I just wanted to share a few (random?) thoughts that came to me during the praying of Morning Prayer, today. These are just a few things that stood out to me as I read, sang, and prayed.
The first came during my reading of the New Testament passage. I have not been following any lectionary for Morning and Evening Prayer. I have simply been reading through the Old and New Testaments. This morning I was reading through the final two chapters of the Book of Acts. The story follows St. Paul’s (stormy) journey to Rome.
In chapter 27, Paul is trying to encourage those on board the ship that God has promised them no loss of life. The thing that caught my attention, though, was the wording that St. Paul uses in verse 23. There he says, “For last night there stood by me an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I worship . . .” (NRSV). – What a perspective! It seems to me that it is more than simply declaring that God is our God. Rather, he is, in a very practical way, acknowledging what he says in 1 Corinthians 6:19-20a, “Or do you not know that . . . you are not your own? For you were bought with a price . . .” – It is a powerful thing to say, “. . . the God to whom I belong!”
A second thing that caught my attention came while praying the General Thanksgiving. In that prayer are these powerful words: “And we beseech thee, give us that sense of all thy mercies, that our hearts may be unfeignedly thankful, and that we may show forth they praise not only with our lips, but in our lives, by giving up ourselves to they service, and by walking before thee in holiness and righteousness all our days . . .” (emphasis added). The prayer is that we show forth thanks and praise to God, not only in our words, but we give thanks and praise by walking before God in holiness and righteousness every day of our lives.
A final thing that caught my attention was seen in the final hymn. The hymn is #147 in Ken Bible’s Wesley Hymns. It is titled, “Author of Life Divine.” It is a Eucharistic hymn, and the first verse says: