For the next few weeks in this column, I’d like to make some comments on our Anglican communion service, and how beautifully it explains the gospel. It follows a similar pattern to the well-known gospel outline Two Ways to Live.
The first point, simple but profound, is that God is our Creator. God is more than an idea, more than a force, more than a well-wishing celestial grandfather: He is our Creator. Our communion service confronts us with this fact from the start. Today, for example, the opening sentence reminds us that God is in his holy habitation: he lives in heaven, separate from us and yet involved, and supremely powerful. The obvious consequence is that we are absolutely accountable to God for deed, every thought and every breath.
The prayer of preparation is our response to the reality of our Creator. In this prayer we acknowledge that we cannot possibly hide from God, not even the thoughts of our hearts, and so we ask him to help us fulfil our purpose, to love him and magnify his Name. Next, through the commandments, we remind ourselves that God has the right to direct the way we live.
Lately I have reflected on how difficult and strangely unnatural we find it to understand God as our Creator. We are so obsessed with “equality” these days that we expect God to be our equal too. The gospel teaches us that he is not our equal: he is our Creator! But this is good news, because it means he has the power to fulfil his good purposes.