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Next in the Anglican Bloggers' Collaborative Series from L&B: Whitehall
Prydain ^ | 3/17/2006 | Will

Posted on 03/17/2006 6:19:09 PM PST by sionnsar

This morning from Lent and Beyond's Collaborative Lenten Meditations, we have Peace! Be Still! by Fr. Will Brown of the Whitehall blog. This is a great post by "Fr. WB"--please don't miss it.

TOPICS: Mainline Protestant
Fr. Will Brown: “Peace! Be Still!”
Filed under: Meditations, Lent 2006, Anglican Bloggers Lenten Devotionals — Karen B. @ 6:27 am

This is the nineteenth in a series of daily Lenten devotionals by a group of Anglican bloggers and friends. Today’s entry is by Fr. Will Brown of the Whitehall blog. You can read other entries in the series here.

How apt is today’s office gospel, not only for Lent, but for our ecclesial situation in general! A great storm of wind has arisen; and the waves are beating in; the boat is filling.

Thanks be to God: we know the identity of Him who is in the stern of the boat with us. We ought to recognize the obedience of our very circumstances to his command: “Peace! Be still!” And there was peace; and there was stillness. We know the answer to the question “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” He is the Lord of the wind and the sea, through Whom the wind and the sea, and our own tempestuous ecclesial circumstances and personal lives, were made. The same voice that spoke to the quavering disciples in the boat on Galilee spoke to the nihil at the Beginning, ordering the chaos: “Let there be light!” And there was light. And he speaks to you and me, here and now.

Or how apt is the Old Testament reading, which begins “Now the famine was severe in the land”!

The famine in our Church is severe indeed, as I would bet the famines in many of our spiritual lives are as well. But like the twelve apostles in the boat with Jesus, there was in the midst of the twelve brothers in Egypt one whom the King had set over all his house (Gen. 41.40), before whom every knee in the land would bow (Gen. 41.43). And the unrecognized kinship between the sons of Israel and him who was set over all the land of Egypt was the source of their sustenance. Joseph filled their sacks with grain, demanding nothing in return (Gen. 42.25).

Just so, in the midst of our own famine, our Lord gives us bread from heaven, containing within itself all sweetness (Wisdom 16.20) – his body as food; his blood as drink. And yet we do not marvel like the disciples in the boat; we are not ignorant like the sons of Israel begging bread from Joseph. We know Whom He is. We know our kinship with Him: not only are we his friends (John 15.15), but we are his brothers and sisters too (John 20.17).

The Lord of creation is our brother, who feeds us. In this knowledge, and by the power of this Bread, we should be able to discern our circumstances’ obedience to His command: “Peace! Be still!” The tempests of our Church and of our lives, to paraphrase Julian of Norwich, are behoovely: and all shall be well; and all shall be well; and all manner of things shall be well. Our Friend and Brother is the Lord of creation.

But in the midst of our famine, and in thanksgiving for the life-giving broken body and spilt blood of our Friend, Brother and Lord, let us offer to Him and His service our own meagerness. “Then their father Israel said to them, ‘…do this: take some of the choice fruits of the land in your bags, and carry down to the man a present, a little balm and a little honey, gum, myrrh, pistachio nuts, and almonds’” (Gen. 43.11). Even so, ought we to offer God what little we have in the midst of our famine and tempest. A little more prayer, fasting, almsgiving, and penance.

Today is also the feast of St. Patrick, Bishop, Confessor, and Apostle of Ireland. From the last lesson of Matins in the Anglican Breviary, we read that it was in bondage and slavery that St. Patrick received his formation in the Lord: “Meanwhile he learned to serve God well, for whilst attending the flock of his master he would rise before the light, in snow and frost and rain, to make his prayers.” This is very practical advice for Lent: rise early and say your prayers. And it is very good metaphorical advice for those of us who feel as though we are enthralled to the whims of moral and doctrinal corruption, the famine and tempest of our age and Church. Do not fret; do not complain. But tend the flock of your Master; rise early and say your prayers, even (especially!) in the midst of spiritual snow and frost and rain. And whatever you do, do not neglect the bread from heaven, offered with regularity to you and for you in your church, from the fathomless granaries of our Exalted Brother and Lord. Nourished by its sweetness, not only will you survive, but you will thrive, returning home with treasure in your sacks (Gen. 43.22f).

O Lord Jesus, in the midst of our tempests and famine, we cry to you. We beg sustenance of you, and we thank you for feeding us. We thank you for the grace of our kinship with you and in you; remain with us now and ever, as you have promised, and let your blessing + be ever upon us. Who lives and reigns with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.

Holy Patrick, pray for us!

Father Will Brown is the assistant chaplain and curate at the Episcopal Church at Yale and a priest of the Diocese of Georgia.

1 posted on 03/17/2006 6:19:11 PM PST by sionnsar
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2 posted on 03/17/2006 6:19:49 PM PST by sionnsar (†† | Libs: Celebrate MY diversity! | Iran Azadi 2006)
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