Meditation and Prayer
The Reformers, as we have seen, rediscovered and re-emphasised the New Testament doctrine of the Priesthood of All Believers. Worship and work were brought together again for the people, not by daily worship in the Church, but by morning and evening family prayers in the home where the head of the household in particular took over some of the functions which previously belonged to the separate priest. All believers were now "priests unto God"; by their daily worship they emphasised their priesthood which issued from their daily work done as service to God.
The irony of the situation is this, that what was so rediscovered by the Reformation Churches has been lost again, the old disciplines have broken down, and once more we have "the solitary priest," the minister of the congregation where to-day are the "ruling elders" who used to exercise a definite ministry for which they were ordained, alongside that of the chief presbyter? To-day the spiritual welfare of the whole congregation, both in Sunday worship and in parish visitation, lies on the solitary shoulders of the Minister.
Similarly, the daily worship in the home has disappeared to such an extent that few church members do in any regular sense make personal prayer at all. It is thus that we have lost the sense of priesthood which was kept alive in our forefather's minds through the integration of daily work and daily worship.
It is because we believe that Christian faith can only become vital again through rediscovery of the key doctrines of the New Testament, that the Iona Community seeks by experiment to discover how these doctrines can be made relevant to the life of man in the complicated situation in which he lives to-day. We cannot rest with the situation as it is; therefore we pray that God may show us in our generation how we can apply His good news given in Christ to the needs of men and society.
PRAYER— O God, who hast been the Refuge of our fathers through many generations, be our Refuge today in every circumstance and need. Be our Guide through all that is dark and doubtful. Be our Strength in time of testing. Gladden our hearts with Thy peace. Through Jesus Christ our Lord, *
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