A BIRTHDAY DEDICATION
FOR 6 May 2018
All of this week and last week I have been receiving messages on my Facebook account urging me to “dedicate” my birthday day as a day to celebrate a “charitable organization” or “worthy cause”. This morning as I said the Morning Office I was particularly struck by the psalm and the recollection of a conversation I had last Friday with my friend who likes to refer to himself as an Anglican Evangelical as opposed to an Evangelical Anglican. In discussing the ultimate sinfulness of man we arrived at the conclusion that we agreed that constant prayer and a constant relationship with God through Christ was an absolute essential even for the most saintly among us. Immediately an image of praying the Daily Office popped into my mind with its introductory confession, recitation of the psalms, reading of the scriptures, recitation of the creed, making of the prayers and praying the intercessions. Along with that image I called to mind the admonition of the Bishop of Tennessee, Bishop Bauerschimdt, that even when we pray the Offices alone we should do so with the knowledge that we are praying on behalf of the whole church and that we are not praying alone and should conduct ourselves reverently and appropriately.
So Facebook I will dedicate this day giving all “Glory, Laud and Honor” to the Daily Offices of the Book of Common Prayer and commending them to the reading by all people, Christian or otherwise. I invite them to pray the Offices regularly and with reverence and the knowledge that they do not approach God alone but rather in concert with the whole Church present, past and future. And, in the process of praying the offices they will be maintaining a continuing and reverent relationship with God.
To contribute to my charity simply find a copy of the Book of Common Prayer either paper or electronic and open it to the Daily Office and start praying.
I would like to share with you Psalm 30 which is one of the psalms appointed for today the sixth day of the thirty day cycle for Morning Prayer which speaks to me today in a very special way today:
1. I will exalt you, O Lord,
because you have lifted me up
and have not let my enemies triumph over me.
2. O Lord my God, I cried out to you,
And you restored me to health.
3. You brought me up O Lord, from the dead;
You restored my life as I was going down to the grave.
4. Sing to the Lord, you servants of his;
Give thanks for the remembrance of his holiness.
5. For his wrath endures but the twinkling of an eye,
his favor for a lifetime.
6. Weeping may spend the night,
but joy comes in the morning.
7. While I felt secure I said,
“I shall never be disturbed.
you, Lord with your favor, made me as strong as
8. Then you hid your face,
And I was filled with fear.
9. I cried to you, O Lord;
I pleaded with the Lord saying,
10. “What profit is there in my blood, if I go down to the Pit?
will dust praise you or desire your faithfulness?
11. Hear, O Lord, and have mercy upon me;
O Lord be my helper.”
12. You have turned my wailing into dancing;
You have put off my sack cloth and clothed me with joy.
13. Therefore my heart sings to you without easing;
O Lord my God, I will give you thanks for ever
In the introduction to his books The Five Books of Moses and The Early Prophets professor Everett Fox makes the point that as with other ancient writings the Hebrew Scriptures (and I think the Bible as a whole) was written with the intention that they be read aloud and preferably publicly. There is a dimension of the scripture which shows itself when it is read this way that simply does not come through otherwise. And, saying the Daily Office provides the perfect platform for this practice which will open a new dimension to anyone’s spiritual life.