Sunday Meditation

Deliver us, viagra Lord, doctor from every evil
and grant us peace in our day.
In your mercy, Lord,
keep us free from sin,
and protect us from all anxiety
as we wait in joyful hope
for the coming of our Saviour,
Jesus Christ.
Let your Kingdom come, Lord, in me.

I pray the protection of Christ to clothe me,
Christ to enfold me,
to surround me and guard me
this day and every day,
surrounding me and my companions,
enfolding me and every friend.

~Aidan of Lindisfarne (7th century) — As found in Celtic Daily Prayer, pg 159-160.

Sunday Meditation

May the Father of Life pour out His grace on you;
may you feel His hand in everything you do
and be strengthened by the things He brings you through:
this is my prayer for you.

May the Son of God be Lord in all your ways;
may He shepherd you the length of all your days, check
and in your heart may He receive the praise:
this is my prayer for you.

And despite how simple it may sound,
I pray that His grace will abound
and motivate everything you do;
and may the fullness of His love be shared through you.

May His Spirit comfort you, and make you strong,
may He discipline you gently when you’re wrong,
and in your heart may He give you a song:
this is my prayer for you.

May Jesus be Lord in all your ways,
may He shepherd you the length of all your days,
and in your heart may He receive the praise:
this is my prayer for you, my prayer for you.

A prayer of blessing taken from Celtic Daily Prayer: Prayers and Readings from the Northhumbria Community, pg. 292.

A Waste of Time

I’m late! I’m late! For a very important date. No time to say “Hello, pharmacy Goodbye”.  I’m late, I’m late, I’m late!

We live in a world that has a hurried sense of time.

It’s always a rush to get out the door.

There are always looming deadlines.

There are always too few hours in the day to get everything done.

I think that is one of the reasons I find myself attracted the use of liturgy, the Christian calendar, and of structured prayer times as found in the Anglican Prayer book (BAS), for example. For just a brief time, I am transported away from a view of time that is pressed, hurried, and haggard. I enter into a space, where I am reminded that God’s time is so infinitely different from our sense of time.

In fact, liturgy wastes time on purpose. It is repetitive and reflective and does not just “cut to the chase.” It builds, slowly and patiently, to the goal of bringing us into the throne room of grace, even if only for 20 minutes, or an hour. It allows space for meditation and reflection. It pushes away the noisy calls for “relevance” and “pragmatism” and “purposefulness”.

Paul Griffiths says it this way:

Wasting time is, in ordinary English, a bad thing: want, we think, to make the best use possible of it. But in liturgical terms, time, considered as linear time that can be scheduled, divided into minutes and hours, filled up, deployed, and measured by chronometers, is exactly what should be laid waste, and effectively is….To enter into the repetitive patterns of the liturgy is to lay waste linear time with the radiance of eternity, and in that way to provide a foretaste of heaven.

And yet, even though I am being shaped by this “otherness” of time, it’s a constant battle to ignore the drum of our culture’s sense of “hurry up.” James K.A. Smith writes of his attempt to incorporate Christian practices into his pedagogy, and tells of his experience in his 200-level philosophy class. Because the class met twice a week during the lunch hour timeslot, he decided to start each class off with “Mid-day Prayer.”

A noble endeavour. I said to myself, thinking about how that would be such a powerful practice to include in a theology class one day. And then the pragmatist (given that I’m reading this book in order to think through educational pedagogy, pragmatic thinking is obviously going to occur) in me said, “but how much time does that take away from the allotted 75 minutes of lecture time?”

There it was: the pressure of our culture’s sense of time. That time devoted to mid-day prayer would take away precious time from lecturing on the actual course content.  It didn’t matter that the students reacted positively to this practice of starting the class with the Divine Hours. My brain automatically began calculating how much time was lost; how much time was wasted by starting the class with the liturgy of prayer.

I stepped back from the book, realizing the conflict I was having over the sense of time. I opened my prayer book, and spent some time praying through the Mid-day prayer. And then, in the quiet, in the stillness, I thought about a possible bridge. What if built into Christian educational institutions class time was 10-15 minutes added specifically for prayer? That way instructional time wasn’t “lost” and at the same time the formative Christian practice was kept.

Until the new heavens and new earth, there will probably always be a battle between our culture’s sense of time and the eternity of time.

I’m late! I’m late! For a very important date. No time to say “Hello, Goodbye”.  I’m late, I’m late, I’m late!

 That’s okay, White Rabbit, this time, you can run ahead without me.

Sunday Meditation


Let every faithful man and woman, generic when they have risen from sleep in the morning, before they touch any work at all, wash their hands and pray to God, and so go to their work. But if instruction in the word of God is given, each one should choose to go to that place, reckoning in his heart that it is God whom he hears in the instructor.

For he who prays in the church will be able to pass by the wickedness of the day. He who is pious should think it a great evil if he does not go to the place where instruction is given, and especially if he can read, or if a teacher comes. Let none of you be late in the church, the place where teaching is given.

Then it shall be given to the speaker to say that is useful to each one; you will hear things which you do not think of, and profit from things which the Holy Spirit will give you through the instructor. In this way your faith will be strengthened about the things you have heard. You will also be told in that place what you ought to do at home. Therefore let each one be diligent in coming to the church, the place where the holy Spirit flourishes. ~ Hippolytus, ‘Of the Time When One Ought To Pray’

A Prayer

O Lord, there we come this morning
Knee-bowed and body-bent
Before thy throne of grace.
O Lord — this morning —
Bow our hearts beneath our knees,
And our knees in some lonesome valley.
We come this morning —
Like empty pitchers to a full fountain,
With no merits of our own.
O Lord — open up a window of heaven,
And lean out far over the battlements of glory,
And listen this morning.


James Weldon Johnson, from God’s Trombones