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, August 4, 2013

Running To Promises

It is not news that following the progress of the Church Year in the Book of Common Prayer, at the end of the completed cycle all the important doctrines of the Faith are taught. The fact that these truths are presented year after year should not be seen as tedious.  The truth of the matter is this:  we forget and therefore need the constant reminder of what these doctrinal truths are, the reminder of what is ours in Christ Jesus. These are the truths for which men and women have given their lives to preserve, and which we too often take lightly.

These principles and pillars form the structure on which our Faith is built. These are shown in the scriptures but also the collects that precede each weekly lesson.  I've written much on the Prayer Book collects of Thomas Cranmer.  They are our beliefs compressed down into jewel form.  Today's is a particularly precious jewel in this chain.
 God, which declarest Thy almighty power,
most chiefly in showing mercy and pity
Give unto us abundantly Thy grace,
that we, running to Thy promises,
may be made partakers of Thy heavenly treasures,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Mercy, pity, grace!  These are our Father's attributes as well as His gifts. But the insight into God's character that is revealed is how He uses His 'almighty power'. 

Here we get a glimpse not of the usual wrathful God, but a God beyond both our understanding and our deserving.

Our world is driven by the gaining and use of power - control - force.  This has tainted our thinking in so many ways, yet here we see the Almighty powerful Creator God showing power "not in earthquake, fires, and flood, nor in the starry sky and earth beneath, nor in signs and wonders", but in mercy, in pity.  This that we may be partakers of the heavenly treasures stock piled and put in store for His children.

All that is required is our running to His promises.  I love that picture, that of our running.  And where His promises are concerned, that list is long ~ His saving grace, keeping power, abiding love, hiding refuge, needful strength and on and on. Make your own list of the first promises that come to mind. That is the sort of exercise that quickly sends us to our knees but also makes the heart sing praises as it should.

When speaking of mercy, grace and pity I can't help but think of Psalm 130 verses 3 and 4:
If You Lord, should mark/keep account of our sins,
O Lord, who could stand?

But there is forgiveness with You
that You may be feared and worshiped.

Praise Him!


  1. Sometimes I run so hard to the promises, I end up on the graound, still cling, till I can pull myself up again...scraped knees...constant companions.