Ember Saturday within the Octave of the Feast of Pentecost
Posted on June 3, 2023 byunder
Scripture: Ezekiel 20:40-44 (NKJV)
20:40 For on My holy mountain, on the mountain height of Israel,” says the Lord God, “there all the house of Israel, all of them in the land, shall serve Me; there I will accept them, and there I will require your offerings and the firstfruits of your sacrifices, together with all your holy things. 41 I will accept you as a sweet aroma when I bring you out from the peoples and gather you out of the countries where you have been scattered; and I will be hallowed in you before the Gentiles. 42 Then you shall know that I am the Lord, when I bring you into the land of Israel, into the country for which I raised My hand in an oath to give to your fathers. 43 And there you shall remember your ways and all your doings with which you were defiled; and you shall loathe yourselves in your own sight because of all the evils that you have committed. 44 Then you shall know that I am the Lord, when I have dealt with you for My name’s sake, not according to your wicked ways nor according to your corrupt doings, O house of Israel,” says the Lord God.’”
“‘Then you shall know that I am the Lord, when I have dealt with you for My name’s sake, not according to your wicked ways nor according to your corrupt doings, O house of Israel,’ says the Lord God.” (Ezek. 20:44 NKJV).
Ezekiel was God’s prophet to the children of Israel who were taken into bondage in Babylon. It was a great crisis, even for the faithful. If God would allow this travesty to befall His people, was He even the true God? Would He be with them in this alien land? With no temple, what about the sacrifices that they were supposed to perform? Ezekiel speaks reassuringly: wherever you go, God is there; He hears the prayers of His faithful and shows them mercy. He promises to bring them back, and this promise is ultimately fulfilled by the coming of Christ and the New Testament Church.
Those who repent and believe in Jesus Christ are brought into the Holy Christian Church, and that Church is the new promised land. God does this “for My name’s sake,” and “not according to your wicked ways.” Neither Israel, nor we, could hope to morally improve ourselves into the approbation of God. No, He deals with us mercifully for His name’s sake, the name that was given us at our Baptism, the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.
Prayer: O God, who didst teach the hearts of Thy faithful people, by sending them the light of Thy Holy Spirit: Grant us by the same Spirit to have a right judgment in all things, and evermore to rejoice in His holy comfort; through Jesus Christ, Thy Son, our Lord, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, ever One God, world without end. Amen.
Collect for the Ember Saturday within the Octave of the Feast of Pentecost
O Lord, we beseech Thee, deign to pour forth into our minds the Holy Ghost, by whose wisdom we were created, and by whose providence we are guided, through Jesus Christ, Thy Son our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with Thee, in the unity of the same Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.