Give me my scallop-shell of quiet,
My staff of faith to walk upon,
My script of joy, immortal diet,
y bottle of salvation.
My gown of glory, hopes true gauge,
And thus I'll take my pilgrimage.

~Sir Walter Raleigh

A hiker, walking for pleasure, likes to choose between several alluring trails.
The pilgrim desires only the road that leads home.

~Frank W. Boreham

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Stirring it up

Stir up we beseech Thee, O Lord,

the wills of Thy faithful people,

that they, plenteously bringing forth the fruit of good works,

may of Thee, be plenteously rewarded;

through Jesus Christ our Lord.

So reads Bishop Cranmer's Book of Common Prayer collect read for this Sunday.

All our actions have a point of origin and when it comes to our will, it is clear that what we will, we do if at all possible.

The good bishop, I believe, is reminding us to focus on the use of our will in faithful and fruitful efforts. O how we often stumble at these points. In the Church, stirring up strife seems to be a major 'spiritual gift' rather than stirring up to good ends.

The apostle Paul reminds young Timothy to "stir up - rekindle the embers, fan the flame and keep burning - the gracious gift of God...." [ II Tim. 1.6, Amp. trans.]

That's the thought for This Day on the spiritual front.

On the purely temporal front, in High Church tradition, this is "Stir Up Sunday".

Certainly a reference both to God's power and to man's will.

It is also a reminder that it's time for members of the household to set about taking turns stirring the Christmas pudding in preparation for that feast coming soon.

May we all go forth stirring This Day.