A moment of contemplation for yourself or on behalf of others on everything from the life-altering to the mundane.

Prayer: A conversation with The Higher Other who lives within each of us. An invitation to vent, to re-think, to ask, and to rest.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Meditation Moments: Oh, there's that Sin thing again...

Two things I recognize, O Lord, in myself:  Nature, which Thou hast made;
Sin, which I have added.
                                    ~ Lancelot Andrewes* [1555-1626]

         Well, some days - ok, too many - I don't choose to recognize the latter in myself. I go blithely along feeling like a reasonably nice person, following the rules (more or less), going to Church, saying my prayers, and doing a good deed here or there. I like to think of myself as an adherent to (the majority of) the Commandments - I haven't killed anyone and I haven't stolen anything since I was 12. Of course I can easily recognize, point out, and discuss at length the sins of others - oh wait, does that mean that I have, perhaps, maybe, possibly committed s-i-n ?
         Inasmuch as sin is defined as an act against the will of God, and, alienation from God, then reluctantly, I must admit, that my ease and ability to rush to the judgment of others is, simply put, sin. And were I to do a bit more self-examination, I might discover other unpleasant personal insights. SO, perhaps it is time to reflect, re-examine, repent and return to the Lord.**  Therefore, with a consciousness of mind and heart, I must now pray, again:

Most Merciful God,
I  confess that have sinned against you
in what I  have thought and said,
by the wrong I  have done,
and the good I  have not done.
I  have not loved you with my whole heart;
I  have not loved my neighbors as myself.
I  have sinned in ignorance and in weakness,
I  have sinned through my own deliberate fault.
I  am truly sorry; I most humbly repent.  
Remind me, often, to turn to you.
Please forgive me, yet again, for our Savior Christ's sake. 
Help me delight in your will; help me to walk in your ways.
Grant me the courage to see myself in others and 
the compassion to show others your mercy as you have shown it to me.
And mostly, please help me in renewing my life to reflect the glory of you. Amen.***

*Lancelot Andrewes was an English scholar and bishop holding high positions in the reigns of Elizabeth I and James I. He served as Bishop of Chichester, Ely, and Winchester and is most remembered today for overseeing the committees who put together the biblical translation we know today as the Authorized Version, or more familiarly, the King James Version. King James I wished to ease the tension between the Puritans and the Anglican Church and commissioned the translation. According to some reports, it wasn't until the Puritans of the New World (aka the American Colonies) accepted this work that the Church of England affirmed it. Andrewes is on the Church of England and the US Episcopal Church liturgical calendars for September 26.

**from The Baptismal Covenant, Book of Common Prayer, page 304  (US 1979)

***an amalgamation of the Confession from the Holy Eucharist II of the (US) Book of Common Prayer, A New Zealand Prayer Book, and original material.

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