MONDAY THE TENTH OF APRIL, 2017
God, our hope, look upon us in your compassion, for we grow faith through human weakness. Make us draw new breath by the suffering and victory of your only-begotten son, who is alive, now and for ever. Amen.
At the name of Jesus every knee shall bow.
Christ Jesus was in the form of God,
but he did not cling to equality with God.
He emptied himself, taking the form of a servant,
and was born in our human likeness.
Being found in human form he humbled himself,
and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross.
Therefore God has highly exalted him,
and bestowed on him the name above every name,
that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth;
and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
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.
At the name of Jesus every knee shall bow.
MEDITATION by Tim Madsen
Monday in Holy Week: Jesus weeps
“As he came near and saw the city, he wept over it, saying, ‘If you, even you, had only recognised on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. Indeed, the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up ramparts around you and surround you, and hem you in on every side. They will crush you to the ground, you and your children within you, and they will not leave within you one stone upon another; because you did not recognise the time of your visitation from God.’”
( Luke 19: 41-44 )
Only Luke, of all the evangelists tells us of Jesus’ tears immediately after his triumphal entry into the city of Jerusalem. There was much to grieve him in the city where God had caused his name to dwell. Jesus saw the conniving of the leaders, the corruption of the innocent. Jesus saw that destruction would come upon this city. And indeed it came.
There is much to shed tears over in our world today. Power still corrupts. Syrian children lie dead from Sarin gas. Terror is plotted against the innocent. Refugees seek new beginnings only to be turned away in fear.
Within the Church as well as within the world, peace and power continually contend. Just as the Judaism of Jesus’ day was sundered by the forces of exclusion: those who exalted their own righteousness at the expense of others, so too the church is sundered by the self-righteous seekers after power, who are less concerned about hurting others, as they are about preserving their own rank and privilege.
We would be fools to think that we can win such a battle. Better to follow Jesus to the quiet place of tears. Saint Laika’s is very much a Palm Sunday community, a community of people who find their hopes stirred by Jesus enough to sing a hosanna or two, always with a vision of what the church could be, should be, if only, if only, if only.
This is a holy week for Saint Laika’s, a week to celebrate the God of the lost and forsaken, the God of the excluded or institutionally nervous. A high-five and hosanna to you for recognising the time of your visitation from God.
A cheer and an internet hug to all of you who can say, “Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!”
… for peace in the world.
… for those who weep.
… for the forty-four more people who were killed and those who were injured when two Coptic churches in Egypt were attacked by Islamists; for all Christians living in fear of Islamist violence; for persecuted Christians in Islamic lands.
… for those killed or injured in protests during a by-election in Indian-administered Kashmir; for a peaceful resolution of the dispute over sovereignty in the region. DETAILS
… for those killed or injured in Stockholm at the weekend when a hijacked lorry was driven into a store.
… for those killed or injured when a block of flats collapsed in the Polish town of Swiebodzice. DETAILS
… 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 a sermon by Augustine of Hippo:
The passion of our lord and saviour Jesus Christ is the hope of glory and a lesson in patience.
What may not the hearts of believers promise themselves as the gift of God’s grace, when for their sake God’s only son, co-eternal with the Father, was not content only to be born as man from human stock but even died at the hands of the men he had created?
It is a great thing that we are promised by the Lord, but far greater is what has already been done for us, and which we now commemorate. Where were the sinners, what were they, when Christ died for them? When Christ has already given us the gift of his death, who is to doubt that he will give the saints the gift of his own life? Why does our human frailty hesitate to believe that mankind will one day live with God?
Who is Christ if not the Word of God:
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God?”
This Word of God “was made flesh and dwelt among us.” He had no power of himself to die for us: he had to take from us our mortal flesh. This was the way in which, though immortal, he was able to die; the way in which he chose to give life to mortal men: he would first share with us, and then enable us to share with him. Of ourselves we had no power to live, nor did he of himself have the power to die.
In other words, he performed the most wonderful exchange with us. Through us, he died; through him, we shall live.
The death of the Lord our God should not be a cause of shame for us; rather, it should be our greatest hope, our greatest glory. In taking upon himself the death that he found in us, he has most faithfully promised to give us life in him, such as we cannot have of ourselves.
He loved us so much that, sinless himself, he suffered for us sinners the punishment we deserved for our sins. How then can he fail to give us the reward we deserve for our righteousness, for he is the source of righteousness? How can he, whose promises are true, fail to reward the saints when he bore the punishment of sinners, though without sin himself?
Let us then fearlessly acknowledge, and even openly proclaim, that Christ was crucified for us; let us confess it, not in fear but in joy, not in shame but in glory.
The apostle Paul saw Christ, and extolled his claim to glory. He had many great and inspired things to say about Christ, but he did not say that he boasted in Christ’s wonderful works: in creating the world, since he was God with the Father, or in ruling the world, though he was also a man like us.
Rather, he said, “Let me not boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Sovereign God, you have established your rule in the human heart through the servanthood of Jesus Christ. By your Spirit, keep us in the joyful procession of those who with their lips confess Jesus as lord, and with their lives praise him as saviour, 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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