FRIDAY THE TWENTY-SIXTH OF JULY, 2018
Almighty and merciful God, the fountain of all goodness, who knows the thoughts of our hearts, we confess to you that we have sinned against you and done evil in your sight. Wash us, we beseech you, from the stains of our past sins, and give us grace and power to put away all hurtful things; so that, being delivered from the bondage of sin, we may bring forth worthy fruits of repentance. Amen.
( Alcuin of York, 735-804 )
You servants of God, your master proclaim and publish abroad his wonderful name;
the name all-victorious of Jesus extol, his kingdom is glorious and rules over all.
The waves of the sea have lifted their voice, sore troubled that we in Jesus rejoice;
the floods they are roaring, but Jesus is here; while we are adoring, he always is near.
Men, devils engage, the billows arise, and horribly rage, and threaten the skies:
their fury shall never our steadfastness shock, the weakest believer is built on a rock.
God rules on high, almighty to save, and still he is nigh, his presence we have;
the great congregation his triumph shall sing, ascribing salvation to Jesus our king.
Salvation to God, who sits on the throne, let all cry aloud and honour the Son!
The praises of Jesus the angels proclaim, they fall down on their faces and worship the Lamb.
Then let us adore, and give him his right, all glory and power, and wisdom and might;
all honour and blessing, with angels above, and thanks never ceasing, and infinite love.
( Charles Wesley )
MEDITATION by Tim Madsen
Among the more important dates in world history, the twenty-sixth of July, 1826, would be no more than an interesting footnote. The last execution carried out under the authority of the Holy Inquisition occurred in Spain on this day. This was the execution of the school teacher, Cayetano Ripoll, for the teaching of Deism in his school.
Today we are rightly angered whenever, in the name of God, someone or some group kill others in defence of their religious beliefs. Christians are sobered to remember that under the auspices of the Roman Inquisition, and later, the Spanish Inquisition, thousands were put to death between the twelfth and nineteenth centuries.
The inquisition began in the twelfth century and was meant to target the Cathari, a group of Christians in Southern France who practised an alternative form of Christianity, a reaction to perceived corruption in the Catholic Church. Jan Hus of Bohemia was one of the most famous victims, put to death in 1414. Following the Protestant Reformation, the Inquisition was used as a tool to suppress Protestants. Jews were also killed when they were suspected of converting to Christianity merely to avoid deportation under Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain. In its later stages, many women were executed for the crime of witchcraft.
Today we hear of fatwas issued against certain individuals or groups. Throughout these earlier centuries the word to be feared was “auto-da-fe”, it originally stood for the judgment of the Inquisitorial Tribunal. But by the sixteenth century, it had become synonymous with burning at the stake.
Scripture: In "The Gospel of Luke," the ninth chapter at verses fifty-two through fifty-five, we read:
And Jesus sent messengers ahead of him. On their way they entered a village of the Samaritans to make ready for him; but they did not receive him, because his face was set towards Jerusalem.
When his disciples James and John saw it, they said, "Lord, do you want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?’"
But he turned and rebuked them.
... for peace in the world.
... for an end to the persecution of other people by Christians.
... for an end to all violence and other acts of hatred carried out in the name of religion.
... for the seven hundred and eleven migrant children still separated from their parents in the USA. 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 "Mere Christianity" by C. S. Lewis:
I find I must borrow yet another parable from George MacDonald.
Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what he is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on: you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently he starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make sense. What on earth is he up to?
The explanation is that he is building quite a different house from the one you thought of, throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were going to be made into a decent little cottage: but he is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it himself.
The command, "Be ye perfect" is not idealistic gas. Nor is it a command to do the impossible. He is going to make us into creatures that can obey that command. He said (in the Bible) that we were "gods" and he is going to make good his words. If we let him, for we can prevent him, if we choose, he will make the feeblest and filthiest of us into a god or goddess, a dazzling, radiant, immortal creature, pulsating all through with such energy and joy and wisdom and love as we cannot now imagine, a bright stainless mirror which reflects back to God perfectly (though, of course, on a smaller scale) his own boundless power and delight and goodness.
The process will be long and in parts very painful, but that is what we are in for. Nothing less. He meant what he said.
Almighty God, in penitence we come before you, acknowledging the sin that is within us. We feel the guilt of all those who, bearing the name Christian, slay their fellow human beings because of their race or faith or nation. Forgive us and cleanse us by your grace. Turn us toward the love offered by your son, that your word of hope may be heard clearly throughout the world, 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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