An Excellent Lenten Devotion

Rev. Kurt Hein and Jerrell P. Hein have provided the church a gift by modernizing the language of several of the First Book of Homilies and creating a forty-day reading plan for Lent.  The resource is available here.

This reading plan goes through parts of Homilies I-IV, VIII, and IX.  The First Book of Homilies were the first part of Archbishop Cranmer’s reform program.  The Homilies predate both the Thirty-Nine Articles of Religion and the Book of Common Prayer.  When Queen Elizabeth restored Protestantism to her realm, a Second Book of Homilies was commissioned and added to the first book.

Although the Homilies are little-known today, they are referenced in the Thirty-Nine Articles. Article XI references the Homily on Justification (actually titled the Homily on Salvation). Article XXXV states that the homilies “doth contain a godly and wholesome Doctrine” and the two Books of Homilies were purposely sectioned-off to enable priests who did not have a license to preach to preach from these written sermons once every Sunday throughout the year.

I highly recommend Rev. Hein’s and Mr. Hein’s work to anyone in search of a very short daily Lenten devotion that is theologically packed. I pray that they revisit their work and expand their modernization as to each of the First Book of Homilies.  The complete set of Homilies can be read for free here.  If you would like to own a copy, I suggest the pricey, but scholarly masterpiece that Dr. Gerald Bray recently published.

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Happy St. Patrick’s Day

A blessed and happy St. Patrick’s Day to all. Here is a selection from St. Patrick’s Breastplate:

Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me.
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

May our daily prayer and meditations be fixed upon Christ and His redemption and may our faith in Him be reflected in good works, almsgiving, and loving our neighbor. Lord have mercy on our failings and awaken us to how we miss the mark. Refocus us on resting in your grace in order to walk the path and do the hard work set before us.  Help us to see You in the people who are in need and strengthen us to always render assistance. In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, Amen.