FRIDAY THE THIRTIETH OF JUNE, 2017
Grant me, even me, my dearest lord, to know you, and love you, and rejoice in you. And, if I cannot do these perfectly in this life, let me at least advance to higher degrees every day, till I can come to do them in perfection. Let the knowledge of you increase in me here, that it may be full hereafter. Let the love of you grow every day more and more here, that it may be perfect hereafter; that my joy may be great in itself, and full in you. I know, O God, that you are a God of truth, O make good your gracious promises to me, that my joy may be full. Amen.
( Augustine of Hippo )
PSALM ONE HUNDRED AND THREE ( abridged )
The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and all that is within me bless his holy name.
Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits;
who forgives all your sins
and heals all your infirmities;
who redeems your life from the Pit
and crowns you with faithful love and compassion;
Who satisfies you with good things,
so that your youth is renewed like an eagle's.
The Lord executes righteousness
and judgement for all who are oppressed.
The Lord is full of compassion and mercy,
slow to anger and of great kindness.
He will not always accuse us,
neither will he keep his anger for ever.
He has not dealt with us according to our sins,
nor rewarded us according to our wickedness.
For as the heavens are high above the earth,
so great is his mercy upon those who fear him.
As far as the east is from the west,
so far has he set our sins from us.
As a father has compassion on his children,
so is the Lord merciful towards those who fear him.
For he knows of what we are made;
he remembers that we are but dust.
Our days are but as grass;
we flourish as a flower of the field;
for as soon as the wind goes over it, it is gone,
and its place shall know it no more.
But the merciful goodness of the Lord is from of old
and endures for ever on those who fear him,
and his righteousness on children's children;
on those who keep his covenant
and remember his commandments to do them.
Bless the Lord, you angels of his,
you mighty ones who do his bidding
and hearken to the voice of his word.
Bless the Lord, all you his hosts,
you ministers of his who do his will.
Bless the Lord, all you works of his,
in all places of his dominion;
bless the Lord, O my soul.
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.
The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.
as we come from dust and return to dust,
show us the face of our redeemer,
that in our frailty we may bless your name
and praise you all our days;
through Jesus Christ our lord. Amen.
MEDITATION by Tim Madsen
The world didn’t come to an end in Tunguska
At seventeen minutes past seven on the morning of the thirtieth of June, 1908 a gigantic explosion occurred in a remote area of northern Russia called Tunguska. It was the magnitude of ten hydrogen bombs, and flattened trees in an area of over seven hundred and seventy square miles. Witnesses from farther away observed a column of bluish light, nearly as bright as the Sun. After the explosion, a shock wave knocked people off their feet and broke windows hundreds of kilometres away. It is often said that there was no loss of human life, but that claim is seriously disputed by the descendants of the Tungu tribal people who live a nomadic life in the far north. It was twenty years before the event could be properly examined and written about, due to the intervention of the fall of Czarist Russia, the rise of the Soviets, and World War I.
To this day, no one really knows what happened. The earliest theory suggested a meteor crashed to the earth, but no crater was ever found. Other theories include the notion that it was a comet or an asteroid that somehow exploded above the earth causing the effects that people saw. In the 1960’s many Russians thought it was an exploding spaceship from some extra-terrestrial aliens. For a time Tunguska was called the “Russian Roswell.”
At the time, religious people, mostly belonging to the Russian Orthodox church, thought it was a sign that the world was coming to an end. This led to heightened devotion for a time: fasting, prayer, and pilgrimage to the holy shrines of Orthodoxy. This eventually eased as the world continued on. Believers in Russia soon had many more tangible realities with which to contend, as the Czarist nation came toppling down, and a new atheistic government came to pass.
Christians have been looking for the end of the world since at least 70 AD. Troubling times always causes some to look for signs of the end. So it was in 1908, so it is today. An event like Tunguska reminds us that the universe is a big place, and not always a friendly place. So it behooves us to study the heavens and be prepared to prevent catastrophe if we possibly can. One day the end will come, but perhaps not today. Let us remember that Jesus told us the Son of Man will come at an unexpected hour.
Scripture. In the twenty-fourth chapter of "Matthew," in verses forty-three and forty-four ,Jesus tells us:
"But understand this: if the owner of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour."
... for peace in the world.
... for nomads and indigenous peoples throughout the world.
... that we may live for today in the love of God and not fear what the future might bring.
... for the people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo who celebrate their independence today.
... for babies with terminal or life threatening illnesses and for their parents and the healthcare professionals caring for their child , that God may be with them in the decisions they have to make.
... 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 Brothers Karamazov" by Fyodor Dostoyevsky:
I believe like a child that suffering will be healed and made up for, that all the humiliating absurdity of human contradictions will vanish like a pitiful mirage, like the despicable fabrication of the impotent and infinitely small Euclidean mind of man, that in the world's finale, at the moment of eternal harmony, something so precious will come to pass that it will suffice for all hearts, for the comforting of all resentments, for the atonement of all the crimes of humanity, for all the blood that they've shed; that it will make it not only possible to forgive but to justify all that has happened.
Almighty God, before the earth was formed, you are God. When earth ceases to be, you are God. Hold us all in your love, as one generation gives way to another. Let your love for us be the first and final word we hear. Lead us to life with you 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.
NOW LIGHT A CANDLE
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