This Daily Devotion is to help our members and others reflect on the understanding of Christian service to our Lord.
Devotion for Sunday, June 6, 2021
The Rt. Rev. Archimandrite, Msgr. George Appleyard
An Invitation to Prayer
Come, let us rejoice in the Lord,
let us raise a happy cry to God our Savior. —Let us come into his presence with gratitude,
acclaiming him with happy song. (Ps. 94:2)
Why are the nations in an uproar
and the people hatching foolish plots?
The kings of the earth take their stand together, and the leaders join in,
against the Lord and against his Anointed.
“Let us break apart their ties;
let us throw off their yoke from us.”
The One who dwells in the heavens will laugh at them, and the Lord will make fun of them.
Then he will speak to them in his anger
and in his rage he will confound them.
But I have been made king by him on Zion, his holy mountain,
by publishing the Lord’s decree.
From Basil’s work On Baptism
Now a disciple (as we learn from the Lord himself) is someone
who comes to him for the purpose of following him, that is, to listen to what he says, to trust him, and obey him as teacher, governor, physician, all in the hope of gaining eternal life. Further, a disciple must persevere in these dispositions, as it is written, “If you are steadfast in my message, you will be my true disciples and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” (John 8:31-32) In other words, we will achieve freedom of spirit from the cruel tyranny of the devil by being liberated from the captivity of sin. For he says, “whoever is committing sin is a slave of sin.” (John 8:34) We shall escape the sentence of death, as the Apostle Paul told us, “For us (God) made the one who never knew sin to be sin, that in him we might be made the justice of God.” (2 Cor. 5:21) And again, “Just as many became sinners by the disobedience of one man, so shall all be made just by the obedience of one man.” (Romans 5:19) In addition, one who believes in the Lord and proves his fitness for instruction should learn both to repudiate all sin and also to reject every pretext, however specious, which might distract him from the obedience he owes to God on so many counts. It is impossible for one who commits sin, or entangles himself in the affairs of the world, to serve the Lord, let alone be a disciple.
I have taken a pledge to serve, even in the most distressing of circumstances, and yet I must pick my way through this world to you. Send your Holy Spirit to set my priorities in proper order and thus save me from being entangled in the world and prevented from doing those things which should be done first. And may my freedom from the entanglements of the word be a model for others and a source of inspiration to them, leading to a fresh hope in you, O God. Amen.