Friday, January 15, 2010

Getting ready for worship: "Whoever wrote this knows the Lord!"

Good Shepherd, Sioux Falls was blessed to have Professor Philip Thompson's liturgy class from Sioux Falls Seminary attend our Thursday afternoon liturgy, followed by Q & A with some Anglican blogger quack.

It was a precious time of Christian fellowship across an array of traditions (mainly Reformed and Baptist), and our parishioners stayed to take part.

My favorite observation - words that Anglicans/Episcopalians should ponder as we get ready to open our Prayer Books - came from a Southern Baptist student who said, "Yeah, in my church most of this stuff is 'heresy,' but the first time I attended a traditional Anglican Prayer Book service, I turned to my wife and said, 'Whoever wrote this knows the Lord!'"

Props to Thomas Cranmer, of course. We need to appreciate and RE-APPROPRIATE the wonderful heritage of Common Prayer that proclaims rather than hints at (or obfuscates) the New Covenant in Christ's Blood. I am not hung up on traditional vs. contemporary English (although today's contemporary can quickly become tomorrow's tacky). I am, however, emphatic that what we pray should articulate what the church believes. As Episcopalianism in particular and Anglicanism in general depart from that foundation, we offer nothing at all to the wider Christian church and, worse, nothing but deception to the world Christ came to save.

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