I LOVE the BCP!** Yes, I really do! Of course, I love the Bible every bit as much. I have greatly enjoyed participating in the Wednesday Morning Bible Study for a number of years here at the Chapel. I do love scripture and continue to learn and strive to incorporate it into my daily life.
But…back to the BCP. I am amazed each day as I use this book for Morning and Evening Prayer (Compline), as well as prayers for healing, thanksgiving, penitence, peace and a myriad of others. This jewel of a book and the center of our Episcopal worship is a rich treasure, full of wisdom, comfort, and healing. And the Psalms right in the middle of the book! Wow!
Recently, I’ve been thinking about sin and grace. Perhaps it is age (LOL) or perhaps the ebb and flow of life. On p. 848 in the BCP I have highlighted (in pink) the definition of sin: Sin is the seeking of our own will instead of the will of God, thus distorting our relationship with God, with other people, and with all creation. Whoa! This certainly applies to me, as I can find myself attempting to “run the show,” exert my opinions where they are not wanted or needed, judge others, speak unkindly, or engage in gossip. These behaviors are indicative of me seeking my will and forgetting that I am not in charge, nor am I the center of the universe. These and other sins are what “distort my relationship with God, with others, and with creation.”
This brings me to grace as defined in the BCP p. 858: Grace is God’s favor toward us, unearned and undeserved; by grace God forgives our sins, enlightens our minds, stirs our hearts, and strengthens our wills.When I choose each day to live in the light of the Holy Spirit and to turn my life and my will over to the care of God my day is usually filled with some measure of peace, and serenity, and yes, God’s grace. One of my favorite hymns describes grace so beautifully that I often tear up each time I hear it: “I once was lost but now am found, was blind but now I see…how precious did the grace appear the hour I first believed.”
May the ever abundant grace of God be with each of you here at our beloved Chapel of the Cross.
**Book of Common Prayer