Morning Prayer: Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord (August 6th)

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Psalm: 2, 24
Old Testament: Exodus 24:12-18
New Testament:2 Corinthians 4:1-6

For it is the God who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness’, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (2 Cor 4:6)

The Transfiguration is a difficult feast to talk about. For one thing, it is not entirely clear why it is included in the Gospel accounts. Jesus’ clothes are made to shine dazzling white, with a repeat of the message coming at Christ’s baptism….that he is God’s chosen and that the people should listen to him.

So what’s the significance? Why does the Church care to remember this moment in history?

For myself, I think it’s important to remember that the encounter on Mount Tabor happens just before Christ’s entrance into the holy city to face His passion and death.

The message to listen to the Son of God on the way to Jerusalem is not only a call to listen to his teaching…..but to observe the Lamb of God taking up His cross and following the will of the Father.

If we want to see Christ as he truly is….we must be prepared to be mocked, ridiculed, and have our lives put in danger. Only then can our lives be truly united to the Son and then we too will arise victorious from the pain and strife of the grave.

Take up thy cross
and follow Christ
nor think ’till death to lay it down
For only those who bears the Cross
may hope to wear the glorious crown +

Evening Prayer: Shrove Tuesday (March 8th)

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Psalms: 36, 39
Gospel: John 1:18-29
Patristic Reading: N/A

For I am but a sojourner with you;
a wayfarer just as my forbears were (Psalm 39:12b)

Since the early days of the Church, the season of Lent has been paralleled with the Israelites 40 years in the desert. As a result of the sin of idolatry with the Golden Calf (along with some other major offences) God declares that the 12 tribes must take the long way around, and wait for the entire corrupt generation to die off.

In this 40 year period, the emerging Jewish people are beset by temptations, infighting, jealousy, abuses of power…every trial under the sun.

Likewise in Lent, we read about how Jesus was tempted by the devil before starting his public ministry….of his internal struggle and frustration of trying to explain to the disciples that yes….he must actually die in order for God’s plan to of salvation is carried out. He even faces outright rebellion from his own disciples…..so intense that he must declare “Get behind me Satan!”

In these 40 days and 40 nights…..we too will be stretched. We will read difficult passages, and contemplate difficult teachings. We too will be tempted to cave on our fast. To go back to our old ways because it is comfortable and convenient. We may even be tempted to walk away from God completely :(.

Whatever the case may be…..we are called to make the journey….to see where the road leads…….and what awaits us at the end. May we have the courage not to look backwards; walk forward with confidence, curiosity, and hope.

I will set my eyes on your hill
Jerusalem, my destiny!
Though I cannot see the end for me
I cannot turn away.
We have set our hearts for the way,
this journey is my destiny!
Let no one walk alone,
the journey makes us one.+

Morning Prayer: Feb. 18th

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Psalm: 102
Old Testament: Isaiah 65:17-25
New Testament: 1 Tim 5:17-22

for I am about to create Jerusalem as a joy,
and its people as a delight.
I will rejoice in Jerusalem,
and delight in my people;
no more shall the sound of weeping be heard in it,
or the cry of distress.
No more shall there be in it
an infant that lives but a few days,
or an old person who does not live out a lifetime;
for one who dies at a hundred years will be considered a youth,
and one who falls short of a hundred will be considered accursed. (Isaiah 65:18b-20)

This text is the source material for one of my favourite passages in the Bible. Here we have an incredible vision of the future where time and space have no restraints or meaning. That’s because we are looking at God’s conception of time.

As Psalm 90 says:

For a thousand years in Your sight are but yesterday. (Ps. 90:4)

More than that, the glory that is anticipated by Isaiah is about humanity returning to its natural state. Originally we were made to reflect the image, immortality and Glory of God. This true self was lost to us in the Fall, and restored to us by the coming of Christ into the world.

By inaugurating the Kingdom and teaching us the Good News….we live in the hope and faith that this world is not all there is. That it will be transformed into something far greater than we could ever ask or imagine.

It is by nothing that we do…….but by what God does through us. Slowly but surely God is perfecting us and making us whole so that we in turn can bring that peace, that wholeness, and that well being to all that we meet.

In reflecting the love of Christ that is within each of us….we become the hands that wipe away the tears, who embrace the lost, and let God’s compassion be shown to the world, so that we might glorify Him and He may delight in us. 😀

Evening Prayer: Feb. 15th

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Psalm: 94
Gospel Mark 11:1-11* (technically this was yesterday’s reading but I screwed up last night)
Patristic Reading: An excerpt from the Discourse Against the Arians by St. Athanasius

Sorry! I couldn’t resist I can never read the triumphal entry passages without this song playing in the back of my mind. Made it somewhat difficult to preach on it last year without bursting into song ;)…Anyway back to reflections.

Hosanna!
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!
Blessed is the coming kingdom of our ancestor David!
Hosanna in the highest heaven! (Mark 11:9-10)

This refrain is something we sing at every Eucharist….and it’s function is multi-purpose. For one it helps us remember that Jesus is our king, and that we also are celebrating his entry into our worship space. :D….

For another it recognizes our need for Christ, since Hosanna is not only a cry of praise but also a plea for salvation. Of all creation groaning for God to be present among us and to let us–his followers–to join our voices, hands and hearts with those of the angels. Tonight we sing with joy :). +

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