Daily Prayer At Saint Laika

WEDNESDAY THE SECOND OF MAY, 2018
* Athanasius *

OPENING PRAYER

Lord God our Father, through our saviour, Jesus Christ, you have assured your children of eternal life and in baptism have made us one with him: deliver us from the death of sin and raise us to new life in your love, in the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, by the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

CANTICLE

Glory be and majesty, and praise forevermore,
to you, our king and conqueror, to you our mighty Prince of Power.

The risen, living Christ let every heart adore,
to him all praise and glory be!
The Christ of yesterday, today and evermore,
the everlasting Lord is he.

He lives, the risen Christ, he lives no more to die,
he lives eternally to reign!
When all the saints redeemed, and angel hosts on high
shall swell the hallelujah strain.

Exalt the risen Christ, exalt the living king,
exalt the Lord Immanuel!
While sweetly in our hearts the Easter carols ring,
oh, let him there supremely dwell.

Glory be and majesty, and praise forevermore,
to you, our king and conqueror, to you our mighty Prince of Power.

( Salathial C. Kirk )

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Athanasius: who gave as good as he got

At Saint Laika’s today we remember Athanasius of Alexandria.

The fourth century saw the newly tolerated Christian Church at war with itself over the question of Jesus’ divinity.

“Was there a time when he was not?” people were asking regarding Jesus.

Arius, a priest in Alexandria, said yes. Jesus was created by God. Jesus was not God.

Jesus was no creature, Athanasius, Arius’ bishop , proclaimed. He was begotten by God and was, in fact, God.

Now at Saint Laika’s we might expect sympathy for Arius, an uppity priest run afoul of his bishop’s authority, but, in this case, the fight was on. Arius defended himself at the famous Council of Nicea in 325, but Athanasius had the better hand, at the time. By the time the Council of Constantinople in 381 finally resolved the question in favour of Athanasius, he had been dead eight years, and had spent over seventeen years exiled from Alexandria because his passion for Christ’s divinity got him in hot water over and over with emperors and government officials.

Quote: “A marvellous and mighty paradox has thus occurred, for the death which they thought to inflict on Christ as dishonour and disgrace has become the glorious monument to death's defeat.”

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

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all, training us to renounce impiety and worldly passions, and in the present age to live lives that are self-controlled, upright, and godly, while we wait for the blessed hope and the manifestation of the glory of our great God and saviour, Jesus Christ.

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for theologians, who try to articulate in words what has been experienced in faith.

... for peace in the church.

... for those killed or injured in suicide bomb blasts in the north-east Nigerian town of Mubi. DETAILS

... for those killed or injured when gunmen armed with grenades attacked the Notre-Dame de Fatima church in the Central African Republic capital, Bangui, during mass yesterday. 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.

THE LORD'S PRAYER

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.

READING

From "On The Incarnation of the Word" by Athanasius of Alexandria:

For what profit to the creatures if they knew not their maker or how could they be rational without knowing the Word (and reason) of the Father, in whom they received their very being? For there would be nothing to distinguish them even from brute creatures if they had knowledge of nothing but earthly things. Nay, why did God make them at all, if he did not wish to be known by them?

Whence, lest this should be so, being good, he gives them a share in his own image, our Lord Jesus Christ, and makes them after his own image and after his likeness: so that by such grace perceiving the image, that is, the Word of the Father, they may be able through him to get an idea of the Father, and knowing their maker, live the happy and truly blessed life.

But men once more in their perversity having set at nought, in spite of all this, the grace given them, so wholly rejected God, and so darkened their soul, as not merely to forget their idea of God, but also to fashion for themselves one invention after another. For not only did they crave idols for themselves, instead of the truth, and honour things that were not before the living God, “and serve the creature rather than the Creator,” but, worst of all, they transferred the honour of God even to stocks and stones and to every material object and to men, and went even further than this. So far indeed did their impiety go, that they proceeded to worship devils, and proclaimed them as gods, fulfilling their own lusts. For they performed, as was said above, offerings of brute animals, and sacrifices of men, as was meet for them, binding themselves down all the faster under their maddening inspirations. For this reason it was also that magic arts were taught among them, and oracles in divers places led men astray, and all men ascribed the influences of their birth and existence to the stars and to all the heavenly bodies, having no thought of anything beyond what was visible.

And, in a word, everything was full of irreligion and lawlessness, and God alone, and his Word, was unknown, albeit he had not hidden himself out of men’s sight, nor given the knowledge of himself in one way only; but had, on the contrary, unfolded it to them in many forms and by many ways.

CLOSING PRAYER

Uphold your Church, O God of truth, as you upheld your servant, Athanasius, to maintain and proclaim boldly the divinity of Jesus against all opposition, trusting solely in the grace of your eternal Word, who took upon himself our humanity that we might share his divinity; 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.

NOW LIGHT A CANDLE

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