The choir of St. George Chapel, Windsor Castle, England. I think this is my favorite old church, of all the many I have seen in my life, but unfortunately, there is no decent photograph of it available. This tinted engraving by William Pyne, ca. 1819, is the best available. It is the most magnificent example of English “perpendicular” Gothic architecture in the world.
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Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.
Prayer for Purity of Worship
Almighty God, unto whom all hearts are open, all desires are known, and from whom no secrets are hidden: Cleanse the thoughts of my heart by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that I may perfectly love you and worthily praise your holy name. Through Christ I pray,
Song of Praise
Bless the Lord all you works of the Lord: sing his praise and exalt him for ever.
Bless the Lord you heavens: sing his praise and exalt him for ever.
Bless the Lord you angels of the Lord: sing his praise and exalt him for ever.
Bless the Lord all people on earth: sing his praise and exalt him for ever.
O people of God bless the Lord: sing his praise and exalt him for ever.
Bless the Lord you priests of the Lord: sing his praise and exalt him for ever.
Bless the Lord you servants of the Lord: sing his praise and exalt him for ever.
Bless the Lord all you of upright spirit: bless the Lord you that are holy and humble in heart.
All Bless the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit: sing his praise and exalt him for ever.
from PECUSA service
For Freedom from Sin
To Thee, O my God, I lift up my soul and heart; do not allow Thy creation to perish, but free me from the single and greatest enemy — sin. Grant, O Lord, that I may endure anxiety and sorrows of the soul with the same patience as the joy with which I receive satisfaction of heart. If Thou desirest, O Lord, Thou canst cleanse me and sanctify me. Here I commit myself to Thy mercy, begging Thee to destroy within me all that is offensive to Thee, and to unite me to the assembly of Thy chosen.
unk source 5/19/2017
May the God of hope fill me and all of us with the joy and peace that comes from believing, so that we may abound in hope, by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Bow down Your ear, O Lord, hear me;
For I am poor and needy.
Preserve my soul, for I am holy;
You are my God;
Save Your servant who trusts in You!
Be merciful to me, O Lord,
For I cry to You all day long.
Rejoice the soul of Your servant,
For to You, O Lord, I lift up my soul.
For You, Lord, are good, and ready to forgive,
And abundant in mercy to all those who call upon You.
Give ear, O Lord, to my prayer;
And attend to the voice of my supplications.
1 Corinthians 12:4-13 (ESV)
One Body with Many Members
ow there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are varieties of service, but the same Lord; and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who empowers them all in everyone.
To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the ability to distinguish between spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills.
For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—Jews or Greeks, slaves or free—and all were made to drink of one Spirit.
Notes on the Scripture
In much of the New Testament, we study the Holy Spirit as the source of our knowledge of God, the internal gift of the Spirit. Today’s passage emphasizes the role of the Spirit in our lives, especially the ways in which we contribute to Christ's church.
I learned how to make web pages. And so, I created this web site. I then read James 3:1 and got quite nervous, so I went back to school and got a degree in Bible. I have devoted quite a bit of time to it. I don't feel that I am any better or worse than Billy Graham, or someone who attends the sick, or someone who sweeps up the floor of a church, or someone who struggles just to get through his or her day. Our abilities and functions are given to us by God.
This is quite different from the “American dream,” which teaches that in the world of commerce we should set goals with our mind and that we can be anything we want to be, and so on. We see a poor or dirty person and many of us see a person who could “improve” himself if he would just try.
But although service to Christ is similar in many ways, there are also differences. Becoming Christian means accepting that humility is more important than worldly success. In fact, some of the people with the greatest callings live in a manner that would appall us, for they epitomize our understanding that “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor. 12:9). When we see others who are not achieving everything in this life that we think they could -- in our pitifully small wisdom -- it is always good to consider the life of John the Baptist, or St. Francis of Assisi, or someone similar.
Finding perfection in humility is sometimes even more difficult when weakness and humility are thrust upon us, rather than chosen; for then we must accept God’s will whether we like it or not.
A rich person who gives away some of his money—or in the case of St. Francis, all of his money; a missionary who gives his life and health to the service of Christ in a dangerous and unhealthy locale; such service and sacrifice is voluntary. But if we are sick, do we dream of good health, or do we dream of God’s grace? If we are poor, do we dream of winning the lottery, or do we accept that God’s grace is everything important, and that we are members of Christ’s body every bit as important to Him as the “head”?