O God, you have made of one blood all the peoples of the earth, and sent your blessed Son to preach peace to those who are far off and to those who are near: Grant that people everywhere may seek after you and find you; bring the nations into your fold; pour out your Spirit upon all flesh; and hasten the coming of your kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (BCP 100)
Morning Prayer on Thursdays has a baptismal flavor.
After the Old Testament reading on Thursdays, we say or sing Canticle 8: The Song of Moses, in which we praise God for saving the people of Israel at the Red Sea. For Christians, the Exodus story is especially linked with the Easter Vigil and baptism.
At the Vigil, we retell the Exodus story and make it our own, singing in the Exsultet that “this is the night when Christ broke the bonds of death and hell.” The Easter Vigil has been, since the earliest days of the church, the time when new Christians are baptized.
The Prayer for Mission above reflects that same baptismal emphasis. It is our prayer that everyone will come through the waters of salvation, that everyone will enjoy new life, that everyone will be filled with God’s spirit, that God’s kingdom, already here in part, will become fully realized.
The writer of the letter to the Hebrews describes the kingdom as “sabbath rest” in the passage appointed for today. He suggests that the way is still open for us to enter into God’s rest, to enjoy life and peace in the kingdom of God.
He writes, quoting Psalm 95, “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts” (Heb. 4:7). Every day we begin Morning Prayer with that same sense of urgency.
Come on in, the water is fine! Bring your friends, too! Don’t wait — jump on in!