Morning Prayer: Canada Day (July 1st)

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Psalm: 140, 142
Old Testament: 1 Samuel 13:19-14:15
New Testament: Acts 9:1-9

Enter his gates with thanksgiving,
and his courts with praise.
Give thanks to him, bless his name.

For the Lord is good;
his steadfast love endures for ever,
and his faithfulness to all generations. (Ps. 100:3-5)

For those of you who observe Morning Prayer regularly, you know that the Invitatory for the Daily office can alternate between the Venite and the Jubilate quoted above.

On this Canada Day I am especially thankful to live in a country with such a rich mix of cultures, creeds, and peoples. I realize how blessed I am that our nation has the ability to take care of those with disability, bad health, or mental illness when they can’t work. Programs which I personally have benefited from.

I am lucky beyond belief to live in a place where freedom of religion is an accepted right…..and I can worship Jesus Christ in my own home as well as in the public sphere.

Today I enter God’s gates with a joyful heart, filled with national pride. +

Evening Prayer: Feast of the Holy Trinity

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So this is not my usual posting style…but I figured I would throw this comment up there for Internet posterity. 🙂

Today was indeed very good and filled with worship, genuine surprise, and a sense of awe and wonder at God’s greatness.

Sometimes you can feel God’s grace abounding in such a way that it fills your whole day. It was like that for me. I had uplifting worship (both Eucharist in the morning and Evensong in the early hours of the night). Add that to fascinating conversation with some amazing teenagers, a Footloose viewing, and finding joy in the presence of another…..

that my friends is what you call a an awesome Trinity Feast. 🙂

Part of the reason I don’t want to be bogged down by form tonight is because sometimes prayer has to be spontaneous. And tonight all I have to say one huge thank you to the blessed Father, Son, and Spirit who now and always give me life. ❤ +

Morning Prayer: 6th Sunday of Epiphany

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Psalms: 66-67
Old Testament: Isaiah 62:6-12
New Testament: 1 John 2:3-11

I will come into your house with burnt-offerings;
I will pay you my vows,
those that my lips uttered
and my mouth promised when I was in trouble.
I will offer to you burnt-offerings of fatlings,
with the smoke of the sacrifice of rams;
I will make an offering of bulls and goats. (Psalm 66: 13-15)

I want to tie a few things together today. I am posting this post-Eucharist and so I have the Gospel reading for today on my mind too. In his Sermon on the Mount (Matt chaps. 5-7) Jesus says that if we are at odds with a brother or sister we are to leave our sacrifice at the altar and reconcile to them first.

But how does this apply to the Church??? We have no temple…..we have no animal sacrifices….so what does this mean for Christians?

While we might not have animal sacrifice, there is what the Church calls the “sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving.” This can range anywhere from the Perpetual Sacrifice of medieval theology, to the worship and praise music of the Baptist and Pentecostal traditions.

We also have some sense that the Christian life itself is a sacrifice to others and ultimately to God; as is demonstrated by one of my favourite prayers from the BCP:

And here we offer and present unto thee, O Lord, ourselves, our souls and bodies, to be a reasonable, holy, and living sacrifice unto thee. And although we are unworthy, yet we beseech thee to accept this our bounden duty and service, not weighing our merits, but pardoning our offences; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with thee and the Holy Ghost, be all honour and glory, world without end. Amen. (pg 86)

Sacrifices take place in other forms too. The whole idea of financial offerings and tithing is not simply a way to support the congregation and the Church at large…but is a voluntary sacrifice of income out of thanks for our wealth (however great or meager it may be).

In offering our ministry and talents to the world, we often have to sacrifice time, energy, and relaxation time to build up the Kingdom around us.

So no……we don’t bring bulls and goats before God. But we do sacrifice ourselves in all sorts of different ways. To paraphrase a versicle from the RC Mass:

Versicle: Pray my brothers and sisters that this our sacrifice may be acceptable to God the Almighty Father
Response: May the LORD accept the sacrifice at your hands, for the praise and glory of His Name; for our good and the good of all his Church

Blessed be. + 🙂

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