Evening Prayer: Feast of Pentecost

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Psalm: 145
Gospel: John 14:21-29
Patristic Reading: An excerpt from Against the Heresies by St. Irenaeus

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. (John 14:27a)

…..”look not on our sins but on the faith of your Church, and grant us the peace of that kingdom where you dwell now and forever, Amen.”

Ah! Flashback to my Roman days. 🙂

For those of you who don’t know, this quote from John serves as the invitation to the Peace in the Eucharistic liturgy of the RC church.

Incidentally, it’s also my go-to phrase whenever I have the opportunity to introduce the peace in Anglican churches. Hope I don’t get accused of Popery! I guess some old habits die hard ;).

In reality though, I think that the promise of Christ’s peace is an essential starting point for faith.

Yes…we might come to the faith filled with doubts and questions…..yes we may go through periods of isolation and even questioning if God’s promises are real. Yet…in all of that….it is only peace which can give clarity of thought. Peace which can help us to let go of the past…and peace allows us to recognize that we are all made in the image of God.

Any kind of peace….even the so called “inner calm” is never something we can really earn.

I don’t know about you……but any time I have experienced tranquility…… real tranquility…. it has been spontaneous, unexpected and sudden.

In the twinkling of an eye, old guilts don’t sting as sharply, scars from the past don’t ache quite as badly, and you realize life is OK. 🙂

In those moments…..I can only hear Jesus promise of peace as a gift ….a moment freely given to enjoy life….however fleeting that moment may be.

When Jesus promises his disciples peace, he is not only sending an Advocate and Guide for them….but setting the tone for a whole way of life. A way of life that is filled with praise, awe, and wonder. A life truly that is truly rooted in eucharista ….a life in a posture of thanks….rather than in the posture of a beggar.

That is what the Feast of Pentecost calls us to remember. That Christ came in the world to give wholeness to our hearts and minds…..and in that wholeness of self…..we then bring our peace….our shalom to everyone we meet.

May we take courage in our Lord’s words to not be afraid….and to go out boldly to proclaim the Good News that the blind shall see, the deaf shall hear, the captive will be set free…..and yes, even those who are dead will be raised to life again. Thanks be to God! Alleluia! Alleluia! ❤ +

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Morning Prayer: Feast of Pentecost

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Psalm: 118
Old Testament: Isaiah 11:1-9
New Testament:1 Cor 2:1-13

For those of you who are on my FB friends list…..this video will be a little bit of a repeat……but I think it does a great job of capturing both the importance and practical application of our festal celebrations today. 😀

Lord, send out your spirit and renew the face of the Earth (Ps. 104:30)

Happy Pentecost! +

Evening Prayer: Eve of Pentecost

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Old Testament: Exodus 19:3-8a, 16-20
New Testament: 1 Peter 2:4-10

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvellous light. (1 Pet 2:9)

Sometimes I think Christians take their claim of holiness and priesthood a little too seriously….or rather not, seriously enough. In the zeal to evangelize, and to bring Christ to the masses, Western culture (Canadians included)…has found it tough to avoid an “us vs. them” mentality.

We are the ones who have the Gospel, right???? We are the smart ones…we know the Truth. We are the one’s saddled with responsibility and The White Man’s Burden laying heavy across our shoulders.

In taking such an approach, we have justified the destruction of First Nations people, sanctioned exclusivity on part of the Church, and condemned people to hellfire and damnation :P.

All because we didn’t pay attention to Peter’s next verse:

Once you were not a people,
but now you are God’s people;
once you had not received mercy,
but now you have received mercy. (1 Pet 2:10)

Read that verse, and the whole context changes. Now we cannot perceive ourselves as great….or as superior..but as a people who have been lifted up from the dust. Not as masters who can decide the fate of others, but of slaves given freedom and new life.

We are called not to judge each other……but to build one another up. Not to lament our brokenness, but celebrate in the collective joy we find in Christ Jesus…Not to look down on others, but encourage one another living in the Spirit.

I pray that on this birthday of the Church, we can not only celebrate the Spirit in our midst…but give Her the space to transform our hearts, our minds, and the way we each live in this world. 😀 +

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