Evening Prayer: June 16th (Combo Post)


Psalms: 84, 85, 86
Old Testament: 1 Samuel 2:27-36
New Testament: Acts 2:22-36
Gospel: Luke 20:41-21:4
Patristic Reading: An excerpt from a treatise on the Lord’s Prayer by St. Cyprian

I saw the Lord always before me,
for he is at my right hand so that I will not be shaken;
therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced;
moreover, my flesh will live in hope.
For you will not abandon my soul to Hades,
or let your Holy One experience corruption.
You have made known to me the ways of life;
you will make me full of gladness with your presence (Acts 2:25b-29)

So….heathen that I am…..I didn’t post anything last night or this morning. Rest assured much praying was being done on my part πŸ™‚

Last night, after a wonderful dinner…I was privileged to attend a service of Confirmation and reception.

At this particular liturgy, some 20 young people made commitments to Christ as adults, claiming their place as stewards of the Church universal, and also to be strengthened by the Holy Spirit for each of their individual ministries. :).

As an added blessing, a lovely young lady was received as a new member of the Anglican Church of Canada Congrats to all! πŸ™‚

In his homily for this service, our bishop gave what I thought was a great message……which doesn’t always happen with episcopal sermons lol ;).

In essence, Bob reminded those gathered in the Chapel that we come together as a community to remember Christ; and to celebrate the Trinity in our midst. Without that….we are nothing but a hollow, institutional shell.

That’s why I love reading the sermons from Acts like the one we have this evening. In his loose paraphrase of Psalm 16, we hear of Peter giving witness to the life, teaching, and effect of Jesus’ ministry on his own heart…and extending that invitation to all of Judea.

Notice that in both the original Psalm, and in Peter’s re-framing of it, a sense of celebration is retained. Our faith is not something that is meant to bring burden and strict moral obligations. Rather it is something that causes us to be glad of heart and rejoicing with all our might.

Does that mean we can discard those parts of Christianity that stretch us? What about those times when we feel crappy and not joyful at all? Can we ignore the commandments of Jesus if a particular commandment does not cause us to feel warm and gooey inside???

Call me crazy…..but I don’t think that’s what Peter is after here….Notice that Psalm 16 doesn’t say we will never fall into despair….or find ourselves with difficult moral choices to make. Rather it’s that God will lift us up out of the Pit….give us a Light to follow in the darkness.

Even when we have to be uncomfortable, and are called to do something which seems impossible, Christ will always be there to look us in the eye and give us strength and support.

Thanks be to God for such a wonderful gift. πŸ™‚ + ❀

Evening Prayer: Friday in Easter Week

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Psalm: 118
Gospel: John 16:1-15
Patristic Reading: An excerpt from the Jerusalem Catecheses

Sacramental churches often get criticized for having rituals that are not entirely Biblical. In the Old Testament, chrismation (anointing with oil) was an important symbol of authority and office; usually for kingship and priesthood.

Using material things in ritual and ceremony also help us to engage with our physical senses, as well as our mental faculties. I think the Patristic selection for tonight offers some beautiful insight, and I would definitely encourage you to read the full excerpt from the link above.

When we were baptised into Christ and clothed ourselves in him, we were transformed into the likeness of the Son of God. Having destined us to be his adopted sons, God gave us a likeness to Christ in his glory, and living as we do in communion with Christ, God’s anointed, we ourselves are rightly called β€œthe anointed ones.” When he said: Do not touch my anointed ones, God was speaking of us….

The oil of gladness with which Christ was anointed was a spiritual oil; it was in fact the Holy Spirit himself, who is called the oil of gladness because he is the source of spiritual joy. But we too have been anointed with oil, and by this anointing we have entered into fellowship with Christ and have received a share in his life.

Our participation with Christ is not an abstract thing. It is an active engagement with the world and everything in it. Sacraments like Baptism, Eucharist, and Chrismation are a way for us to remember that God is with us. That Jesus came and walked the earth. Who got his hands and feet dirty….who washed the feet of his friends and who was anointed with fragrant perfumes.

Holy oil is seen as a seal, a definite sign of who we are and where we have come from. An announcement to the world that we have been brought from death to life and that the ministry of reconciliation and healing announced and enacted by Jesus is shared by us…the Church…the people of God. πŸ™‚

Don’t be afraid to have some blessed Chrism in your house….to help yourself to know that indeed the Holy Spirit is here and has sealed us as Christ’s own forever. πŸ™‚ +

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