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Liturgy

Some elements of yesterday's liturgy really struck me (they've actually been with me much of the past week—one of the advantages of my job), so I'm recording them here this morning.

The Lord reigns; let the peoples tremble!
   He sits enthroned upon the cherubim; let the earth quake!
The Lord is great in Zion;
   he is exalted over all the peoples.
Let them praise your great and awesome name!
   Holy is he!
The King in his might loves justice.
   You have established equity;
you have executed justice
   and righteousness in Jacob.
Exalt the Lord our God;
   worship at his footstool!
   Holy is he!

—Psalm 99:1-5


God has shown us what is good. What does the Lord require of us?
   To act justly,
   To love mercy,
   And to walk humbly with our God.

—Adapted from Micah 6:8


Almighty and Merciful Father,
   you have told us what is good, and we agree with you.
Our lives, however, do not measure up.
We have not acted justly.
   Instead, we have acted in ways
      that promote our own comfort and advancement.
We have not loved mercy.
   Instead, we have loved the order and control over our lives we can maintain
      if we do not reach out to those in need.
We have not walked humbly with you.
   Instead, we have run from your paths
      when they are difficult and involve sacrifice.
Forgive us for our offenses against you,
   and go on to subdue everything in us
      which is contrary to your purposes.
By the power of your Spirit make us a community
   which acts justly, loves mercy, and walks humbly with you,
      through Christ our Lord.


If you, O Lord, kept a record of sins, who could stand?
   Let us put our hope in the Lord,
   for with him is unfailing love;
   with him is full redemption.
The Lord himself will redeem us from all our sins. Amen.


"I Sought The Lord" (anonymous, circa 1880)
I sought the Lord, and afterward I knew
He moved my soul to seek Him, seeking me.
It was not I that found, O Savior true;
No, I was found of Thee.

Thou didst reach forth Thy hand and mine enfold;
I walked and sank not on the storm vexed sea.
’Twas not so much that I on Thee took hold,
As Thou, dear Lord, on me.

I find, I walk, I love, but oh, the whole
Of love is but my answer, Lord, to Thee!
For Thou were long beforehand with my soul,
Always Thou lovedst me.



In a postmodern cut-and-paste world, I'm thankful for the form liturgy gives our worship. With the net, television, and a life served up to me screen by screen, the already alien act of worship is made all the more difficult by my waning ability stay focused on anything, much less someone as wholly other as the God of the universe. Liturgy gives me an agenda I can follow in this all-important endeavor, touchstones to which my heart and mind can return from their wanderings.

Another early morning with Earl Grey tea. Realizing the wisdom of cutting back on my luxury expenses like coffeeshop coffee and dining out. Not abstention; just limits and boundaries. I'll also be cooking more, which somehow makes me a bit saner.

Even if I weren't cutting back, these early mornings are so very good. Time to be with my Lord and remember who I am, to read and pray even in the stammering steps I can take.

Comments

beautiful.
With the net, television, and a life served up to me screen by screen, the already-alien act of worship is made all the more difficult by my waning ability stay focused on anything, much less someone as wholly other as the God of the universe.

This is so true, and it is much more telling in my students' abilities to concentrate in the last few years.

Sometimes I fear our lives will dwindle to mere sound bytes (bites?) and we'll lose out ability to commune with each other, much less God.
I understand what you mean about the expenses...my bad one was eating out too much...I just mentioned to my Mom on the phone this morning how long a grocery trip can last, when i'm not buying exclusively pre-packaged junk...Last night, I had some breaded haddock fillets...they were so good...and very simple...

Last night, I just ate two of them...I'm not great at pairing foods yet...Maybe a salad (but they're too much of a hassle when I'm just eating alone)...I do know that some lemon juice would have even made it slightly better. Must put that on the grocery list.
I really want to get in the cooking-for-myself groove. Like almost anything, I tend to think I'll get better at it the more I do it. And it almost always feels good to cook once I'm actually doing it; I just tend to put it off as a hassle because it's not yet my routine and I'm impatient (and not used to thinking about meals before I want to eat them).

Made brownies last night. Mmmmm.