Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

WEDNESDAY THE TWENTIETH OF DECEMBER 2017

OPENING PRAYER

O almighty God, who alone can order the unruly wills and affections of sinful men, grant unto your people, that they may love the thing which you command of them and desire that which you promise them; that so, among the sundry and manifold changes of the world, our hearts may surely there be fixed, where true joys are to be found; through Jesus Christ our lord. Amen.

( Gelasian Sacramentary )

CANTICLE

Lift your glad voices in triumph on high,
for Jesus has risen, and man cannot die.
Vain were the terrors that gathered around him,
and short the dominion of death and the grave;
he burst from the fetters of darkness that bound him,
resplendent in glory, to live and to save.
Loud was the chorus of angels on high,
"The Saviour has risen, and man shall not die."

Glory to God, in full anthems of joy;
the being he gave us, death cannot destroy.
Sad were the life we must part with tomorrow,
if tears were our birthright, and death were our end;
but Jesus has cheered the dark valley of sorrow,
and bade us, immortal, to heaven ascend.
Lift, then, your voices in triumph on high,
for Jesus has risen, and man shall not die.

( Henry Ware )

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Katherina Von Bora: My Lord Katie

On this day in 1552, Katherina Von Bora, wife of Martin Luther died. She played a pivotal role in the Reformation for she and Luther became, of necessity, models for what clergy marriage should look like.

Katherina was born in 1499 and was practically raised in the convent. As early as age five she was in the convent for education; by age nine she was at a Cistercian convent where her maternal aunt was already a member of the community. After several years of religious life, Katharina became interested in the growing reform movement and grew dissatisfied with her life in the monastery. Conspiring with several other nuns to flee in secrecy, she contacted Martin Luther and begged for his assistance, famously escaping from the convent by hiding out in oak barrels that had been used to haul pickled herring into the convent. That was Easter, 1523. She married Martin Luther in June of 1525. He was forty-two, she was twenty-six. By all accounts, it was a happy and affectionate union.

She bore six children, ran the household, and organised the family finances. Their home was in Wittenberg’s Black Monastery, the former Augustinian monastery where Luther had lived before the Reformation.

Katharina grew much of what they ate including livestock and vegetables; she cooked the meals and, famously, brewed the beer. To boost their income, she made use of the rooms in the former monastery, running a medieval guest house and offering board and lodging for as many as thirty paying students and visitors.

Martin Luther used to call her, “My Lord Katie,” such was his trust in her to manage the household, negotiate with his publishers, and secure the family finances.

Martin died in 1546. In 1552, fleeing from the plague which had broken out in Wittenberg, she was involved in an accident with her horses and wagon, and died at the age of fifty-three.

Scripture: In the thirty-first chapter of "Proverbs," at verses thirty and thirty-one, we read:

Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised. Give her a share in the fruit of her hands, and let her works praise her in the city gates.

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for married couples.

... for widows and widowers.

... for God's guidance when we have to make major life decisions and his help as we act on them.

... on this, International Human Solidarity Day, that the human family may come to celebrate its diversity; that the governments of the nations may respect their commitments to international agreements; that all the nations may commit to sustainable development goals and the eradication of poverty throughout the world. DETAILS

... for the people of Macau, French Guiana and Réunion, who celebrate their national day today.

... for fair taxation through which the wealthy generously support the poor.

... that terrorist plots may be discovered and thwarted; that all people may be free from terror this Christmastide.

... for the homeless.

... for those who will be apart from their loved ones this Christmas.

... for those who have died recently 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.

READING

From "For the Life of the World" by Alexander Schmemann:

A marriage which does not constantly crucify its own selfishness and self-sufficiency, which does not ‘die to itself’ that it may point beyond itself, is not a Christian marriage.

The real sin of marriage today is not adultery or lack of ‘adjustment’ or ‘mental cruelty.’ It is the idolisation of the family itself, the refusal to understand marriage as directed toward the Kingdom of God. This is expressed in the sentiment that one would ‘do anything’ for his family, even steal. The family has here ceased to be for the glory of God; it has ceased to be a sacramental entrance into his presence. It is not the lack of respect for the family, it is the idolisation of the family that breaks the modern family so easily, making divorce its almost natural shadow. It is the identification of marriage with happiness and the refusal to accept the cross in it.

In a Christian marriage, in fact, three are married; and the united loyalty of the two toward the third, who is God, keeps the two in an active unity with each other as well as with God. Yet it is the presence of God which is the death of the marriage as something only ‘natural.’ It is the cross of Christ that brings the self-sufficiency of nature to its end. But ‘by the cross, joy entered the whole world.’ Its presence is thus the real joy of marriage. It is the joyful certitude that the marriage vow, in the perspective of the eternal Kingdom, is not taken ‘until death parts,’ but until death unites us completely.

CLOSING PRAYER

Almighty God, you blessed Martin and Katie Luther with a strong and happy marriage, and through them, your holy Word shone brightly in the world. Bless all husbands and wives with genuine and mutual affection one for the other, and let us all, serving you to the best of our abilities, shine your light in our world today; through Jesus Christ your Son, 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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