Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

* George Augustus Selwyn *


God of promise and God of hope, who, in your great mercy, have granted us new birth through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we praise your wonderful name!

God of glory and God of might who, through your great power, have granted us new strength to endure all things through faith in Christ our risen king, we praise your wonderful name!


Christ in the bands of death was laid,
for our transgressions given:
he rose: the way he open made
to life, the life of Heaven.
Therefore, we will now rejoice,
and praise our God with thankful voice,
and raise our hallelujah!

By none of all the sons of men
could death’s dark realm be shaken:
sin made our strength all weak and vain:
all have of guilt partaken.
thus came death upon us all
and bound the fallen world in thrall
beneath his dread dominion.

But Jesus Christ, God’s only son,
has in our stead descended:
over death our Lord the victory won,
when he transgression ended.
He destroyed death’s power and claim
and left to death an empty name:
away his sting has taken.

How great, how wondrous was the strife,
life was by death assailed.
But Jesus Christ, the prince of life,
with conquering arm prevailed.
This of old the seers did say,
that death should make of death a prey:
so death has scorn endured.

This the true, the paschal lamb,
assigned to us from Heaven:
his life to love’s consuming flame
upon the cross was given.
If on us his blood appear,
faith holds by this, though death be near:
subdued is the destroyer!

Let us rejoice for all our days,
with joy our hearts now flowing;
the Lord himself with heavenly rays
henceforth on us bestowing.
He, himself our sun, does shine
upon our hearts with grace divine:
the night of sin fast fades away.

( Martin Luther )

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

George Augustus Selwyn “to the ends of the earth”

Today Saint Laika’s remembers Bishop George Augustus Selwyn, who undertook to organise the Church in New Zealand as its first bishop, and brought the gospel to the peoples of Melanesia as well.

He was born in 1809 and received all the benefits of a son in a family with some social standing. He was educated at Eton, later at Cambridge. He was ordained in 1833 and served at Windsor. In 1841 he was selected to be the first bishop of New Zealand. One can only wonder what was going on in his mind to be presented with both opportunity and challenge. He seemed to have accepted readily.

On the outbound voyage, Selwyn studied the Māori language with the help of a Māori boy returning from England, and was able to preach in that language immediately on his arrival. He also acquired enough seamanship to enable him to be his own sailing master among the dangerous waters of the Pacific. In the tragic ten-year war between the English and the Maoris, Selwyn was able to minister to both sides, and to keep the affection and admiration of both natives and colonists.

He began missionary work in the Pacific islands in 1847 with a series of voyages to the various Islands of Melanesia. His letters and journals descriptive of these journeys present the reader with a vivid picture of his versatility, courage, and energy.

Selwyn’s first general synod in 1859 laid down a constitution, influenced by that of the American Church, which was important for all English colonial churches. Selwyn returned to England to attend the first ever Lambeth Conference in 1867. He was asked and reluctantly accepted election as Bishop of Lichfield in England which he served until his death on the eleventh of April, 1878.

Scripture. In "The Letter to the Ephesians," chapter two, at verses thirteen and fourteen we read:

But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace; in his flesh he has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us.


We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for the indigenous peoples of the world; for all whose lands have been taken from them through aggressive colonisation and greed-driven encroachment.

... for culturally sensitive missionaries who enact the good news of God's love in the world's remotest places.

... that the nations turn from the path that may lead to world war and seek, together, a way to end the war in Syria.

... 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:

God made us: invented us as a man invents an engine. A car is made to run on petrol, and it would not run properly on anything else. Now God designed the human machine to run on himself. He himself is the fuel our spirits were designed to burn, or the food our spirits were designed to feed on. There is no other. That is why it is just no good asking God to make us happy in our own way without bothering about religion. God cannot give us a happiness and peace apart from himself, because it is not there. There is no such thing.

That is the key to history. Terrific energy is expended, civilisations are built up, excellent institutions devised; but each time something goes wrong. Some fatal flaw always brings the selfish and cruel people to the top and it all slides back into misery and ruin. In fact, the machine conks. It seems to start up all right and runs a few yards, and then it breaks down. They are trying to run it on the wrong juice. That is what Satan has done to us humans.


Almighty and everlasting God, we thank you for your servant George Augustus Selwyn, whom you called to preach the gospel to the people of New Zealand and Melanesia. Raise up in this and every land evangelists and heralds of your kingdom, that your Church may proclaim the unsearchable riches of our saviour Jesus Christ; 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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