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June 7, 2022 Devotional

June 7, 2022

Today’s Readings: 

Invitatory

The Spirit of the Lord filleth the world: * 

O come, let us worship Him. Alleluia!

Morning Prayers

Lord, in your mercy 

      hear my prayer. 

Lord, hear me. 

      Lord, graciously hear me.

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 the true God of all things, who sent forth His Holy Spirit upon the apostles in Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost, send the Spirit now upon us, to guard us and impart to us His bounty, that the fruits of the Spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control – may be ours, this day and forever. Amen.

  • Adapted from Cyril of Jerusalem [1]

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

“Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty”

By Reginald Heber, 1783-1826

(1982 Hymnal # 362)

Lyrics [2]:

1 Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!

Early in the morning our song shall rise to thee:

Holy, holy, holy! Merciful and mighty,

God in three Persons, blessed Trinity.

2 Holy, holy, holy! All the saints adore thee,

casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea;

cherubim and seraphim falling down before thee,

which wert, and art, and evermore shalt be.

3 Holy, holy, holy! Though the darkness hide thee,

though the sinful human eye thy glory may not see,

only thou art holy; there is none beside thee,

perfect in power, in love, and purity.

4 Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!

All thy works shall praise thy Name, in earth, and sky, and sea;

Holy, holy, holy! Merciful and mighty,

God in three Persons, blessed Trinity.

Contemplation

The Gifts of the Holy Spirit: Wisdom, Understanding, Counsel, Fortitude, Knowledge, Piety, Holy Fear — Isaiah 11:2

Morning Reading

Psalm 48, The God of Zion

Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised

    in the city of our God.

His holy mountain, 2 beautiful in elevation,

    is the joy of all the earth,

Mount Zion, in the far north,

    the city of the great King.

Within its citadels God

    has shown himself a sure defense.

Then the kings assembled;

    they came on together.

As soon as they saw it, they were astounded;

    they were in panic; they took to flight;

trembling took hold of them there,

    pains as of a woman in labor,

as when an east wind shatters

    the ships of Tarshish.

As we have heard, so have we seen

    in the city of the Lord of hosts,

in the city of our God,

    which God establishes forever. Selah

We ponder your steadfast love, O God,

    in the midst of your temple.

10 

Your name, O God, like your praise,

    reaches to the ends of the earth.

Your right hand is filled with victory.

11 

    Let Mount Zion be glad;

let the towns[a] of Judah rejoice

    because of your judgments.

12 

Walk about Zion; go all around it;

    count its towers;

13 

consider well its ramparts;

    go through its citadels,

that you may tell the next generation

14 

    that this is God,

our God forever and ever.

    He will be our guide forever.

Let us pray. 

Father of lights, raise us with Christ to your eternal city, that, with kings and nations, we may wait in the midst of your temple and see your glory for ever and ever. Amen. [3]

Morning Reflection

Commentary from the Early Church

Psalm 48:1

While they say “great,” they do not go so far as to say how great; no one knows that, after all, so he added as well, “and highly to be praised.” There is no limit, you see, to [God’s] greatness. What [that] means, however, is something like this: It is necessary to praise him and sing to him alone, and this to an extraordinary degree; but the need is to sing his praises both for this infinite and incomprehensible greatness of his being and for the excess of his beneficence to us. 

Chrysostom, Commentary on the Psalms 48.1. [4]

Psalm 48:8

[W]hat did he hear, and what did he see? That the grace of God renders the city stronger and intact. This, in fact, is its foundation, this its strength, this makes it impregnable—not human aid and help, or the power of weapons or towers and ramparts. What instead? God rules it as his own. This most of all it was, in fact, that they should have been taught, and towards this the inspired author constantly urges them. 

Chrysostom, Commentary on the Psalms 48.3. [5]

Psalm 48:11

God makes no mistakes when he judges. Let your life stand out in contrast, though by birth you blend in with them, for the plea that went up from your lips and your heart has not gone unheard: “Do not destroy my soul with the ungodly, nor my life with those who shed blood” [Ps 26:9]. God is a highly skilled winnower. He will bring his winnowing shovel with him and will not let a single grain of wheat fall into the heap of chaff for burning or a single wisp of straw get into the barn to be stored. Dance for joy . . . over the judgments of a God who makes no mistakes, and do not arrogate to yourselves the right to make judgments in advance. It is your job to garner, his to sift what has been garnered. 

Augustine, Expositions of the Psalms 48.11. [6]

Midday Prayers

Lord, in your mercy 

      hear my prayer. 

Lord, hear me. 

      Lord, graciously hear me.

To The Holy Spirit 

Breathe in me, O Holy Spirit, that my thoughts may all be holy. Act in me, O Holy Spirit, that my work, too, may be holy. Draw my heart, O Holy Spirit, that I love but what is holy. Strengthen me, O Holy Spirit, to defend all that is holy. Guard me, then, O Holy Spirit, that I may always be holy. Amen. [7]

COME, O SPIRIT OF WISDOM, and help me to know God revealed in the Word made flesh, the promise of grace and the hope of glory. Amen. [8]

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

Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?

  • 1 Corinthians 3:16

Midday Reading

Ezekiel 11:14-25, God will gather the people

14 And the word of the Lord came to me: 15 “Son of man, your brothers, even your brothers, your kinsmen,[a] the whole house of Israel, all of them, are those of whom the inhabitants of Jerusalem have said, ‘Go far from the Lord; to us this land is given for a possession.’ 16 Therefore say, ‘Thus says the Lord God: Though I removed them far off among the nations, and though I scattered them among the countries, yet I have been a sanctuary to them for a while[b] in the countries where they have gone.’ 17 Therefore say, ‘Thus says the Lord God: I will gather you from the peoples and assemble you out of the countries where you have been scattered, and I will give you the land of Israel.’ 18 And when they come there, they will remove from it all its detestable things and all its abominations. 19 And I will give them one heart, and a new spirit I will put within them. I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, 20 that they may walk in my statutes and keep my rules and obey them. And they shall be my people, and I will be their God. 21 But as for those whose heart goes after their detestable things and their abominations, I will[c] bring their deeds upon their own heads, declares the Lord God.”

22 Then the cherubim lifted up their wings, with the wheels beside them, and the glory of the God of Israel was over them. 23 And the glory of the Lord went up from the midst of the city and stood on the mountain that is on the east side of the city. 24 And the Spirit lifted me up and brought me in the vision by the Spirit of God into Chaldea, to the exiles. Then the vision that I had seen went up from me. 25 And I told the exiles all the things that the Lord had shown me.

Midday Lesson

The Holy Spirit’s divine work

Verse 14 begins a “new oracle, a private communication to the prophet. It may answer Ezekiel’s despairing outcry in v 13.” [9] It is addressed to the “inhabitants of Jerusalem who had escaped the first deportation of the city in 597 BC” (v. 15), those who were told to stay far from the Lord. [10] “Those not exiled urged the exiles to forget about ever returning to Jerusalem and worshiping the God they had once worshiped there. They argue that their survival in Jerusalem proves that they are the true heirs of the ancient promises. Like the 25 leaders (v 3), they interpret their physical presence in the Holy Land as a guarantee of security. This argument will reappear after the final destruction of the city in 587 BC (cf 33:24).” [11]

“God answers that the future lies with those who have ‘died’ in exile (v. 16), not with those who have escaped with their present lives. He had not abandoned the exiles… The temple sanctuary in Jerusalem was inaccessible and would soon be destroyed, but God was not imprisoned in that place where He caused His name to dwell for a time (cf ch 10). Wherever His name is invoked in true faith, even by only two or three present (Mt 18:20), there is a little church. One day we shall go to our promised land, the new Jerusalem (Rv 21:22).” [12]

Re-read verse 17. “The preliminary fulfillment of this promise came after Cyrus’s 538 BC decree allowed some Israelites to return and rebuild the temple. But that was only a foretaste of the fulfillment. The promise given to God’s people had further implications (cf Rv 7).” [13]

“The Holy Scriptures… credit conversion solely and completely to the Holy Spirit’s (vv. 19–20) divine work, as also the Apology teaches. Reason and free will are able to live an outwardly decent life to a certain extent. But only the Holy Spirit causes a person to be born anew [John 3:5] and to have inwardly another heart, mind, and natural desire. He opens the mind and heart to understand the Scriptures and to listen to the Word.” [14]

In verse 19 we find “the heart of the Gospel message of Ezk,” which is “repeated almost verbatim in 36:26–27. Ezekiel is speaking of realities that transcend history and which only God can accomplish. St Paul’s language in 2Co 3:3 appears to be derived from it. Also, Ezk 11:19–20 parallel Jeremiah’s famous new covenant (or testament) prophecy (Jer 31:31–34), often quoted in the NT. What is needed is a supernatural gift, a ‘heart transplant’ that only the Great Physician can accomplish.” [15]

It is the Holy Spirit that provides a “single-mindedness, or unanimity, in faith. By nature, we pursue our own selfish interests (Is 53:6).” [16] A  new spirit, verse 19, is often interchangeable with ‘heart’; a radically different human attitude, a gift of God’s Holy Spirit.” [17] Removing the heart of stone, “God will replace it with faith created by the Holy Spirit’s work through Word and Sacrament.” [18] “External change in behavior (v. 20) will naturally accompany the radical internal change. The obedience will not only be to the letter of the law, but to its spirit. statutes . . . rules.” [19] 

In verse 20, the Lord says, And they shall be my people, and I will be their God. This “Gospel message, the covenant formula, is repeated many times in both testaments, from Gn 17:7–8 to Rv 21:3.” [20]

In verses  22–25 we find the climax of chs 9–11. [21] “The glory finally abandoned Jerusalem and the temple, which no longer had any special promise of divine protection. Jerusalem was as vulnerable as any other city. Cf 9:3.” [22] “When the vision is over, Ezekiel tells the elders what he had seen and heard on his journey in the Spirit. Their response is not told.” [23]

“Ezekiel the prophet is assured that a remnant will be saved. The glory then leaves the city for the Mount of Olives to the east. This is the final judgment upon those who remain in Jerusalem below (cf Gal 4:26). Thanks be to God; He gives us His Word and Spirit, new hearts, and new lives in His promises of mercy. • Lord, through our Baptism , You have brought us out of the exile of our natural bondage to sin. Send Your Spirit upon us that we remain faithful until death and share in the return of the glory on the Last Day. Amen.” [24]

Eventide Prayers

Lord, in your mercy 

      hear my prayer. 

Lord, hear me. 

      Lord, graciously hear me.

Our Father, the day is over and I turn to you before I take my rest. You have been with me all the day long, and for all your mercies, perceived and unperceived, I give thanks. Of all that has been amiss in me, in thought, word, and deed, I repent, and ask your gracious forgiveness as I also forgive all who have offended me. Grant me now the blessings of a quiet mind and a trustful spirit, the freedom from fear of a child in its father’s house. So let me rest in you, at peace with you and with all people. Amen. [25]

SEND FORTH THY SPIRIT, O Lord: And renew the face of the earth. Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of thy faithful people: and kindle in them the fire of thy love. Amen.

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

After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.

  • Acts 4:31

Eventide Reading

1 Corinthians 2:12-16, About the Spirit of God

12 Now we have received not the spirit of the world but the Spirit that is from God, so that we may understand the gifts bestowed on us by God. 13 And we speak of these things in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual things to those who are spiritual.[a]

14 Those who are unspiritual[b] do not receive the gifts of God’s Spirit, for they are foolishness to them, and they are unable to understand them because they are spiritually discerned. 15 Those who are spiritual discern all things, and they are themselves subject to no one else’s scrutiny.

16 

“For who has known the mind of the Lord

    so as to instruct him?”

But we have the mind of Christ.

Eventide Lesson

The language of faith

“Enlightenment from God in itself is beyond all words, and even beyond evaluation by other men (v. 15). Nevertheless, the Holy Spirit speaks through spiritual people words that truly reflect the unspeakable knowledge of faith. This language of faith in turn leads spiritually minded people to know God better, although it baffles the natural man (v. 14).” [27]

“The mind of Christ is enlightenment by the Holy Spirit (v. 10). He brings those chrismated into communion with Christ and others of like mind in His Body, the Church. The mind of Christ, then, is not private but is given to all: it is the mind of the Church.” [28]

Concluding Prayer of the Church

Into your hands, O Lord, I commend my spirit; for you have redeemed me, O Lord, O God of truth. Keep me, O Lord, as the apple of your eye; hide me under the shadow of your wings.†

Amen. 

Citations:

[1] Forward Movement. (2013). Benedictions. In Prayers for All Occasions (Kindle ed., pp. 1095). Cincinnati, OH: Forward Movement.

[2] The hymnal 1982: According to the use of the Episcopal Church 362. Holy, holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty. (n.d.). Retrieved April 11, 2021, from https://hymnary.org/hymn/EH1982/362

[3] Church House Publishing. (2005). Psalter. In Common worship: Daily prayer (pp. 844). 

[4] Chrysostom. (2019). Psalms. In Ancient faith study Bible (Kindle ed., p. 1612). Nashville: Holman Bible.

[5] Ibid. 4

[6] Augustine. (2019). Psalms. In Ancient faith study Bible (Kindle ed., p. 1613). Nashville: Holman Bible.

[7] Papavassiliou, V. (2014). Prayers of Saint Augustine. In The ancient faith prayer book (Kindle ed., p. 16)1. Chesterton, IN: Ancient Faith Publishing.

[8] Cobb, D., & Olsen, D. A. (2014). Topical Devotions. In Saint Augustine’s prayer book: A book of devotions (Kindle ed., p. 259). Cincinnati, OH: Forward Movement.

[9] A., E. E. (2016). Ezekiel. In The Lutheran study Bible: English standard version (Kindle ed., pp. 5540). Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House.

[10] Ibid. 9

[11] Ibid. 9

[12] Ibid. 9

[13] Ibid. 9

[14] Ibid. 9

[15] Ibid. 9

[16] Ibid. 9

[17] Ibid. 9

[18] Ibid. 9

[19] Ibid. 9, P. L 5540-5541

[20] Ibid. 9, P. 5541

[21] Ibid. 9, P. 5541

[22] Ibid. 9, P. 5541

[23] Ibid. 9, P. 5541

[24] Ibid. 9, P. 5541

[25] Forward Movement. (2013). DailyPrayers. In Prayers for All Occasions (Kindle ed., pp. 161). Cincinnati, OH: Forward Movement.

[26] Cobb, D., & Olsen, D. A. (2014). Topical Devotions. In Saint Augustine’s prayer book: A book of devotions (Kindle ed., p. 251). Cincinnati, OH: Forward Movement.

[27] Academic Community of St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology (2008). 1 Corinthians. In The Orthodox study Bible (p. 1591). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

[28] Ibid. 27

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