Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

* Chad *


If my lips could sing as many songs as there are waves in the sea,
if my tongue could sing as many hymns as there are ocean billows,
if my mouth filled the whole firmament with praise,
if my face shone like the sun and moon together,
if my hands were to hover in the sky like powerful eagles
and my feet ran across mountains as swiftly as the deer;
all that would not be enough to pay you fitting tribute,
O Lord my God. Amen.


Forty days and forty nights you were fasting in the wild;
forty days and forty nights tempted, and yet undefiled.

Sunbeams scorching all the day; chilly dew-drops nightly shed;
prowling beasts about your way; stones your pillow; earth your bed.

Should not we your sorrow share and from worldly joys abstain,
fasting with unceasing prayer, strong with you to suffer pain?

Then if Satan on us press, Jesus, Saviour, hear our call!
Victor in the wilderness, grant we may not faint nor fall!

So shall we have peace divine: holier gladness ours be too;
round us, then, shall angels shine, such as ministered to you.

Keep, O keep us, Saviour dear, ever constant by your side;
that with you we may appear at the eternal Eastertide.

( George H. Smyttan )

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Chad: taking the high road in church politics

Today Saint Laika’s remembers Chad, Bishop of Lichfield, one of the great Celtic leaders of the church.

As mentioned in yesterday’s devotion, the Angles, Saxons, and Jutes migrated into Britain in the fifth and sixth century. They were pagan people, and, for a time, the Christians in Britain were centred in Wales and in Northern England, with help and support from the Christians of Ireland. History, rightly or wrongly, has come to call these Christians “Celtic.” They were centred on monasteries, with bishops who were monastic travellers, not diocesan administrators. Their customs and rituals differed from the Roman Church.

Toward the end of the sixth century, Pope Gregory organised a concentrated mission to convert the Angles, Saxons, and Jutes, to Christianity. To that end he sent Augustine of Canterbury to lead the mission and to establish Canterbury as the chief diocese in the land. The mission met with much success, but that success brought the Roman Christians into conflict with the Celtic Christians. It was important to Rome, even then, to assert its authority and press for a unification of Christians under the Roman system. in 663 AD, on the high cliff overlooking the North Sea, just outside the town of Whitby, the deal was struck, and all Christians were supposed to adopt the Roman form of the faith.

Chad, had been elected and duly installed as bishop in York, but as the Venerable Bede tells us Chad had been ordained by “bishops of the British race who had not been canonically ordained,” in other words by bishops of the Celtic tradition, who had not abandoned the Celtic ways as they were supposed to do.

Theodore, the new Archbishop of Canterbury arrived in Britain not long after Chad’s consecration. When he made a point of declaring Chad’s consecration irregular, Chad offered to resign from the office.

He told Theodore, “Indeed, I never believed myself worthy of it.”

Theodore was so impressed by Chad’s sincerity and humility, that he regularised his canonical status, and offered him the opportunity to become Bishop in Lichfield in Mercia. Chad administered his new diocese with devout concern. Travelling, as was his custom on foot, until Theodore gave him a horse and ordered him to use it, at least on the longer journeys.

Chad died on this day in 672.

Scripture. In the fourth chapter of "Philippians," at verses eleven to thirteen, we read:

I have learned to be content with whatever I have. I know what it is to have little, and I know what it is to have plenty. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being well-fed and of going hungry, of having plenty and of being in need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me.


Let us now call to mind our sin and the infinite mercy of God.

God the Father, have mercy upon us.
God the Son, have mercy upon us.
God the Holy Spirit, have mercy upon us.
Holy, blessed and glorious Trinity, have mercy upon us.

From all evil and mischief; from pride, vanity, and hypocrisy;
from envy, hatred, and malice; and from all evil intent,
good Lord, deliver us.

From sloth, worldliness and love of money;
from hardness of heart and contempt for your word and your laws,
good Lord, deliver us.

From sins of body and mind;
from the deceits of the world, the flesh and the devil,
good Lord, deliver us.

In all times of sorrow; in all times of joy;
in the hour of death, and at the day of judgement,
good Lord, deliver us.

By the mystery of your holy incarnation;
by your birth, childhood and obedience;
by your baptism, fasting and temptation,
good Lord, deliver us.

By your ministry in word and work;
by your mighty acts of power;
and by your preaching of the kingdom,
good Lord, deliver us.

By your agony and trial;
by your cross and passion;
and by your precious death and burial,
good Lord, deliver us.

By your mighty resurrection;
by your glorious ascension;
and by your sending of the Holy Spirit,
good Lord, deliver us.

Give us true repentance; forgive us our sins of negligence and ignorance and our deliberate sins; and grant us the grace of your Holy Spirit to amend our lives according to your holy word.

Holy God, holy and strong, holy and immortal, have mercy upon us.
Make our hearts clean, O God; and renew a right spirit within us.

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for the victims of those who seek power and control.

... for the allowance of difference.

... for the people of the Anglican diocese of Lichfield, in England, and all who claim Chad as their patron.

... that the tyrants of the world will stop bullying the nations with threats of nuclear war.

... for those who are stranded away from home and for those who are homeless in snowstorms and inclement weather.

... for those who were killed or injured when fire swept through a drug rehabilitation centre in Azerbaijan's capital Baku. DETAILS

... 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.


Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours now and for ever. Amen.


From “Mere Christianity” by C. S. Lewis:

All sorts of people are fond of repeating the Christian statement that "God is love." But they seem not to notice that the words "God is love" have no real meaning unless God contains at least two persons. Love is something that one person has for another person. If God was a single person, then before the world was made, he was not love.

Of course, what these people mean when they say that God is love is often something quite different: they really mean "Love is God." They really mean that our feelings of love, however and wherever they arise, and whatever results they produce, are to be treated with great respect. Perhaps they are but that is something quite different from what Christians mean by the statement "God is love." They believe that the living, dynamic activity of love has been going on in God forever and has created everything else.

And that, by the way, is perhaps the most important difference between Christianity and all other religions: that in Christianity God is not a static thing, not even a person, but a dynamic, pulsating activity, a life, almost a kind of drama. Almost, if you will not think me irreverent, a kind of dance.


Almighty God, for the peace of the Church your servant Chad relinquished cheerfully the honours that had been thrust upon him, only to be rewarded with equal responsibility: keep us, we pray, from thinking of ourselves more highly than we ought to think and ready at all times to step aside for others, that the cause of Christ may be advanced; through him 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.


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