Liturgy

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I woke up this morning much earlier than I was supposed to.  It was obviously almost morning because the light had begun to stream through y bedroom window.  I watched the illuminated motes of dust and realized: I was more awake than I would be if I tried to go back to sleep and allowed the quacking to wake me (my phone alarm is set to a duck sound).  Before I could really make a decision about going back to sleep a phrase ran through my mind

Oh Lord, let my soul rise up to meet you, as the day rises to meet the sun.  Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit

The phrase is from a devotional I’ve been going through, first with the staff at The Spring and then with a bible study I’m a part of.  I was unaware that I had memorized it.  That’s the thing about liturgy, someone else gives you words to pray but they slowly become your words.  The Psalms as a book function the same way “Praise as instruction and instruction for praise” as one of my commentaries puts it.  Yesterday my roommate and I were studying together at a coffee shop and suddenly a song was stuck in his head

I will praise you oh Lord, my God, with all of my heart I will glorify your name forever, Great is your love to me, you have delivered me

He had been working through a devotional and was reading Psalm 86 and suddenly realized he already knew the words (they are incorporated in one of our worship songs).  They were deep inside him; he wasn’t conscious of them but all of a sudden, there they were.  His heart responded to the words with a tune.  Mine responded to the Dawn with excellent words.  That’s the thing about liturgy it shapes our instincts, our automatic responses aiding us in our practice of the presence of God.

 

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