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

Devotion for Thursday, July 8, 2021

The Rt. Rev. Archimandrite, Msgr. George Appleyard

July 4

Independence Day

An Invitation to Prayer

Let us proclaim liberty to all the inhabitants of the land, a time of freedom, and sacred to us. ​(Cf. Lev. 25:10 & 12) —You did not imprison us in the enemy’s grip

but set our feet at liberty. ​(Ps. 30/31:9) Make us truly grateful, O Lord God almighty!

Psalm 30(31):1-8

I have put my hope in you, O Lord,
never let me be humiliated.
In your righteousness rescue me and deliver me.

Lend me your ear and hurry to set me free, be the God who protects me,
a place of refuge where I am safe.

For you are my strength and my refuge,
and you will guide me for your name’s sake and sustain me.

You keep me from the hidden trap they set for me, for you are my great shield, O Lord.
I put my life in your hands,
for you set me free, O Lord God of truth.

You hate those who cling to their useless stupidity, but—as for me—I put my hope in the Lord.
I will rejoice and be glad in your mercy
because you have noticed my humiliation and saved my soul from enslavement. You did not imprison me in the enemy’s grip but set my feet at large.

From St. Basil’s Homily on Humility.
More than all that, an individual can become conceited because of the power in his arm, or the speed with which he runs, or his fine physique—all things which can be ravaged by sickness and plundered by time. Such a person does not realize that “all flesh is grass, and the glory of man is like the flower in the grass. The grass withers and the flower fades.” (Isaiah 40:6) Such was the attitude of the giants on account of their strength. Such was the conceit of the foolish Goliath when he challenged God. The same with Adonijah, who thought so highly of himself because he was so handsome. And in the same way with Absalom, who took pride in his luxurious hair.

A Prayer

It is right to celebrate liberty and freedom, O God, for you have created us to be free. But never allow those precious gifts to be an excuse for license or self-indulgence to my harm or that of others. Let me always see liberty and freedom as my opportunity to do good willingly, with a free and generous heart, which is so pleasing to you, the author of our freedom. Amen!