Morning Prayer: August 4th

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Psalm: 145
Old Testament: 2 Samuel 11:1-27
New Testament: Acts 19:11-20

Oh man…..am I ever glad I went to the Cathedral for MP today! 🙂

I know it may sound odd……but I love the reading from the OT this morning. It’s got everything that makes for a great drama….war, sex, deception, betrayal, injustice and murder.

On the one hand, you have David….who is the righteous king anointed to lead the chosen people of God. He can have any concubine or foreign wife he wishes without incurring God’s anger…..and yet he cannot resist the beauty he sees from his rooftop

In a desperate attempt to make things right and cover up Bathsheeba’s pregnancy, David tries to arrange for Uriah to sleep with his wife….thus leading him to think that the child she would bear in 9 months time was his and not the king’s.

On the other hand, you have Uriah….the faithful servant. Instead of a respite filled with sex and leisure, he chooses to show solidarity with his fellow soldiers in the field…he doesn’t want any special treatment.

In typical Biblical fashion, things are turned on their head. The lowly subject proves himself to be more upright than his monarch….he goes to the front lines with no question asked. The innocent husband is sent to die in order to cover up scandal and sin of another (supposedly greater) man.

David, the chosen shepherd-boy of the LORD falls from Grace. He–like the rest of us–is weak in both will and flesh…..can he be redeemed? We find that out tomorrow….and incidentally you will also find out why i chose David as my Confirmation name back in gr. 8. Stay tuned! +

Evening Prayer: June 25th (Combo Post)

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Psalm: 107:33-42, 108, 33
Old Testament: 1 Samuel 9:15-10:1
New Testament: Acts 7:30-43
Gospel: Luke 22:39-51
Patristic Reading: An excerpt from Homilies on the Beatitudes by St. Gregory of Nyssa

It does not say that it is blessed to know something about the Lord God, but that it is blessed to have God within oneself. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

As someone who was interested in religion from a very young age, I can relate to St. Gregory of Nyssa’s words here. For a long time, I had a mental relationship with God…I wanted to know answers…..I wanted to understand why things were the way they are….Why there could be only one religion….I wanted certainty.

While I can’t speak for all Roman Catholics, my own experience was that God wasn’t someone who could be known. Mediated and explained by the clergy, sure..but in terms of personal relationship…..oh hell naw. 😛

So I sit here and wonder……how many of us have cerebral relationships with Christ??? I was lucky….I was able to find something new and fresh in the Anglican liturgy….but how many people grow up in their own traditions…bored to death by what they hear over and over. 😛

I guess that’s where we have to put our trust in the Holy One in Three. When we come to a faith that’s personal….it’s never anything that we do ourselves. It’s something that God builds up in us. It’s yet another time where we have to rely less on ourselves and our own strength than in the one who made us.

Tonight I pray that the Holy Spirit moves you to experience God 1:1 and to know that you are loved beyond any treasure. +

Evening Prayer: March 7th

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Psalms: 9, 15
Gospel: John 1:1-18
Patristic Reading: N/A

And the Word became flesh…..From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. (John 1:14;16)

Gregory of Nazianzus once wrote “the unassumed is the unhealed”. For Gregory and the Early Church Fathers, the whole point of Jesus coming to earth and becoming human was so that all human beings could be washed clean of sin. If he were to have come just as fully divine, nothing about man’s nature could be changed. Sin could not be remedied.

But (as the early councils of the Church clarified) we are confident that God came to earth both as fully human and fully divine and this has far deeper implications for how we enter into relationship with our Creator.

As the Word became flesh……he also assumed everything about us. Joy, hate, fear, anger….all our emotions have been shared and experienced by the Son.

To be honest with you, this is one of the greatest reasons why I am a Christian in the first place. It’s not only that my salvation is assured…..but it gives me great comfort to know that I am not alone in feeling all the ups and downs of life. Our God is not an impersonal benefactor. He is not an impartial judge with no sense of compassion.

Rather he is someone who has felt the emptiness of hunger, the longing of thirst, the pain of abandonment, and the despair of doubt. Likewise…..Jesus is someone who rejoices with us in times of abundance, prosperity, hope and joy. 😀

Our God is one who journeys with us during Lent on the long road to Jerusalem, and invites us to new life in the glory of the empty tomb…..

Thanks be to God 😀 ❤ +

Evening Prayer: Baptism of the Lord (transferred)

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Psalms: 111,112,113
Gospel: John 1:1-7;19-20, 29-34
Patristic Reading:An excerpt from a sermon of St. Gregory Nazianzus

In the Gospel accounts, there seems to be an embarassment on behalf of the four respective authors. How can the Lord of all creation be baptized? What is the point? Surely he did not need to be cleansed of sin! 😛

The early Church wrestled with this question and basically came up with this answer. Christ consented to be baptized so that all water would be made holy. So that we would have a tangible way of marking our commitment to the LORD and a physical sign that all of our sins….past, present, and future have been washed clean 😀

I highly encourage you to take a look at the reading from St. Gregory (linked above)…..it really is fantastic theology! + 😀

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