Musings of an Anglican/Episcopal Priest

Tag: Graham Kings

Graham Kings>> Formed by God through Scripture in the Daily Office

Recently at St. Francis we have reemphasized the Daily Office.  As part of this reemphasis, I want to commend Graham Kings’ reflection on the Office to you.  This was delivered at the Covenant Conference in Dallas in early Decemeber.  Unfortunately, due to flight schedules I was unable to hear this reflection in person, but thankfully–and to your benefit as well–the recording is available at the Covenant site.  Enjoy!

Introduction

Apart from ‘Daily Prayer’, ‘The Office’ reminds me of two things: firstly, the popular English comedy series, which was recontexualised in Pennsylvania; and secondly an excellent name for a pub. If I ever owned a pub – which I am very unlikely to do – I would consider calling it ‘The Office’. Then, if relatives or friends wondered where you were, you could phone and say, ‘I’m still at The Office’.

In the wonderful collect for Bible Sunday, we pray ‘help us to hear [all holy Scriptures], to read, mark, learn and inwardly digest them…’. As we say the Daily Office, we are formed by God through his Scriptures.

Officium is the Latin word for ‘duty’. Whenever we think of ‘duty’ in the Anglican Communion we also think of ‘joy’: ‘It is our duty and our joy at all times and places…’. So, at Morning Prayer, you report for duty and get your orders. At Evening Prayer you clock off, if you like, and you salute. That is one way of looking at the Office. It has got to be done. As we shall see, it is enjoined upon clergy, but also with the ‘tolling of the bell’, it involves lay people as well.

{Read/listen to it all}

Graham Kings: News Worth Sharing | Covenant

“The Shack” is still on my reading list, so I can’t really say much one way or another about it, but I think Graham Kings has hit upon some important themes in the book in this brief review:

But I always liked Jesus better than you. He seemed so gracious and you seemed so … ‘

‘Mean? Sad, isn’t it? He came to show people who I am and most folks only believe it about him. They still play us off like good cop/bad cop most of the time, especially religious folk. When they want people to do what they think is right, they need a stern God. When they need forgiveness, they run to Jesus.’

This is a key conversation concerning the heart of God in the American novel The Shack, by William Paul Young. It has sold nearly 2m copies, having been rejected by about 30 publishers, and is recommended by prominent evangelicals in the US and Britain.

The Shack has been at the top of fiction bestseller lists and is hailed as a modern day Pilgrim’s Progress. It explores the mystery of personal suffering in dialogue with God the Trinity. Intriguingly, the “Father” is portrayed as an African American mother, the “Spirit” is an east Asian woman and Jesus as a not-particularly-handsome Middle Eastern Jew.

This is a novel way of exploring the first essential belief of evangelicals, the intrinsic dynamic of God’s life in Trinity. The second is that our good works are a “thank you” rather than a “please”. They are offered to God in gratitude for the salvation he has already freely provided for us in Christ, which we have received by faith. They are not a plaintive plea directed at him for our acceptance, on our own behalf.

{Read it all}

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