May 12, 2022 Devotional Bible Study

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May 12, 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.

In your unfailing love, O Lord, you lead the people whom you have redeemed. Alleluia.

Morning Prayers

Rejoicing in God’s new creation, let us pray with confidence as our Saviour has taught us…

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.

Lord, in your mercy 

      hear our prayer. 

Lord, hear us. 

      Lord, graciously hear us.

The pardon and remission of all our sins and all our transgressions, 

      Grant us, O Lord. [1]

O GOD, THOU ART MY GOD, who hast made me for thyself; to thee, I devote my heart and my entire life. Grant me thy grace, that this day I may live as in thy presence and walk in the path of thy commandments, following the example of my Savior Christ, and being made like unto him. Give to me thy Holy Spirit that, trusting in thee, I may overcome those sins which beset me and grow in the gifts of faith, hope, and charity. 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!

Hymn

“Come, ye faithful, raise the strain”

(1982 Hymnal # 199)

By John of Damascus, 8th cent.

Lyrics [3]:

1. Come, ye faithful, raise the strain

of triumphant gladness!

God hath brought his Israel

into joy from sadness:

loosed from Pharaoh’s bitter yoke

Jacob’s sons and daughters,

led them with unmoistened foot

through the Red Sea waters.

2. ‘Tis the spring of souls today:

Christ hath burst his prison,

and from three days’ sleep in death

as a sun hath risen;

all the winter of our sins,

long and dark, is flying

from his light, to whom we give

laud and praise undying.

3. Now the queen of seasons, bright

with the day of splendor,

with the royal feast of feasts,

comes its joy to render;

comes to glad Jerusalem,

who with true affection

welcomes in unwearied strains

Jesus’ resurrection.

4. Neither might the gates of death,

nor the tomb’s dark portal,

nor the watchers, nor the seal

hold thee as a mortal:

but today amidst thine own

thou didst stand, bestowing

that thy peace which evermore

passeth human knowing.

Short Verse

Bless the LORD, O my soul,* and all that is within me, bless his holy Name. Bless the LORD, O my soul,* and forget not all his benefits. 

Psalm 103:1–2

Morning Reading

Psalm 148, God’s splendor is over earth and heaven

Praise the Lord!

Praise the Lord from the heavens;

praise him in the heights!

Praise him, all his angels;

praise him, all his host!

Praise him, sun and moon;

praise him, all you shining stars!

Praise him, you highest heavens,

and you waters above the heavens!

Let them praise the name of the Lord,

for he commanded and they were created.

He established them forever and ever;

he fixed their bounds, which cannot be passed.

Praise the Lord from the earth,

you sea monsters and all deeps,

fire and hail, snow and frost,

stormy wind fulfilling his command!

Mountains and all hills,

fruit trees and all cedars!

Wild animals and all cattle,

creeping things and flying birds!

Kings of the earth and all peoples,

princes and all rulers of the earth!

Young men and women alike,

old and young together!

Let them praise the name of the Lord,

for his name alone is exalted;

his glory is above earth and heaven.

He has raised up a horn for his people,

praise for all his faithful,

for the people of Israel who are close to him.

Praise the Lord!

Morning Lesson

All of creation praises the Lord

Psalms 148—150 “are called ‘the Praises,’ and they form the conclusion to the Psalter. These three psalms exhort all creation to praise the Blessed and Holy Trinity. The climax of the Psalter is reached in Ps 150, where humanity and creation, everywhere and in all circumstances, are called upon to make this doxology to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, our one God.” [4]

“All of creation praises the Lord, and [Psalm 148] is an illustration of the nature of that praise. Celestial bodies, the natural elements, the rich assortment of living things, and humanity itself all glorify God the Creator by their very existence since all show the richness of his wisdom and love.” [5]


Lord, in your mercy 

      hear our prayer. 

Lord, hear us. 

      Lord, graciously hear us.

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.

ALMIGHTY AND EVERLASTING GOD, increase in us the gifts of faith, hope, and charity; and that we may obtain what you promise, make us love what you command; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. [6]

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

O God, come to my assistance! O Lord, make haste to help me!

Midday Reading

Ezekiel 2:8—3:11, Eating the scroll

8 But you, mortal, hear what I say to you; do not be rebellious like that rebellious house; open your mouth and eat what I give you. 9 I looked, and a hand was stretched out to me, and a written scroll was in it. 10 He spread it before me; it had writing on the front and on the back, and written on it were words of lamentation and mourning and woe.

3 He said to me, O mortal, eat what is offered to you; eat this scroll, and go, speak to the house of Israel. 2 So I opened my mouth, and he gave me the scroll to eat. 3 He said to me, Mortal, eat this scroll that I give you and fill your stomach with it. Then I ate it; and in my mouth it was as sweet as honey.

4 He said to me: Mortal, go to the house of Israel and speak my very words to them. 5 For you are not sent to a people of obscure speech and difficult language, but to the house of Israel— 6 not to many peoples of obscure speech and difficult language, whose words you cannot understand. Surely, if I sent you to them, they would listen to you. 7 But the house of Israel will not listen to you, for they are not willing to listen to me; because all the house of Israel have a hard forehead and a stubborn heart. 8 See, I have made your face hard against their faces, and your forehead hard against their foreheads. 9 Like the hardest stone, harder than flint, I have made your forehead; do not fear them or be dismayed at their looks, for they are a rebellious house. 10 He said to me: Mortal, all my words that I shall speak to you receive in your heart and hear with your ears; 11 then go to the exiles, to your people, and speak to them. Say to them, “Thus says the Lord God”; whether they hear or refuse to hear.

Midday Lesson

Ezekiel ate God’s message 

Ancient books, verse 9, “were usually scrolls, one page (up to 30 feet long) rolled up simultaneously from both ends. Normally, scrolls had writing on only one side. But in this case, the warnings overflowed to the scroll’s other side, showing the full measure of judgment about to descend on Judah.” [7]

“In his vision, Ezekiel ate God’s message [vv. 1-3] and found this spiritual food not only good for him but also sweet as honey (see Rev 10:8-10 for a similar use of this image). If you ‘digest’ God’s Word, you will find that not only does it make you stronger in your faith, but its wisdom also sweetens your life. You need to feed yourself spiritually just as you do physically. This means doing more than simply giving God’s Word a casual glance. You must make digesting God’s Word a regular part of your life.” [8]

In verses 4-5, Ezekiel “clearly shows the distinction between apostolic and prophetic labors. Prophets have committed to them the responsibility of only one race, from which they were to have arisen and whose native language they knew. Apostles . . . have all the nations and peoples of the world entrusted to them, according to the command of the Lord” (Theodoret of Cyrus). [9]

“Belief in God is not a crutch for those too weak to stand on their own. God makes his followers strong enough to stand against anything or anyone, including those who hate what is right. Just as God gave Ezekiel tough faith (‘as hard as the hardest rock’, vv. 8-9), he wants to give you the stability, perseverance, and insight you need to live up to the great task he has given you. Give yourself over to God’s conditioning and let him get your life in shape.” [10]

“Ezekiel needed to take God’s words to heart before preaching them to others [vv. 10-11]. God’s message must sink deep into your heart and show in your actions before you can effectively help others understand and apply the gospel.” [11]

Gregory the Great wrote, “When the prophet is sent to admonish the exiled people, this means not only the physical exile but also what has taken place in their mind. For they had come from Jerusalem to Babylon. And what is called Jerusalem, but the vision of peace, and what is Babylon but confusion? Whoever falls from right deeds to wicked actions comes, as it were, from Jerusalem to the city of Babylon, since he descends from a good endeavor to vice. For he has abandoned the summit of good contemplation and lives in the midst of the exile of confusion” (Homilies on Ezekiel). [12]


Lord, in your mercy 

      hear our prayer. 

Lord, hear us. 

      Lord, graciously hear us.

Eventide Prayer

Thirst for God.

O merciful Lord, who comest not [in] to the proud heart, humble Thou my soul. O Thou who art seen by those only that are pure in heart, give me true purity of heart. O Lord, I am athirst [for Thee,] give me the pledge of the inheritance [which is] to come, give me at least a drop of Thy heavenly showers to refresh my thirst, for I burn with love. Neither do I beg this for my own merits, for I am most unworthy [so much as] to take it, but for Thy mercies, and the merits of our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

  • William Laud, Abp of Canterbury and Martyr [13]

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

O gracious Light, pure brightness of the everlasting Father in heaven, O Jesus Christ, holy and blessed! Now as we come to the setting of the sun, and our eyes behold the vesper light, we sing your praises O God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit. You are worthy at all times to be praised by happy voices, O Son of God, O giver of life, and to be glorified through all the worlds. 

Phos Hilaron

Eventide Reading

Revelation 10:1-11, Eating the scroll

10 And I saw another mighty angel coming down from heaven, wrapped in a cloud, with a rainbow over his head; his face was like the sun, and his legs like pillars of fire. 2 He held a little scroll open in his hand. Setting his right foot on the sea and his left foot on the land, 3 he gave a great shout, like a lion roaring. And when he shouted, the seven thunders sounded. 4 And when the seven thunders had sounded, I was about to write, but I heard a voice from heaven saying, “Seal up what the seven thunders have said, and do not write it down.” 5 Then the angel whom I saw standing on the sea and the land

raised his right hand to heaven

    and swore by him who lives forever and ever,

who created heaven and what is in it, the earth and what is in it, and the sea and what is in it: “There will be no more delay, 7 but in the days when the seventh angel is to blow his trumpet, the mystery of God will be fulfilled, as he announced to his servants[a] the prophets.”

8 Then the voice that I had heard from heaven spoke to me again, saying, “Go, take the scroll that is open in the hand of the angel who is standing on the sea and on the land.” 9 So I went to the angel and told him to give me the little scroll; and he said to me, “Take it, and eat; it will be bitter to your stomach, but sweet as honey in your mouth.” 10 So I took the little scroll from the hand of the angel and ate it; it was sweet as honey in my mouth, but when I had eaten it, my stomach was made bitter.

11 Then they said to me, “You must prophesy again about many peoples and nations and languages and kings.”

Eventide Lesson

The symbolism of eating

Revelation 10:1–11:13 is “a parenthesis between the sixth and seventh trumpets. The passage consists of two visions: (1) the angel with the book; (2) the two witnesses. Dan 12 provides many of the images.” [14]

“John once again beholds from earth the angel’s descent [vv. 3-4]. God’s message comes to him in a little book (v. 2) or scroll. The descriptive features of the angel are common symbols for divine glory (Ezk 1:26, 27; Mt 17:2). His feet on the sea and land (v. 2) show his immensity and his authority to speak to the whole earth.” [15]

“The angel’s voice [vv. 3-4], like a lion’s roar, reminds us of God readying Himself for judgment (Jer 27:44; Am 1:2; Joel 4:16). The seven thunders probably refer to the divine voice (Ps 28:3-9; Jn 12:27-33), a fullness of terror, power, and magnificence. In Dan 12:4, God tells the prophet to seal up (v. 4) what has been written in his book. So, too, St. John is told, regarding what the seven thunders have revealed. This command not to write down the utterance shows John’s revelation does not exhaust divine decrees for humanity: undisclosed mysteries remain (2Co 12:4).” [16]

“The angel, lifting his hand in the form for taking an oath (see Gn 14:22; Dan 12:7), swears that the fullness of time has arrived and God’s plan for history (the mystery of God, v. 7) is to be completed. This recalls Ps 118:126… ‘It is time for the Lord to act!’ as an answer to the question of the martyrs dwelling under the altar (6:10–11). Lives forever and ever (v. 6) is literally ‘unto ages of ages,’” a phrase included in some liturgies. [17]

Regarding vv. 8-11: “The voice of God directs John to take the book. The symbolism of eating refers to receiving a revelation from God: John’s account has many parallels to the commissioning of Ezekiel (Ezk 2:8–3:3; see also Ps 118:103). The contrast between sweetness in the mouth and bitterness in the stomach shows the sweetness of receiving God’s revelation (announcing God’s victory for His people) as opposed to the bitterness of its message of woe (announcing God’s terrible judgments, as well as sufferings for His faithful ones).” [18] 

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. [19]

Magnificat gregoriano with lyrics

Citations:

[1] Andrewes, Lancelot. The Private Devotions and Manual for the Sick of Launcelot Andrews (Kindle ed., p. 212). Kindle Edition. 

[2] Cobb, D., & Olsen, D. A. (2014). Saint Augustine’s prayer book: A book of devotions (Kindle ed., p. 37). Cincinnati, OH: Forward Movement.

[3] The hymnal 1982: According to the use of the Episcopal CHURCH 199. Come, ye faithful, raise the strain. (n.d.). Retrieved April 04, 2021, from https://hymnary.org/hymn/EH1982/199

[4] Academic Community of St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology (2008). Psalms. In The Orthodox study Bible (p. 798). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

[5] Cole, J. (Ed.). (2015). Psalms. In Didache Bible: With commentaries based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church (Kindle ed., p. 1436). Downers Grove, IL: Midwest Theological Forum, Ignatius Press.

[6] Cobb, D., & Olsen, D. A. (2014). Saint Augustine’s prayer book: A book of devotions (Kindle ed., p. 52). Cincinnati, OH: Forward Movement.

[7] Tyndale House Publishers. (2012). Ezekiel. In Chronological life application study Bible (Kindle ed., p. 6110). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Pub.

[8]Ibid. 7 

[9] Theodoret of Cyrus. (2019). Ezekiel. In Ancient faith study Bible (Kindle ed., p. 2321). Nashville: Holman Bible.

[10] Tyndale House Publishers. (2012). Ezekiel. In Chronological life application study Bible (Kindle ed., p. 6111). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Pub.

[11] Ibid. 10

[12] Gregory the Great. (2019). Ezekiel. In Ancient faith study Bible (Kindle ed., p. 2321). Nashville: Holman Bible.

[13] LAUD, W. (1855). Thursday Compline: Thirst for God. In The Private Devotions of Dr. William Laud, Archbishop of Canterbury and Martyr (Ebook ed., p. 41). London and Oxford: John Henry & Jas. Parker.

[14] Academic Community of St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology (2008). Revelation. In The Orthodox study Bible (p. 1758). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

[15] Ibid. 14, P. 1758-1759

[16] Ibid. 14, P. 1759

[17] Ibid. 14, P. 1759

[18] Ibid. 14, P. 1759

[19] 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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