THURSDAY THE SECOND OF MARCH, 2017
* CHAD OF MERCIA *
O God, the sovereign good of the soul, who requires the hearts of all your children, deliver us from all sloth in your work, all coldness in your cause, and grant us by looking unto you to rekindle our love, and by waiting upon you, to renew our strength, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
( William Bright )
PSALM FIFTY ( abridged )
Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving.
The Lord, the most mighty God, has spoken
and called the world from the rising of the sun to its setting.
Out of Zion, perfect in beauty, God shines forth;
our God comes and will not keep silence.
Consuming fire goes out before him
and a mighty tempest stirs about him.
He calls the heaven above,
and the earth, that he may judge his people:
"Gather to me my faithful,
who have sealed my covenant with sacrifice."
Hear, O my people, and I will speak:
"I will testify against you, O Israel;
for I am God, your God.
I will take no bull out of your house,
nor he-goat out of your folds,
for all the beasts of the forest are mine,
the cattle upon a thousand hills.
I know every bird of the mountains
and the insect of the field is mine.
Do you think I eat the flesh of bulls,
or drink the blood of goats?
"Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving
and fulfil your vows to God most high.
Call upon me in the day of trouble;
I will deliver you and you shall honour me.
Whoever offers me the sacrifice of thanksgiving honours me
and to those who keep my way
will I show the salvation of God."
Glory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and shall be for ever. Amen.
Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving.
dwelling in unapproachable light,
forgive our vain attempts to appease you,
and show us your full salvation
in Jesus Christ your Son our Lord. Amen.
MEDITATION by Tim Madsen
Chad: taking the high road in church politics
Today Saint Laika’s remembers Chad, Bishop of Lichfield, one of the great Celtic leaders of the church.
As mentioned in yesterday’s devotion, the Angles, Saxons, and Jutes migrated into Britain in the fifth and sixth century. They were pagan people, and, for a time, the Christians in Britain were centred in Wales and in northern England, with help and support from the Christians of Ireland. History, rightly or wrongly, has come to call these Christians “Celtic.” They were centred on monasteries, with bishops who were monastic travellers, not diocesan administrators. Their customs and rituals differed from the Roman Church.
Toward the end of the sixth century, Pope Gregory organised a concentrated mission to convert the Angles, Saxons, and Jutes, to Christianity. To that end he sent Augustine of Canterbury to lead the mission and to establish Canterbury as the chief diocese in the land. The mission met with much success, but that success brought the Roman Christians into conflict with the Celtic Christians. It was important to Rome, even then, to assert its authority and press for a unification of Christians under the Roman system. On the high cliff overlooking the North Sea, just outside the town of Whitby in 663 AD, the deal was struck, and all Christians were supposed to adopt the Roman form of the faith.
Chad, had been elected and duly installed as bishop in York, but as the Venerable Bede tells us Chad had been ordained by “bishops of the British race who had not been canonically ordained,” in other words by bishops of the Celtic tradition, who had not abandoned the Celtic ways as they were supposed to do.
Theodore, the new Archbishop of Canterbury arrived in Britain not long after Chad’s consecration. When he made a point of declaring Chad’s consecration irregular, Chad offered to resign from the office.
He told Theodore, “Indeed, I never believed myself worthy of it.”
Theodore was so impressed by Chad’s sincerity and humility, that he regularised his canonical status, and offered him the opportunity to become bishop in Lichfield in Mercia. Chad administered his new diocese with devout concern, travelling, as was his custom on foot, until Theodore gave him a horse and ordered him to use it, at least on the longer journeys.
Chad died on this day in 672.
Scripture. In the fourth chapter of "Philippians" at verses eleven to thirteen, we read:
"I have learned to be content with whatever I have. I know what it is to have little, and I know what it is to have plenty. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being well-fed and of going hungry, of having plenty and of being in need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me."
... for peace in the world.
... for the people of Lichfield in England, for those who minister and worship in the cathedral there and all congregations whose patron is Saint Chad.
... for those who have died and for those who mourn their passing.
... for those who are unwell and for those caring for them.
... for those, both close to us and far off, who we hold in our personal prayers.
... for ourselves.
THE LORD'S PRAYER
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.
From "The Omnipotence of God the Reason for Faith and Hope,"
a sermon by John Henry Newman:
Jesus said to the disciples when the storm arose, "Why are ye fearful?"
That is, "You ought to hope, you ought to trust, you ought to repose your heart on me. I am not only almighty, but I am all merciful. I have come on earth because I am most loving to you. Why am I here, why am I in human flesh, why have I these hands which I stretch out to you, why have I these eyes from which the tears of pity flow, except that I wish you well, that I wish to save you? The storm cannot hurt you if I am with you. Can you be better placed than under my protection? Do you doubt my power or my will, do you think me negligent of you that I sleep in the ship, and unable to help you except I am awake? Wherefore do you doubt? Wherefore do you fear? Have I been so long with you, and you do not yet trust me, and cannot remain in peace and quiet by my side?"
And so he says to us now. All of us who live in this mortal life, have our troubles. You have your troubles, but when you are in trouble, and the waves seem to mount high, and to be soon to overwhelm you, make an act of faith, an act of hope, in your God and saviour. He calls you to him who has his mouth and his hands full of blessings for you.
He says: "Come unto me, all that labour and are laden, and I will refresh you"
"All ye that thirst," he cries out by his prophet, "come ye to the waters, and ye that have no money, haste ye, buy, and eat."
Never let the thought come into your mind that God is a hard master, a severe master. It is true the day will come when he will come as a just judge, but now is the time of mercy. Improve it and make the most of the time of grace.
"Behold now is the acceptable time, behold now is the day of salvation."
This is the day of hope, this is the day of work, this is the day of activity. "The night cometh when no man can work," but we are children of the light and of the day, and therefore despondency, coldness of heart, fear, sluggishness are sins in us. Temptations indeed come on you to murmur, but resist them, drive them aside, pray God to help you with his mighty grace. He allows no temptation to befall us which he does not give us grace to surmount. Do not let your hope give way, but "lift up the languid hands and the relaxed knees" (Heb. 12). "Lose not your confidence, which hath a great reward" (Heb. 10). Seek his face who ever dwells in real and bodily presence in his church. Do at least as much as what the disciples did. They had but little faith, they feared, they had not any great confidence and peace, but at least they did not keep away from Christ. They did not sit still sullenly, but they came to him. Alas, our very best state is not higher than the apostles' worst state. Our Lord blamed them as having little faith, because they cried out to him. I wish we Christians of this day did as much as this. I wish we went as far as to cry out to him in alarm. I wish we had only as much faith and hope as that which Christ thought so little in his first disciples. At least imitate the apostles in their weakness, if you can't imitate them in their strength. If you can't act as saints, at least act as Christians. Do not keep from him, but, when you are in trouble, come to him day by day asking him earnestly and perseveringly for those favours which he alone can give. And as he on this occasion spoken of in the Gospel, blamed indeed the disciples, but did for them what they asked, so, (we will trust in his great mercy), though he discerns much infirmity in you which ought not to be there, yet he will deign to rebuke the winds and the sea, and say "Peace, be still," and there will be a great calm.
Almighty God, for the peace of the Church your servant Chad relinquished cheerfully the honours that had been thrust upon him, only to be rewarded with equal responsibility: Keep us, we pray, from thinking of ourselves more highly than we ought to think, and ready at all times to step aside for others, that the cause of Christ may be advanced; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.
NOW LIGHT A CANDLE
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