MONDAY THE NINETEENTH OF JUNE, 2017
* Sundar Singh *
O Lord God, who are all in all to me, life of my life and spirit of my spirit, have mercy on me and so fill me with your Holy Spirit and with love that there may be no room for anything else in my heart. I ask not for any blessing, but for just yourself, you who are the giver of all blessings and of all life. In you alone is satisfaction and abundance for my heart; you yourself, O Creator, has created this heart for yourself. Therefore this heart cannot find rest in anything but you: only in you, O Father, who has made this longing for peace. So now take out of this heart whatever is opposed to you and abide and rule in it yourself. Amen.
( Sundar Singh )
PSALM NINETY-FIVE ( abridged )
Come, let us worship and bow down.
O come, let us sing to the Lord;
let us heartily rejoice in the rock of our salvation.
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving
and be glad in him with psalms.
For the Lord is a great God
and a great king above all gods.
In his hand are the depths of the earth
and the heights of the mountains are his also.
The sea is his, for he made it,
and his hands have moulded the dry land.
Come, let us worship and bow down
and kneel before the Lord our Maker.
For he is our God;
we are the people of his pasture
and the sheep of his hand.
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.
Come, let us worship and bow down.
Lord God, the maker of all,
as we bow down in praise this day,
make us attentive to your voice
and do not test us beyond our enduring;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
MEDITATION by Tim Madsen
Sundar Singh: Christ in Indian garb
Sundar Singh was born to Sikh parents in 1889 in Punjabi State, Northern India.
Sikhism, founded about 1500 AD, is a religion that teaches belief in one God and rejects the caste system; it had become one of the established religions in the area, standing apart from both Hinduism and Islam.
Sundar Singh became acquainted with Christianity because his parents enrolled him in a Christian school for the purpose of learning English.
his mother died, the fourteen year-old went through a violent, frenzied time, and was determined to throw himself in front of a train. However, he received a vision of Jesus, who showed him his wounded hands and side. He converted to Christianity and, against the wishes of his father, was baptised in 1905. Then began his life’s work, traveling through India, Nepal, Tibet, dressed as a sadhu, an Indian ascetic, albeit a Christian one. He was convinced that this was the best way to introduce the Gospel to his people since it was the only way which his people were accustomed to framing their experience of religion. As a sadhu, he wore a yellow robe, lived on the charity of others, abandoned all possessions and maintained celibacy. In this lifestyle, he was free to devote himself to the Lord.
He was a mystic and a visionary. He had little interest in Western forms of Christianity. As his fame grew, he did travel to the West, meeting with religious leaders, and delivering his simple messages of God’s love in Jesus. Despite his growing fame, Sundar retained a modest nature, desiring only to follow Jesus' example: to repay evil with kindness and to win over his enemies by love.
He left India for one last trip to Tibet in June of 1929, and was never seen again. Whether he died of exhaustion, or was killed by bandits, or reached the mountains remains a mystery.
Quote. "I am not worthy to follow in the steps of my Lord, but, like him, I want no home, no possessions. Like him I will belong to the road, sharing the suffering of my people, eating with those who will give me shelter, and telling all of the love of God."
Scripture. In "Acts," chapter nine, verses four and five we read:
Saul fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to him, "Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?"
He asked, "Who are you, Lord?"
The reply came, "I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting.”
... for peace in the world.
... for the people of India.
... for all who seek to bring Christ to the people among whom they live.
... for a free and independent Tibet.
... for members of the Sikh religion.
... for the man who was killed, those who were injured and all who were traumatised when a van was driven into a crowd of pedestrians which included worshippers who had just left Finsbury Park Mosque following evening prayers after breaking the Ramadan fast. DETAILS
... for refugees, asylum seekers and the internally displaced. DETAILS
... for the sixty-two people killed by forest fires in the Portuguese region of Pedrógão Grande; for those who have been injured and those who have been made homeless. DETAILS
... for those who are missing, feared dead, after a tsunami hit Greenland's west coast and those from the village of Nuugaatsiaq whose homes were destroyed. 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 "The Three Seekers" by Sundar Singh:
It is true that prayer is the means by which we experience the reality of God. But once God has become a living reality for us, we simply have to love our fellow men. We cannot do otherwise. Once we receive the new life of the Spirit, we begin to live in love. And living in love, we are moved quite naturally and joyfully to serve others. God is love and if we live in union with God, we have the strength and longing to love others. Service is a spiritual activity, the natural fruit of love. God, who is love, is ever serving and caring for Creation. Human beings are made to be like God and so they too should never tire of serving others.
Prayer without work is as bad as work without prayer. A broody hen satisfies its instinct by continuing to sit in some dark corner even after its eggs have been removed. So it is with those who remove themselves from the tasks of life and spend their time wholly in prayer. Such a life is as fruitless as the hen that sits on an empty nest.
Remember, there is a great difference between those who worship God with their lips only and those who do so with their hearts and lives. All too often, people pray to God in the name of the Master, but they do not really know him. They take God’s name into their mouths and onto their lips but not into their hearts and lives. The Master guides us to recognise what will glorify God and benefit others. If we live in the Master and the Master lives in us, then our prayers bear fruit.
Almighty God, all the earth is your creation, all people were fashioned with love by your hands. We thank you for the gifts of grace revealed in your servant Sundar Singh, and pray for the people of India, that they may come to know your love; through Jesus Christ our saviour and lord. Amen.
May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.
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