Wednesday, October 24, 2012


"O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth shall show forth Thy praise."

Is that really so difficult to say?

I recently attended a gathering.  The devotions had no invocation, no versicles, no creed, no hymn, no psalms, no canticles.  The devotions started with a religious reading, followed by a prayer.  You'd think we could have at least prayed the Lord's Prayer.  (Jesus did say, after all, "When you pray, say 'Our Father....'")

We've been reading John Kleinig's book Grace Upon Grace for Bible class this fall.  In it, he talks about how God's people are made holy by things like the invocation, creed, Our Father, and the benediction.  As I read that section of the book, I reflected on how impotent we think those words are.  They seem silly to most of us.  They seem little.  They seem like the same-old-same-old. 

And then you throw together more than a hundred Christians, and we pray, and I feel cheated (yes, cheated!) that we can't even say "In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."  We can't have someone read a psalm to which we can respond with the Gloria Patri.  We can't confess the Faith together -- "I believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth...." 

Really, dear pastors.  God gave you the words to say.  You can find them in the book.  He ordered you to speak them for my comfort, for my strengthening, for my life.  Would you please just say them?!


  1. For one full quarter, our school chapel has been having Matins led by a faithful pastor who teaches the kids how to do that. It was, apparently, making some of the teachers uncomfortable. They were worried that we were "turning off" some of the kids to church. So last week we had a skit put on by some of the kids. One of them said, er, mumbled, the benediction, and said, "Amen," as he walked off the dais.

  2. I'm sorry, Melody. I hope this week's is better!

  3. Actually, yes, it was! The visiting pastor said, "I hear you've been doing Matins, so let's do that, too." And the sermon was lovely. Well, except for saying that Jesus kicked the Devil's a$$. Yeah.