This Daily Devotion is to help our members and others reflect on the understanding of Christian service to our Lord.
Devotion for Thursday, March 18, 2021
The Rt. Rev. Archimandrite, Msgr. George Appleyard
An Invitation to Prayer
The Master called workers into his vineyard
at various times during the day. (Matt 20:1 & ff.)
—No matter at what time we began the endeavor,
may we use the remaining time to be profitable workers.
And they angered him at the waters of Meribah,
and it went bad for Moses because of them.
For they provoked his spirit,
and his lips uttered rash words.
They did not wipe out the nations, as the Lord had told them.
They mingled with the nations and imitated their ways.
They served their idols and it became their downfall.
They sacrificed their sons and daughters to demons
They shed innocent blood, the blood of their sons and daughters,
whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan,
and murdered the land with their bloodshed,
and polluted it with their pursuits,
playing the prostitute in their designs.
So the Lord became furious in his anger against his people,
and abhorred his heritage.
So he put them in the hands of their enemies,
and those that hated them ruled over them.
Their enemies oppressed them,
and they were brought down under their hand.
A reading adapted from Basil’s Long Rules, Question #5, cont.
As the secular arts are directed toward certain specific accomplishments, so does our activities have as their rule and guide the keeping of the commandments in a way that pleases God. And by our painstaking zeal to do the will of God in our work, we shall be united to God by this constant recollection. A blacksmith, in making an ax, thinks of what his customer wants, otherwise he will fabricate something the customer will not accept. Thus a Christian directs every activity, small or great, according to the will of God, and performs the act with care and precision, keeping in mind the one who gave him this work to do. Thus the psalm (15/16:8) says, “I have set my sights on the Lord; with him at my side I can never be shaken.” Paul says, “Whether eating or drinking, or whatever, do everything for the glory of God.” (I Cor. 10:31) But the one who deliberately cuts corners in observing a commandment in carrying out his or her activities has not given enough thought to God. Recall what he said. “Am I not everywhere on earth and throughout heaven?” (Jer. 23:24) Am I not a God close by and not afar off?” (Jer. 23:23) “Where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.” (Matt 18:20) And so we should perform every act aware that the Lord is watching.
Your eye is on the sparrow, Father. How much more do you watch me, not because you do not trust me, but because you delight in me. May I always be aware of your close companionship because you want me to be at my best so that I may be at my happiest. May I be like a little child at heart who takes delight in showing his work to an encouraging parent. Amen.