Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Thanksgiving

I love the Book of Common Prayer because throughout my college years I worshipped at an Episcopal Church. I loved the liturgy and the beauty and comfort of familiar words. It was not empty repetition (as non-liturgical types might think) because it was a form that was filled up with my love for God. Just as the repetition of "I Could Sing of Your Love Forever" can be either full of heartfelt praise or empty of anything but melody, so can liturgy. When I drive by Episcopal or Catholic Churches I sometimes feel a nudge to go in to the sanctuary, open a musty Book of Common Prayer, and meditate by a stained glass window.

On Thanksgiving Eve, I think of the General Thanksgiving which so beautifully reflects an awesome respect for God and a desire for submission to Him:

Almighty God, Father of all mercies, we your unworthy servants give you humble thanks for all your goodness and loving-kindness to us and to all whom you have made. We bless you for our creation, preservation, and all the blessings of this life; but above all for your immeasurable love in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ; for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory. And, we pray, give us such an awareness of your mercies, that with truly thankful hearts we may show forth your praise, not only with our lips, but in our lives, by giving up our selves to your service, and by walking before you in holiness and righteousness all our days; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory throughout all ages. Amen.

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