Monday, 19 February 2018
Anglican Renewal Ministries Canada Call to Prayer
Brethren, in the primitive Church it was the custom to observe with great devotion the days of our Lord’s Passion and Resurrection, and to prepare for the same by a season of penitence and fasting. This season of Lent provided also a time in which converts to the faith were prepared for holy Baptism. ... the whole Congregation was put in mind of the message of pardon and absolution contained in the Gospel of our Saviour, and of the need which all Christians continually have, of a renewal of their repentance and faith. I therefore invite you, in the name of the Church, to the observance of a holy Lent, by self-examination and repentance, by prayer, fasting, and self-denial, and by reading and meditation upon God’s holy Word.” (from A PENITENTIAL SERVICE FOR USE ON ASH WEDNESDAY AND AT OTHER TIMES, The Book of Common Prayer, 1962, Canada; p. 611)
The need for such prayer and fasting, in particular, I believe, is now urgent. The wonderful and distinctive saltiness of Jesus and his Church is being dissolved in the post-Christian soup of our culture as we settle more and more comfortably into it. Too many of us have lost confidence in Holy Scripture’s often counter-cultural answers to the tempter’s crafty questions, “Did God really say…?” (Gen 3.1).
If ever there was a time when we in the Anglican Church of Canada need to renew our repentance and faith, it is now. To observe such a Lent would be a good way to do so and if you haven’t begun already, THE LENTEN EMBER DAYS BEING THE WEDNESDAY FRIDAY AND SATURDAY (21, 23 & 24 February) AFTER THE FIRST SUNDAY IN LENT (see The Book of Common Prayer, p142) would be an excellent place to start—or to enhance what you’ve already started with some added Ember depth and solemnity. There you will find some rubrics, or instructions, concerning helpful Collects and readings. There are also daily office readings in THE TABLE OF LESSONS, pp xxiv-xxv.
These and Book of Alternative Services readings can also be found at https://ww2.anglican.ca/lectionary/.
Please join us in prayer for the Anglican Church of Canada and for General Synod 2019—for the revival of our Churches, the spread of Scriptural holiness, and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit in believers.
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