Saturday, May 17, 2008

Are you a victim?

Andrew Lilico offers some great thoughts, posted at Peter Ould's site.

Had me thinking about how much "victim narrative" pervades our lives - baby boomers and our endless junk-psychologizing; poor, fly-over South Dakota; churches complaining about what they don't have instead of offering what they do have to God's glory; the bedeviling social problems on the Reservations; my own sorry list of complaints; etc. etc. etc.

What a contrast I encountered in my Morning Prayer readings. Consider this strange combo of "suffering confidently":

Do not be ashamed, then, of the testimony about our Lord or of me his prisoner, but join with me in suffering for the gospel, relying on the power of God, who saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works but according to his own purpose and grace. This grace was given to us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Saviour Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. For this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher, and for this reason I suffer as I do. But I am not ashamed, for I know the one in whom I have put my trust, and I am sure that he is able to guard until that day what I have entrusted to him. Hold to the standard of sound teaching that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. Guard the good treasure entrusted to you, with the help of the Holy Spirit living in us. II Timothy 1:8-14

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Paul's letter to Timothy shows my family how much further we need to go in our ability to more strongly rely on OUR Lord Jesus Christ's power to protect us from our enemies as we try to follow his path.

It makes me ashamed that I don't have his strength and Power bestowed by the Holy Spirit.

We commit ourselves to being more open to the Holy Spirit within us.

Denny

David Handy+ said...

Yes, you're right, Tim+. It's one thing to register a firm protest, as the original Protestants did in the first Reformation. It's another thing entirely to continually whine and complain about every little difficulty we face.

In the 1979 BCP Daily Office Lectionary before Pentecost last week we had OT readings that led us to identify with the Israelites during their 40 year sojourn in the desert. And you'll recall that they often come off badly in the biblical narrative for murmuring and complaining about their hard lot in the wilderness, despite the miraculous provision of manna and water from the rock.

An apt NT scripture that comes to mind to express your point is Phil. 2:14 (many a Christian mother's favorite verse to use with complaining children):

"Do all thing without murmuring and complaining..."

David Handy+ said...

BTW, two off-topic questions, if I may.

What is the bird currently featured when the blog appears on screen? It's beautiful, but I'm no Audobon Society type. Just curious.

Second and more importantly, why are you using the 1928 lectionary instead of the 1979, Tim? Just for a change of pace, or are there deeper reasons? That's not a hostile, accusatory question. Again, just curious.

Perpetua said...

I second the question from David Handy+. I would love to hear your thoughts on a daily morning prayer practice using the 1928 vs. 1979 lectionary.

TLF+ said...

The bird is one I'd never encountered until it landed on our feeder here... a Rose-Breasted Grosbeak. They stop in to munch a lot in Spring and Fall, and inhabit forested areas of SD during the Summer. They migrate to Mexico, Central and S. America for the Winter.

I was nurtured on and really respect the '79 Daily Offices & Lectionary. No real protest - I just decided to use the '28 for a bit while exploring the Reformers emphasis on course readings (see the Preface to 1549). I think that the '79 does well with some parts of the liturgical year, but hops around quite a bit (although the '28 Book w/ 1945 lectionary has some of this, too).

Anyway, I am benefiting from the stability and repetition of the '28 offices just now. I like the Canticle variety and longer Psalm selections in the '79, but for at least this season of prayer I am using the '28.

David+, what do you see as the BCP of the New Reformation? Or will there be more than one?

David Handy+ said...

Tim+,

Thanks for clarifying why you're using the 1928 Lectionary for a while. I think variety is often helpful when doing something repetitious like the Daily Office, so that it doesn't get too stale.

As for what form or forms of the Pryaerbook are likely to be used in the future by those participating in the New Reformation, I fully expect that there will be a variety. But since much of the Global South uses BCPs strongly influenced by the old classic 1662 BCP, I expect to see a revival of interest in it in the West. But one that won't be used much is the famous or infamous New Zealand Prayerbook, which is so very liberal.

At Eternity Anglican in Richmond, as a church with an international flavor, we use different BCP liturgies from around the Anglican Communion, alternating from time to time. Right now, we're using the eucharistic liturgy of the Anglican Church of Kenya. It has some interesting, creative features.

David Handy+ said...

One humorous little note on the side about the strict, simple pattern for in course daily reading through the Bible that Archbishop Cranmer set out in his prayerbooks of 1549 and 1552. Cranmer adopted the convenient expedient of basically reading a whole chapter as an assigned passage, following the traditional chapter breaks. And unlike today when we have a choice of ways to wrap up the reading, the 1549 and 1552 BCPs called for the lector to say, "Here endeth the lesson."

As you know, Tim+, my favorite book of the Bible is Acts, and so I was struck one day by the odd result created at one point in Acts by ++Cranmer's rigid application of the principle of reading whole chapters for the Daily Office. For one of his appointed lections concludes with the final words of Acts 21, where the Apostle Paul has been seized by Roman soldiers for his own protection from an angry mob in the Temple at Jerusalem. As you'll recall, he begs for permission to make a speech to the crowd, and is granted it by the tribune. And the peculiar and amusing result is that ++Cranmer's appointed reading that day ends like this: "'And Paul opened his mouth and spake unto them, saying,' Here endeth the lesson!" Quite an unusual speech, don't you think? But that's where the chapter ends.