This Daily Devotion is to help our members and others reflect on the understanding of Christian service to our Lord.

Devotion for Thursday, April 22, 2021

The Rt. Rev. Archimandrite, Msgr. George Appleyard

An Invitation to Prayer

We have been saved by a baptism
that give us a new birth from the Holy Spirit and water.
—And we have been set right with God by his grace,
and now expect eternal life as his children. [Cf. Titus 3:5b-7]

Psalm 80/81:1-8

Rejoice in God our helper,
acclaim the God of Jacob.
Pick a hymn and take up a drum,
a sweet-sounding zither and a harp.
Sound the trumpet to signal the new moon,
for the solemn day of our feast.

For this is a prescription for Israel,
a decision of the God of Jacob,
a testimony for Joseph
when he came out of the land of Egypt—
where he heard a language he did not know.

I took the burden from his back,
his hands from slaving with the basket.
You called upon me in your trials
and I rescued you.
I heard you from the center of the storm,
I tested you at the waters of Meribah.

From Basil’s Long Rules, Question 17, cont.

The Book of Ecclesiastes [2:2] assesses this kind of (raucous) laughter as especially subversive to stability of soul by putting it this way, “Laughter? As good as a mistake!” and later, “The laughter of a fool is no more than the crackling of thorns under a pot.” It appears that the Lord experienced those emotions which arise from our physical nature, and also those which betoken virtue—such as fatigue, and sympathy for the afflicted—but there is no record of him laughing in the Gospels. On the other hand, he said it is going to go bad for those given to laughter. [Cf. Luke 6:25]

A Prayer

Even though you sit upon the cherubim, the blessed Joseph of Arimathea—a colleague of your beloved Lazarus and his sisters—took your body upon his shoulders to carry you to his tomb and bury you, the one who gives us life by your death. What he saw as a tragic end we now know as a glorious victory. Give us the spiritual insight that allows us to see beyond the appearances of events to the reality which may be the work of your Providence, and to be faithful to you even when we walk in confusion and ignorance. Amen.