I was reading for a class that I started today called "The Moral Fit: A Fresh Look at the Relationship of the Sexes" -- the reading was Stanley Hauerwas, "Sex in Church: How Adventurous Christians are Doing It" -- when all of the sudden one of the deep, inarticulate reasons that I came to Regent washed over me again. I want to read my Bible again without being angry. That's why I'm here. Every act of interpretation in the presence of the Holy Spirit is an act of rebellion to reclaim the promises of each verse, rebellion against the Enemy who battles against the Church of God, trapping our minds in lies about their meaning. Well-thought-out, rational, reasonable lies.
O God, deliver our minds from all the lies that our culture tells us about what it means to be human persons. Deliver all the teachings of Your Church from our captivity to culture and its systems. Raise up men and women of wisdom to combat heresies, to speak Your Truth in an age that does not want to hear Truth, to speak it loudly and with heart-rending love in the very temples of Empire. Give them the gift of interpretation of dreams, give them the gift of advising the kings of the earth, give them discernment to re-tell the stories that give meaning to our lives so that we can see You more clearly. Give them the courage to walk through fire and pray in the midst of lions. May their blood unjustly spilt be the seed of new growth. Give us rest from the oppression of the Evil One. Give us faith to press more into You every day.
"Be present, merciful God, and protect us through the hours of this night: that we, who are wearied by the changes and chances of this fleeting world, may rest on your eternal changelessness; through Jesus Christ our Lord. AMEN."
(Evening Collect, Australian BCP)