Tag Archives: comfortable words

You who remind the Lord

Church-Circle-Graphic

You who remind the Lord, take no rest,
and give him no rest
until he establishes Jerusalem
and makes it renowned throughout the earth.
(Isaiah 62:6b-7)

As the meeting ends, we all stand and form a circle, joining hands in a moment of silence.

“Whose Father?”

“Our Father …” we begin to pray.

+ + + + +

As the Eucharistic Prayer draws to a close, the priest looks out over the congregation: “And now, as our Savior Christ has taught us, we are bold to say …”

“Our Father …”

+ + + + +

Morning and evening, after the Psalms, after the readings and canticles, after the Apostles’ Creed, we begin the Prayers by saying:

“Our Father …”

+ + + + +

We “who remind the Lord” take no rest.

We give him no rest, our Father in heaven, and that’s the way he wants it.

We ask him to be faithful to his promises, and he will.

Listen:

“You have promised through your well-beloved Son that where two or three are gathered together in his name, you will be in the midst of them” (BCP 102).

“Come unto me, all ye that travail and are heavy laden, and I will refresh you” (BCP 332).

“We came to understand that we … could not manage our own lives … but that God could and would if He were sought” (Blue Book 60).

+ + + + +

A Collect for Grace

O Lord God, almighty and everlasting Father, you have brought us in safety to this new day: Preserve us with your mighty power, that we may not fall into sin, nor be overcome by adversity; and in all we do, direct us to the fulfilling of your purpose; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (BCP 100)

 

Advertisements

Come to a sober and right mind

A friend spoke to me earlier this week about sobriety. He said, “What we really have is a daily reprieve contingent on the maintenance of our spiritual condition.”

I now know that he was quoting from the Big Blue Book of Alcoholics Anonymous, but those words spoke volumes to me about the difference between duty and grace.

The duty of “maintaining our spiritual condition” is at the heart of programs like AA — and I’m beginning to understand how hard and serious that work is in every life.

The gift, the grace of a daily reprieve, is what sobriety represents.

I have often thought of my struggles to maintain a regular discipline of prayer — or any discipline of any kind, for that matter. ¬†Like Paul, “I do not understand my own actions. I do not do what I want, but the very thing I hate” (1 Cor. 7:15).

My friend has me thinking differently today.

What if the daily prayer, the day without drinking, the day without shopping (or whatever else it may be), is not a burdensome duty to fail at yet again — but is actually the gift of rest for a moment?

The work is hard enough without making grace and rest a duty, too.

“Come unto me, all who travail and are heavy laden, and I will refresh you,” says our Lord (Matt. 11:28).

Come to a sober and right mind as you maintain your spiritual condition.

Come to a daily reprieve.