Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Morning Prayer Guide - Wednesday

Easter Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Begin by praying the Collect for Grace and Collect for Purity.

Collect for Grace:
Lord God, almighty and everlasting Father, you have brought us safely to this new day: Preserve us with your mighty power, that we may not fall into sin, nor be overcome by adversity; and in all we do, direct us to the fulfilling of your purpose; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Collect for Purity:
Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you no secrets are hidden: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we might perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Read: Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24; 2 Samuel 6:1-15; and Luke 24:28-35

After Jesus had proclaimed the Word to the two disciples, he joined them for dinner.  They recognized him when he broke the bread and blessed it.  In like manner, the Church has traditionally celebrated the Eucharist after the service of the Word.  Notice how often the Gospel writers mention Jesus sharing bread with people, especially in the days following his resurrection.

John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, taught that Holy Communion is a means of grace, a way for God to work within us.  Christ is truly present in the consecrated elements of bread and juice or wine – we cannot explain how; it is a mystery – and by receiving the elements we are receiving Christ into ourselves all over again.  Wesley received Communion often – as many as four times per week – and expected other Methodists to do the same.  Compare that to today, when most Methodist congregations receive the Sacrament only monthly or quarterly.

Christ uses the simple (bread and grape juice) to explain the complex (his death to redeem us from sin).  Take a moment to ask God to help you see the Eucharist in a new way.  You may find the following prayer helpful:
O God, whose blessed Son made himself known to his disciples in the breaking of bread: Open the eyes of our faith, that we may behold him in all his redeeming work; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

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