Posted by Kendall Harmon

O God, our heavenly Father, who so loved the world that thou didst give thine only Son to die upon the cross: Pour thy love into our hearts, we humbly beseech thee; that we loving thee above all things, may give up ourselves, our time, our money, our talents, to thy service; for the sake of him who loved us and gave himself for us, Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLentSpirituality/Prayer

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Posted March 19, 2016 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

O God, whose blessed Son did overcome death for our salvation: Mercifully grant that we, who have his glorious passion in remembrance, may take up our cross daily and follow him; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLentSpirituality/Prayer

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Posted March 15, 2016 at 4:19 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

O God, who by the cross and passion of thy Son Jesus Christ didst save and deliver mankind: Grant that by steadfast faith in the merits of that holy sacrifice we may find help and salvation, and may triumph in the power of his victory; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.



Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLentSpirituality/Prayer

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Posted March 13, 2016 at 5:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

O Lord and heavenly Father, who hast given unto us thy people the true bread that cometh down from heaven, even thy Son Jesus Christ: Grant that our souls may so be fed by him who giveth life unto the world, that we may abide in him and he in us, and thy Church be filled with the power of his unending life; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLentSpirituality/Prayer

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Posted March 7, 2016 at 5:18 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Almighty God, who has taught us in thy holy Word that the law was given by Moses, but that grace and truth came by Jesus Christ: Grant that we, being not under the law but under grace, may live as children of that Jerusalem which is above, and rejoice in the freedom of our heavenly citizenship; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.

--The Rev. James Mountain (1844-1933)

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLentSpirituality/Prayer

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Posted March 6, 2016 at 4:20 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Lord Christ, almighty Saviour, we cry to thee for aid against our strong enemy. O thou who art the Stronger than the strong, deliver us, we pray thee, from the evil one, and take sole possession of our hearts and minds; that filled with thy Spirit we may henceforth devote our lives to thy service, and therein find our perfect freedom; for the honour of thy great name.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLentSpirituality/Prayer

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Posted March 4, 2016 at 4:21 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

O Thou who hast prepared a place for my soul, prepare my soul for that place. Prepare it with holiness; prepare it with desire; and even while it sojourneth upon earth, let it dwell in heaven with thee, beholding the beauty of thy countenance and the glory of thy saints, now and for evermore.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLentSpirituality/Prayer

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Posted March 2, 2016 at 4:20 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

O God, who through thy Son has taught us that a house divided against itself must fall: Save us, we beseech thee, from the danger of a divided allegiance; unite our hearts to fear thy name; and grant that in all our course of life our eye may be single and our purpose one; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLentSpirituality/Prayer

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Posted March 1, 2016 at 4:20 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

"Thy kingdom come, thy will be done" cannot, therefore, mean an effortless abandonment to divine purpose, achieved in lonely isolation. If the Spirit is to bring us into the authentic prayer of Jesus, these primary requests he gave us - for the kingdom and for the divine will - will often time mean, as they did for him, a sweaty struggle, a revulsion at what lies before us, and above all a desperate need for the support of others who will pray with us, however incompetently and sleepily. When this happens it is not, again, that something has gone wrong; rather, we are being pressed yet more deeply into the space of Jesus.

The famous spiritual director, Dom John Chapman, onetime Abbot of Downside, put it thus, and most beautifully, in a letter to a Benedictine nun, who was struggling with her own sense of inner turmoil and suffering in prayer. :"Contempt" of such suffering, he writes, is superhuman, not human:

"Our Lord has taught us this very plainly by his example. In the Agony, he did not say 'I suffer, and I rejoice ... [Rather], he prayed that the Chalice might be taken away, to show that the feeling of hating suffering, and feeling it unbearable, is part of [human] perfection for us, as it is a part [also] of our weakness of nature."

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLentSpirituality/Prayer* Theology

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Posted February 29, 2016 at 5:48 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

O almighty Father, giver of every good and perfect gift, who hast made the light of thy truth to shine in our hearts: Make us to walk as children of light in all goodness and righteousness, that we may have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

--Bishop William Walsham How (1823-1897)

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLentSpirituality/Prayer

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Posted February 29, 2016 at 5:26 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

O Eternal God, who through thy Son our Lord hast promised a blessing upon those who hear thy Word and faithfully keep it: Open our ears, we humbly beseech thee, to hear what thou sayest, and enlighten our minds, that what we hear we may understand, and understanding may carry into good effect by thy bounteous prompting; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLentSpirituality/Prayer

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Posted February 28, 2016 at 5:29 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

We confess to thee, O heavenly Father, as thy children, our hardness, indifference, and impenitence; our grievous failures in pure and holy living; our trust in self, and misuse of thy gifts; our timorousness as thy witnesses before the world; and the sin and bitterness that every man knoweth in his own heart. Give us, O Father, contrition and meekness of soul; grace to amend our sinful life; and the holy comfort of thy Spirit to overcome and heal all our evils; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLentSpirituality/Prayer

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Posted February 27, 2016 at 7:24 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Grant, O Lord, that we may cleave to thee without parting, worship thee without wearying, serve thee without failing; faithfully seek thee, happily find thee, and for ever possess thee, the one only God, blessed, world without end.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLentSpirituality/Prayer

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Posted February 25, 2016 at 4:20 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

O God, who through thy Son Jesus Christ hast promised help to man according to his faith: Grant us the freedom of the children to taste the food of eternal life, and to share with others what we ourselves receive; through the merits of the same thy Son, our Lord.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLentSpirituality/Prayer

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Posted February 24, 2016 at 4:20 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

O Blessed Saviour, who art full of mercy and compassion, and wilt not cast out any that come to thee: Help us, we beseech thee, who are grievously vexed with the burden of our sins; and so increase in us the power of thy Holy Spirit that we may prevail against the enemy of our souls; for thy name’s sake.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLentSpirituality/Prayer

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Posted February 23, 2016 at 4:20 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Write deeply upon our minds, O Lord God, the lesson of thy holy Word, that only the pure in heart can see thee. Leave us not in the bondage of any sinful inclination. May we neither deceive ourselves with the thought that we have no sin, nor acquiesce idly in aught of which our conscience accuses us. Strengthen us by thy Holy Spirit to fight the good fight of faith, and grant that no day may pass without its victory; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLentSpirituality/Prayer

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Posted February 22, 2016 at 5:20 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

O Eternal God, who hast taught us by thy holy Word that our bodies are temples of thy Spirit: Keep us, we most humbly beseech thee, temperate and holy in thought, word and deed, that at the last we, with all the pure in heart, may see thee and be made like unto thee in thy heavenly kingdom; through Christ our Lord.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLentSpirituality/Prayer

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Posted February 21, 2016 at 5:29 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

O Lord Jesus Christ, who didst take upon thee the form of a servant, humbling thyself and accepting death for us, even the death of the cross: Grant that this mind may be also in us; so that we may gladly take upon ourselves the life of humility and service, and taking up our cross daily may follow thee in thy suffering and death, that with thee we may attain unto the power of thy endless life. Grant this, O Christ, our Saviour and our King.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLentSpirituality/Prayer

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Posted February 19, 2016 at 4:20 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

O God, who willest not the death of a sinner: We beseech thee to aid and protect those who are exposed to grievous temptations; and grant that in obeying thy commandments they may be strengthened and supported by thy grace; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLentSpirituality/Prayer

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Posted February 18, 2016 at 4:20 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

That brings us...to the matter of Jesus's own instructions on prayer, which at first seemed to be in tension with Paul's, but on reflection are the reverse side of the same coin. Admittedly, it is disconcerting in comparison with Paul how little Jesus has to say by way of advice: just, "When you pray, say Father ..." One can imagine the disciples meeting Jesus when he comes down from a whole night of prayer alone and asking, "What is it that you do in prayer - is it something very secret and special?" But Jesus opts for the most simple and direct approach: a mere turning over of the will, a handing over of the depths of all our longing, to the very source of our being: "Father, may your name be hallowed."

That's it - that's prayer. You have to ask, but not before you've first adored, before you've first acknowledged your utter dependence and your human creatureliness. This is where it all starts, in this tiny pause, this surrender, this turning of the will to God.

So prayer is impossible, but only on the human spectrum. It becomes not only possible, but the galvanizing lifeline of my existence when I realize that I do not come to prayer to remind God about what he might have forgotten, or to tell him something from the evening news that he might perhaps have missed; rather, I come to prayer to prepare myself to receive what he is always already giving me - the gift of Himself.

Read it all from ABC Australia.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLentSpirituality/Prayer* Theology

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Posted February 17, 2016 at 3:25 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

O Heavenly Father, subdue in us whatever is contrary to thy holy will, that we may know how to please thee. Grant, O God, that we may never run into those temptations which in our prayers we desire to avoid. Lord, never permit our trials to be above our strength; through Jesus Christ our Saviour.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLentSpirituality/Prayer

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Posted February 17, 2016 at 4:21 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

..The Year of Jubilee for Singapore indeed became the year of the Lord’s favour for many of our parishes and deaneries. The Diocese was immensely blessed financially and responded to this blessing by cancelling the building-related loans of some of our deaneries and parishes that totalled about S$ 2 Million. This sparked a ripple of joyful praise and glorious freedom in God across the Diocese.

I also thanked God for significant growth and movement in different parts of our Diocese. God’s work in Nepal has been truly outstanding. Over the last year, since the double earthquake, the number of people worshipping the Lord in the Deanery of Nepal has grown from 9,000 to about 12,000 through baptisms and confirmations. A wonderful experience of amazing Kingdom advance! We learn yet again that ‘hunger for God’ and ‘desperation’ are the vital antecedents for Revival.

That brings me to my invitation to one and all to make this season of Lent a time of intentional prayer and fasting. “Lent” has already begun with Ash Wednesday falling on the third day of the Lunar New Year on 10th February this year. It will last for 40 days (not including Sundays) and lead up to the celebration of Jesus Christ’s resurrection on Easter Sunday. It is a reflective period when we ‘re-live’ the Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Cross dominates our thoughts and our emotions, leading us to deep contrition, deep awareness of God’s grace, deep surrender and deep desire for God and His glory.

How can you and I enter the spirit of Lent and emerge stronger pilgrims and disciples of the Lord? Allow me to suggest a 3-pronged approach:...

Read it all

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLent

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Posted February 16, 2016 at 7:02 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Blessed Lord, who wast tempted in all things like as we are, have mercy upon our frailty. Out of weakness give us strength; grant to us thy fear, that we may fear thee only; support us in time of temptation; embolden us in time of danger; help us to do thy work with good courage, and to continue thy faithful soldiers and servants unto our life’s end.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLentSpirituality/Prayer

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Posted February 16, 2016 at 4:20 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Almighty and everlasting God, who for the well-being of our earthly life hast put into our hearts wholesome desires of body and spirit: Mercifully increase and establish in us, we beseech thee, the grace of holy discipline and healthy self-control; that we may fulfill our desires by the means which thou hast appointed, and for the ends thou ordainest; through Jesus Christ our Lord

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLentSpirituality/Prayer

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Posted February 15, 2016 at 5:22 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

O Lord our God, grant us, we beseech thee, patience in troubles, humility in comforts, constancy in temptations, and victory over all our spiritual foes. Grant us sorrow for our sins, thankfulness for thy benefits, fear of thy judgment, love of thy mercies, and mindfulness of thy presence; now and for evermore.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLentSpirituality/Prayer

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Posted February 14, 2016 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

Lent is upon us early this year, and The Elves have been caught without oil in their lamps. What are you doing this Lent? Have you come across any resources you would recommend to others or do you have any thoughts to encourage us during this season of Lent?

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLent

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Posted February 13, 2016 at 11:38 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by The_Elves

...40 days seems to be a time of testing and transition. For those who pass the test there is a new world to enjoy:

A world washed clean.
Face to face with the LORD.
A land of milk and honey.
Victory over the enemy.
Salvation.
The defeat of the devil.
The new creation.

But the flood story tells us this – we can’t endure the test by ourselves. The salvation beyond judgement is for one person only. It is the ultimate Noah, the ultimate Moses, the ultimate David – Christ – who endures on our behalf. Those who trust Him are hidden with Him, the way the Ark’s passengers were hidden with Noah. But, on the other side, we benefit from His victory.

None of us can pass the ultimate test. We cannot transition to the ultimate destination. But Jesus Christ has. He has crushed the devil and defeated sin and death. He has made it to the throne of heaven and offers us new life if we simply hide ourselves in Him. For now there is testing: “Do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering” (1 Peter 4;12). But beyond these “40 days” our Saviour will bring us to rest.

Read it all

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLent

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Posted February 12, 2016 at 4:53 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

O God, who by thy Son dost marvellously work out the salvation of mankind: Grant, we beseech thee, that, following the example of our blessed Lord, and observing such a fast as thou dost choose, we may both be subjected to thee with all our hearts, and united to each other in holy charity; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLentSpirituality/Prayer

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Posted February 12, 2016 at 4:22 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The famous radio personality and early pioneer of television, Arthur Godfrey, grew up in an era very different from today. It was a time when a boy could wander down to the blacksmith shop on a lazy afternoon and watch the smithy work at his anvil and forge. It was a favorite past time of the young Godfrey. Sometimes he would watch the blacksmith sorting the scrap metal. The man would pick up a piece of metal from a holding bin, turn it this way and that in his large hands, then either toss it into the fire to be softened and hammered into some useful tool, or thrown into a junk heap to be discarded. From this experience Arthur forged a simple prayer which he used all his life. Whenever seized by his own sense of sin or some personal moral failure he would pray—“The fire, Lord, not the junk-heap.” It is a prayer that captures two essential dimensions of Ash Wednesday and Lent— a prayer for pardon and a prayer for purity.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLentParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* South Carolina* TheologyAnthropologyChristologySoteriology

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Posted February 10, 2016 at 7:13 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The idea of national repentance seems at first sight to provide such an edifying contrast to that national self-righteousness of which England is so often accused and with which she entered (or is said to have entered) the last war, that a Christian naturally turns to it with hope. Young Christians especially-last-year undergraduates and first-year curates- are turning to it in large numbers. They are ready to believe that England bears part of the guilt for the present war, and ready to admit their own share in the guilt of England. What that share is, I do not find it easy to determine. Most of these young men were children, and none of them had a vote or the experience which would enable them to use a vote wisely, when England made many of those decisions to which the present disorders could plausibly be traced. Are they, perhaps, repenting what they have in no sense done?

If they are, it might be supposed that their error is very harmless: men fail so often to repent their real sins that the occasional repentance of an imaginary sin might appear almost desirable. But what actually happens (I have watched it happening) to the youthful national penitent is a little more complicated than that. England is not a natural agent, but a civil society. When we speak of England's actions we mean the actions of the British government. The young man who is called upon to repent of England's foreign policy is really being called upon to repent the acts of his neighbor; for a foreign secretary or a cabinet minister is certainly a neighbor. And repentance presupposes condemnation. The first and fatal charm of national repentance is, therefore, the encouragement it gives us to turn from the bitter task of repenting our own sins to the congenial one of bewailing-but, first, of denouncing-the conduct of others.

--C.S. Lewis, "Dangers of national repentance"

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLent* TheologyAnthropologyChristology

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Posted February 10, 2016 at 1:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

"Confess your faults one to another" (Jas. 5:16). He who is alone with his sin is utterly alone. It may be that Christians, notwithstanding corporate worship, common prayer, and all their fellowship in service, may still be left to their loneliness. The final break-through to fellowship does not occur, because, though they have fellowship with one another as believers and devout people, they do not have fellowship as the undevout, as sinners. This pious fellowship permits no one to be a sinner. So everybody must conceal his sin from himself and the fellowship. We dare not be sinners. Many Christians are unthinkably horrified when a real sinner is suddenly discovered among the righteous. so we remain alone with our sin, living in lies and hypocrisy. The fact is that we are sinners!

But it is the grace of the Gospel, which is so hard for the pious to understand, that it confronts us with the truth and says: You are a sinner, a great, desperate sinner; now come as the sinner that you are, to God who loves you. He wants you as you are; He does not want anything from you, a sacrifice, a work; He wants you alone. "My son, give me thine heart" (Prov. 23:26). God has come to you to save the sinner. Be glad! This message is liberation through truth. You can hide nothing from God. The mask you wear before men will do you no good before Him. He wants to see you as you are, He wants to be gracious to you. You do not have to on lying to yourself and your brothers, as if you were without sin; you can dare to be a sinner. Thank God for that; He loves the sinner but He hates sin.
--Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLent* TheologyAnthropologyChristologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted February 10, 2016 at 12:38 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Our first parents fell into open disobedience because already they were secretly corrupted; for the evil act had never been done had not an evil will preceded it. And what is the origin of our evil will but pride? For "pride is the beginning of sin." And what is pride but the craving for undue exaltation? And this is undue exaltation, when the soul abandons Him to whom it ought to cleave as its end, and becomes a kind of end to itself. This happens when it becomes its own satisfaction....The devil, then, would not have ensnared man in the open and manifest sin of doing what God had forbidden, had man not already begun to live for himself....By craving to be more, man became less; and by aspiring to be self-sufficing, he fell away from him who truly suffices him.

--Augustine, The City of God 14.13


Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLent* TheologyAnthropologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted February 10, 2016 at 10:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

O Lord and heavenly Father, who hast given unto us thy people the true bread that cometh down from heaven, even thy Son Jesus Christ: Grant that throughout this Lent our souls may so be fed by him that we may continually live in him and he in us; and that day by day we may be renewed in spirit by the power of his endless life, who gave himself for us, and now liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLentSpirituality/Prayer

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Posted February 10, 2016 at 4:21 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

In his foreword, Archbishop Justin Welby says: “This book is about growing closer to God. That is at the heart of a good Lent. We come to a time of fasting, discipline and study, in order that we may renew our knowledge of His presence. That involves a stripping of those things that divide us from God, developing our obedience to His call and venturing deeper into the fire of His love.

“The themes of light and darkness, and the use of the pattern of the Offices, give contrast and stability to the unfolding chapters. Through the book we travel through day and night, the reality of human experience lived through our lives. At the end the dawn brightens with the hope and certainty of resurrection, the knowledge that in the grace and love of God we are called to eternal life with the one who smashes down the barriers of death.”

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLent* Culture-WatchBooks* Theology

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Posted February 6, 2016 at 8:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Lift up our souls, O Lord, to the pure, serene light of thy presence; that there we may breathe freely, there repose in thy love, there may be at rest from ourselves, and from thence return, arrayed in thy peace, to do and bear what shall please thee; for thy holy name’s sake.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLentSpirituality/Prayer

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Posted March 28, 2015 at 7:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

O God of patience and consolation, grant we beseech thee that with free hearts we may love and serve thee and our brethren; and, having thus the mind of Christ, may begin heaven on earth, and exercise ourselves therein till that day when heaven, where love abideth, shall seem no strange habitation to us; for Jesus Christ’s sake.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLentSpirituality/Prayer

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Posted March 27, 2015 at 5:20 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

O God, who by the lowliness of thy Son hast raised a fallen world: Grant to thy faithful people perpetual gladness; and as thou hast delivered them from eternal death, so do thou make them partakers of everlasting joys; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLentSpirituality/Prayer

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Posted March 26, 2015 at 5:20 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

O God, who by the example of thy Son our Saviour Jesus Christ hast taught us the greatness of true humility, and dost call us to watch with him in his passion: Give us grace to serve one another in all lowliness, and to enter into the fellowship of his sufferings; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLentSpirituality/Prayer

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Posted March 24, 2015 at 5:20 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

O God, whose blessed Son did overcome death for our salvation: Mercifully grant that we, who have his glorious passion in remembrance, may take up our cross daily and follow him; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLentSpirituality/Prayer

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Posted March 23, 2015 at 5:20 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Thanks be to thee, O Lord Jesus Christ, for all the benefits which thou hast given us, for all the pains and insults which thou hast borne for us. O most merciful Redeemer, Friend and Brother, may we know thee more clearly, love thee more dearly, and follow thee more nearly, now and for evermore.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLentSpirituality/Prayer

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Posted March 22, 2015 at 5:28 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

O Lord Jesus Christ, who didst feed the multitude by the lakeside, using the humble gifts of a boy’s generous impulse, and a disciple’s faith in thy power: Help us in thy Church to call forth such generosity in others, and strengthen our faith that the hungry millions can be fed; for thy name’s sake.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLentSpirituality/Prayer

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Posted March 18, 2015 at 5:21 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

O Lord and heavenly Father, who hast given unto us thy people the true bread that cometh down from heaven, even thy Son Jesus Christ: Grant that our souls may so be fed by him who giveth life unto the world, that we may abide in him and he in us, and thy Church be filled with the power of his unending life; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLentSpirituality/Prayer

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Posted March 17, 2015 at 5:20 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Grant us, O Lord, to rejoice in beholding the bliss of the heavenly Jerusalem; that as she is the home and mother of the multitude of the saints, we also may be counted worthy to have our portion within her; through thine only begotten Son, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLentSpirituality/Prayer

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Posted March 16, 2015 at 5:20 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Almighty God, who has taught us in thy holy Word that the law was given by Moses, but that grace and truth came by Jesus Christ: Grant that we, being not under the law but under grace, may live as children of that Jerusalem which is above, and rejoice in the freedom of our heavenly citizenship; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.

----The Rev. James Mountain (1844-1933)



Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLentSpirituality/Prayer

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Posted March 15, 2015 at 6:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

O God, who hast willed that the gate of mercy should stand open to the faithful: Look on us, and have mercy upon us, we beseech thee; that we who by thy grace are following the path of thy will may continue in the same all the days of our life; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLentSpirituality/Prayer

3 Comments
Posted March 13, 2015 at 5:20 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

O Thou who hast prepared a place for my soul, prepare my soul for that place. Prepare it with holiness; prepare it with desire; and even while it sojourneth upon earth, let it dwell in heaven with thee, beholding the beauty of thy countenance and the glory of thy saints, now and for evermore.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLentSpirituality/Prayer

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Posted March 12, 2015 at 5:20 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

O Eternal God, who through thy Son our Lord hast promised a blessing upon those who hear thy Word and faithfully keep it: Open our ears, we humbly beseech thee, to hear what thou sayest, and enlighten our minds, that what we hear we may understand, and understanding may carry into good effect by thy bounteous prompting; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLentSpirituality/Prayer

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Posted March 11, 2015 at 5:20 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Lord Christ, almighty Saviour, we cry to thee for aid against our strong enemy. O thou who art the Stronger than the strong, deliver us, we pray thee, from the evil one, and take sole possession of our hearts and minds; that filled with thy Spirit we may henceforth devote our lives to thy service, and therein find our perfect freedom; for the honour of thy great name.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLentSpirituality/Prayer

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Posted March 10, 2015 at 5:22 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

O God, who through thy Son has taught us that a house divided against itself must fall: Save us, we beseech thee, from the danger of a divided allegiance; unite our hearts to fear thy name; and grant that in all our course of life our eye may be single and our purpose one; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLentSpirituality/Prayer

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Posted March 9, 2015 at 5:18 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

O Almighty Father, giver of every good and perfect gift, who hast made the light of thy truth to shine in our hearts: Make us to walk as children of light in all goodness and righteousness, that we may have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

--Bishop William Walsham How (1823-1897)

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLentSpirituality/Prayer

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Posted March 8, 2015 at 6:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Bishop of Connor, the Rt Revd Alan Abernethy, hosted a Quiet Morning for clergy of the diocese in St Aidan’s Parish Church, Glenavy, on Thursday 5 March.

Almost 70 clergy attended the event, at which the guest speaker was the Archbishop of Armagh and All Ireland Primate, the Most Revd Dr Richard Clarke.

Guess which two poets he close and then go and read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of Ireland* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLentParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchPoetry & Literature

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Posted March 7, 2015 at 4:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

For the third Sunday in Lent, Canon Janet Trisk reflects on the challenge posed to both "hardline atheists" and "dead certain Christians" by the image of a God who is crucified.

Listen to it all (about 3 1/3 minutes). For more from Janet Trisk you can read her reflections here and there. According to the Diocesan website, she current serves as rector of Saint Alphege's, Pietermaritzburg, whose website is there and whose Facebook page is here.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesAnglican Church of Southern Africa* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLent* TheologyChristologyTheology: Scripture

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Posted March 7, 2015 at 2:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

O gracious and holy Father, give us wisdom to perceive thee, diligence to seek thee, patience to wait for thee, eyes to behold thee, a heart to meditate upon thee, and a life to proclaim thee; through the power of the Spirit of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLentSpirituality/Prayer

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Posted March 6, 2015 at 5:21 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

O God, who through thy Son Jesus Christ hast promised help to man according to his faith: Grant us the freedom of the children to taste the food of eternal life, and to share with others what we ourselves receive; through the merits of the same thy Son, our Lord.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLentSpirituality/Prayer

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Posted March 5, 2015 at 5:20 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

O Blessed Saviour, who art full of mercy and compassion, and wilt not cast out any that come to thee: Help us, we beseech thee, who are grievously vexed with the burden of our sins; and so increase in us the power of thy Holy Spirit that we may prevail against the enemy of our souls; for thy name’s sake.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLentSpirituality/Prayer

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Posted March 4, 2015 at 5:20 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Write deeply upon our minds, O Lord God, the lesson of thy holy Word, that only the pure in heart can see thee. Leave us not in the bondage of any sinful inclination. May we neither deceive ourselves with the thought that we have no sin, nor acquiesce idly in aught of which our conscience accuses us. Strengthen us by thy Holy Spirit to fight the good fight of faith, and grant that no day may pass without its victory; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLentSpirituality/Prayer

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Posted March 3, 2015 at 5:20 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

O Eternal God, who hast taught us by thy holy Word that our bodies are temples of thy Spirit: Keep us, we most humbly beseech thee, temperate and holy in thought, word and deed, that at the last we, with all the pure in heart, may see thee and be made like unto thee in thy heavenly kingdom; through Christ our Lord.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLentSpirituality/Prayer

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Posted March 2, 2015 at 5:20 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Eternal God, who has made all things for man, and man for thy glory: Sanctify our bodies and souls, our thoughts and our intentions, our words and actions. Let our body be a servant of our mind, and both body and spirit servants of Jesus Christ; that doing all things for thy glory here, we may be partakers of thy glory hereafter; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLentSpirituality/Prayer

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Posted March 1, 2015 at 5:45 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Almighty and everlasting God, who for the well-being of our earthly life hast put into our hearts wholesome desires of body and spirit: Mercifully increase and establish in us, we beseech thee, the grace of holy discipline and healthy self-control; that we may fulfill our desires by the means which thou hast appointed, and for the ends thou ordainest; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLentSpirituality/Prayer

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Posted February 27, 2015 at 5:19 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Almighty and eternal God, who has so made us of body, soul and spirit, that we live not by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth from thee: Make us to hunger for the spiritual food of thy Word; and as we trust thee for our daily bread, may we also trust thee to give us day by day the inward nourishment of that living truth which thou hast revealed to us in thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLentSpirituality/Prayer

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Posted February 26, 2015 at 5:19 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

O God, who willest not the death of a sinner: We beseech thee to aid and protect those who are exposed to grievous temptations; and grant that in obeying thy commandments they may be strengthened and supported by thy grace; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLentSpirituality/Prayer

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Posted February 25, 2015 at 5:22 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

O Heavenly Father, subdue in us whatever is contrary to thy holy will, that we may know how to please thee. Grant, O God, that we may never run into those temptations which in our prayers we desire to avoid. Lord, never permit our trials to be above our strength; through Jesus Christ our Saviour.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLentSpirituality/Prayer

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Posted February 24, 2015 at 5:22 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

What do all these words read this day and resonating in my ears have to do with my observance of holy Lent? This I believe:

• If grace-filled obedience not self-imposed deprivation is the pathway to God’s blessing shouldn’t one’s Lenten discipline focus on this?
• If God’s call, not the driven life, is for each of us our apostolic mission shouldn’t that be the place out of which we live our lives and do our work and ministry?
• If we are dust and to dust we shall return (as the words of the Ash Wednesday liturgy reminds us) why am I, and so many of us, in such a hurry?

Then there was this word that came like a lightning bolt across my mind illuminating my whole being: “… you think you have to be some place elsewhere or accomplish something more to find peace. But it is right here. God has yet to bless anyone except where they actually are.” Once again this was a word spoken years ago by Dr. Dallas Willard to John Ortberg’s striving and spiritually dry soul; I noted these words in my journal and then wrote this confession: I repent of this, Lord. I renounce the life tape that has played within me for years that makes peace something relegated to some place “where” or some time “when” and other than here and now in You.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLentParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* TheologyAnthropologyChristologyPastoral TheologySoteriology

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Posted February 23, 2015 at 9:56 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

O Lord our God, grant us, we beseech thee, patience in troubles, humility in comforts, constancy in temptations, and victory over all our spiritual foes. Grant us sorrow for our sins, thankfulness for thy benefits, fear of thy judgment, love of thy mercies, and mindfulness of thy presence; now and for evermore.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLentSpirituality/Prayer

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Posted February 23, 2015 at 5:20 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Blessed Lord, who wast tempted in all things like as we are, have mercy upon our frailty. Out of weakness give us strength; grant to us thy fear, that we may fear thee only; support us in time of temptation; embolden us in time of danger; help us to do thy work with good courage, and to continue thy faithful soldiers and servants unto our life’s end.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLentSpirituality/Prayer

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Posted February 22, 2015 at 5:20 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Almighty God, spirit of peace and of grace, whose salvation is never far from penitent hearts: We confess the sins that have estranged us from thee, dimmed our vision of heavenly things, and brought upon us many troubles and sorrows. O merciful Father, grant unto us who humble ourselves before thee the remission of all our sins, and the assurance of thy pardon and peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

--Prayers for the Christian Year

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLent

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Posted February 21, 2015 at 8:34 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Without any doubt, we have to admit that the traditions of the Church are becoming less and less relevant. As we pursue money and happiness, there is a demise in the place of God in our lives.

However, there is something about 
the idea of Lent that appeals to the human condition. Glossy magazines are full of tips on how to detox, to get the body back in shape by watching out what you put in. Getting healthy is promoted through giving up that which is bad for you.

Perhaps this mantra for the modern age should be the public relations tip needed by a Church that is failing to connect with the modern world. Mainstream religion is being quickly replaced by do-it-yourself spirituality. People are looking to other options for filling that God-shaped hole in their lives that cannot be satisfied by anything else.

The Church could tap in to this growth of new spirituality by rebranding Lent for a modern world. The current guidelines by the Catholic Church for Lent are that no meat is to be eaten on a Friday, and meals are to be restricted to one meal a day and snacks at breakfast and tea. This isn’t exactly the kind of thing that will get people queuing to join in.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLentParish Ministry* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* Theology

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Posted February 20, 2015 at 7:31 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

O Lord our God, who art of purer eyes than to behold iniquity: Have mercy upon us, we beseech thee, for our sins accuse us, and we are troubled by them and put to shame. We have done wrong to ourselves in ignorance, and to our brethren in willfulness, and by our selfish and faithless ways have grieved thy Holy Spirit. Forgive us, we humbly pray thee; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

--Prayers for the Christian Year

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLentSpirituality/Prayer

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Posted February 20, 2015 at 5:18 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Two deacons, one Episcopal, one Catholic, were standing on a street in Beverly Hills, in front of Tiffany's, across from Louis Vuitton.

It could have been the set-up for a joke — and some passersby thought it might be. Or maybe somebody was filming something? They stood and stared at the men dressed in purple stoles, white surplices and long black cassocks.

"Are you real? For real?" one woman in oversized Chanel sunglasses asked Scott Taylor of All Saints Episcopal Church and Eric Stoltz of the Church of the Good Shepherd.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalEpiscopal Church (TEC)* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLentParish MinistryMinistry of the Ordained* Culture-WatchReligion & Culture* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic

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Posted February 19, 2015 at 6:00 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

For some fifteen or twenty years I have tried to read a sermon, or portion of a sermon, of Augustine every morning for spiritual reading. I had never read most of his sermons before, but now that I have, I have discovered a different Augustine from the one I had known and from the one known to people who are familiar only with his great works, the Confessions, the City of God, and the Trinity.

As I discovered the Augustine reflected in his preaching, I began to take notes of passages that particularly struck me either for personal reasons or because of their significance for my theological work, especially in ecclesiology. (It is an occupational hazard for theologians that almost anything they read, even for spiritual reading, can quickly become grist for the theological mill.) I have several files of such excerpts in my computer, and it was on them that I drew for the first series of Lenten excerpts. They did not follow any particular order, and neither will the ones presented this year. They are passages that interest me for their theological, spiritual, or psychological insights, or for the nice balance Augustine achieved between the objective and subjective dimensions of the Christian life, or for their vivid language, not least of all for the literary conceits that I learned to love when studying John Donne and other metaphysical poets (snap quiz: What are the two ways in which Christ may be compared to a camel?), or for reasons having to do with the unplumbed condition of my psyche, or simply because I was having fun.

Scholars estimate that Augustine preached some 8,000 times over his decades as bishop of Hippo, less than a tenth of which have survived. (That’s why there was such excitement when in 1989 thirty sermons, most of them completely unknown before, were discovered in a medieval manuscript.) Most of the sermons were preached at one or another type of gathering of the Church, mostly in Hippo, the others in Carthage and elsewhere in north Africa; a few of them were dictated by Augustine to complete his commentaries on the Psalms and on St. John’s Gospel. The sermons preached were taken down in shorthand by stenographers in his congregation and later written out in longhand and preserved in Augustine’s library. Augustine hoped to include his sermons and letters in the work of “reconsiderations” that he carried through for most of his published works, but controversy and death prevented him from doing so.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLent* Theology

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Posted February 19, 2015 at 4:10 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Nearly one in five Americans observed Lent last year, and more than half a million tweeted about their fast.

Each year, Stephen Smith of OpenBible.info tracks hundreds of thousands of Lenten tweets during the week of Ash Wednesday. “As I write this post, with about 4,000 tweets analyzed, perennial favorites ‘alcohol,’ ‘chocolate,’ and ‘social networking’ lead the list,” he wrote in his Monday debut of the 2015 list. “Given winter weather conditions in the eastern U.S., I expect that snow- and winter-related tweets will be popular this year.”
Food and technology were the most popular categories that roughly 646,000 tweeting Americans reported giving up in 2014. The top five choices: School, chocolate, Twitter, swearing, and alcohol—ideas consistently popular for Christians since Smith began using Twitter’s API to track Lent in 2009.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLent

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Posted February 19, 2015 at 8:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Cycling Bishop Edward Condry has swapped four wheels for two again this Lent in a bid to raise awareness of climate change.

The 61-year-old Bishop of Ramsbury will continue to work full-time, travelling to churches in rural parts of Wiltshire.

This is the second time Rt Rev Condry, who lives in Warminster, has given up his car for Lent, saving more than 2,000 miles of driving last year by cycling and using public transport.

He said:”I was surprised how much of a spiritual experience it was to give up the car, in a way that struggling to give up chocolate had never achieved, for me.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLent* Culture-WatchTravel

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Posted February 19, 2015 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

O Almighty God, from whom every good prayer cometh, and who pourest out on all who desire it the spirit of grace and supplication: Deliver us, when we draw near to thee, from coldness of heart and wanderings of mind; that with steadfast thoughts and kindled affection we may worship thee in spirit and in truth; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLentSpirituality/Prayer

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Posted February 19, 2015 at 5:22 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Ash Wednesday liturgy offers us, first of all, the passage from the prophet Joel, sent by God to call the people to repentance and conversion, due to a calamity (an invasion of locusts) that devastates Judea. Only the Lord can save from the scourge, and so there is need of supplication, with prayer and fasting, each confessing his sin.

The prophet insists on inner conversion: “Return to me with all your heart” (2:12). To return to the Lord “with all [one’s] heart,” means taking the path of a conversion that is neither superficial nor transient, but is a spiritual journey that reaches the deepest place of our self. The heart, in fact, is the seat of our sentiments, the center in which our decisions and our attitudes mature.

That, “Return to me with all your heart,” does not involve only individuals, but extends to the community, is a summons addressed to all: “Gather the people. Sanctify the congregation; assemble the elders; gather the children, even nursing infants. Let the bridegroom leave his room, and the bride her chamber. (2:16)”

The prophet dwells particularly on the prayers of priests, noting that their prayer should be accompanied by tears. We will do well to ask, at the beginning of this Lent, for the gift of tears, so as to make our prayer and our journey of conversion ever more authentic and without hypocrisy.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLentParish MinistryMinistry of the OrdainedPreaching / Homiletics* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman CatholicPope Francis

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Posted February 18, 2015 at 5:10 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Our subject this morning, then, will be, both in the condemnation and in the punishment of every sinner, God will be justified: and he will be made most openly clear, from the two facts of the sinner's own confession, and God himself having been an eye-witness of the deed. And as for the severity of it, there shall be no doubt upon the mind of any man who shall receive it, for God shall prove to him in his own soul, that damnation is nothing more nor less than the legitimate reward of sin.

There are two kinds of condemnation: the one is the condemnation of the elect, which takes place in their hearts and consciences, when they have the sentence of death in themselves, that they should not trust in themselves—a condemnation which is invariably followed by peace with God, because after that there is no further condemnation, for they are then in Christ Jesus, and they walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. The second condemnation is that of the finally impenitent, who, when they die, are most righteously and justly condemned by God for the sins they have committed—a condemnation not followed by pardon, as in the present case, but followed by inevitable damnation from the presence of God. On both these condemnations we will discourse this morning. God is clear when he speaks, and he is just when he condemns, whether it be the condemnation which he passes on Christian hearts, or the condemnation which he pronounces from his throne, when the wicked are dragged before him to receive their final doom.

Read it carefully and read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLentParish MinistryMinistry of the OrdainedPreaching / Homiletics* TheologyAnthropologyChristologyEschatology

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Posted February 18, 2015 at 4:21 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Q: I don’t remember reading about Ash Wednesday in the Bible. Where did the practice come from?

A: That’s true; there is no mention of Ash Wednesday in the Bible. But there is a tradition of donning ashes as a sign of penitence that predates Jesus. In the Old Testament, Job repents “in dust and ashes,” and there are other associations of ashes and repentance in Esther, Samuel, Isaiah and Jeremiah. By the 10th century, the monk Aelfric tied the practice, which dates to the eighth century, to the period before Easter, writing, “Now let us do this little at the beginning of our Lent that we strew ashes upon our heads to signify that we ought to repent of our sins during the Lenten fast.” By the 11th century, the practice was widespread throughout the church — until Martin Luther, the Protestant reformer, threw the practice out in the 16th century because it was not biblically based. There’s no Lent in the Bible, either, though many Christians see it as an imitation of the 40 days Jesus spent fasting and battling with Satan in the desert.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLent

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Posted February 18, 2015 at 2:16 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Are human beings born good or born with a volcanic anti-God allergy in their hearts? Answering this theological question is one of THE great challenges for Christians as we stand on the brink of a new millennium.
On one side of the divide stands Jean Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778). Men and women “are born free,” he famously said in his Social Contract, yet “everywhere” they are “in chains.” Rousseau believed that we are born good. His explanation for the deep problems in the world? They came to us from outside us. Error and prejudice, murder and treason, were the products of corrupt environments: educational, familial, societal, political, and, yes, ecclesiastical.

Note carefully that the FUNDAMENTAL PROBLEM is located outside men and women, and the MEANS of evil developing comes from the outside in. The NATURE of the problem is one of environment and knowledge.
Augustine (354-430) saw things very differently. Describing the decision by Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, Augustine writes in The City of God: “Our parents fell into open disobedience because they were secretly corrupted; for the evil act had never been done had not an evil will preceded it.” The motive for this evil will was pride. “This is undue exaltation, when the soul abandons Him to whom it ought to cleave as its end, and becomes a kind of end to itself … By craving to be more” we “became less;” and “by aspiring to be self-sufficing,” we “fell away from him who truly suffices” us.

For Augustine, men and women as we find them today are creatures curved in on themselves. We are rebels who, rather than curving up and out in worship to God, instead curved in and down into what Malcolm Muggeridge once termed “the dark little dungeon of our own” egos.

In this view the FUNDAMENTAL PROBLEM is located inside men and women, and the means of evil developing comes from the inside out (note Jesus’ reasoning in Mark 7:18-23). The NATURE of the problem is one of the will.

The difference between Augustine and Rousseau could not be more stark. In a Western world permeated by Rousseau, we need the courage to return to the challenge and depth of Augustine’s insight.
To do so makes the good news of the gospel even better. Think of Easter. What is the image which Paul uses to describe what occurs when a man or woman turns to Christ? New Creation (2 Corinthians 5:17)! Jesus rose to transform the entire created order from the inside out, beginning with our evil wills which he replaces with “a new heart…and a new spirit” (Ezekiel 36:26).

Glory Hallelujah!

--Kendall S. Harmon from a piece in 2007

Filed under: * By Kendall* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLent* TheologyAnthropologyChristologySoteriology

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Posted February 18, 2015 at 1:15 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

O God, who by thy care and counsel for mankind hast moved thy Church to appoint this holy season wherein the hearts of those who seek thee may receive thy help and healing: We beseech thee so to purify us by thy discipline, that, abiding in thee and thou in us, we may grow in grace and in the faith and knowledge of thee; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLentSpirituality/Prayer

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Posted February 18, 2015 at 12:10 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

But in order to arrive at its full meaning, we must suppose that David felt an inward struggle and opposition, which he found it necessary to check. Satan had raised a tumult in his affections, and wrought a degree of impatience in his mind, which he now curbs; and he expresses his resolution to be silent. The word implies a meek and submissive endurance of the cross. It expresses the opposite of that heat of spirit which would put us into a posture of resistance to God. The silence intended is, in short, that composed submission of the believer, in the exercise of which he acquiesces in the promises of God, gives place to his word, bows to his sovereignty, and suppresses every inward murmur of dissatisfaction.

--From his commentary on the Psalms

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLent* Theology

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Posted February 18, 2015 at 8:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Ash Wednesday is the holy day on which you are asked to face the facts about yourself. Letting someone smear ashes on your forehead while telling you that you are dirt is a statement that you have seen and accepted the facts about yourself, and know they’re not in your favor. And, though this isn’t as obvious, it is also a declaration of the good news.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLent* TheologyAnthropologySoteriology

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Posted February 18, 2015 at 7:35 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Much fodder for the soul here--check it out.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLent* Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet

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Posted February 18, 2015 at 7:05 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The Rt. Rev. Mark Lawrence--both a Trinity School for Ministry alumnus, and Board of Trustees member--led the faculty and residential student body in a day of meditation and quiet reflection, beginning with the Ash Wednesday service of Holy Communion and the imposition of ashes.

Principally focusing on John 12:32, "And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself" (ESV), Bp. Lawrence related how this verse addresses why suffering so often draws people in varying ways to the foot of the cross. He also shared his own personal experience of seeking the Truth as a young man.
Audio recordings may be listened to here (there are three).

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLentParish MinistryMinistry of the OrdainedPreaching / Homiletics* South Carolina* TheologyAnthropology

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Posted February 18, 2015 at 7:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

...We are all over stimulated. Blessed Lent, the sad springtime of the Church's year is the time when we support each other as believers in simplifying our lives; removing fuel from the fires of rage and fear; facing a little more of the shadow world within by laying aside some of our usual comforters...

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLentParish MinistryMinistry of the OrdainedPreaching / Homiletics* TheologyAnthropology

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Posted February 18, 2015 at 6:36 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

"Confess your faults one to another" (Jas. 5:16). He who is alone with his sin is utterly alone. It may be that Christians, notwithstanding corporate worship, common prayer, and all their fellowship in service, may still be left to their loneliness. The final break-through to fellowship does not occur, because, though they have fellowship with one another as believers and devout people, they do not have fellowship as the undevout, as sinners. This pious fellowship permits no one to be a sinner. So everybody must conceal his sin from himself and the fellowship. We dare not be sinners. Many Christians are unthinkably horrified when a real sinner is suddenly discovered among the righteous. so we remain alone with our sin, living in lies and hypocrisy. The fact is that we are sinners!

But it is the grace of the Gospel, which is so hard for the pious to understand, that it confronts us with the truth and says: You are a sinner, a great, desperate sinner; now come as the sinner that you are, to God who loves you. He wants you as you are; He does not want anything from you, a sacrifice, a work; He wants you alone. "My son, give me thine heart" (Prov. 23:26). God has come to you to save the sinner. Be glad! This message is liberation through truth. You can hide nothing from God. The mask you wear before men will do you no good before Him. He wants to see you as you are, He wants to be gracious to you. You do not have to on lying to yourself and your brothers, as if you were without sin; you can dare to be a sinner. Thank God for that; He loves the sinner but He hates sin.

--Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together


Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLent

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Posted February 18, 2015 at 6:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

The idea of national repentance seems at first sight to provide such an edifying contrast to that national self-righteousness of which England is so often accused and with which she entered (or is said to have entered) the last war, that a Christian naturally turns to it with hope. Young Christians especially-last-year undergraduates and first-year curates- are turning to it in large numbers. They are ready to believe that England bears part of the guilt for the present war, and ready to admit their own share in the guilt of England. What that share is, I do not find it easy to determine. Most of these young men were children, and none of them had a vote or the experience which would enable them to use a vote wisely, when England made many of those decisions to which the present disorders could plausibly be traced. Are they, perhaps, repenting what they have in no sense done?

If they are, it might be supposed that their error is very harmless: men fail so often to repent their real sins that the occasional repentance of an imaginary sin might appear almost desirable. But what actually happens (I have watched it happening) to the youthful national penitent is a little more complicated than that. England is not a natural agent, but a civil society. When we speak of England's actions we mean the actions of the British government. The young man who is called upon to repent of England's foreign policy is really being called upon to repent the acts of his neighbor; for a foreign secretary or a cabinet minister is certainly a neighbor. And repentance presupposes condemnation. The first and fatal charm of national repentance is, therefore, the encouragement it gives us to turn from the bitter task of repenting our own sins to the congenial one of bewailing-but, first, of denouncing-the conduct of others.

--C.S. Lewis, "Dangers of national repentance"

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch HistoryChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLent* TheologyAnthropology

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Posted February 18, 2015 at 6:00 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Our first parents fell into open disobedience because already they were secretly corrupted; for the evil act had never been done had not an evil will preceded it. And what is the origin of our evil will but pride? For "pride is the beginning of sin." And what is pride but the craving for undue exaltation? And this is undue exaltation, when the soul abandons Him to whom it ought to cleave as its end, and becomes a kind of end to itself. This happens when it becomes its own satisfaction....The devil, then, would not have ensnared man in the open and manifest sin of doing what God had forbidden, had man not already begun to live for himself....By craving to be more, man became less; and by aspiring to be self-sufficing, he fell away from him who truly suffices him.

--Augustine, The City of God 14.13

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLent* TheologyAnthropology

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Posted February 18, 2015 at 5:41 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

O Heavenly Father, whose blessed Son hast taught us that whosoever will be his disciple must take up his cross and follow him: Help us with willing heart to mortify our sinful affections, and depart from every selfish indulgence by which we sin against thee. Strengthen us to resist temptation, and to walk in the narrow way that leadeth unto life; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLentSpirituality/Prayer

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Posted February 18, 2015 at 5:22 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Read it all and enjoy the great pictures.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsEasterHoly WeekLentParish Ministry* Culture-WatchBlogging & the Internet--Social NetworkingMediaUrban/City Life and Issues* Theology

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Posted April 23, 2014 at 7:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

This Lent we, and thousands of others, made the rise of hunger in the UK the focus of our fasting. It has been a time of sorrowful and deep reflection on a rise we see every day in the numbers visiting food banks in towns and cities across the country.

The Trussell Trust figures, released today, only further illustrate this terrible rise, from 350,000 last year to over 900,000 this year. This figure, shocking as it is, is far from the total number of people going hungry in our country today – from those too ashamed to visit their local food bank to those many families not in crisis but ever more worried about keeping the cupboards full. One in four is cutting portion sizes and half are cutting their household food budgets.

Lent has finally seen the beginning of a real national discussion on what this hunger means, what causes it and how we as a society can begin rising to the challenge of this national crisis.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsHoly WeekLent* Culture-WatchDieting/Food/NutritionGlobalizationHunger/MalnutritionPovertyReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsPolitics in General* International News & CommentaryEngland / UK* TheologyEthics / Moral Theology

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Posted April 17, 2014 at 7:01 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Watch it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalArchbishop of Canterbury --Justin Welby* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLent

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Posted April 14, 2014 at 4:14 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Thanks be to thee, O Lord Jesus Christ, for all the benefits which thou hast given us, for all the pains and insults which thou hast borne for us. O most merciful Redeemer, Friend and Brother, may we know thee more clearly, love thee more dearly, and follow thee more nearly, now and for evermore.

--Richard of Chichester

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLentSpirituality/Prayer

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Posted April 7, 2014 at 5:20 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

O God, who by the example of thy Son our Saviour Jesus Christ hast taught us the greatness of true humility, and dost call us to watch with him in his passion: Give us grace to serve one another in all lowliness, and to enter into the fellowship of his sufferings; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end.

--W. E. Orchard

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLentSpirituality/Prayer

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Posted April 6, 2014 at 6:26 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

O Lord Jesus Christ, who didst feed the multitude by the lakeside, using the humble gifts of a boy’s generous impulse, and a disciple’s faith in thy power: Help us in thy Church to call forth such generosity in others, and strengthen our faith that the hungry millions can be fed; for thy name’s sake.

--Gordon Hewitt

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLentSpirituality/Prayer

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Posted April 5, 2014 at 7:40 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Gracious Father, whose blessed Son Jesus Christ came down from heaven to be the true bread which giveth life to the world: Evermore give us this bread, that he may live in us, and we in him; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

This collect begins with the acknowledgement that God is our "Gracious Father." He is the very essence of fatherhood - we only know a good father or a wanting father due to the fact that we have a good and gracious Father in heaven.

For many in other religions, this is a very offensive concept - that God could be referred to as our Father. Within Orthodox Judaism it is still considered near blasphemy to pronounce the name of God - God is known through His word and through His creation, but is not a personable being. Within Islam, God or Allah is impersonal and unknowable. Equally within eastern religions, God is a disembodied force that one seeks to align with but cannot be known nor know you.

For Christians the title of Father implies exactly what it means - that God desires both to be known and to know us as His adopted sons and daughters.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - Episcopal* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLentLiturgy, Music, WorshipSpirituality/Prayer* Theology

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Posted April 2, 2014 at 8:30 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

O Lord and heavenly Father, who hast given unto us thy people the true bread that cometh down from heaven, even thy Son Jesus Christ: Grant that our souls may so be fed by him who giveth life unto the world, that we may abide in him and he in us, and thy Church be filled with the power of his unending life; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.

--Frederick B. Macnutt

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLentSpirituality/Prayer

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Posted March 31, 2014 at 5:21 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

Almighty God, who has taught us in thy holy Word that the law was given by Moses, but that grace and truth came by Jesus Christ: Grant that we, being not under the law but under grace, may live as children of that Jerusalem which is above, and rejoice in the freedom of our heavenly citizenship; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.

--The Rev. James Mountain (1844-1933)

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLentSpirituality/Prayer

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Posted March 30, 2014 at 6:22 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

O God, who hast made the earth so fair, and written thy glory in the heavens: Help us inwardly to respond to all that is outwardly true and beautiful, so that as we pass through things temporal we may never lose the vision of the things eternal; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLentSpirituality/Prayer

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Posted March 29, 2014 at 7:16 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

We’re walking from Amesbury to Stratford sub Castle along the Woodford Valley. Amesbury was the site of a magnificent (Augustinian?) Abbey. Stratford is sub the Castle because once it stood at the foot of the hill on which Sarum’s Castle sat. The first Salisbury Cathedral was on the hill too. So we will be visiting our forebears.

Along the way we will be going to Wilsford and Great Durnford, which has the oldest pews in the country. Evensong at Stratford around 15.45. 10 miles.

Read it all.

Filed under: * Anglican - EpiscopalAnglican ProvincesChurch of England (CoE)CoE Bishops* Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLent* Culture-WatchTravel

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Posted March 27, 2014 at 6:15 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

O Eternal God, who through thy Son our Lord hast promised a blessing upon those who hear thy Word and faithfully keep it: Open our ears, we humbly beseech thee, to hear what thou sayest, and enlighten our minds, that what we hear we may understand, and understanding may carry into good effect by thy bounteous prompting; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.

--Euchologium Anglicanum

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLentSpirituality/Prayer

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Posted March 25, 2014 at 5:22 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]

Posted by Kendall Harmon

O almighty Father, giver of every good and perfect gift, who hast made the light of thy truth to shine in our hearts: Make us to walk as children of light in all goodness and righteousness, that we may have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

--W. Walsham How

Filed under: * Christian Life / Church LifeChurch Year / Liturgical SeasonsLentSpirituality/Prayer

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Posted March 24, 2014 at 5:20 am [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]




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