THURSDAY THE TWELFTH OF JULY, 2018
* Nathan Söderblom *
Lord, renew in us the gift of your Spirit so that we may be purified in the waters of repentance and with one heart we may glorify your name and proclaim your mercy. Open our minds to the scriptures that they may become for us living words and illumine our hearts. Let your Spirit fill us with love to inspire our prayers for our sisters and brothers, and for the perfect unity of your church. In the name of Jesus Christ, who reigns with you and with the Holy Spirit, for ever and ever. Amen.
Christian hearts, in love united, seek alone in Jesus rest;
has he not your love excited? Then let love inspire each breast.
Members on our head depending lights reflecting Him, our Sun,
Christians, his commands attending, we in him, our Lord, are one.
Come, then, come, O flock of Jesus, covenant with him anew;
unto him who conquered for us, pledge we love and service true;
and should our love’s union holy firmly linked no more remain,
wait you at his footstool lowly, till he draw it close again.
Grant, Lord, that with your direction, "Love each other," we comply.
Aiming with unfeigned affection your love to exemplify,
let our mutual love be glowing, so that all will plainly view
that we, as on one stem growing, living branches are in you.
O that such may be our union as yours with the Father is,
and not one of our communion ever forsake the path of bliss;
may our light shine forth with brightness, from your light reflected, pours;
thus the world will bear us witness, that we, Lord, are truly yours.
( Nikolaus L. von Zinzendorf, 1700 - 1760 )
MEDITATION by Tim Madsen
Nathan Söderblom: God’s poem
Nathan Söderblom was born in Trönö, Sweden, in 1866 and ordained in 1893. He was chaplain at the Swedish embassy in Paris from 1894 to 1901 and earned a doctorate in comparative religion from the Sorbonne. He then became professor of the history of religion at the University of Uppsala, and in 1914 became Archbishop of Uppsala and Primate of the Church of Sweden.
Internationally, he is best known, however, as the architect of the ecumenical movement of the twentieth century. He had already begun to move toward intercommunion between the Swedish Church and the Church of England as early as 1909. In 1920 he arranged to have Bishop Woods of Peterborough, England, participate in the consecration of two Swedish bishops. The following year Woods welcomed Söderblom's “Life and Work” movement to Peterborough.
The Stockholm Conference in 1925, which brought together Anglican, Protestant and Orthodox Christians, was the culminating event in Söderblom's ecumenical efforts. The conference laid the basis for a future ecumenical creed, emphasised the need to reconcile the competing philosophies of subjective spirituality and of objective social action and sought to find unity in appealing for world peace. For these efforts he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1930.
Quote: “I like to quote the words of Kierkegaard, that 'life is a poem that we are able to write ourselves; but a Christian lets God write his life's poem.'”
Scripture: In "The Gospel of John," chapter thirteen, verses thirty-four and thirty-five, we read:
Jesus said, "I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."
... for peace in the world.
... that all Christians may be united in their love for God, for each other and for all people.
... for those who work to bring people together in peace.
... that children throughout the world may have free access to education. DETAILS
... for an end to sectarian unrest and hatred in Northern Ireland. 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 "The Role of the Church in Promoting Peace" by Nathan Söderblom (Nobel lecture, Eleventh of December, 1930):
(1) The unity of Christians.
When our Christian creed speaks of a universal holy church, it reminds us of the deep inner unity which all Christians possess in Christ and in the work of His spirit, irrespective of national and scriptural differences. We can say without ingratitude or unfaithfulness to the special gifts in Christian experience and thinking which each church has received from God throughout history, that this unity, found at its strongest at the Cross of Christ, can and must be improved in our way of life and in preaching.
(2) Christians and community life.
The great endeavour of the Christian community to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world can and must be realised by the Evangelical church in a spiritual way, through its preaching and its example. The church should represent the waking conscience of mankind. Together with the Christians in all nations at war, we are deeply aware of the incompatibility between war and the spirit of Christ, and we would, therefore, like to stress some main points regarding the part to be played by Christians in community life.
(a) In the past, unfortunately, the church has often stressed differences rather than unifying factors, but she must now assert the ideals of Christian fraternity, condemn selfishness, and fully participate in efforts to remove the causes of war, whether these are of a social, economic, or political nature.
(b) Christians should realise that they are partly responsible for public opinion and should serve love and truth in public, national, and international life, as well as in their personal relations. They should try to understand others, their thoughts, languages, and behaviour.
(c) The church must work for international understanding and for the settlement of international disputes through mediation and arbitration.
(3) Christians and the law.
According to the Christian point of view, our awareness of right and wrong is a divine gift, as are its outgrowths: law and civil order. Civil order, at least at a basic level, is a prerequisite for the efficient practice of the teaching of the Gospel. Every existing legal system is incomplete, requiring for its completion the development of moral consciousness.
The church must, therefore, uphold the sanctity of law and promote its development in the name of Christ, both inside and outside national boundaries. She must, therefore, fight against all glorification of violence and against any force contrary to the rule of law, and she must preach that nations and communities, like individuals, must act according to ethical principles, basing their hopes for coexistence on the principles of truth, justice, and love.
Wherever the church has erred in this respect she must humbly confess it and correct the mistakes.
The framework of law has only a limited value in itself since it must be fitted with inner moral convictions for it to be effective. To create and foster such a state of Christian brotherly love, self-discipline, and justice constitute the main duty of the church in this field."
Almighty God, who gave to your servant Nathan Soderblom a special concern for the unity of your Church and the welfare of your people: grant that by the power of your Holy Spirit we may be moved to seek an end to the barriers that divide Christian from Christian and may show forth your love to all the world in deeds of generosity, through Jesus Christ our 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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