Monday, January 27, 2014

Next preach (4)

Last night I appreciated evensong in the Caius chapel with the highly-regarded choir in full voice right next to me!  Though preaching time was limited I wanted to bring something of Jeremy Taylor's seriousness to shape the sermon's conclusion.

I confessed that his most famous work - Spiritual helps to holy living and holy dying -makes for far too intense reflection for most of us today.  I struggled through some of the pages these last few days. He begins his helps for holy living with Section1: The first general instrument of holy living – care of our time. He warns us about wasting time and not giving serious thought to God. In typical fashion he then presents 23 rules (yes, 23!) for ensuring we do not waste time, beginning:
1. In the morning when you awake, accustom yourself to think first upon God…and at night also, let him close thine eyes.
2. Let every man that hath a calling be diligent in pursuance of its employment.

The call to focus every moment on living effectively for God with such extensive practical details sounds extraordinarily demanding in our age of lightweight spiritual discipline.  But for him it really matter because:
‘ God hath given to man a short time here upon earth, and yet upon this short time eternity depends…for we must remember that we have a great work to do, many evils to prevent, much danger to run through, many difficulties to be mastered, many necessities to serve, and much good to do'.

I know this was a tough way to end a sermon, but I am finding it even tougher on this Monday to think of the immediate implications this fresh week.   Praise God that we have a living hope and Holy Spirit to inspire us on our way.   

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