June 23, 2022 Devotional

  • Psalm 16, Protect me, O God
    • Lesson: The transfigured life
  • Leviticus 9:22—10:11, God’s fire consumes Aaron’s sons
    • Lesson: The ‘wrong kind of fire’
  • 2 Corinthians 13:5-10, Examine yourselves concerning the faith
    • Lesson: Restoration and completion

Invitatory

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

Come let us adore him.

Hymn

“I’ll Fly Away”

Morning Prayers

Heavenly Father, in you we live and move and have our being: We humbly pray you so to guide and govern us by your Holy Spirit, that in all the cares and occupations of our life we may not forget you, but may remember that we are ever walking in your sight; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen. [1]

Before Reading The Scriptures 

OLord Jesus Christ, open the eyes of my heart, that I may hear Your word and that I may understand and do Your will, for I am a sojourner upon the earth. Hide not Your commandments from me, but open my eyes, that I may perceive the wonders of Your law. Reveal to me the hidden and secret lore of Your wisdom. In You, O God, do I place my hope. Enlighten my mind and understanding with the light of Your knowledge, not only to cherish those things that are written, but to do them; that in reading the lives and sayings of the saints I may not sin, but that such may serve for my renewal, enlightenment, and sanctification, for the salvation of my soul and the inheritance of everlasting life. For You are the enlightenment of those who lie in darkness, and from You comes every good deed and every gift. 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

Now thank we all our God With hearts and hands and voices, Who wondrous things has done, In whom the world rejoices, Who from our mothers’ arms Has blessed us on our way With countless gifts of love And still is ours today. 

  • Martin Rinkart [3]

Morning Reading

Psalm 16, Protect me, O God

Protect me, O God, for in you I take refuge.

I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord;

    I have no good apart from you.”[a]

As for the holy ones in the land, they are the noble ones

    in whom is all my delight.

Those who choose another god multiply their sorrows;[b]

    their drink offerings of blood I will not pour out

    or take their names upon my lips.

The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup;

    you hold my lot.

The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;

    I have a goodly heritage.

I bless the Lord, who gives me counsel;

    in the night also my heart instructs me.

I keep the Lord always before me;

    because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.

Therefore my heart is glad, and my soul rejoices;

    my body also rests secure.

10 

For you do not give me up to Sheol

    or let your faithful one see the Pit.

11 

You show me the path of life.

    In your presence there is fullness of joy;

    in your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Let us pray. 
Give to us, Lord Christ, the fullness of grace, your presence and your very self, for you are our portion and our delight, now and for ever. Amen. [4]

Morning Lesson

The transfigured life

Psalm 16 is similar to Ps 15 in that it “teaches the Church the transfigured life in the Person of God Incarnate, who assumed the weakness of mortal flesh (but without sin) for the sake of the inheritance (vv. 5, 6), which is “the world to come” (Creed). And as Man, He interceded to the Father on behalf of the Church, (1) to preserve those who hope in the Father (v. 1, 2); (2) to magnify His will in them amid the fallen world (vv. 3, 4); (3) to enlighten them (v. 7); (4) that they should keep their eyes on the Father (v. 8); (5) that they should hope in the resurrection from the dead, because the soul of Jesus was not left in Hades, nor did His body decay in the grave, and therefore, they should not fear death (vv. 9, 10; see also Acts 2:25-31; 13:35-37); for He was raised from the dead for the sake of their life (v. 11) “in the world to come” (Creed).” [5]

Midday Prayers

“Lord Jesus Christ, you said to your apostles, “”Peace I give to you; my peace leave with you:”” Regard not our sins, but the faith of your Church, and give to us the peace and unity of that heavenly city, where with the Father and the Holy Spirit you live and reign, now and for ever. Amen. ” [6]

For Gratitude 

Bless the Lord, O my soul. And forget not all his benefits. 

OPEN OUR EYES, Lord, that we may see all that you give so abundantly, and teach us to be grateful; for the things we hold closest to our heart, for the things that all share in common, for the smallest of pleasures, and for the great hope of heaven. In all that you have given us, let us see your hand, and let our delight in your gift become an unending prayer of thanksgiving and an ever-growing habit of generosity toward others. For the sake of him who loves us and gave himself for us, even Jesus Christ our Lord. 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

Open my lips, O LORD,* and my mouth shall proclaim your praise. 

Psalm 51:16

Midday Reading

Leviticus 9:22—10:11, God’s fire consumes Aaron’s sons

22 After that, Aaron raised his hands toward the people and blessed them. Then, after presenting the sin offering, the burnt offering, and the peace offering, he stepped down from the altar. 23 Then Moses and Aaron went into the Tabernacle, and when they came back out, they blessed the people again, and the glory of the LORD appeared to the whole community. 24 Fire blazed forth from the LORD’s presence and consumed the burnt offering and the fat on the altar. When the people saw this, they shouted with joy and fell face down on the ground.

1 Aaron’s sons Nadab and Abihu put coals of fire in their incense burners and sprinkled incense over them. In this way, they disobeyed the LORD by burning before him the wrong kind of fire, different than he had commanded. 2 So fire blazed forth from the LORD’s presence and burned them up, and they died there before the LORD.

3 Then Moses said to Aaron, “This is what the LORD meant when he said,

‘I will display my holiness

through those who come near me.

I will display my glory

before all the people.’”

And Aaron was silent.

4 Then Moses called for Mishael and Elzaphan, Aaron’s cousins, the sons of Aaron’s uncle Uzziel. He said to them, “Come forward and carry away the bodies of your relatives from in front of the sanctuary to a place outside the camp.” 5 So they came forward and picked them up by their garments and carried them out of the camp, just as Moses had commanded.

6 Then Moses said to Aaron and his sons Eleazar and Ithamar, “Do not show grief by leaving your hair uncombed or by tearing your clothes. If you do, you will die, and the LORD’s anger will strike the whole community of Israel. However, the rest of the Israelites, your relatives, may mourn because of the LORD’s fiery destruction of Nadab and Abihu. 7 But you must not leave the entrance of the Tabernacle or you will die, for you have been anointed with the LORD’s anointing oil.” So they did as Moses commanded.

8 Then the LORD said to Aaron, 9 “You and your descendants must never drink wine or any other alcoholic drink before going into the Tabernacle. If you do, you will die. This is a permanent law for you, and it must be observed from generation to generation. 10 You must distinguish between what is sacred and what is common, between what is ceremonially unclean and what is clean. 11 And you must teach the Israelites all the decrees that the LORD has given them through Moses.”

[27]

Midday Lesson

The ‘wrong kind of fire’

Back in Leviticus 9:6,  “Moses said to the people, ‘This is what the LORD has commanded you to do so that the glory of the LORD may appear to you.’ Moses, Aaron, and the people then got to work and followed God’s instructions. Soon after, the glory of the Lord appeared. Often we look for God’s glorious acts without concern for following his instructions. Do you serve God in the daily routines of life, or do you wait for him to do a mighty act? If you depend on his glorious acts, you may find yourself sidestepping your everyday duty to obey.” [8]

“As a display of his mighty power, God sent fire (v. 9:24) from the sky to consume Aaron’s offering. The people fell to the ground in awe. Some people wonder if God really exists because they don’t see his activity in the world. But God is at work in today’s world just as he was in Moses’ world. Where a large body of believers is active for him, God tends not to display his power in the form of mighty physical acts. Instead, he works to change the world through the work of these believers. When you realize that, you will begin to see acts of love and faith that are just as supernatural.” [9]

“What was the ‘wrong kind of fire’ that Nadab and Abihu offered before the Lord (v. 10:1)? The fire on the altar of burnt offering was never to go out (Lev 6:12-13), implying that it was holy. It is possible that Nadab and Abihu brought coals of fire to the altar from another source, making the sacrifice unholy. It has also been suggested that the two priests gave an offering at an unprescribed time. Whatever explanation is correct, the point is that Nadab and Abihu abused their office as priests in a flagrant act of disrespect to God, who had just reviewed with them precisely how they were to conduct worship. As leaders, they had special responsibility to obey God. In their position, they could easily lead many people astray. If God has commissioned you to lead or teach others, never take that role for granted or abuse it. Stay faithful to God and follow his instructions.” [10]

“Aaron’s sons were careless about following the laws for sacrifices. In response, God destroyed them with a blast of fire (v. 10:2). Performing the sacrifices was an act of obedience. Doing them correctly showed respect for God. It is easy for us to grow careless about obeying God, to live our way instead of God’s. But if one way were just as good as another, God would not have commanded us to live his way. He always has good reasons for his commands, and we always place ourselves in danger when we consciously or carelessly disobey them.” [11]

“The priests were not to drink wine or other alcoholic beverages before going into the Tabernacle (vv. 10:8-11). If their senses were dulled by alcohol, they might repeat Nadab and Abihu’s sin and bring something unholy into the worship ceremony. In addition, drinking would disqualify them to teach the people God’s requirements of self-discipline. Drunkenness was associated with pagan practices and the Jewish priests were supposed to be distinctively different.” [12]

Verses 10:10-11 “(along with Lev 19:1-2) shows the focus of Leviticus. The Ten Commandments recorded in Exodus 20 were God’s fundamental laws. Leviticus explained and supplemented those laws with many other guidelines and principles that helped the Israelites put them into practice. The purpose of God’s laws was to teach people how to distinguish right from wrong, the sacred from the common, the clean from the unclean. The nation who lived by God’s laws would be set apart, dedicated to his service.” [13]

Eventide Prayers

Lord Jesus, stay with us, for evening is at hand and the day is past; be our companion in the way, kindle our hearts, and awaken hope, that we may know you as you are revealed in Scripture and the breaking of bread. Grant this for the sake of your love. Amen. [14]

Almighty, everlasting God, let our prayer in your sight be as incense, the lifting up of our hands as the evening sacrifice. Give us grace to behold you, present in your Word and Sacraments, and to recognize you in the lives of those around us. Stir up in us the flame of that love which burned in the heart of your Son as he bore his passion, and let it burn in us to eternal life and to the ages of ages. Amen. [15]

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

Then I saw another angel, flying high overhead, sent to announce the gospel of eternity to all who live on the earth, every nation, race, language and tribe. He was calling, ‘Fear God and glorify him, because the time has come for him to sit in judgment; worship the maker of heaven and earth and sea and the springs of water.’ 

Revelation 14:6-7

Eventide Reading

2 Corinthians 13:5-10, Examine yourselves concerning the faith

5 Examine yourselves to see whether you are living in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not realize that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless, indeed, you fail to meet the test! 6 I hope you will find out that we have not failed. 7 But we pray to God that you may not do anything wrong—not that we may appear to have met the test but that you may do what is right, though we may seem to have failed. 8 For we cannot do anything against the truth but only for the truth. 9 For we rejoice when we are weak but you are strong. This is what we pray for, that you may be restored. 10 So I write these things while I am away from you, so that when I come I may not have to be severe in using the authority that the Lord has given me for building up and not for tearing down.

Eventide Lesson

Restoration and completion

“Paul urges [the Corinthians] to subject themselves to what they had put him through by verifying their own genuineness as Christians (v. 5).” [16] “Some of them consider[ed] Paul a fake apostle.” [17] “Blessed unity in Christ depends on the Corinthians recognizing the genuineness of Paul and his colleagues (v. 6).” [18]

The word faith (v. 5) herein refers to “both subjective faith (by which one believes) and objective faith (the doctrine in which one believes). [The Corinthians] are to examine their consciences to determine profession of apostolic doctrine and involvement in continual repentance.” [19] 

Paul asks (v. 5), Do you not realize that Jesus Christ is in you? John 6:56, John 14:20, John 15:4-5, and Galatians 2:20 “forbid reducing ‘in’ to ‘among.’ The exalted Christ enjoys a miraculous, real presence in each member of His Church. The same is true of the Father (Jn 14:23) and the Holy Spirit (Jn 14: 17).” [20]

“Paul is pastorally concerned for the Corinthians; he is not frantic to vindicate himself. He always acts, and wants the whole Church to order its life, in accordance with the true (and only) Gospel (vv. 7-8), as opposed to the ‘different Gospel’ (11:4). ‘When they teach or establish anything against the Gospel, then the congregations are forbidden by God’s command to obey them.’” [21] “If the Corinthians are spiritually healthy, Paul will be happy not to assert his authority.” [22] Paul’s goal for the Corinthians is restoration, “or, ‘completion,’ the full fruition of the whole Corinthian Church.” [23] “Paul’s heart is in being an instrument of God’s ‘proper’ work of forgiveness, not His ‘alien’ work of punishment.” [24]

“If need be, Paul will bind sins and excommunicate the unrepentant on his next visit. Yet, he hopes examination of consciences will show the Corinthians that they hold the Lord’s doctrine and that they forsake the way of death to cling to the Lord of life. If Christ dwells in them, then Paul will come in gentleness, for the Gospel will hold sway. • Lord , keep us in Your truth and quicken our repentance, that we may abide in You and You in us. Amen.” [25]

Concluding Prayer of the Church

God, my friend, it is time for bed,

Time to rest my sleepy head,

I pray to you before I do,

Please guide me down the path that’s true.

God, my friend, please bless my mother,

All your children — sisters, brothers.

Oh! And then there’s daddy, too —

He says I am his gift from you.

God, my friend, it is time to sleep,

I thank you for a soul unique,

And thank you for another day,

To run and jump and laugh and play!

God, my friend, it is time to go,

But before I do I hope you know,

I am thankful for my blessing, too,

And God, my friend, I love you. 

– By Michael J. Edger III MS [26]

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] Papavassiliou, V. (2014). Prayers for Various Occasions. In The ancient faith prayer book (Kindle ed., p. 97). Chesterton, IN: Ancient Faith Publishing.

[3] Tickle, P. (2000). June. In The divine hours: Prayers for Summertime (Kindle ed., vol. 2, p. 7). New York, NY: Image Books.

[4] Church House Publishing. (2005). Psalter. In Common worship: Daily prayer (pp. 785).

[5] Academic Community of St. Athanasius Academy of Orthodox Theology (2008). Psalms. In The Orthodox study Bible (p. 720). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson.

[6] 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. 107). New York, NY: Church Publishing Incorporated.

[7] Cobb, D., & Olsen, D. A. (2014). Various Prayers. In Saint Augustine’s prayer book: A book of devotions (Kindle ed., p. 58). Cincinnati, OH: Forward Movement.

[8] Tyndale House Publishers. (2012). Leviticus. In Chronological life application study Bible (Kindle ed., p. 5814). Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Pub.

[9] Ibid. 8

[10] Ibid. 8, P. 5814-5815

[11] Ibid. 8, P. 5815

[12] Ibid. 8, P. 5815

[13] Ibid. 8, P. 5815-1516

[14] 2019 Book of Common Prayer: http://bcp2019.anglicanchurch.net/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/08-Daily-Evening-Prayer-11.21.2019.docx

[15] 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.

[16] A., E. E. (2016). 2 Corinthians. In The Lutheran study Bible: English standard version (Kindle ed., pp. 7986). Saint Louis: Concordia Publishing House.

[17] Ibid. 16

[18] Ibid. 16, P. 7987

[19] Ibid. 16

[20] Ibid. 16

[21] Ibid. 16, P. 7987

[22] Ibid. 16, P. 7987

[23] Ibid. 16, P. 7987

[24] Ibid. 16, P. 7987

[25] Ibid. 16, P. 7987

[26] 35 Best Night Prayers to Help Finish Your Day With a Peaceful Mind, retrieved at: https://www.womansday.com/life/inspirational-stories/g28051963/night-prayers/

[27] Radmacher, E. D., Allen, R. B., & House, H. W. (2018). Word Studies: fire [Image]. In Holy Bible Nkjv Study Bible, Personal Size: Full-color Edition (Kindle, Third, p. 797). essay, Thomas Nelson, Inc. 

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