Wednesday, August 15, 2007

"Traveling Light" - Chapter Fourteen

Here we have an Evangelical Protestant author testifying to grace he received through the sacraments - this was a most Anglican chapter!

But it grieved my heart as well. My own shame for past failures came up... questionable marriages and baptisms I should not have performed over the years, terrible sermons preached, standards compromised, people I've turned off to church by my flaws... Yet the final story is never my inadequacy, but the "full, perfect and sufficient sacrifice, oblation and satisfaction" offered by Christ on the cross and celebrated at the altar.

There's also grief to be felt when one looks at the Episcopal Church. TEC needs to feel ashamed, but doesn't. Other Anglican Provinces are refusing to share Communion with TEC over its infidelity toward Christ. I could not help but think of TEC where Lucado wrote, "Jesus prepared a table in the presence of the enemy. Judas was allowed to see the supper, but he wasn't allowed to stay there." (page 119)

Today (Aug. 15th) is the Feast of St. Mary the Virgin, Mother of the Lord. From her, Jesus took his human body and blood to offer for us. In Mary's great prayer, her soul "magnifies the Lord." May we magnify the Lord, making Him much, much larger in our lives, and letting our shame shrink in comparison to his great love for us. And may his great love console and inspire us through the church problems that distract us.

Chapter 15 on Friday... we will finish the book by the end of next week!


Alice C. Linsley said...

The Anglican calendar remembers the Blessed Virgin Mary with this prayer.

O God, you have taken to yourself the blessed Virgin Mary, mother of your incarnate Son: Grant that we, who have been redeemed by his blood, may share with her the glory of your eternal kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

This lovely and meaningful prayer is worth meditation. What do Anglicans mean by this phrase: "taken to yourself"? Just something to ponder.

MICKY said...

This light will attract you as nothing in this world can do, and you will lay aside the world and find another. This new world is bright with love which you have given it. And here will everything remind you of your Father and His Holy Son. Glory to God in the highest, and to you because He has so willed it. Ask and it shall be given you, because it has already been given. Ask for light and learn that you are light. If you want understanding and enlightenment you will learn it, because your decision to learn it is the decision to listen to the Teacher Who knows of light, and can therefore teach it to you.


Welcome, Micky. Thanks for your testimony to the Savior at your site. Hope you have a chance to read some of "Traveling Light" - Max Lucado expressed some of the same insight in Chapter 14, applying them to what Jesus does for us at Communion.

Good observation, Alice: seems like that collect slips in some Roman Catholic "Assumption" assumptions.

But the lessons assigned for the day (Isaiah 61:10-11, Ps. 34, Galatians 4:4-7 and Luke 1:46-55)direct all praise to God for saving us, while calling attention to Mary's place in God's plan. Galatians is especially wonderful because it is a Trinitarian passage and really points to Jesus as our redeemer, who purchases our freedom from law to give us the life of grace. Paul points out that the redeemer came "in the fullness of time, born of a woman." There was a plan, and we give thanks for Mary's role in it.

Also, the assigned preface for Eucharist on the day is that of the Incarnation - essentially the "Christmas" preface. Both Christmas and Mary point to the truth revealed in John 1 - "The Word became flesh, and dwelt among us."

Alice C. Linsley said...

Or possibly it refers to the older teaching which the Orthodox call "the Dormition of the Theotokos".

This comment has been removed by the author.

An article on the Dormition of the Theotokos is here:

Seems to be well researched but I welcome your corrections, Alice. The article is quite open about the lack of support for this doctrine in Scripture and early ecumenical councils, but does give a good summary of its emergence in devotion and tradition.

On Wednesday, our parish Bible study took a look at the Council of Chalcedon and the term Theotokos. If I remember correctly, this term also rose up from popular devotion, but because of its clear consistency with the Biblical accounts of the Incarnation, it became a part of ecumenical theology.

Thanks for pointing out the Dormition...I will study this more. And I also delight in the reminder of how Orthodoxy makes room for the insights of the people - I admire the way that doctrine is maintained by the church while letting devotional insights come up from the hearts of the faithful. I think there is a healthy balance there - not just a top-down, clerical orthodoxy, and not a chaotic "democratic polity" like...oh, you know.