Why we Worship

PSALM 47

Clap your hands, all peoples!
  Shout to God with loud songs of joy!
For the LORD, the Most High, is to be feared,
  a great king over all the earth.
He subdued peoples under us,
  and nations under our feet.
He chose our heritage for us,
  the pride of Jacob whom he loves.

God has gone up with a shout,
  the LORD with the sound of a trumpet.
Sing praises to God, sing praises!
  Sing praises to our King, sing praises!
For God is the King of all the earth;
  sing praises with a psalm!

Why Sing?

God reigns over the nations;
  God sits on his holy throne.
The princes of the peoples gather
  as the people of the God of Abraham.
For the shields of the earth belong to God;
  he is highly exalted!


Why Scripture?



 
Communion
And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood. (Luke 22:19-20)


Recent Posts

God? Who Needs Him?
May 31, 2013
Self-sufficient humanism. Paul saw it coming – “lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.”

Imago Dei
September 12, 2012
So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

Why Can't I Pray?
August 18, 2012
The bible gives us several reasons, but according to Jeremy Taylor, a deceitful heart is at the root of prayerlessness.

It's Not Rocket Science
July 23, 2012
To keep in step with the Spirit should be our daily quest. And if we are successful at that, all of life falls into place.

Theological Steak
April 10, 2012
These words by P. T. Forsythe on the magnificence of Christ's work are to theology what Ruth's Chris is to a good steak.

Describing the Indescribable
February 11, 2012
What we have in Christ will take all eternity to describe. But for one segment of one sermon, a great preacher made a mighty attempt.

Making Sense Of It All
January 30, 2012
Where are things headed? Is there rhyme and reason to the endless cycle of summer, fall, winter and spring? Is there a plan in place, or is randomness the explanation?

After The Bread And Cup

July 5, 2010

Communion is a privilege for the believer that has no parallel. It is impossible to plumb the depths of its significance, and expressing appropriate gratitude is daunting. Lancelot Andrewes helps us, with his gift for words.


Lancelot Andrewes (1555 – 25 September 1626) was an English clergyman and scholar, who held high positions in the Church of England during the reigns of Queen Elizabeth I and King James I. During the latter's reign, Andrewes served successively as Bishop of Chichester, Ely and Winchester and oversaw the translation of the Authorized Version (or King James Version) of the Bible.

He was chaplain to reigning monarchs for forty years; not only holding influential positions but also ministering to many who held important positions of State.

Still, his congregations came from all walks of life, apart from royalty, politicians and gentry, there were actors, artisans, musicians, students, common folk and clerics

T. S. Eliot was a fan of Andrewes, calling him "the first great preacher of the English Catholic Church" who always spoke as "a man who had a formed visible Church behind him, who speaks with the old authority and the new culture, whilst his sermons "rank with the finest English prose of their time, of any time."

A man of prayer and learning, each day of his life, from 4 am to noon was spent in prayer and study. Wow. Just wow.

Who has not taken of the bread and the cup, and not been overwhelmed with the grace of God, that we have been given such a privilege? The following is a prayer composed by Andrewes that articulates for us those feelings, and verbalizes proper gratitude in a sprit of humility.

If all the creatures in the world should offer themselves together with me to praise thee, O Lord, yet is it certain that we could not give thee sufficient thanks for the least of thy mercies; and if together we cannot sufficiently praise thee for the least, how much less can I alone perform so great a duty, for such inestimable blessings, as I have at this time received; for vouchsafing to visit me, comfort me, and honour me with acceptance   and admittance to thy blessed table.

If Elizabeth, the mother of John Baptist, upon the Virgin Mary’s entrance to her house) said, Whence is it that the Mother of my Lord should come to me? What shall I say, whom the Lord himself hath visited and united to him, by his blessed Sacrament, being a vessel and receptacle of all impurity, who hath so often affended, despited and neglected him?

King David wondered why God should so esteem of, or visit man; but I wonder much more, why he should be made man for man, abide with him, suffer death for him, and give himself to him for spiritual food. Solomon, after he had built a temple to God, reasoned thus: But will God dwell indeed on the earth? Behold the heaven of heavens cannot contain thee, how much less this house, that I have builded?

May not I much more marvel, that God  will not disdain to come and abide in this my poor and wretched soul?

What greater benefit or grace, what greater argument of his love is there, can there be showed to me?

Oh my soul, if thou wouldest but thoroughly conceive the happiness that cometh to thee by this holy Sacrament, then consider and well weigh, what benefits it bringeth with it. By it the sons of men are made the sons of God, and all that is earthly or carnal in us is mortified, that the Deity may live and abide with us.

What therefore, O my Lord, shall I do?

What thanks shall I render to thee?

With what fervency shall I love thee? For if thou, so mighty  a Lord, hast vouchsafed to love me, poor wretched creature, how should it be, but that I should return love again to thee?

And how shall I express my love better, than in forbearing those things which thou dost abhor, and following those things which thou dost command?

Give, O Lord, to this end thy concomitant grace to me, whereby I may return a reciprocal love to thee, and love those things, which are acceptable to thee, and avoid those things, which are to thee unpleasing.

Give me a heart, which may love thee with so true, faithful, and constant affection, as that nothing under the sun may separate me from the love of thee.

Let me not follow the love of the world, or delight in the vanities of it any longer: but give me power to kill and quench all other love and desires, and to love thee only, desire thee only, and only think of thee, and thy commandments: that all my affections and thoughts may be fixed on thee; that in all temptations and adversities, I may have recourse to thee only, and receive all comfort from thee alone, who livest and reignest, one God, world without end. Amen.






Never Lose The Wonder

October 16, 2008

Part of the effects of the Fall is that we get bored. And when the truly valuable loses its luster, we start exploring options. If the subject is grace and we get bored - then the loss is truly great. The appropriate response to grace is wonder.


Amazing grace
How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost
But now am found
Was blind
But now I see


Around the turn of the 20th century, P.T. Forsythe was a voice for orthodox faith in England as theological slippage was occurring with agonizing regularity all around him. His prophetic voice is needed now more than ever.  He seemed to have a one-track mind - that the cross of Christ would not be taken for granted, or its atoning value be devalued.

"There has passed away from faith that moral amazement and awe which are inseparable from the mystery of grace. It has ceased to be to us a most strange thing that God should love, forgive, and save us."

Amazing love
How can it be?
That thou, my God
Shouldst die for me! 


"And today there is only a minority of Christians whose piety takes the form of standing and overwhelming wonder that God should touch or save "me."

"We wonder at prodigies, and sensations, and a thousand things supplied to us by the news of the day. We wonder at cosmic discoveries and physical imaginations. Our wonder is plied till it is almost benumbed and we lost the power to wonder."

"But whether or no it be from a like cause - stupidity from over-feeding, or from the trivializing of grace - we have lost the power to wonder at grace. And we do not marvel, as Christ did, at the hardness of the human heart. It was the one thing unintelligible to Him. We dispute hotly about miracles, and all the time we lose the sense of marvel, because we have lost the sense of grace."

"And yet, how shall an evangelical faith or pulpit endure, how can it, if in wonder at the universe of God, it lose its wonder at the grace of God - wonder that God should think, and think to such loving, saving purpose, of small and evil me; should have sought me sorrowing, and snatched me to His joy; should have face for wicked me His own holiness and judgment; should have conquered for good and all the evil power that held me; that He should have borne my judgment, cancelled my guilt, and taken away the sin of the world?"

He left His Father’s throne above
So free, so infinite His grace—
Emptied Himself of all but love,
And bled for Adam’s helpless race:
’Tis mercy all, immense and free,
For O my God, it found out me!
’Tis mercy all, immense and free,
For O my God, it found out me!

Amazing love
How can it be?
That thou, my God
Shouldst die for me! 










CONFESSION - Book of Common Prayer
September 30, 2008
If God is holy (and He is) then transgression is very much a constant reality, with confession the appropriate response. And our heavenly Father loves to show mercy.





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