This Daily Devotion is to help our members and others reflect on the understanding of Christian service to our Lord.
Devotion for Friday, September 24, 2021
The Rt. Rev. Archimandrite, Msgr. George Appleyard
An Invitation to Prayer
The Spirit of the Lord fills the earth,
and that which is everywhere hears everything.
—Vicious speech will not go undetected,
and justice will not overlook it, but convict. (WisSol 1:7&8)
My heart is ready, O God!
My heart is ready—
I will sing and make music to my Glory!
Awake, harp and lyre—
I will awaken the dawn!
I will acknowledge you among the people, O Lord;
I will play for you among the nations,
because your mercy is higher than the heavens
and you truth reaches to the clouds.
Be exalted above the heavens, O God,
and your glory over all the earth.
Hear me so that your beloved may be rescued,
saved by your right hand.
From Basil’s On the Judgment of God
When I consult the New Testament, I find that our Lord Jesus Christ does not suspend the punishment on sins committed out of ignorance, although he attaches a more severe threat to deliberate sins. He said, “The servant who knew what his master wanted but did not get ready, nor do what he wanted, will be whipped with many lashes. But the one who did not know, and did something deserving a whipping, will get fewer.” (Luke 12:47-48) When I hear something like this from the lips of the Only-begotten Son of God, and when I consider the indignation of the holy apostles against sinners, and when I see the sufferings of those who have offended in even one instance, I see they are no less serious than those from the Old Testament, but more serious. I comprehend the severity of the judgment, because Our Lord says, “from those to whom much is given, much will be expected.” (Luke 12:48)
Once again I am led to think about the tax collector who simply asked for a break, and the brigand asking you to remember him in your kingdom as he was hanging beside you as you died. Both certainly knew what they were, and you declared one right with God and that the other would be with you in Paradise that day. That teaches me, Lord Jesus, that I should never allow myself to sin because I know you can be so merciful, forgetting that the granting of mercy is your prerogative and not mine to take. May your Spirit keep me from sin, but should I fall through weakness or ignorance, show me your forbearance too. Amen