This Daily Devotion is to help our members and others reflect on the understanding of Christian service to our Lord.
Devotion for Thursday, August 15, 2019
The Rt. Rev. Archimandrite, Msgr. George Appleyard
An Invitation to Prayer
“I am your God who holds you by the hand, and I tell you, do not be afraid.”
—“I have helped you,” says the Lord,
the one who has redeemed Israel. Come, let us join him bravely!
Yet he commanded the clouds above and opened the doors of heaven
and rained manna on them to eat, and gave them bread from heaven. Humans ate the bread of angels!
He sent them abundant provisions.
He held the south wind from the sky
and by his command he brought in the southwest wind, and rained meat on them like dust,
fowl like the sand of the sea,
that fell into the camp all around their tents.
So they ate and were completely satisfied.
He gave them what they craved—
they were not disappointed in what they wanted.
A reading from St. Basil’s Homily Against Anger.
An echo in the desert comes back no more forcefully than do insults on the return against an abuser. Rather, the echo returns the same while insults return with something added. What kind of things do insulters say to each other? One says the other is a nobody, the child of nobodies. The other responds by calling him a slave, the child of a household slave. One says, migrant worker; the other says tramp. One says, stupid; the other says, crazy—until their insults, like arrows, are all used up. Then, when all the abuse of the tongue has been spent, they proceed to avenge themselves with actions. Temper incites fighting, and fighting spawns insults, and insults beget blows, and blows produce wounds, and wounds often bring death.
Like your people Israel, O God, who were quicker to forget your many kindnesses than ready to restrain their annoyance and irritation when they felt you were overlooking them, I have seen families fractured by disagreements and misunderstanding, usually overlooking all the benefits they have received from each other. Let me count my blessings from others before I become upset with them for whatever reason. If you, Lord Jesus, have instructed us to love our enemies and bless those who disrespect us, how much more should we see past the occasional offences of those who routinely do us good. Lead me to do as you say. Amen.