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June 11, 2022 Devotional

June 11, 2022

Invitatory

The Spirit of the Lord filleth the world: * 

O come, let us worship Him. Alleluia!

Hymn

“Amazing Grace”

Morning 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.

Father, Son and Holy Spirit,

Three persons, but one God,

Enlighten our hearts and minds,

Make us steadfast in the true faith,

Equip us for good works,

And bring us to eternal life;

Through your mercy, O our God,

You are blessed,

And live and govern all things,

Now and forever.

Amen. 

  • New Mozarabic Collects [1]

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,

As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. Alleluia.

Short Verse

But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.

  • John 14:26
The Council of Nicaea, with Arius depicted as defeated by the council, lying under the feet of Emperor Constantine

Morning Reading

Christ as Wisdom and the First Council of Nicaea

“According to Proverbs, Wisdom was present already in eternity, before the creation of the world and, consequently, before there even was such a thing as time. Along the same lines, Jesus said, ‘And now, Father, glorify Me in Your own presence with the glory that I had with You before the world existed’ (Jn 17:5). In Proverbs 8, Wisdom is given birth by God, even though Wisdom was present from eternity. Likewise, Jesus is God’s only-begotten Son; that is, ‘His only Son’ (Jn 3:16).” [2]

“John’s Gospel begins with a description of Jesus as ‘the Word.’ This description connects Jesus with the Wisdom of Proverbs, which calls out and makes its appeals. John declares, ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God’ (Jn 1:1–2). Wisdom was also present with God in the beginning (Pr 8:22).” [3]

“In the fourth century after Christ, a controversy broke out in the Christian churches.” [4] “Arius was a presbyter in Alexandria during the fourth-century and had learned his theology from Lucian of Antioch. Arius argued from passages like John 14:28 (‘the Father is greater than I’) that the Son had a beginning and was begotten, while God the Father did not have a beginning and was unbegotten. Arius’s view became known by the axiom, ‘There was a time when he [the Son] was not.’ In other words, there was a time when the Son did not exist with the Father. This caused great conflict in the church in Alexandria.” [5] “Arius of Alexandria promoted [this] heretical teaching in the fourth-century concerning the divine nature of Christ, and he appealed to verses like Proverbs 8:22.” [6] However, much of Arius’s and his followers’ “argument rested on a faulty Greek translation of Pr 8: 22: ‘The LORD created Me,’ instead of ‘The LORD possessed Me.’” [7] Arius “claimed this verse taught that the Logos, the Son of God, had a beginning (‘there was a time when he was not’), and thus, he could not be equal with the Father.” [8]

“The Emperor Constantine found out about the developing discontent and convened the Council of Nicaea.” [9] There, “faithful Christians in the Early Church, led by the great Church Father Athanasius, carefully studied Proverbs 8 and other passages of Holy Scripture. They recognized that while the Son of God is begotten, He is also co-eternal with God the Father.” [10]  

“The Council declared Arius’s views heretical and excommunicated him. The council of Nicaea determined that the Father and the Son are homoousios, which is a technical way of saying ‘of the same substance.’ So the Son is, to use the language of the Nicene Creed, ‘true God from true God.’” [11] “Out of this research into God’s Word came the Nicene Creed, by which Christians still confess faith in Jesus Christ as ‘the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of His Father before all worlds, God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father, by whom all things were made.’” [12]

Since Nicaea, “the church has always affirmed the Son being equal and coeternal with the Father. Some of [Arius’s] supporters, however, wouldn’t let the issue die, and over the next few years Athanasius (who succeeded Alexander) found it necessary to defend the decision of Nicaea.” [13] “In the following selections from the work entitled Against the Arians (2.19.44, 47), Athanasius of Alexandria defends the full divinity of Jesus by showing how to properly interpret Proverbs 8:22.” [14]

It is written, ‘The Lord created me at beginning of his ways, for his works’ [Pr 8:22, LXX]. Since, however, these are proverbs, and it is expressed in the way of proverbs, we must not expound them nakedly in their first sense, but we must inquire into the person and, thus, religiously put the sense on it. For what is said in proverbs is not said plainly but is put forth latently, as the Lord himself has taught us in the Gospel according to John, saying, ‘These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs, but the time come when I shall no more speak to you in proverbs, but openly’ [Jn 16:25, Vg]. Therefore it is necessary to unfold the sense of what is said, and to seek it as something hidden, and not nakedly to expound as if the meaning were spoken ‘plainly,’ lest by a false interpretation we wander from the truth. If, then, what is written is about an angel, or any other of things originate, . . . let it be said, ‘created me.’ But if it is the Wisdom of God, in whom all things originate have been framed, that speaks concerning itself, what ought we to understand but that ‘He created’ means nothing contrary to ‘He begat?’ . . .           

For the very passage proves that it is only an invention of your own to call the Lord creature. For the Lord, knowing his own essence to be the Only-Begotten Wisdom and Offspring of the Father, and other than things originate and natural creatures, says in love to man, ‘The Lord created me a beginning of his ways,’ as if to say, ‘My Father has prepared for me a body, and has created me for men on behalf of their salvation.’ For, as when John says, ‘The Word was made flesh’ [Jn 1:14], we do not conceive the whole Word himself to be flesh, but to have put on flesh and become man, and on hearing, ‘Christ has become a curse for us’ [see Gal 3:13] and ‘He has made him sin for us who knew no sin’ [2Co 5:17], we do not simply conceive this, that whole Christ has become curse and sin, but that he has taken on him the curse which lay against us (as the Apostle has said, ‘Has redeemed us from the curse,’ and ‘has carried,’ as Isaiah has said, ‘our sins’ [see Is 53:4] and as Peter has written, ‘has borne them in the body on the wood’ [see 1Pt 2:24]). So, if it is said in the Proverbs ‘He created,’ we must not conceive that the whole Word is in nature a creature, but that he put on the created body and that God created him for our sakes, preparing for him the created body . . .

[15] 

“When we come face-to-face with the eternally begotten Son and other mysteries concerning the triune God, we are in realms beyond human comprehension. We can no more capture the eternal, omnipotent God within our minds than we can hold the ocean in a bucket. The wonder of it all is that the almighty Creator has come to us to save us. Jesus is God. He is also our Brother (Heb 2:11) who has suffered, died, and risen for us.” [16]

“It is often said that the OT is revealed in the NT, while the NT is concealed in the OT. In other words, what is not entirely clear in the OT becomes clear in the light of the coming of Jesus the Christ. That is what has happened with Proverbs 8.” [17]

“The NT explicitly states that Jesus is the one ‘in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge’ ( Col 2: 3 ). Or, as St Paul puts it in 1Co 1: 24, Christ is ‘the wisdom of God.’ As you read Proverbs, hear the voice of your Redeemer. As the ‘Word of God,’ these are His words for you.” [18]

Midday Prayers

COME, O SPIRIT OF KNOWLEDGE, grant that I may know and accept the will of God, that recognizing the true value of the things of this world, I may use them rightly, and always with thanksgiving. Amen. [19]

Give peace for all time, O Lord, and fill my heart and the hearts of all people everywhere with the Spirit of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen. [20]

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,

As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. Alleluia.

Short Verse

And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.

  • Ephesians 4:30

Midday Reading

Proverbs 4:1-9, Choose God’s wisdom

1 Hear, O children, the instruction of a father,

And pay attention [and be willing to learn] so that you may gain understanding and intelligent discernment.

2 For I give you good doctrine;

Do not turn away from my instruction.

3 When I was a son with my father (David),

Tender and the only son in the sight of my mother (Bathsheba),

4 He taught me and said to me,

“Let your heart hold fast my words;

Keep my commandments and live.

5 “Get [skillful and godly] wisdom! Acquire understanding [actively seek spiritual discernment, mature comprehension, and logical interpretation]!

Do not forget nor turn away from the words of my mouth.

6 “Do not turn away from her (Wisdom) and she will guard and protect you;

Love her, and she will watch over you.

7 “The beginning of wisdom is: Get [skillful and godly] wisdom [it is preeminent]!

And with all your acquiring, get understanding [actively seek spiritual discernment, mature comprehension, and logical interpretation].

8 “Prize wisdom [and exalt her], and she will exalt you;

She will honor you if you embrace her.

9 “She will place on your head a garland of grace;

She will present you with a crown of beauty and glory.”

Midday Lesson

Seek wisdom

“Throughout chs. 1–9 the father teaches his son. In the present discourse, we learn that the father himself was the recipient of teaching from his father. The family is thus the locus of wisdom teaching, but, then again, the family also provides the context for learning the law of God (Dt 6) as well as the meaningful events of the past (Ps 78:5–8).” [21]

“One of the greatest responsibilities of parents (vv. 3-4) is to encourage their children to become wise. Here Solomon tells how his father, David, encouraged him to seek wisdom when he was young (see 1 Kgs 2:1-9; 1 Chr 28–29 for David’s charge to his son). This encouragement may have prompted Solomon to ask God for an understanding mind above everything else (1 Kgs 3:9). Wisdom can be passed on from parents to children, from generation to generation. Ultimately, of course, all wisdom comes from God; parents can only urge their children to turn to him. If your parents never taught you in this way, you can learn from the Scriptures and then create a legacy of wisdom as you teach your own children.” [22]

“If you want wisdom, you must decide to go after it (vv. 5-7). This will take resolve—a determination not to abandon the search once you begin, no matter how difficult the road may become. This is not a once-in-a-lifetime step but a daily process of choosing between two paths—the way of the wicked (Prov 4:14-17, 19) and that of the righteous (Prov 4:18).” [23]

“David taught Solomon as a young boy that seeking God’s wisdom was the most important choice he could make. Solomon learned the lesson well. When God appeared to Solomon to fulfill any request, the new king chose wisdom above all else. We should also make God’s wisdom our first choice. We don’t have to wait for God to appear to us. We can boldly ask him for wisdom today through prayer. James 1:5 assures us that God will grant our request.” [24]

In verse 9, “the image of a marriage feast is given substance with the bestowing of the traditional symbols of union by the bride (wisdom) on her groom (protégé). In this case, marriage symbolism of the ‘glorious crown’ (cf. Isa 61:10) could be compared with the fragrant bridal garments in SS 4:11. In the metaphoric sense, it could also be paralleled with Isa 28:5, where God becomes a “glorious crown, a beautiful wreath” for the Israelites.” [24]

Eventide Prayers

Prayer to the Holy Spirit

Come, O come, sweet comforter of desolate souls. Refuge in danger and defender in distress, come with thy gifts of penitence and healing of wounds. Come, strength of the weak. Come, teacher of the humble. Come, Holy Spirit. Amen. [25]

That it may please thee to give us true repentance; to forgive us all our sins, negligences, and ignorances; and to endue us with the grace of thy Holy Spirit to amend our lives according to thy holy Word,

      We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.

  • From the great literary

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,

As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. Alleluia.

Short Verse

While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”

  • Acts 13:2

Eventide Reading

Luke 2:41-52, Jesus increases in wisdom

41 Now every year his parents went to Jerusalem for the festival of the Passover. 42 And when he was twelve years old, they went up as usual for the festival. 43 When the festival was ended and they started to return, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but his parents were unaware of this. 44 Assuming that he was in the group of travelers, they went a day’s journey. Then they started to look for him among their relatives and friends. 45 When they did not find him, they returned to Jerusalem to search for him. 46 After three days they found him in the temple, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47 And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. 48 When his parents[a] saw him they were astonished, and his mother said to him, “Child, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously looking for you.” 49 He said to them, “Why were you searching for me? Did you not know that I must be in my Father’s house?”[b] 50 But they did not understand what he said to them. 51 Then he went down with them and came to Nazareth and was obedient to them, and his mother treasured all these things in her heart.

52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and in years[c] and in divine and human favor.

Eventide Lesson

Prefigurations in the boy Christ in the temple

“Passover, which begins on the fifteenth day of the Jewish month of Nisan, is a feast that commemorates the freedom of the Jews from slavery in Egypt. At the time of Christ, all Jewish men were required to make a pilgrimage to the Temple in Jerusalem. The men often brought their families and traveled in caravans with other families, with men and women traveling in separate groups and various children in both groups. It was within this arrangement that Christ’s absence from the caravan was not immediately noticed. Christ’s response at being found in the Temple indicated that he understood his identity as the Son of God and his mission to redeem humanity. This incident points to the Passion that would occur in the Holy City of Jerusalem. Joseph and Mary continued to accept their Son’s mission with humble faith.” [27] “Joseph is honored with the title father (v. 48) for his care and upbringing of his adopted Son. This title further prefigures our adoption by God, whom by grace we call ‘Father’ (Gal 4:4-7).” [28] “Christ’s eternal generation from the Father is divine, while his maternal ancestry is human. Accordingly, Jesus was first obedient to the will of His Father, and then is willingly subject to His mother and father.” [29] “Christ’s three days in the Temple can also be seen as a prefiguration of his three days in the tomb before his Resurrection.” [30]

Concluding Prayer of the Church

Before the ending of the day, Creator of the world, we pray That with thy wonted favor thou Wouldst be our guard and keeper now.   From all ill dreams defend our eyes, From nightly fears and fantasies; Tread under foot our ghostly foe, That no pollution we may know. + * O Father, that we ask be done, Through Jesus Christ, thine only Son; Who, with the Holy Ghost and thee, Doth live and reign eternally. Amen. [31]


Citations:

[1] Stratman, P. (2001). Easter. In Prayers from the Ancient Celtic Church (Kindle ed., p. 80). Crossway.

[2] A., E. E. (2016). Christ as Wisdom [Article]. In The Lutheran study Bible: English standard version (Kindle ed., pp. 4120). Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House.

[3] Ibid. 2

[4] Ibid. 3

[5] Twisted Truth—Arius (AD 325) [Article]. (2019). In Ancient faith study Bible (Kindle ed., p. 2531). Nashville: Holman Bible

[6] Begotten, Not Made [Article]. (2019). In Ancient faith study Bible (Kindle ed., p. 2534). Nashville: Holman Bible

[7] A., E. E. (2016). Christ as Wisdom [Article]. In The Lutheran study Bible: English standard version (Kindle ed., pp. 4120). Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House.

[8] Begotten, Not Made [Article]. (2019). In Ancient faith study Bible (Kindle ed., p. 2534). Nashville: Holman Bible

[9] Twisted Truth—Arius (AD 325) [Article]. (2019). In Ancient faith study Bible (Kindle ed., p. 2531). Nashville: Holman Bible

[10] A., E. E. (2016). Christ as Wisdom [Article]. In The Lutheran study Bible: English standard version (Kindle ed., pp. 4121). Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House.

[11] Twisted Truth—Arius (AD 325) [Article]. (2019). In Ancient faith study Bible (Kindle ed., p. 2531). Nashville: Holman Bible

[12] A., E. E. (2016). Christ as Wisdom [Article]. In The Lutheran study Bible: English standard version (Kindle ed., pp. 4121). Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House.

[13] Twisted Truth—Arius (AD 325) [Article]. (2019). In Ancient faith study Bible (Kindle ed., p. 2531). Nashville: Holman Bible

[14] Begotten, Not Made [Article]. (2019). In Ancient faith study Bible (Kindle ed., p. 2534). Nashville: Holman Bible

[15] Ibid. 14

[16] A., E. E. (2016). Christ as Wisdom [Article]. In The Lutheran study Bible: English standard version (Kindle ed., pp. 4121). Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House.

[17] Ibid. 16

[18] Ibid. 16

[19] Cobb, D., & Olsen, D. A. (2014). Topical Devotions. In Saint Augustine’s prayer book: A book of devotions (Kindle ed., p. 260). Cincinnati, OH: Forward Movement.

[20] Forward Movement. (2013). Daily Prayers. In Prayers for All Occasions (Kindle ed., pp. 156). Cincinnati, OH: Forward Movement.

[21] Keener, C. S., Walton, J. H., & Matthews, V. A. (2016). Proverbs. In NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible (Kindle, pp. 5437). essay, Zondervan.

[22] Tyndale House Publishers. (2012). Proverbs. In Chronological life application study Bible (Kindle ed., p. 6229). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Pub.

[23] Ibid. 22

[24] Ibid. 22

[25] Keener, C. S., Walton, J. H., & Matthews, V. A. (2016). Proverbs. In NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible (Kindle, pp. 5437). essay, Zondervan.

[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] Cole, J. (Ed.). (2015). Luke. In Didache Bible: With commentaries based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church (Kindle ed., p. 2853). Downers Grove, IL: Midwest Theological Forum, Ignatius Press.

[28] Academic Community of St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology (2008). Luke. In The Orthodox study Bible (p. 1399). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

[29] Ibid. 28

[30] Cole, J. (Ed.). (2015). Luke. In Didache Bible: With commentaries based on the Catechism of the Catholic Church (Kindle ed., p. 2853). Downers Grove, IL: Midwest Theological Forum, Ignatius Press.

[31] Bellarmine, G. (2021). Compline. In The Roman Breviary in English, in Order, Every Day for October, November, and December 2021 (Kindle ed., p. 1708). Christian Books Today.

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