Holy week has always been a sacred time in my household. As a child, I remember solemness, fear, and yet joy. I still somehow, experience all of these concerning what Jesus did for me. My body is weak with despair but my heart leaps with great faith, just the same. Deep reflection at this moment brings me to this prayer my maternal grandfather and other puritans in my family, used to pray. Their Orthodox Christianity and sincere and gentle expressions of it, I am thankful for each day.
Fourth Day Morning
LORD OF HEAVEN,
Thy goodness is inexpressible and inconceivable.
In the works of creation, thou art almighty,
In the dispensations of providence all-wise,
In the gospel of grace all love,
And in thy Son thou hast provided for
Our deliverance from the effects of sin,
The justifications of our persons,
The sanctification of our natures,
The perseverance of our souls in the path of life.
Though exposed to the terrors of thy law,
We have refuge from the storm;
Though compelled to cry, ‘Unclean’,
We have a fountain of sin;
Though creatures-cells of emptiness
We have a fullness accessible to all, and incapable of reduction.
Grant us always to know that to walk with Jesus
Makes other interest a shadow and a dream.
Keep us from intermittent attention to eternal things;
Save us from the delusion of those
Who fail to go far in religion,
Who are concerned but not converted,
Who have another heart but not a new one,
Who have light, zeal, confidence, but not Christ.
Let us judge our Christianity, not only by our dependence upon Jesus,
But by our love for him,
Our conformity to him,
Our knowledge of him.
Give us religion that is both real and progressive,
That holds on its ways and grow stronger,
That lives and works in the Spirit,
That profits by correction,
And is injured by no carnal indulgence.
In ‘progressive’ here, I don’t believe the prayer speaks of settling for what has become normalcy in society, but more so that every person could come to know and understand the good news of Jesus.
On this, Holy Week, may your walk and faith in Jesus be stronger than ever before.