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

Devotion for Saturday, February 4, 2023

The Rt. Rev. Archimandrite, Msgr. George Appleyard

An Invitation to Prayer

I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lofty,
and the Temple was filled with his glory!
—And the Seraphim stood by crying,
    “Holy, holy, holy Lord Sabaoth;
    the whole world is full of his glory!” Cf. Isaiah 6:1

Psalm 148:1-6

Praise the Lord from the heavens,
praise him in the heights.
Praise him all his angels,
praise him all his forces.

Praise him sun and moon,
praise him all stars and light.
Praise him heavens of heaven,
and the water above the skies.

Let them praise the name of the Lord,
for he spoke and they were created,
he gave an order and they came to be.
He established them for the ages—
    for ages of ages.
He issued an order,
    and it shall never expire.

From Basil’s letter to Sozopolis, #261

If, then, the sojourn of the Lord in flesh never took place, then the redeemer did not pay the ransom to death on our behalf, nor did he destroy death’s reign in and through himself. For, if death reigned over something other than that which the Lord assumed, death would still be working its own ends, and the sufferings of the God-bearing flesh would have gained us nothing. He would not have killed sin in his flesh, and we who had died in Adam would not have been made alive in Christ. The broken would not have been put together again; the demolished would not have been erected again; and that which had been estranged from God by the serpent’s trick would never have been made God’s own once more. All these benefits are denied by those that assert that it was with a phantom body that the Lord came among us. And if it was not necessary for the God-bearing flesh to be assumed from the stock of Adam, what need was there of the Holy Virgin?

But who has the energy to go over again, with intellectual arguments and Scriptural evidence, that old dogma of Valentinus, disproved so long ago? For this ungodly doctrine is no novelty, started long ago by the shallow-minded Valentinus who, after lifting a few quotes from the Apostles, constructed for himself this impious fabrication, asserting that the Lord assumed the form of a servant but not “servant” itself, and that He was made “like” a man, but he did not assume actual humanity. Ch. Philippians 2:7 Similar sentiments are expressed by these people who can only be pitied for bringing new troubles upon you.

A Prayer

If a journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step, help me comprehend that your presentation in the Temple, Lord Jesus, and you redemption under the Law of Moses, were your first steps on the awful journey that would take you to Hell to rescue Adam’s race. Let me never put off taking a first step to do good, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem, like an infant in the Temple. Amen.