Saturday, June 27, 2015

Thoughts on a Prayer Service

I attended Evensong at Westminster Abbey yesterday. Pretty amazing, eh? I am very blessed to have this 10 days of visiting family and seeing important historical and literary places in England with my son. We will then, with my husband,  get to visit family all over England with a few more educational trips thrown in.

This amazing blessing shows how much I have. Which brings me back to Sung Evensong at Westminster Abbey.

The general confession from the Anglican Book of Common Prayer was read in unison. It goes like this:

O God, Our Father, , we have sinned against in thee in thought, word, and deed:. we have not loved thee with all our heart; we have not loved our neighbor as ourselves. Have mercy upon us, we beseech thee; cleanse us from our sins; and help us to overcome our faults; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Later in the service we heard this reading from the New Testament:

The Rich Man and Lazarus

19 “There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. 20 At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores 21 and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.
22 “The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. 24 So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’
25 “But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’
27 “He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, 28 for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’
29 “Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’
30 “‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’
31 “He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’”

The juxtaposition struck me, especially in light of my "wealth." (I am a lower middle class American by income.Globally, that's a lot of wealth.) From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked. Time for prayer and loving my neighbor more.

CYC is a two week conference for high school teens on the beautiful southern coast of Maine. August 2-15. Check it out here.

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