Thursday, May 24, 2012

Thursday in Easter 7: So rough a Messenger

Opening Sentence
Christ has entered, not into a sanctuary made with hands, a copy of the true one, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf. Hebrews 9:24

Commemoration: Nicolas Copernicus
Almighty God, who have made the heavens to tell your glory and the firmament to proclaim your handiwork: we bless you for placing us in a rational universe, and for giving us rational minds suited for understanding it; and today we praise you especially for the gifts of intellect that you have given to your servants Nicolas Copernicus and others, by which our understanding of the nature of your creation has been much advanced, to our good and your glory, who live and reign, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Psalter: Psalm 105:1-22

Lessons: Zechariah 4, Ephesians 4:17-32, Matthew 9:1-8

After much weakness and sickness when my spirits were worn out, and many times my faith weak likewise, the Lord was pleased to uphold my drooping heart, and to manifest his Love to me; and this is that which stays my Soul that this condition that I am in is the best for me, for God doth not afflict willingly, nor take delight in grieving the children of men: he hath no benefit by my adversity, nor is he the better for my prosperity; but he doth it for my Advantage, and that I may be a Gainer by it. And if he knows that weakness and a frail body is the best to make me a vessel fit for his use, why should I not bear it, not only willingly but joyfully? The Lord knows I dare not desire that health that sometimes I have had, lest my heart should be drawn from him and set upon the world. Now I can wait, looking every day when my Savior shall call for me. Lord grant that while I live I may do that service I am able in this frail Body, and be in continual expectation of my change, and let me never forget thy great Love to my soul so lately expressed, when I could lie down and bequeath my Soul to thee, and Death seemed no terrible thing. O let me ever see Thee that art invisible, and I shall not be unwilling to come, though by so rough a Messenger.

Anne Bradstreet
Journal, August 28, 1656

Jesus Saves (Jeremy Camp)