FRIDAY THE FOURTH OF MAY, 2018
God, give us eyes to see the beauty of the Spring and to behold your majesty in every living thing. May we see in lacy leaves and every budding flower the hand that rules the universe with gentleness and power. May this Easter grandeur that Spring lavishly imparts awaken faded flowers of faith lying dormant in our hearts and give us ears to hear, dear God, the Springtime song of birds, with messages more meaningful than man’s often empty words, telling harried human beings who are lost in dark despair, "Be like us and do not worry for God has you in his care." Amen.
( Helen Steiner Ricer )
He dies, the friend of sinners dies!
Lo! Salem’s daughters weep around;
a solemn darkness veils the skies,
a sudden trembling shakes the ground.
Come, saints, and drop a tear or two
for him who groaned beneath your load:
he shed a thousand drops for you,
a thousand drops of richer blood.
Here’s love and grief beyond degree:
the Lord of Glory dies for men.
But lo! what sudden joys we see,
Jesus, the dead, revives again.
The rising God forsakes the tomb;
the tomb in vain forbids his rise;
cherubic legions guard him home
and shout him welcome to the skies.
Break off your fears, you saints, and tell
how high your great deliverer reigns;
sing how he spoiled the hosts of hell
and led the monster death in chains.
Say, "Live forever, wondrous King,
born to redeem, and strong to save!"
Then ask the monster, "Where’s your sting?"
and, "Where’s your victory, boasting grave?"
( Isaac Watts )
MEDITATION by Tim Madsen
Haymarket Riot, 1886: history continues to repeat itself
The past three years has seen urban violence springing up across the United States, coalescing in a movement called “Black Lives Matter.” Rioting was particularly severe in Baltimore, and this year several new incidents of violence and discrimination against black men and women were added to an already long list.
The Haymarket Riot was the aftermath of a bombing that took place at a labour demonstration on Tuesday the fourth of May, 1886, at Haymarket Square in Chicago. It began as a peaceful rally in support of workers striking for an eight-hour day and in reaction to the killing of several workers the previous day by the police. An unknown person threw a dynamite bomb at police as they acted to disperse the public meeting. The bomb blast and ensuing gunfire resulted in the deaths of seven police officers and at least four civilians; scores of others were wounded.
There is always a constituency and an issue. In 1886 the constituency was German, Eastern European and Irish working people. The issue was an eight-hour work day.
Eight anarchists were ultimately put on trial. Four were hanged, one committed suicide, and three were sentenced to life in prison. Already by 1893 public opinion was turning in favour of the workers. A century later Haymarket Square was designated a Chicago landmark, and a public sculpture was dedicated there in 2004.
To read an account of the Haymarket Riot now is to find oneself eerily in the grip of history repeating itself. Particularly chilling is the way the newspapers in 1886 played up the violence of the workers, when, in effect, the violence was committed by a few, after the many had cleared the square. Today’s media have already come under fire for overplaying the violence in Baltimore and other cities at the expense of frustrated citizens who are simply seeking justice.
Scripture. In the fifth chapter of "Amos," at verses sixteen and seventeen, we read:
Therefore thus says the LORD, the God of hosts, the Lord, "In all the squares there shall be wailing; and in all the streets they shall say, ‘Alas! alas!’
"They shall call the farmers to mourning, and those skilled in lamentation, to wailing; in all the vineyards there shall be wailing, for I will pass through the midst of you," says the LORD.
... for peace in the world.
... for an end to police brutality and all state-sanctioned violence against the people of the nations.
... for firefighters and all who risk their lives to rescue those threatened by ﬁre and minimise the damage caused by ﬁre. DETAILS
... for the inhabitants of the town of Pahoa on Hawaii’s Big Island, who have been ordered to evacuate their homes after the eruption of the Kilauea volcano caused lava to ﬂow in residential areas; for all whose lives and property are threatened by the eruption of this volcano. DETAILS
... for the Guyanese fishermen who were massacred by pirates off the coast of Suriname last week. 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.
From "Miracles" by C. S. Lewis:
In the earliest days of Christianity an ‘apostle’ was first and foremost a man who claimed to be an eyewitness of the Resurrection. Only a few days after the Crucifixion when two candidates were nominated for the vacancy created by the treachery of Judas, their qualification was that they had known Jesus personally both before and after his death and could offer first-hand evidence of the Resurrection in addressing the outer world.
A few days later Saint Peter, preaching the first Christian sermon, makes the same claim: "God raised Jesus, of which we all (we Christians) are witnesses."
In the "First Letter to the Corinthians," Saint Paul bases his claim to apostleship on the same ground: "Am I not an apostle? Have I not seen the Lord Jesus?"
As this qualification suggests, to preach Christianity meant primarily to preach the Resurrection. The Resurrection is the central theme in every Christian sermon reported in the "Acts of the Apostles." The Resurrection, and its consequences, were the "gospel" or good news which the Christians brought: what we call the ‘gospels’, the narratives of our Lord’s life and death, were composed later for the beneﬁt of those who had already accepted the gospel. They were in no sense the basis of Christianity: they were written for those already converted. The miracle of the Resurrection, and the theology of that miracle, comes first: the biography comes later as a comment on it.
The ﬁrst fact in the history of Christendom is a number of people who say they have seen the Resurrection. If they had died without making anyone else believe this "gospel" no gospels would ever have been written.
Holy God, in the midst of conflict and division you turn our mind to thoughts of peace. Your Spirit changes our hearts; enemies begin to speak to one another, and those who have been at odds seek the way of peace together. In all our times of need, help us to find solutions to the problems that beset us; through Jesus Christ, 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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