Maundy Thursday Prayer

Almighty Father, whose dear Son, on the night before
he suffered, instituted the Sacrament of his Body and Blood: Mercifully grant that we may receive it thankfully in remembrance of Jesus Christ our Lord, who in these holy mysteries gives us a pledge of eternal life; and who now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

-Book of Common Prayer (1979 Edition)

Morning Prayer

DSC_0765DEARLY beloved brethren, the Scripture moveth us in sundry places to acknowledge and confess our manifold sins and wickedness; and that we should not dissemble nor cloke them before the face of Almighty God our heavenly Father; but confess them with an humble, lowly, penitent, and obedient heart; to the end that we may obtain forgiveness of the fame, by his infinite goodness and mercy. And although we ought at all times humbly to acknowledge our sins before God; yet ought we most chiefly so to do, when we assemble and meet together, render thanks for the great benefits that we have received at his hands, to set forth his most worthy praise, to hear his most holy Word, and to ask those things which are requisite and necessary as well for the body as the foul. Wherefore I pray and beseech you, as many as are here present, to accompany me with a pure heart, and humble voice, unto the throne of me heavenly grace, saying after me:

ALMIGHTY and most merciful Father, We have erred and strayed from thy ways like lost sheep: We have followed too much the devices and desires of our own hearts: We have offended against thy holy laws: We have left undone those things which we ought to have done; And we have done those things which we ought not to have done; And there is no health in us. But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us, miserable offenders: Spare thou them, O God, which confess their faults: Restore thou them that are penitent; According to thy promises declared unto mankind in Christ Jesus our Lord. And grant, O most merciful Father, for his sake, That we may hereafter live a godly, righteous, and sober life, To the glory of thy holy Name. Amen.

-Book of Common Prayer (1662 edition)

The Intersection of Long Walks and Deep Thinking

Bruce Ashford, Provost of Southeastern Seminary, has a nice post on the benefits of long walks and deep thinking. Living in Scotland means you walk everywhere. I for one can testify to the connection between these activities. Here is Bruce’s concluding paragraph:

I’ll limit myself to one concluding reflection. Our 21st century urban context pushes us to live lives that are dizzyingly busy, crammed full of many things and devoid of time to contemplate. Perhaps the best thing we can do is set aside some time to be “unbusy,” so that can partake in such a deeply humane activity as walking and thinking. As Eugene Peterson points out, our busy-ness sometimes stems from arrogance—we are busy because we are building our own kingdoms. Other times, it stems from laziness—we let society write our agenda rather than writing our own. Either way, we rob ourselves of the time needed to immerse ourselves in deep thought about. Healthy spiritual and intellectual formation requires a certain amount of unhurried leisure, the sort that is often provided by a long stroll.

You can read the whole post here.

Christ-Centered Commentary Series

1 and 2 Timothy and Titus is the first commentary from the Christ-Centered Commentary Series is now for sale on Amazon. It looks like this volume is written by the series editors David Platt, Danny Akin, and Tony Merida. This commentary series niche is to take large key verses within large chunks of texts and show how they apply to Christ. If you are looking for a commentary that gives you big-picture, Christological landscapes of whole books give this series your attention.


Read the Fathers: Beginning in Advent


I just came across this blog that is set up to as a reading guide for the Church Fathers.

By reading seven pages a day for seven years, you can study a vast library of theology, history, liturgy, apologetics, biblical commentary, and devotion written in the first seven centuries of the Christian church.

The first reading begins on 2 December.

A Prayer for Maundy Thursday

Almighty Father, whose dear Son, on the night before
he suffered, instituted the Sacrament of his Body and Blood:
Mercifully grant that we may receive it thankfully in
remembrance of Jesus Christ our Lord, who in these holy
mysteries gives us a pledge of eternal life; and who now lives
and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever
and ever. Amen.

-Book of Common Prayer

A Timely Warning

A warning from a man born half a millennium ago for those who think vague religiosity or spirituality is sufficient:

…they think that any zeal for religion, however preposterous, is sufficient. But they do not realize that true religion ought to be conformed to God’s will as to a universal rule; that God ever remains like himself, and is not a specter or phantasm to be transformed according to anyone’s whim.

John Calvin, Institutes of the Christian Religion, Vol. I, p. 49

Living By Faith

God is faithful. That is one of the heartbeats of Scripture, a declaration that comes up over and over again, whether through the OT covenants or through Jesus’ faithfulness in going to the cross for us or in his return for his Bride in Revelation. The fact that God is faithful, though, is not just something declared or proposed, but something demonstrated (and especially at the cross). And I’m thankful that the fact that God is faithful is not just demonstrated in Scripture but that he continues to demonstrate it in my own life. That is a lesson in my sanctification that I continue to learn as my years of walking with Jesus increase. I started to dwell heavily on it when I came to seminary five years ago. I could at that time and still can point to periods of time in my life when I had been unfaithful to God’s commands and to my relationship with him, and yet I could always see alongside those times of my unfaithfulness his unwavering faithfulness. He was faithful to discipline me, to call me, and to love me to himself.This is obviously the most important way to see God’s faithfulness, but I’ve had other lessons as well.

I learned even more of God’s faithfulness as I went through seminary and into PhD work. He was faithful now not only to sanctify me but also to provide a job for my wife while I was in seminary and then for me when we decided to start having children. Through our parents and through the seminary, he provided for our family’s physical needs as well as for my education and for our housing situation. These are things that weren’t certain up until the very moment they needed to be taken care of – and yet he always provided.

I learned yet more about the faithfulness of God during my recent job search. I was so worried about finding a job after my PhD, constantly fretting over where I would end up and if I would be able to support my family. I must have filled out at least 50 applications – it was probably more like 100, but I lost count eventually – and even thought I had a shot at 3 or 4 because of people I knew at certain schools. But then CBU called, a school at which I thought I had no shot, and God proved again that he knew what was best for me and meant to take care of me and my family.

What I’ve learned about God’s faithfulness is that it is what motivated God to save me, what motivates him to continue to sanctify me, and what motivates him to bring me to Jesus in the end. It’s never been about me living in the power of my own faith, but about leaning on the faithfulness of God. I find it interesting that we so often push ourselves to have more faith – but I think all that really means is trust even more in God’s faithfulness towards you. That’s the hardest part, though, isn’t it? When something else comes along that tests your faith, you have to trust yet again. But whether we doubt or whether we increase in our own faith, God remains faithful to us.