Saturday, October 20, 2012

Saturday in Pentecost, Proper 23: The property and promise of God

Opening Sentence
Thus says the high and lofty One who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy, "I dwell in the high and holy place and also with the one who has a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble and to revive the heart of the contrite." Isaiah 57:15

Come Down, O Love Divine

Collect of the Day
Lord, we pray that your grace may always precede and follow us, that we may continually be given to good works; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Psalter: Psalm 20, 21

Lessons: Acts 28:17-31, Luke 9:37-50

Death will cut me off from my dear relations, whose dependence hath been on my care for them, but it will then dispose them under the more immediate care, protection, and providence of God who is judge of the Widow's case, and with whom the fatherless find mercy. It pierceth my soul to hear the Wife of my bosom cry, "Oh, Husband! What shall become of me, when thou covering of mine eyes art taken from me?" and to hear my children cry, "What shall become of us, when our careful, compassionate father is gone?" Be still my Soul! Submit, yield unto my God; even so hasten, for so it seemeth good unto thee; Is it not my duty by an act of faith, to cast my fatherless children on the Lord who provided for them by me? In vain had I risen early, gone to bed late, and eaten the bread of carefulness, if God had not built my house: shall I think the same God cannot, or shall I fear He will not provide for them without me? . . . . It is God's property, and promise, to take care of the Widows and Fatherless: especially of such who are so made for the testimony of His truth . . . I love them; I have looked after them whilst I lived; I will now leave the care of them to Him, who expressed it by me, who can and will express the same without me; who is charged with them by His own property and promise, who is more immediately, more eminently bound to look after them, by taking, me from them.

Oh my God! give my Wife and Children a fear of Thee; submission to Thee; and faith in Thee, be Thou the Husband of my Widow; and the Father of m y fatherless Children; that to the praise of Thee who faileth not, they may tell the world, the unbelieving world, they lost nothing by losing me; they traded to good advantage, by freely, willingly, cheerfully, contentedly, giving up a most loving Husband, and tender Father, to the pleasure of a gracious, faithful, never failing God; who stayeth with them, and careth for  them, when He by death doeth take me from them.

Zachary Crofton
A Defence Against the Dread of Death

Be Still My Soul