Morning Consecration

We share with the Lord Jesus in a sacramental paradigm of reality. Time, space, and things matter.  The doing of things with a particular intentionality or attitude of heart is crucial. There is a dynamic movement, an interrelatedness of all things, inherent in the God’s creation and the order of the universe: “Spirit matters and matter spirits.” As Christians, we are sensitive and responsive to the Logos of reality. All things are coming from God, all things manifest the glory of God – find their meaning in God, and all things are moving (tending) toward God (Isaiah 55.6-11)

This is the underlying presupposition – given – of the Scriptures. It is taken for granted even though it is actually articulated on a number of occasions in Scripture. (See the account of Jesus sharing the Passover meal with His apostles and St. Paul’s take on that event in his epistles.)

It is the Holy Tradition.

——————–

35 And in the morning, a great while before day, he [Jesus] rose and went out to a lonely place, and there he prayed. (Mark 1.35 – RSV)

3 O Lord, in the morning thou dost hear my voice;
in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for thee, and watch. (Psalm 5.3 – RSV)

7 My heart is steadfast, O God,
my heart is steadfast!
I will sing and make melody!

8  Awake, my soul!
Awake, O harp and lyre!
I will awake the dawn! (Psalm 57.7-8 – RSV)

It is good to give thanks to the Lord,
to sing praises to thy name, O Most High;
2 to declare thy steadfast love in the morning,
and thy faithfulness by night,
3 to the music of the lute and the harp,
to the melody of the lyre.
4 For thou, O Lord, hast made me glad by thy work;
at the works of thy hands I sing for joy. (Psalm 92.1-4 – RSV)

16 But as for me, I shall sing of Your strength;
Yes, I shall joyfully sing of Your lovingkindness in the morning,
For You have been my stronghold
And a refuge in the day of my distress.
17 O my strength, I will sing praises to You;
For God is my stronghold, the God who shows me    lovingkindness (Psalm 59.16-17 – RSV)

Martin Luther says in the Small Catechism:

“In the morning, when you rise, you shall make the sign of the holy cross, and you shall say: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Then, kneeling or standing, you shall say the Apostles’ Creed and the Lord’s Prayer. “

This exhortation by the initiator of the Protestant Reformation is consistent with the practice of morning consecration in the Anglican, Roman Catholic, and Eastern Orthodox expressions of the faith.

In short, it is universally incumbent upon the disciple who desires to live a Scriptural – traditional life – to engage in such the practice of “intentional consecration” at the beginning of the day. While there are a variety of ways of doing this, the intention of the discipline remains the same. It is our way of saying “yes” to the realization: “This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

Martin Luther says in the Small Catechism:

“In the morning, when you rise, you shall make the sign of the holy cross, and you shall say: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. Then, kneeling or standing, you shall say the Apostles’ Creed and the Lord’s Prayer. “

This exhortation by the initiator of the Protestant Reformation is consistent with the practice of morning consecration in the Anglican, Roman Catholic, and Eastern Orthodox expressions of the faith.

In short, it is universally incumbent upon the disciple to engage in such the practice of “intentional consecration” at the beginning of the day. While there are a variety of ways of doing this, the intention of the discipline remains the same. It is our way of saying “yes” to the realization: “This is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it.”

Here is a consecration from the Protestant expression of the faith:


Take My Life, and Let It Be

Take my life, and let it be
Consecrated, Lord, to Thee.
Take my moments and my days;
Let them flow in ceaseless praise.

Take my hands, and let them move
At the impulse of Thy love.
Take my feet, and let them be
Swift and beautiful for Thee.

Take my voice, and let me sing,
Always, only, for my King.
Take my lips, and let them be
Filled with messages from Thee.

Take my silver and my gold;
Not a mite would I withhold.
Take my intellect, and use
Every power as Thou shalt choose.

Take my will, and make it Thine;
It shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart, it is Thine own;
It shall be Thy royal throne.

Take my love; my Lord, I pour
At Thy feet its treasure-store.
Take myself, and I will be
Ever, only, all for Thee.
Frances Ridley Havergal, 1874

Here is another from the non-Protestant expression:

Act of Consecration

God of my heart, my whole desire is in loving you. I give myself to you without reserve.

I consecrate to you my heart. Receive it as an offering of love and unite it to your heart. I desire to dwell with you all my days.

I consecrate to you my will. May it be joined to yours in all things. May my deepest desire be to do what is pleasing to you. May your Spirit guide me in the way of obedience and may selfish desires not find a home in me.

I consecrate to you my understanding. May I see with your eyes and choose what is life-giving. May I forego all that is false and passing that I may embrace what is true and enduring. Let me desire the good and all that brings the good to birth. May your grace bring my desire to realization.

I consecrate to you my memory. Let me always remember your goodness and beauty. I shall take delight in remembering your favors – the love and mercy you have shown to me. May my heart be forever grateful.

I consecrate to you my body. Make me a worthy dwelling for your Spirit, Jesus. I give you all that I am and I accept whatever limitations, sickness, sorrows and death will be mine. Let me desire what you desire. No matter how painful the cross that is mine to carry, I receive it with confidence in your strength and grace. May I accept it with lively gratitude and carry it with joy and constancy. May the words of St. Paul strengthen me; “With Christ I am nailed to the cross.”

I consecrate to you all that I may ever possess in goods, influence or status. All is yours. Do with me what you will. I consecrate to you all that I can – joys, sorrows, life and death – to offer you my love and to witness to others the joy of loving you. May I serve you with devotion, relying on the help of your grace. May I be yours without reserve until the last moment of my life. Amen.
Sisters of Mercy of the Americas

We not only “awaken” or “greet” the dawn. We consecrate ourselves at that time and place call “the dawn.” But, we do more. We not only “offer our selves our souls and bodies as a living sacrifice;” we also join God in the concertation of the day itself. We consecrate the dawn. We make the sign of the cross over ourselves AND it. Thus, by grace, we take our place as humans and share in His work.

Whether you are Protestant or not, morning consecration of ourselves and of the day itself is essential.

Advertisements

One thought on “Morning Consecration

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s