Monday, 1 October 2012

Monday - Time Wisdom

Last month,  we reflected and read all about Worship.  We reflected on why we worship,  how we worship,  and the Liturgy  - our work of worship.    Yet worship all stems from our love of God and our thirst for wanting to  get to know God.  Part of this month we will learn about ways to prepare ourselves for worship so that we can come before God with hearts full of gladness.  These devotionals have been influenced by Stephen Cherry, “Beyond Busyness: Time Wisdom”  Sacristy Press, 2012.   This is a worthwhile book and would be an awesome Christmas present for your Minister. 
Prayers this month are adapted  and copied from a small booklet entitled “Prayers for All Occasions”  by Forward Movement Press, 1964. This booklet has been used and loved so much that it is in tatters.  Yet,  the prayers remain so simple and beautiful that they must continued to be shared.   Other prayers this month are from Father Simeon “Ted” Weare of the Orthodox Church in America.   Sometimes we meet a minister and say, “Wow,  does the light of Christ ever shine from you.”   Ted was such a minister.   He died 25 October 2011 but his written prayers remain for all the world’s faithful to pray. 
 The rest of this month,  we will get to know God by diving into the Gospel According to St. Luke and learning the stories of Jesus Christ.   Reading the scriptures not only brings knowledge about the Bible but also centres God in our hearts. And what could be better than living each day recognizing that we live each day in the presence of God!

Monday  October 1
Prayer:   Lord have mercy.  We give thanks to the risen Lord for He is gracious.  His mercy endures for every.  The Lord is high above all people and His glory above the heavens.  Ever since the world began God has established His Throne.  Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.   Now and always and unto ages of ages.
Amen  (Father Simeon Weare   Orthodox Church in America)

Preparing our Hearts for Worship.    While we try to get out to worship each Sunday,  worship is more than just showing up Sunday morning and sliding into a pew.  Worship is our response to God.   While our head (and mind) understands that worship is our response to God,  we must remind our heart that worship is our response to God.

When you have company coming,  do you tidy up your place?   Do you lay out towels for your guests to use?  Do you purchase a few more groceries so they have something more to eat than peanut butter and crackers?   
So if we tidy up our homes and prepare for our guests,  how much more should we tidy up our lives for God.     We prepare our hearts for worship on Sunday through our meditations and reading of scriptures each day.

Frequently we have good intentions to prepare our hearts and minds for worship… but we run out of day.    We seem to live on the fly.   But as Christians,  we can not live on the fly if we are to say thank you to God each and every day.     Meditation and prayers and reading scripture takes time.    Frequently we say that we don’t have time.  We are too busy. 

Stephen Cherry wrote an amazing book entitled, “Beyond Busyness:  Time Wisdom for Ministry”.   Stephen Cherry is a Church of England priest, currently a Canon of Durham Cathedral and with a diocesan job which involves leading a team of people who support the mission and ministry of local churches.  He is also responsible for the Continuing Ministerial Development of the clergy and readers of the Durham diocese.   And,  most importantly,  he knows his stuff on time wisdom!
Stephen Cherry’s  book is not about Time Management but Time Wisdom!   While the book is aimed at Clergy,  it is a book very well worth the read in order to centre God in your hearts.

Read  St. John 14: 1 – 3
2 Timothy  4: 1 – 5

After reading these two Scripture passages,  how does God ask us to prepare our hearts for worship and for living?

Prayer:  Great God,  continue to prepare our hearts so that we can fully worship You each and every day of our lives.  In peace,  let us pray to the Lord.  Lord have mercy.  All Holy Trinity have mercy upon us.  O Lord be merciful to our sins.  Father,  forgive us.  O Holy One visit and heal our infirmities.   This we ask in Jesus’ name.  Amen.  (Father Ted Weare.  Orthodox Church in America).

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