WEDNESDAY THE EIGHTEENTH OF OCTOBER, 2017
* Luke *
Almighty God, you called Luke the physician, whose praise is in the gospel, to be an evangelist and physician of the soul: by the grace of the Spirit and through the wholesome medicine of the gospel, give your Church the same love and power to heal; through Jesus Christ your son our lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
Blessed be the Lord the God of Israel,
who has come to his people and set them free.
He has raised up for us a mighty saviour,
born of the house of his servant David.
Through his holy prophets God promised of old
to save us from our enemies,
from the hands of all that hate us,
To show mercy to our ancestors,
and to remember his holy covenant.
This was the oath God swore
to our father Abraham:
to set us free from the hands of our enemies,
Free to worship him without fear,
holy and righteous in his sight
all the days of our life.
And you, child, shall be called
the prophet of the Most High,
for you will go before the Lord
to prepare his way,
To give his people knowledge of salvation
by the forgiveness of all their sins.
In the tender compassion of our God
the dawn from on high shall break upon us,
To shine on those who dwell in darkness
and the shadow of death,
and to guide our feet into the way of peace.
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.
( Luke 1:68-79 )
MEDITATION by Tim Madsen
Luke, gospel writer
The Spirit-filled saviour of a Spirit-filled church
Luke, the author of the third gospel, and "The Book of Acts," has left us a marvellous testimony about the way God moved the earth into a new time, a time of the Spirit, a time for confidence in the midst of difficulties, a time for trust in God for salvation here and later in the “kingdom.”
Luke was one of Paul’s fellow missionaries in the early spread of Christianity through the Roman world. There is no record that he ever met Jesus personally, but he was clearly much inspired by hearing about him from those who had known him. Luke was fluent in the Greek language of his day; the text of his gospel is clearly the most polished Greek in the "New Testament." So the church has come to believe that his purpose in writing was that gentiles might learn about the Lord.
The infancy narratives about Jesus and John the Baptist show his careful attention to themes from the "Hebrew Bible." Luke includes in his work six miracles and eighteen parables not recorded in the other gospels. The picture of Christ that he paints is of a grace-filled saviour, full of forgiveness, and motivated by the power of the Holy Spirit.
In the "Acts of the Apostles" he writes not a history of the early church, but a salvation history, which shows how God’s Holy Spirit was active in the struggles of the apostles and their triumphs over persecution, in their preaching of the good news, in the conversion and baptism of other disciples, who would extend the Church into the future.
For myself, the story of the “good thief” epitomises the Jesus Luke wants us to know. And so I commend it to you as our scripture for today.
Scripture. At the twenty-third chapter of "Luke," beginning at verse thirty-nine, we read:
One of the criminals who were hanged there kept deriding him and saying, "Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us!"
But the other rebuked him, saying, "Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed have been condemned justly, for we are getting what we deserve for our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong."
Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom."
He replied, "Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise."
... for peace in the world.
... for artists, physicians, bachelors, surgeons, students, butchers and all who claim Luke as their patron saint.
... for evangelists, church historians and Christian journalists.
... for the people of Kenya, as their upcoming election is deemed not credible, and for the safety of the international observers still remaining in the land. DETAILS
... for those who are in debt; for all who have to borrow in order to pay their bills.
... for the victims of Harvey Weinstein's abusive behaviour and all who have been sexually abused at work; for those who are exploited at work.
... for the six fishermen who are missing after their trawler capsized and sank off the east coast of Australia; for all in peril on the sea. 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 homily by Gregory the Great:
Beloved brothers, our Lord and Saviour sometimes gives us instruction by words and sometimes by actions. His very deeds are our commands; and whenever he acts silently he is teaching us what we should do. For example, he sends his disciples out to preach two by two, because the precept of charity is twofold – love of God and of one’s neighbour.
The Lord sends his disciples out to preach in twos in order to teach us silently that whoever fails in charity toward his neighbour should by no means take upon himself the office of preaching.
Rightly is it said that he sent them ahead of him into every city and place where he himself was to go. For the Lord follows after the preachers, because preaching goes ahead to prepare the way, and then when the words of exhortation have gone ahead and established truth in our minds, the Lord comes to live within us.
To those who preach Isaiah says, "Prepare the way of the Lord, make straight the paths of our God."
And the psalmist tells them, "Make a way for him who rises above the sunset."
The Lord rises above the sunset because from that very place where he slept in death, he rose again and manifested a greater glory. He rises above the sunset because in his resurrection he trampled underfoot the death which he endured. Therefore, we make a way for him who rises above the sunset when we preach his glory to you, so that when he himself follows after us, he may illumine you with his love.
Let us listen now to his words as he sends his preachers forth, "The harvest is great but the labourers are few. Pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send labourers into his harvest."
That the harvest is good but the labourers are few cannot be said without a heavy heart, for although there are many to hear the good news there are only a few to preach it. Indeed, see how full the world is of priests, but yet in God’s harvest a true labourer is rarely to be found; although we have accepted the priestly office we do not fulfil its demands.
Think over, my beloved brothers, think over his words, "Pray the Lord of the harvest to send labourers into his harvest."
Pray for us so that we may be able to labour worthily on your behalf, that our tongue may not grow weary of exhortation, that after we have taken up the office of preaching our silence may not bring us condemnation from the just judge.
Almighty God, who inspired your servant Luke to set forth in the gospel the love and healing power of your son: graciously continue in your church this love and power to heal, to the praise and glory of your name; through Jesus Christ our lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of 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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