Life Is Liturgy

Today is Sunday, June 11, 2017. Day 21,640.

“If you live to be one hundred, you’ve got it made. Very few people die past that age.” ~ George Burns
The Quotations Page

Today’s word of the day is purpurate, and adjective, meaning, “Purple in colour; †clothed in purple.” It can also mean, “Of noble origin; born ‘in the purple’,” or “Of language or rhetoric: rich; elaborate, ornate.”

Today is Corn on the Cob Day. That actually sounds pretty good. Perhaps we will have some of that today.

We got back home at around 8:30 last night. I think that we have decided that this may very well be our favorite vacation, thus far. It will definitely be hard to beat. And there is so much more to see in Oregon that I’m sure we will have to go back, maybe in a couple years.

We knew we would be tired and need to rest some, so that we can get back to work tomorrow (our first full work week in three weeks!), so we decided weeks ago that we would not be making it to our worship gathering this morning. By next weekend, we should be back in full swing. I’ve already mentioned in another blog that tomorrow morning, it will feel like we are getting up at 3:15. Neither one of us slept well, last night, in spite of being back in our home bed. For me, I kept getting hot. After all, we’ve been sleeping with a window open and temperatures in the upper forties to mid-fifties at night. We also missed the sounds of the ocean roaring through the open window.

Not much on the agenda for today. We’ll probably hit the grocery store in a little while, and then just relax for the afternoon. I’ll have band practice tomorrow night, and, even though I’ll still be a little tired, probably, I need to make it, because it’s been three weeks since I’ve practiced.

All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted

(From The Divine Hours)

Ascribe to the LORD, O families of the peoples, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength! 
Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; bring an offering, and come into his courts! 
Worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness; tremble before him, all the earth!

Psalm 96:7-9
Send out your light and your truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling! 
Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy, and I will praise you with the lyre, O God, my God.

Psalm 43:3-4
As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. 
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?

Psalm 42:1-2
For who is God, but the LORD? And who is a rock, except our God?
Psalm 18:31
Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 
And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. 
And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. 
And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.

Matthew 7:24-27
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.

O God, from whom all good proceeds:
Grant that by your inspiration I may think those things that are right,
and by your merciful guiding may do them;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God forever and ever. Amen.

(From Living the Message)

Eugene Peterson began talking about liturgy in yesterday’s reading. As much as we might dislike liturgy (especially those of us who are entrenched in more “Baptist” ways), it can be a beautiful thing. Yet is not about beauty or aesthetics. What it does is provide for space, time, and order. We come together “at appointed times in agreed upon places” to worship and pray as a community. Even the congregations that rebel against liturgy tend to do things in the same order every week, which is actually “liturgy,” like it or not.

Today’s reading, though, called “Let Us Pray,” is about thinking that prayer is something that we do on our own initiative. “We experience a deep longing for God, and so we pray. We feel an artesian gush of gratitude to God, and so we pray. We are crushed with a truckload of guilt before God, and so we pray.”

However, when we are involved in liturgy, as a community, “we do not take the initiative.”

“We don’t start it; someone else starts it, and we fall into step behind or alongside. Our egos are no longer front and center.”

I believe it is important for us to realize that not everything we do is of our own initiative, especially when it comes to spiritual formation. Even those times when we pray are probably not on our own initiative, but promptings by the Holy Spirit. When I feel a deep need for God, how else do I know this need unless the Spirit draws me; when I feel gratitude, where does that come from? I don’t start it! When I feel guilt, that certainly doesn’t come from me! So even those acts of prayer are, on the deepest level, not my own initiative.

Perhaps all of life is “liturgy” of some kind.

So come, let us worship: bow before him,
on your knees before GOD, who made us! 
Oh yes, he’s our God,
and we’re the people he pastures, the flock he feeds.

Psalm 95:6-7 (The Message)

Father, there is so much more I need to recognize in this life of liturgy. Help me to know that all things spiritual are not my own initiative. When I pray, it is because the Spirit draws me; when I sing or worship in other ways, it is because your Spirit draws me; when I walk in the ways and words of Jesus, it is because your Spirit enables me and teaches me. None of this comes from my own doing or thinking. My ego is not front and center. I am nothing without you.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

Grace and peace, friends.


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