June 4, 2022 Devotional

June 4, 2022
Eastertide

Today’s Readings: 

  • Morningtide:
    • Psalm 104:24-35b, Renewing the face of the earth
  • Noontide:
    • 2 Kings 2:1-15a, The spirit on Elijah and Elisha
      • Lesson: By fire from Heaven
  • Eventide:
    • Luke 1:5-17, God’s Spirit to come on John the Baptist
      • Lesson: Righteous before God

Evocation

Death is swallowed up in victory. 

      Where, O death, is your sting? 

Christ is risen from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. 

      Death is swallowed up in victory. 

The trumpet will sound and the dead shall be raised. 

      Where, O death, is your sting? 

We shall not all sleep, but we shall be changed. 

      Death is swallowed up in victory. 

      Where, O death, is your sting? 

  • from 1 Corinthians 15 [1]

Hymn

“A mighty sound from heaven”

Morning Prayers

Lord, in your mercy 

      hear our prayer. 

Lord, hear us. 

      Lord, graciously hear us.

Rejoicing in God’s new creation, as our Savior 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.

O LORD, I will sing of Thy power, and will praise Thy mercy in the morning, for Thou hast been my defense and my refuge in the day of my troubles. Unto Thee, O my strength, will I sing; for Thou, O God, art my defense, and my merciful God. Amen. [2]

A Collect for Saturdays 

Almighty God, who after the creation of the world rested from all your works and sanctified a day of rest for all your creatures: Grant that we, putting away all earthly anxieties, may be duly prepared for the service of your sanctuary, and that our rest here upon earth may be a preparation for the eternal rest promised to your people in heaven; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. [3]

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

Lord, have mercy on us. 

Christ, have mercy on us. 

Lord, have mercy on us.

Morning Reading

Psalm 104:24-35b, Renewing the face of the earth

O Lord, how manifold are your works!

In wisdom you have made them all;

the earth is full of your creatures.

Yonder is the sea, great and wide,

creeping things innumerable are there,

living things both small and great.

There go the ships,

and Leviathan that you formed to sport in it.

These all look to you

to give them their food in due season;

when you give to them, they gather it up;

when you open your hand, they are filled with good things.

When you hide your face, they are dismayed;

when you take away their breath, they die

and return to their dust.

When you send forth your spirit, they are created;

and you renew the face of the ground.

May the glory of the Lord endure forever;

may the Lord rejoice in his works—

who looks on the earth and it trembles,

who touches the mountains and they smoke.

I will sing to the Lord as long as I live;

I will sing praise to my God while I have being.

May my meditation be pleasing to him,

for I rejoice in the Lord.

Bless the Lord, O my soul.

Praise the Lord!


Midday Prayer

Lord, in your mercy 

      hear our prayer. 

Lord, hear us. 

      Lord, graciously hear us.

For Guidance

Direct us, O Lord, in all our doings with thy most gracious favor, and further us with thy continual help; that in all our works begun, continued, and ended in thee, we may glorify thy holy Name, and finally, by thy mercy, obtain everlasting life; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. [4]

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

God has gone up with a shout,* the LORD with the sound of the ram’s-horn. Sing praises to God, sing praises;* sing praises to our King, sing praises. For God is King of all the earth;* sing praises with all your skill. God reigns over the nations;* God sits upon his holy throne. 

Psalm 47:5–8

Midday Reading

2 Kings 2:1-18, The spirit on Elijah and Elisha

2 Now when the Lord was about to take Elijah up to heaven by a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal. 2 Elijah said to Elisha, “Stay here, for the Lord has sent me as far as Bethel.” But Elisha said, “As the Lord lives and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So they went down to Bethel. 3 The company of prophets who were in Bethel came out to Elisha and said to him, “Do you know that today the Lord will take your master away from you?” And he said, “Yes, I know; keep silent.”

4 Elijah said to him, “Elisha, stay here, for the Lord has sent me to Jericho.” But he said, “As the Lord lives and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So they came to Jericho. 5 The company of prophets who were at Jericho drew near to Elisha and said to him, “Do you know that today the Lord will take your master away from you?” And he answered, “Yes, I know; keep silent.”

6 Then Elijah said to him, “Stay here, for the Lord has sent me to the Jordan.” But he said, “As the Lord lives and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So the two of them went on. 7 Fifty men of the company of prophets also went and stood at some distance from them, as they both were standing by the Jordan. 8 Then Elijah took his mantle and rolled it up and struck the water; the water was parted to the one side and to the other, and the two of them crossed on dry ground.

9 When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me what I may do for you before I am taken from you.” Elisha said, “Please let me inherit a double share of your spirit.” 10 He responded, “You have asked a hard thing, yet if you see me as I am being taken from you, it will be granted you; if not, it will not.” 11 As they continued walking and talking, a chariot of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them, and Elijah ascended in a whirlwind into heaven. 12 Elisha kept watching and crying out, “Father, father! The chariots of Israel and its horsemen!” But when he could no longer see him, he grasped his own clothes and tore them in two pieces.

13 He picked up the mantle of Elijah that had fallen from him and went back and stood on the bank of the Jordan. 14 He took the mantle of Elijah that had fallen from him and struck the water. He said, “Where is the Lord, the God of Elijah? Where is he?” He struck the water again, and the water was parted to the one side and to the other, and Elisha crossed over.

15 When the company of prophets who were at Jericho saw him at a distance, they declared, “The spirit of Elijah rests on Elisha.” They came to meet him and bowed to the ground before him. 16 They said to him, “See now, we have fifty strong men among your servants; please let them go and seek your master; it may be that the spirit of the Lord has caught him up and thrown him down on some mountain or into some valley.” He responded, “No, do not send them.” 17 But when they urged him to the point of embarrassment, he said, “Send them.” So they sent fifty men who searched for three days but did not find him. 18 When they came back to him (he had remained at Jericho), he said to them, “Did I not say to you, ‘Do not go’?”

Midday Lesson

By fire from Heaven

“This book continues the chronology of the history of Judah and Israel from 1 Kings. Most of the succeeding kings struggled with idolatry and found themselves in opposition to neighboring nations and even with fellow tribes of Israel themselves.” [5] “Ahaziah, King of Israel, was punished because he consulted pagan prophets instead of an authentic prophet chosen by God. The consumption of the soldiers by fire from Heaven is referred to obliquely in the Gospels when James and John, the sons of Zebedee, asked Christ if they should call ‘fire down from heaven’ to destroy the Samaritans who had refused to receive Christ and his disciples (cf. Lk 9:54).” [6]


Eventide Prayer

Lord, in your mercy 

      hear our prayer. 

Lord, hear us. 

      Lord, graciously hear us.

O Lord, I beseech Thee, visit this habitation, and keep away from it all the snares of our [ghostly] enemy: let Thy holy angels dwell in it, and let them preserve us in peace and health, and let Thy blessing be upon us for ever, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

  • William Laud, Abp of Canterbury [7]

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

I will offer you a freewill sacrifice* and praise your Name, O LORD, for it is good. For you have rescued me from every trouble,* and my eye has seen the ruin of my foes. 

Psalm 54:6–7

Detail of Gabriel from Leonardo da Vinci’s Annunciation (c. 1472–1475)

Eventide Reading

Luke 1:5-17, God’s Spirit to come on John the Baptist

5 In the time of Herod king of Judea there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah; his wife Elizabeth was also a descendant of Aaron. 6 Both of them were righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly. 7 But they were childless because Elizabeth was not able to conceive, and they were both very old.

8 Once when Zechariah’s division was on duty and he was serving as priest before God, 9 he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to go into the temple of the Lord and burn incense. 10 And when the time for the burning of incense came, all the assembled worshipers were praying outside.

11 Then an angel of the Lord appeared to him, standing at the right side of the altar of incense. 12 When Zechariah saw him, he was startled and was gripped with fear. 13 But the angel said to him: “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John. 14 He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, 15 for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born. 16 He will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. 17 And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”

Eventide Lesson

Righteous before God

“Herod (v. 5) ruled Judea from 37-4 BC. He was a great builder but a cruel leader. Luke mentions Herod to pinpoint the historical date of the birth of Jesus Christ. An ancient prophecy of Jacob indicated the Messiah would come when a king ruled who was not from the tribe of Judah (Gn 49:10). As Herod was a non-Jew calling himself the king of Judea, the coming of Christ was surely at hand. See also the note on V. 20.” [8]

“Zacharias and Elizabeth are righteous before God (v. 6), not merely in outward appearance, but to the core of their being. The holiness of John the Baptist came in part through the faith and piety of his parents.” [9]

“To be barren (v. 7) was a public reproach (v. 25), but like Sarah (Gn 16:1), Rebekah (Gn 25:21), Rachel (Gn 29:31), Hannah (1Kg 1:2), and Anna, the mother of the Virgin Mary, Elizabeth’s temporary barrenness was in fulfillment of God’s plan for the salvation of His people.” [10]

“Each priest was assigned to a division (vv. 8-10) (see 1Ch 23:3-11; 28:13). There were twenty-four divisions in all, each serving a week at a time in rotation. The responsibilities in the division were decided by lot; Zacharias is here assigned the duties of the high priest. This event takes place at the time of the Atonement, when the high priest would enter the temple and make offerings for the sins of the people.” [11]

“Angels (v. 11) minister continually at the altar of the Lord, though usually unseen. Those priests of pure heart, such as Zacharias, are occasionally chosen by God to witness this angelic liturgy (see also Is 6; Rev 7:9-17).” [12] “As high priest, Zacharias prayed not for a son, but for the atonement of the sins of Israel (Heb 9:7). Gabriel’s (v. 19) announcement reveals both that Zacharias’ prayer for atonement will be answered and that Elizabeth will conceive a son. This atonement will be announced by John, who will identify Christ as ‘the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world’ (Jn 1:29).” [13]

“Elijah (v. 17) is expected to reappear from heaven as the forerunner of the second coming of the Lord (Mal 4:5). John the Baptist fulfills the spirit of Elijah as he is the forerunner of the Lord’s first coming (see Mt 11:14).” [14]

Concluding Prayer of the Church

Guide us waking, O Lord, and guard us sleeping That awake we may watch with Christ and asleep we may rest in peace. Amen.


Citations:

[1] Church House Publishing. (2005). Morning Prayer in Easter. In Common worship: Daily prayer (pp. 326). 

[2] LAUD, W. (1855). Saturday. In The Private Devotions of Dr. William Laud, Archbishop of Canterbury and Martyr (Ebook ed., p. 66). London and Oxford: John Henry & Jas. Parker.

[3] 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.

[4] Episcopal Church. (1979). Prayers and Thanksgivings. 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. 832). New York, NY: Church Publishing Incorporated.

[5] Cole, J. (Ed.). (2015). 2 Kings. In Didache Bible: With commentaries based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church (Kindle ed., p. 789). Downers Grove, IL: Midwest Theological Forum, Ignatius Press.

[6] Ibid. 5

[7] LAUD, W. (1855). Saturday Compline: For House and Family. In The Private Devotions of Dr. William Laud, Archbishop of Canterbury and Martyr (Ebook ed., p. 78). London and Oxford: John Henry & Jas. Parker.

[8] Academic Community of St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology (2008). Luke. In The Orthodox study Bible (p. 1391). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

[9] Ibid. 8

[10] Ibid. 8

[11] Ibid. 8

[12] Ibid. 8

[13] Ibid. 8

[14] Ibid. 8

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