Monday, September 14, 2009

This whole day belongs to Jesus

Reading through the 1662 Book of Common Prayer recently. Two things have struck me. Firstly, the prayers are about everyday things, rain, harvests, safety, holiness, that show and encourage a genuine dependence on God. It seems with all our modern technology, the only thing we really need God for is providing the heaven tickets. The second is the way in which prayer and the scriptures marked the day and the year. Each day was shaped by the rhythm of morning and evening prayer, not simply for the recluse monastic, but for everybody (or at the very least the minister). When did we give this up as a communal reality? When did we allow economics to dominate our time?

As an Anglican, I've been engaging some Anabaptists like these guys. over the last few months with guilty pleasure, as though tasting some forbidden ecclesiological fruit. But the more I think about it, the more the ideas of sustainability and rhythms of prayer and communal living appear to be part of the Anglican tradition we have foolishly ignored.


Mike Bull said...

Great points. I think the Lord brings Muslims to Christ who ask things like "Can I still pray 5 times a day?" to provoke us to jealousy.

I watched the Gregory Boyd interview. In one way, he's hit the nail on the head. The blessings of the kingdom always flow from the community life of the church, not from political action.

But in another way, he misses the point entirely. When the churches are faithful, the blessings, the ramifications for culture, are ALWAYS political. The Christian Conservatives just have the cart before the horse. When God's people are faithful, and He can actually trust them like Joseph, He gives them dominion on a platter, for the blessing of all.

Magdalena said...

This is right. Anglicans used to be known as the most pious people in Europe, and though not everyone went to morning and evening prayer, many did, and most knew the prayers enough that they could join in at home when they heard the service bell. Community used to be Church; still is, for traditional Anabaptists.