In My Own Strength

It's at times like this leading up to the major Christian events and feasts that I am beginning to realise how important the concept of tradition and liturgy really is.

I became a Christian in 1994, being baptised at an Anglican church in Farnborough, Hants. The church was an evangelical Anglican church which was 'traditionally' evangelical in that there was little in the way of liturgy for the Sunday services and little or no 'tradition'. At this church my faith grew but so did my rebelliousness. However, I began to question the natural authority within the church structure and the concept of the division between clergy and laity became more of a barrier to a Christian life than the true method that God employs in His church to further His aims. And to be honest the worldly outworking of the Church of England didn't help much. Still doesn't!

So my rebellious heart together with family living in a different area led me to take my own family to join a small pentecostal church in Egham in Surrey. This church to me seemed to be exceptionally dynamic, full of people seeking the heart of God. And indeed it was and still is. I am a deacon there and also lead worship for our services.

But now I am beginning to realise that the 'problems' I have discerned to be with the church really aren't. They are problems in me. The initial passion for living God's Word had become dampened by time and my own weakness. I now realise that the biggest failing lies with me and my own inabilities, in trying to live a Godly life aside from the framework of church, fellowship, liturgy, tradition and history that God has so gracefully supplied to His church. I have allowed each day to become much like the previous. Where the church calendar guides us through the seasons and offers respect to those who have gone before I have been trying to tread my own path, relying on my own abilities. And I realise I have been failing. My belief and faith in God  are stronger than ever, but the flesh is weak.

Lord have mercy on me, a sinner.
Psalm 102

1Hear my prayer, O LORD, and let my cry come unto thee.

2Hide not thy face from me in the day when I am in trouble; incline thine ear unto me: in the day when I call answer me speedily.
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