| Daily Office Readings 7 February 2019 |
AM Psalm , 71; PM Psalm 74 Isa. 55:1-13; Gal. 5:1-15; Mark 8:27-9:1
“For through the Spirit, by faith, we eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness.” (Galatians 5:5)
These words from Paul remind me of my personal Creed. It is an explanation of my faith while being brief. I still believe in our Nicene Creed but I needed a statement of belief more succinct. So I crafted these words: “I believe in God through the Holy Spirit of the Incarnate Word through whom we live and love and have our being and to whom we must give an account.” I changed the word “move” to “love” (Forgive me Paul) because maybe we all can’t move but all of us are capable of love. While there is no mention of Mary or Pontius Pilate or even Jesus by name, Jesus is mentioned as the Incarnate Word. And it is Trinitarian: belief in God; Holy Spirit and The Incarnate Word, The Logos. But there is also the realization that all of us are going to be held accountable when judgment time comes and we ought to be living that way now. Amen.
Let us hear what the Spirit is saying through and to God’s people.
Last night I preached about the Martyrs of Japan. After the monks and their followers were killed and Christianity outlawed, the Christian movement went underground. It stayed underground for over two hundred and fifty years. This is amazing! The people maintained their belief in the Salvation of Jesus without clergy, without Bibles and without churches. When Japan was reopened they again began having public Christian worship again.
This reminds me of the time when the firsts Christians were persecuted by Rome until the year 325 and Emperor Constantine made Christianity legal throughout the Roman Empire. It seems the Church is at its purest when it is in secret and/or at home. The underground churches were home churches. I think that is where real faith begins, in the home. In fact I think all faith should begin in the home and then brought to church on our Sabbath for Communal Corporate Worship. If we have no home worship and we can’t find our particular tradition close to us, what do we do? Therefore, we must keep our tradition as best we can at home even if we also visit other traditions.
We start home worship with the simple stuff. A little prayer in the morning (our Book of Common Prayer can help with this), prayer at meals, some story telling about Jesus, (not Bible reading). Some appointed family member should read the Bible story in advance and then tell the story to the family. There is something very special about “telling the story.” And don’t forget prayer at bed time. The Mother Church is stronger when the home church is stronger.
“Ponder anew what the Almighty can do.” (From the 3rd verse of Praise to the Lord)