Thursday, August 16, 2007

"Traveling Light" - Chapter Fifteen

Lucado reminds us that we are sheep, needing frequent anointing by the Good Shepherd.

Those who sanctify time with The Book of Common Prayer are reminded of this truth every morning, as they offer Venite, exultemus Domino, Psalm 95:

O COME, let us sing unto the LORD... For he is the Lord our God; and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand.

It is so vitally important to come to God in prayer daily, hourly, in every moment and situation.

The Book of Common Prayer gives us tools to honor the daily and seasonal calls to prayer that God wrote into the whole creation. As we break from the things that distract (and disappoint?) us, we let the Shepherd anoint us. Even in the middle of an exasperating day, An Order of Service for Noonday (1979) calls us back to our Good Shepherd for anointing: The love of God has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us. (Romans 5:5).

We need to keep coming to God in prayer. This Sunday, I'll preach from Hebrews 12. It is written in the language of physical exertion and endurance. One of the things I'll point out is that infrequent exercise does not carry much benefit. The gains from a workout dissipate (there's another "dis" word, Max!) quickly - so we increase our strength, endurance and flexibility only with regular training. If we rely on an hour (or less) in church once a week (or twice a month, or less?), we can expect to huff and puff under all the heavy baggage that Lucado warns about. We need frequent prayer and fresh anointing.

Just three chapters to go in our summer book blog! Thanks to all who have been reading and especially those who have shared insights along the way. Next week, we will follow our Monday-Wednesday-Friday posting pattern to the end of the book.

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