Anglican Morning Devotion for 8 February 2022 Anno Domini
a ministry of the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
“Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; 14As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: 15But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; 16Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. 17And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear: 18Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 19But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: 20Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, 21Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God. 22Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: 23Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. 24For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: 25But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.” (1 Peter 1:13-25; all scripture quoted is from the King James Version)
One of the opening sentences of Evening Prayer in the traditional Book of Common Prayer is as follows: “O worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness; let the whole earth stand in awe of him.” (Psalm 96:9) One distinguishing characteristic of worship in most reformed churches is their adherence to principles of worship that revere and praise Almighty God apart from the man-centered entertainment of many modern churches. The worship forms of the Reformation Church of England are an example. The forms, prayers, and lectionary readings are passed down from the Ancient Church of the early Church fathers.
The great Reformers, many of whom were burned at the stake for refusing to compromise on the Word of God, restored biblical worship principles during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries in the English Church, that worship form is established in the Book of Common Prayer. The clergy must adhere strictly to that form provided else the service is invalid. Man-centered forms of worship in word, hymns, and prayer is not allowed.
The purpose of prayer and worship is not to glorify man, or to call attention to his attractions, but to praise God and worship Him in the beauty of holiness. This practice is consistent throughout Holy Scripture.
When Moses encountered the Burning Bush at Horeb, the Presence of the Lord made the ground thereof HOLY! “And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he looked, and, behold, the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. 3And Moses said, I will now turn aside, and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt. 4And when the LORD saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses. And he said, Here am I. 5And he said, Draw not nigh hither: put off thy shoes from off thy feet, for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.” (Exodus 3:2-5)
All ground on which the Lord’s Presence is realized is Holy and our conformity to holiness is imperative. The Reformers inveighed against those forms and practices that contradicted biblical truth. They placed the Word of God above every imagination of man.
If we will be the Elect of God, we must quit ourselves with holiness for the child bears the marks of the Father. Being the adopted children of the Father who is Holy, our characters must reflect that same holiness. The four beasts of Revelation cried out in Heaven both day and night: “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.” (Revelations 4:8) The three repetitions of HOLY reflect the tripartite nature of the Godhead. God the Father is Holy; God the Son is Holy; and God the Holy Ghost is Holy. Moreover, He exists in three dimensions of time, space, and matter as we studied in an earlier devotion. “Lord God Almighty which WAS” (past); “and IS” (present); “and is to COME” (future). This represents the fulness of the Triune Godhead and every member is Holy.
If we are truly One with our Lord Jesus Christ, we will be One with all others in Him. If we are One in the Lord Jesus Christ, we shall be One with the Father for our Lord is One with the Father – and that Oneness consists in Holy living recognizing the attributes of His Sovereignty over His people, His purity, His righteousness, His steadfast love, and His unrelenting mercies. This is holiness under a Holy God. It is beautiful in its effulgent light, its pristine Waters, and its Heavenly Bread with which we are nourished.
Do we demonstrate these attributes of holiness in our worship, in our prayers, in our praise, and in our daily living?