The Bible In Our Worship
[The following essay is taken from the booklet “The Lord Is In His Temple" which was first published in 1958. We maintain the same position today regarding God’s Word.]
Since the Bible is the only place where God speaks to us, it is proper that the Bible be given an important place, not only in the sermon, but also in the worship of the Church. This is done to an unusual degree in the Reformed Episcopal Church. We seek to be a church of the Reformation and are, therefore, Reformed. That is, as Luther and the other reformers of the sixteenth century restored the knowledge of the Bible to the people, so we seek to have people know what God has spoken.
Since, in the Bible, we know what God has said, Reformed Episcopalians insist that a lesson from the Old Testament and another from the New Testament be a part of Morning Prayer and a recommended part of Evening Prayer. There must also be a selection from the Psalter (or Psalms) which is the hymnal which God gave to Israel through such men as Moses, David and Solomon. Thus we see that three portions of our worship are directly in the words of the Bible. In the service of the Holy Communion, the commandments are read, and selections from the Gospels and from the Epistles are required so that three portions of the Bible are used here also.
It is important to note that the quotations from the Bible are so arranged as to be in keeping with the Church Year: Advent, Christmas, Epiphany, Trinity, etc. See how the Old Testament lesson frequently records God’s promises and the New Testament, their fulfillment. The Psalms also apply to the season of the Church Year.
In addition to the directly quoted portions of Scripture, the prayers, and collects are based upon clear teachings of the Bible. Because of this we become used to God’s way of prayer and worship and learn the truths which form our attitudes toward Jesus Christ and toward one another.
Prayer, in and of itself, is not pleasing to God. God has told us: “He that turneth away his ear from hearing the law, even his prayer shall be abomination” (Proverbs 28:9.) Our prayer and worship must be in the spirit and attitude of Jesus’ example: “Whatsoever ye shall ask in my name…” (John 14:3.) And what was His example? “Not my will but thine be done” (Luke 22:42.) We have no right before God’s throne, sinners that we are by birth (“they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies”--Psalm 58:3,) except by reason of the fact that we accept Jesus’ shed blood as the covering for our sins. We must be so grateful to Him that we are constrained to obey Him. He said, “No man cometh unto the Father but by me” (John 14:6.) God has told us the importance of worshiping Him properly; He has revealed the true way in the Bible. Through our Book of Common Prayer, our thoughts and words may be directed toward God for true and acceptable worship.
How carefully we ought to listen to the reading of the Bible portions in our services of worship, and how faithfully we ought to read and consider what our Maker has revealed to us so that we may know the truth. By keeping the Bible basic to all our worship, we can know Jesus Christ who is the Way, the Truth and the Life.
The Rev. and Mrs. William Jerdan were with us Sunday, Jan. 3, 2010. The Jerdans have been missionaries in France for 37 years and are presently on furlough. Diane gave a power point presentation of their work following Morning Prayer. Bill preached in the service of Holy Communion. During coffee hour they showed a video of their work and answered questions. Do be in prayer for the Jerdans as they seek God’s guidance for their future ministry.
UPCOMING SERVICES & EVENTS
Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2010. The service will begin at 7:30 p.m. Lenten services will be held every Wed. in Lent at 7:30 p.m. in the chapel. A Soup Supper will preceed each service starting at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesdays.
ANNUAL PARISH MEETING
Sunday, April 11, 2010, following morning worship
The meeting will be preceeded by a luncheon in the Parish Hall.
MISSIONARIES OF THE MONTH
Rt. Rev. Gerhard and Grace Meyer, Youth/Camp/Pastoral Ministries, Germany
Feb. 3 - Adele O’Brien
Feb. 9 - Mike Acke, Sr.
Feb. 12 - Sara Hassert
Feb. 14 - Edwina Greco
Feb. 15 - Tommy Kelly
Feb. 18 - Larry Klingen
Feb. 23 - Lorie Stultz
Feb. 28 - Dorothy Novak