibid. 8, P. 1754

[13] Ibid. 8, P. 1754

[14] Ibid. 8, P. 1754

[15] Ibid. 8, P. 1754

[16] Ibid. 8, P. 1754

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

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