This Daily Devotion is to help our members and others reflect on the understanding of Christian service to our Lord.
Devotion for Monday, September 27, 2021
The Rt. Rev. Archimandrite, Msgr. George Appleyard
An Invitation to Prayer
The righteous will stand confidently
in the presence of those who harassed them
and who dismissed their work as nothing.
—The sight of them will be a surprise to the wicked,
this unexpected salvation of the righteous. (WisSol 5:1-2)
Come, let us appraise our work in the light of Christ!
O God, my God, attend to me,
why have you abandoned me?
An account of my failures
is well beyond my ability.
I cry out before you by day, O God,
but you do not hear—at night,
and is it not foolish for me?
You dwell in the Holy Place, O Praise of Israel!
Our ancestors trusted in you,
they trusted and you rescued them.
They cried to you and were saved,
they hoped and were not disappointed.
But I am a worm and not human,
the gossip of the people and the jest of the crowd.
All who see me make fun of me—
they gibber with their lips and shake their heads,
“He trusted the Lord, let him rescue him;
let him save him if he wants him.”
It was you who drew me from the womb,
my hope since my mother nursed me.
I was delivered to you from the womb;
you have been my God since I left her body.
From Basil’s On the Judgment of God.
Note this, if the life of the sinner had not been taken, it would not have been on him alone, but also on any of those who did not show a righteous indignation for the sin. Such a consequence is recorded in many places, occurring often. Moreover, that we might learn from smaller issues caution for even more important matters, let us take note of the great rage brought to bear in the Book of Deuteronomy upon those who disobey a priest or a judge. The passage reads, “The person who acts out of high handedness and disregards the priest who standing to minister in the name of the Lord, your God, or the judge who is presiding at that time, shall die; and you will purge the evil from Israel. The people will hear of this and fear, and not commit such disrespect.” (Deut. 17:12-13) It would be good to notice that here someone, already aware, would be struck with even greater dread by these words.
It seems, O God, that you tolerate nothing less than perfection. After all, you said we should be as perfect as you (Matt 5:48), and that seems humanly impossible. Yet as love and concern increase in us, we do become more and more like you. And if we take to mind your observation that whoever is reliable in small things will be reliable in greater things (Luke 16:10), make us aware of the little things to attend to, so that we become stronger for the greater challenges. Amen.