June 21, 2022 Devotional

June 21, 2022
Ordinary Time

Invitatory

The earth is the Lord’s for he made it: 

Come let us adore him.

Hymn

“Down to the River to Pray”

Morning Prayers

Lord, in your mercy 

      hear my prayer. 

Lord, hear me. 

      Lord, graciously hear me.

O God, the author of peace and lover of concord, to know you is eternal life and to serve you is perfect freedom: Defend us, your humble servants, in all assaults of our enemies; that we, surely trusting in your defense, may not fear the power of any adversaries, through the might of Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen. [1]

Almighty and eternal God, so draw my heart to you, so guide my mind, so fill my imagination, so control my will, that I may be wholly yours, utterly dedicated to you; and then use me as you will, and always to your glory and the welfare of your people. Amen. [2]

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

I will give thanks to you, O LORD, with my whole heart:* I will tell all of your marvelous works. 

  • Psalm 9:1

Morning Reading

Psalm 64, Prayer for protection

 

Hear my voice, O God, in my complaint;

    preserve my life from the dread enemy.

Hide me from the secret plots of the wicked,

    from the scheming of evildoers,

who whet their tongues like swords,

    who aim bitter words like arrows,

shooting from ambush at the blameless;

    they shoot suddenly and without fear.

They hold fast to their evil purpose;

    they talk of laying snares secretly,

thinking, “Who can see us?[a]

    Who can search out our crimes?[b]

We have thought out a cunningly conceived plot.”

    For the human heart and mind are deep.

But God will shoot his arrow at them;

    they will be wounded suddenly.

Because of their tongue he will bring them to ruin;[c]

    all who see them will shake with horror.

Then everyone will fear;

    they will tell what God has brought about

    and ponder what he has done.

10 

Let the righteous rejoice in the Lord

    and take refuge in him.

Let all the upright in heart glory.

Let us pray.

Cut through the malice of our hearts, redeeming God, with the Spirit’s sword, wound the pride of our rebellion with the grace that makes righteous and bring near the day of Christ, when love shall reign in joy; for he is alive and reigns, now and for ever. Amen. [3]

Reflection

Psalm 64 Commentary from the Early Church

Psalm 64:2

What, really, does our spiritual father intend to teach? “I will teach you the fear of the Lord” [Ps 34:11]. When he ordered us . . . to fear the Lord, he also showed the profit that comes from fear, saying, “Those who fear him do not lack anything” [Ps 34:10]. At present also, they hand down to us a certain teaching of divine fear. . . . Every fear is not a good and saving feeling, but there is also a hostile fear. . . . Fear of the enemy is that which produces in us a cowardliness with regard to death and misleads us to cower before distinguished persons. How, in fact, will he who fears these things be able in time of martyrdom to resist sin even to death and to pay his debt to the Lord, who died and rose again for us? He also, who is easily scared by the demons, has the fear of the enemy in him. On the whole, such a fear seems to be a passion born of unbelief. For no one who believes that he has at hand a strong helper is frightened by any of those who attempt to throw him into confusion. 

Basil the Great, Homilies on the Psalms 16.8 [4]

Psalm 64:10

We have certainly sung this with voice and heart. Christian consciences and tongues have spoken these words to God: The just one will take delight not in the world but in the Lord.

Augustine, Sermon 21.1 [5]

Midday Prayers

Lord, in your mercy 

      hear my prayer. 

Lord, hear me. 

      Lord, graciously hear me.

Father of all mercies, you revealed your boundless compassion to your apostle Saint Peter in a three-fold vision: Forgive our unbelief, we pray, and so strengthen our hearts and enkindle our zeal, that we may fervently desire the salvation of all people, and diligently labor in the extension of your kingdom; through him who gave himself for the life of the world, your Son our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen. [6]

For Faith 

Being justified by faith, we have peace through our Lord Jesus Christ; 

Lord, I believe; help thou my unbelief. 

INCREASE MY FAITH, O Lord; give me diligence to learn and understand the Gospel; open my heart to trust in you; let my doubts spur me to seek deeper understanding with patience; for you have given me a mind to question, time to grow and mature, and you call me to know, to love, and to serve you even in the midst of uncertainty. Amen. [7]

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

You are my hope, O LORD God,* my confidence since I was young. I have been sustained by you ever since I was born; from my mother’s womb you have been my strength;* my praise shall be always of you. 

  • Psalm 71:5-6

Midday Reading

Job 19:1-22, Job questions God’s ways

1 Then Job answered:

“How long will you torment me

    and break me in pieces with words?

These ten times you have cast reproach upon me;

    are you not ashamed to wrong me?

And even if it is true that I have erred,

    my error remains with me.

If indeed you magnify yourselves against me

    and make my humiliation an argument against me,

know then that God has put me in the wrong

    and closed his net around me.

Even when I cry out, ‘Violence!’ I am not answered;

    I call aloud, but there is no justice.

He has walled up my way so that I cannot pass,

    and he has set darkness upon my paths.

He has stripped my glory from me

    and taken the crown from my head.

10 

He breaks me down on every side, and I am gone;

    he has uprooted my hope like a tree.

11 

He has kindled his wrath against me

    and counts me as his adversary.

12 

His troops come on together;

    they have thrown up siegeworks[a] against me

    and encamp around my tent.

13 

“He has put my family far from me,

    and my acquaintances are wholly estranged from me.

14 

My relatives and my close friends have failed me;

15 

    the guests in my house have forgotten me;

my female servants count me as a stranger;

    I have become an alien in their eyes.

16 

I call to my servant, but he gives me no answer;

    I must myself plead with him.

17 

My breath is repulsive to my wife;

    I am loathsome to my own family.

18 

Even young children despise me;

    when I rise, they talk against me.

19 

All my intimate friends abhor me,

    and those whom I love have turned against me.

20 

My bones cling to my skin and to my flesh,

    and I have escaped by the skin of my teeth.

21 

Have pity on me, have pity on me, O you my friends,

    for the hand of God has touched me!

22 

Why do you, like God, pursue me,

    never satisfied with my flesh?

Midday Lesson

It was Satan, not God.

“It is easy to point out someone else’s faults or sins. Job’s friends accused him of sin to make him feel guilty, not to encourage or correct him. If we feel we must admonish someone, we should be sure we are confronting that person out of love, not because we are annoyed, inconvenienced, or seeking to fix blame.” [8]

“Job felt that God was treating him as an enemy when, in fact, God was his friend and thought highly of him (Job 1:8; 2:3). In his difficulty, Job pointed at the wrong person. It was Satan, not God, who was Job’s enemy. Because they stressed ultimate causes, most Israelites believed that both good and evil came from God; they also thought people were responsible for their own destinies. But the evil power loose in this world also accounts for much of the suffering we experience. In verse 7, Job continued to cry out for God to hear him.” [9]

Eventide Prayers

Lord, in your mercy 

      hear my prayer. 

Lord, hear me. 

      Lord, graciously hear me.

Lighten our darkness, we beseech you, O Lord; and by 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. [10]

Blessed are you, O Lord, the God of our fathers, creator of the changes of day and night, giving rest to the weary, renewing the strength of those who are spent, bestowing upon us occasions of song in the evening. As you have protected us in the day that is past, so be with us in the coming night; keep us from every sin, every evil, and every fear; for you are our light and salvation, and the strength of our life. To you be glory for endless ages. Amen. [11]

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

O tarry and await the LORD’S pleasure; be strong, and he shall comfort your heart;* wait patiently for the LORD. 

  • Psalm 27:18

Eventide Reading

Ephesians 2:11-22, One new humanity in Christ

11 So then, remember that at one time you gentiles by birth,[a] called “the uncircumcision” by those who are called “the circumcision”—a circumcision made in the flesh by human hands— 12 remember that you were at that time without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers to the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For he is our peace; in his flesh he has made both into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us, 15 abolishing the law with its commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new humanity in place of the two, thus making peace, 16 and might reconcile both to God in one body[b] through the cross, thus putting to death that hostility through it.[c] 17 So he came and proclaimed peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near, 18 for through him both of us have access in one Spirit to the Father. 19 So then, you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and also members of the household of God, 20 built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone;[d] 21 in him the whole structure is joined together and grows into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are built together spiritually[e] into a dwelling place for God.

Eventide Lesson

Union in the incarnate Son of God

“Since salvation involves the renewal of all mankind in Christ, the old distinction between Jew and Gentile no longer exists (vv. 11, 12). This ethnic distinction was based on the flesh (v. 11), the Gentiles being uncircumcised and the Jews being circumcised. While Israel was especially blessed by God (v. 12), both Jews and Gentiles had to become true Israel (see vv. 13-18).” [12]

“Man’s brokenness was twofold: man was separated from man, that is, Gentile from Jew (vv. 13-15); and man was separated from God (vv. 16-18). The healing is likewise twofold: the creation of a unified humanity, the Church, and the raising of this unified humanity to God. The Incarnation of the Son of God accomplished the former; His death and Resurrection did the latter. The whole Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, act together (v. 18; see v. 22).” [13]

“The middle wall of separation (v. 14) probably refers to the barrier in the temple separating the Court of the Gentiles from the Court of the Jews. This barrier manifested the limitations of the Old Covenant. It did not heal humanity’s self-alienation; it actually increased human hostility. Now that this wall is broken down, both Gentiles and Jews are reconciled and one in Christ.” [14]

“The Church, humanity unified and renewed through union with the incarnate Son of God (vv. 11-18), is built on a foundation of Jesus Christ and the apostles and prophets (v. 20). From this foundation come the Scriptures and all doctrine. In 4:11 these gifts are implied to be a continuing reality in the Church. And the spiritual building is one: the Church is designed to be united.” [15]

Concluding Prayer of the Church

Now I lay me down to sleep, 

I pray the Lord my soul to keep,

If I should die before I wake,

I pray the Lord my soul to take.

Amen.

Citations:

[1] 2019 Book of Common Prayer: http://bcp2019.anglicanchurch.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/06-Daily-Morning-Prayer-11.21.2019.docx

[2] Forward Movement. (2013). Prayers for Guidance and Surrender. In Prayers for All Occasions (Kindle ed., pp. 463). Cincinnati, OH: Forward Movement.

[3] Church House Publishing. (2005). Psalter. In Common worship: Daily prayer (pp. 868-869). 

[4] Basil the Great. (2019). Psalms. In Ancient faith study Bible (Kindle ed., p. 2318). Nashville: Holman Bible.

[5] Augustine. (2019). Psalms. In Ancient faith study Bible (Kindle ed., p. 2318). Nashville: Holman Bible.

[6] 2019 Book of Common Prayer: http://bcp2019.anglicanchurch.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/07-Midday-Prayer-11.21.2019.docx

[7] Cobb, D., & Olsen, D. A. (2014). Various Prayers. In Saint Augustine’s prayer book: A book of devotions (Kindle ed., p. 57). Cincinnati, OH: Forward Movement.

[8] Tyndale House Publishers. (2012). Job. In Chronological life application study Bible (Kindle ed., p. 5730). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Pub.

[9] Ibid. 9

[10] 2019 Book of Common Prayer: http://bcp2019.anglicanchurch.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/08-Daily-Evening-Prayer-11.21.2019.docx

[11] 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. 113). New York, NY: Church Publishing Incorporated.

[12] Academic Community of St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology (2008). Ephesians. In The Orthodox study Bible (p. 1631). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

[13] Ibid. 12

[14] Ibid. 12

[15] Ibid. 12

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