There was a lot of history between Elizabeth and the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. By his very dress, in his black Geneva robe, he was there, but he was saying, “We have a different take on things in Scotland.”
We have a different “take” on things if we are in the American corridor of Cor Unum, but we are beginning, as never before, to respect and actually to appreciate our differences. Now we can learn and begin to move forward more steadily.
In all his austere simplicity, to the Moderator was given the high honor of presenting the Word of God to a Sovereign. She hasn’t left if on a shelf, either. She knows the Scripture, and she uses her Book of Common Prayer and has for all these many years. It might well be said that if we failed to pray one day, she does not. There is something to be said (and isn’t that why we’re here!) for rule and form and regimen. Sometimes a simple discipline will do what zeal does not! There’s another good motto for our door posts!
Ladies of the monastery, gentlemen, what do you suppose? Do you think that if we asked the Lord to assign an angel to present our Bibles to us each morning that we might be so served? We could ask the Holy Spirit to render that service to us, and while the volume might not float across the room to us, we all know that we shouldn’t be surprised if we received the quiet but unmistakable answer to our prayers, perhaps a gentle reminder, or our eyes might fall just on the spot where our Bibles lie.
Unless we dismiss the ministry that comes to help us take up the Word of God, it will come; the Lord knows we cannot even remember without help, but when help comes, we must not turn aside, and some things must just come FIRST.
Sometimes we need to ask for the TIME we need, but we ought to be very careful when it is given that we don’t fill it up with something else SO QUICKLY that we never see what we had! In all the splendor of the Majesty of Jesus Christ and of His Word, let us begin to receive from the austerity of good discipline.
Cranmer's Book of Common Prayer,1549
PD-US, by permission