TUESDAY THE TWENTY-SECOND OF MAY, 2018
We ask for your forgiveness, Lord, when we forget the power that lies within, and trust instead upon our human strength. Remind us of that glorious day when your Spirit transformed the lives of those who hid in fear, into people of power. Renew these hearts which have grown cold with flames of fire, as on that Pentecost, that we might be the people that you desire. Amen.
Come, dearest Lord, descend and dwell by faith and love in every breast;
then shall we know, and taste, and feel the joys that cannot be expressed.
Come, fill our hearts with inward strength, make our expanded souls possess
and learn the height, and breadth, and length of your unmeasurable grace.
Now to the God whose power can do more than our thoughts or wishes know,
be everlasting honours done by all the Church, through Christ his son.
( Isaac Watts )
MEDITATION by Tim Madsen
East Timor: religious persecution in Asia
On the twentieth of May, 2002, the nation of East Timor was born, the first new nation of the twenty-first century. However, independence came at a horrific price. When Portugal abandoned them in 1975, this small country was invaded by Indonesia who attempted to annex them. Decades of strife followed as Indonesian military systematically murdered or starved somewhere between one hundred and two hundred thousand East Timorese.
Mounting world-wide pressure, coupled with the resignation of Indonesian president, Suharto, made room for the United Nations to begin an assistance program leading to East Timorese independence.
Since 2002, East Timor has continued to struggle. Poverty is rampant as is political corruption. UN peacekeepers helped maintain control from 2006 to 2012.
What makes this situation even more tragic is that East Timor, like the Philippines, is a predominantly Christian nation. Much of the brutality with Indonesia was tinged with religious persecution.
Scripture. In the "Book of Lamentations," chapter one, verse sixteen, we read:
For these things I weep; my eyes flow with tears; for a comforter is far from me, one to revive my courage; my children are desolate, for the enemy has prevailed.
... for peace in the world.
... for the people of East Timor.
... for all who are trapped in desperate poverty.
... for an end to the systematic destruction of peoples by their enemies.
... that human beings will stop destroying the creatures we share the earth with, before it is too late. DETAILS
... for the people of Martinique and Yemen who are celebrating their national day today.
... for those who have been sexually abused by priests or members of the clergy; for an end to the concealment of abuse by officials in the churches; that the guilty be brought to public account so that their victims may find some peace of mind as they move on with their lives. 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:
It is therefore inaccurate to define a miracle as something that breaks the laws of Nature. It doesn’t. If I knock out my pipe I alter the position of a great many atoms: in the long run, and to an infinitesimal degree, of all the atoms there are. Nature digests or assimilates this event with perfect ease and harmonises it in a twinkling with all other events. It is one more bit of raw material for the laws to apply to, and they apply. I have simply thrown one event into the general cataract of events and it finds itself at home there and conforms to all other events. If God annihilates or creates or deflects a unit of matter He has created a new situation at that point. Immediately all Nature domiciles this new situation, makes it at home in her realm, adapts all other events to it. It finds itself conforming to all the laws. If God creates a miraculous spermatozoon in the body of a virgin, it does not proceed to break any laws. The laws at once take it over. Nature is ready. Pregnancy follows, according to all the normal laws, and nine months later a child is born. We see every day that physical nature is not in the least incommoded by the daily inrush of events from biological nature or from psychological nature. If events ever come from beyond Nature altogether, she will be no more incommoded by them. Be sure she will rush to the point where she is invaded, as the defensive forces rush to a cut in our finger, and there hasten to accommodate the newcomer. The moment it enters her realm it obeys all her laws. Miraculous wine will intoxicate, miraculous conception will lead to pregnancy, inspired books will suffer all the ordinary processes of textual corruption, miraculous bread will be digested. The divine art of miracle is not an art of suspending the pattern to which events conform but of feeding new events into that pattern.
Almighty God, pour out your Holy Spirit upon your people to keep them steadfast in your Word. Protect and comfort your people in times of trial. Receive the suffering and the lives of the Christians of East Timor, and lead them into all life, 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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