Friday, May 11, 2007

Friday's Anglican Moment

I was thinking that on Fridays I could post something that I'm learning about the Anglican Church, the Book of Common Prayer, etc. It's handy to do so on Fridays after spending Friday mornings in the single pew at Victoria Chapel for Morning Prayer at 9:15 AM and Holy Communion at 9:30. (If anyone local EVER wants to join me, please let me know!)

In part of the Holy Communion service, the priest prays this prayer, one that strikes at my heart every time I hear it:

And here we offer and present unto thee, O Lord, our selves, our souls and bodies, to be a reasonable, holy, and living sacrifice unto thee; humbly beseeching thee, that we, and all others who shall be partakers of this Holy Communion, may worthily receive the most precious Body and Blood of thy Son Jesus Christ, be filled with thy grace and heavenly benediction, and made one body with him, that he may dwell in us and we in him.

Of course, we can understand from which Scriptures these words of the 1928 Book of Common Prayer are drawn. As these allusions from Romans 12, John 6, and other Scriptures are intoned, I always, always find this to be one of the most uplifting portions of the service. To offer myself, poor and wretched and sinful, up to Him who is perfect and holy and just, seems so impossible. Yet I feel His heavenly touch on my spirit as He overlooks my poor state and claims instead, "Yes, you are worthy to worship. Yes, come to My Table and Taste and See that I AM. You are worthy because I AM."

Who would want ME? Me, with all my faults, all my hangups, all my sensitivities and pride and selfishness?

He does. He does indeed. And I offer myself to Him with all gratefulness and thankfulness and a tiny, tiny sense of the immensity of His grace.

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