Covenant Design Group

March 24, 2009

The Covenant Design Group will meet March 29-April 2 in Cambridge, England.

What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! Romans 7:24-25a

O Father,
What a wretched church we are! Who will rescue us from this body of death?
We give thanks to You for Your Son Jesus Christ, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Ghost,
born of the virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, dead, and buried;
who descended into hell,
rose from the dead,
ascended into heaven,
and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty.
The Covenant Design Group has been toiling against a contrary wind. We pray that they are willing to take Jesus into their toil and that they immediately reach the shore where they are heading. If there are any members of the group that are unwilling to take Jesus in, then we cry out for a change of heart or a change of personnel. Amen.
John 6:21, Apostles Creed

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Lent Quotes: Bp. John-David Schofield – The Gift of Repentance

March 24, 2009

The following is an excerpt from a 2006 Lenten Pastoral Letter by Bp. John David Schofield, which we posted at the original L&B site in March 2006. It’s good to be reminded that repentance is a blessing in that it allows us to know and experience more of the love of God in our lives.

***

The kind of repentance that Jesus seeks when he announces: “Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand” is no general sort of emotion or expression of sorrow. Rather it is a challenge and a bid for our eagerness to enter the light, experience a transparency — an openness and honesty — that alone admits more light and enables us to grow and mature. It is the response of God to a hunger that He finds in us to come into that place where we will truly be children of the light. It is a hunger for such insight into reality that we will WANT to walk away from all that is destructive, or as the baptismal service puts it “draws us away from the love of God”

It is not that God ever stops loving us; it is that through many decisions and choices we become insensitive to that love of His that surrounds us continually and aches when it is clear that we are unaware or reject His approach to us and the bountiful provision of gifts He longs to bestow on us if only we had eyes to see as well as hands and hearts ready to receive.

Lent causes us to take a deeper look at ourselves — not to be preoccupied with our own lives — no, just the opposite — but to alert us to habits, attitudes, and insensitivities that blind us to the Lord (prayer) to the needs of others (alms giving) or to the unconscious acceptance of self-indulgence (fasting) that crowd out God’s blessing, rob us of joy, and stunt us.

The season of Lent that assists us in growing in spiritual awareness holds out the promise and hope of a life in Christ we might not dream possible otherwise. Far from the haunts of dreariness, this is the season of Spring and it prepares us for the life that can only come from the Risen Lord. May God grant us all — individually and us a Church — the gift of such repentance.


John 6:16-21 and Psalm 97:10-12

March 24, 2009

Now when evening came, his disciples went down to the sea, got into the boat, and went over the sea toward Capernaum. And it was already dark, and Jesus had not come to them. Then the sea arose because a great wind was blowing. (John 6:16-18 )
      Jesus, so many of us are rowing against the wind and are weary; please send the fresh wind of your Holy Spirit to encourage and strengthen us.

So when they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and drawing near the boat; and they were afraid. (John 6:19)
      Jesus, I offer you my fears.

But he said to them, “It is I; do not be afraid.” (John 6:20)
      Holy Spirit, please write these words of Jesus on my heart.

Then they willingly received him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land where they were going. (John 6:21)
      Father, help us receive Jesus into every aspect of our lives. Thank you.

You who love the LORD, hate evil! He preserves the souls of his saints; he delivers them out of the hand of the wicked. (Psalm 97:10)
      LORD, please help us recognize both good and evil for what they are and help us love the good and hate the evil. Deliver us out of the hand of the wicked.

Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart. (Psalm 97:11)
      Jesus, let your light shine forth for us; bring us to joy and gladness in your Holy Spirit.

Rejoice in the LORD, you righteous, and give thanks at the remembrance of his holy name. (Psalm 97:12)
      Jesus, please help us by your Holy Spirit to call upon the power of your name and rejoice in you. Thank you.

      A word received: Hear me, my people, I AM among you. Who among you has his face turned to me? Turn your face to me and your footsteps to my path. Turn to me; return to me. Listen for my voice. I AM speaking — who is listening?

Tuesday: 97, 99, [100]; Jeremiah 17:19-27; Romans 7:13-25; John 6:16-27
Wednesday: 101, 109:1-4(5-19)20-30; Jeremiah 18:1-11; Romans 8:1-11; John 6:27-40

      Notes from the Front Line

General William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army, who died in 1912, quoted by David Virtue: “I am of the opinion that the chief dangers that confront the coming century will be religion without the Holy Spirit, Christianity without Christ, forgiveness without repentance, salvation without regeneration, politics without God and heaven without hell.

In 1938 Richard Neibuhr’s assessment of mainline liberal theology: “A God without wrath brought men without sin into a Kingdom without judgment through the ministrations of a Christ without a Cross.

Albany Intercessor


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