TUESDAY THE TWENTY-FIRST OF AUGUST, 2018
Almighty God, and most merciful Father, who has given us a new commandment that we should love one another, give us also grace that we may fulﬁl it. Make as gentle, courteous and forbearing. Direct our lives so that we may look each to the good of the other in word and deed. And hallow all our friendships by the blessing of your Spirit, for his sake who loved us and gave himself for us, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
( Brooke Foss Westcott, 1825—1901 )
You mighty rulers of the land, give praise and glory to the Lord;
and while before his throne you stand, his great and powerful acts record.
O render unto God above the honours which to him belong
and in the temple of his love, let worship flow from every tongue.
His voice is heard the earth around when through the heavens his thunders roll;
the troubled ocean hears the sound and yields itself to his control.
When he upon the lightning rides, his voice in loudest thunder speaks;
the fiery element divides and earth to its deep centre shakes.
God on the floods has fixed his throne, his government shall never cease;
he shall his power and strength make known and bless his chosen sons with peace.
( William Wrangham, 1784-1832 )
MEDITATION by Tim Madsen
Sérgio Vieira de Mello and World Humanitarian Day
Sérgio Vieira de Mello was a Brazilian United Nations diplomat who worked for the organisation for more than thirty-four years, earning respect and praise around the world for his efforts in humanitarian and political programmes.
He spent his life working in situations of conflict for the betterment of the world. His early career included fieldwork assignments in Bangladesh during its war of independence in 1971, in Sudan in 1972 following the Addis Ababa agreement which ended the First Sudanese Civil War and allowed the return of some six hundred and fifty thousand Sudanese refugees and displaced persons, and Cyprus after the Turkish invasion in 1974. He spent three years in Mozambique during the civil war that followed its independence from Portugal in 1975, and three more in Peru. He also served as a special envoy for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees for Cambodia, being the first and only UN Representative to hold talks with the Khmer Rouge. He became a senior political adviser to the UN Interim Force in Lebanon between 1981 and 1983.
The early 1990s found him involved in the clearing of landmines in Cambodia and then in Yugoslavia. There was no place in the world where he was unwilling to go. His amazing career was recognised by the United Nations and in 1996 he became the UN Undersecretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs. In 2002 he became the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
He was tragically killed in the Canal Hotel Bombing in Iraq along with twenty other members of his staff on the nineteenth of August, 2003, while working as the Secretary-General's special representative in Iraq. Before his death, he was considered a likely candidate for UN Secretary-General.
On the eleventh of December, 2008, the United Nations General Assembly decided to designate the nineteenth of August as "World Humanitarian Day." The resolution gave, for the first time, a special recognition to all who have worked in the promotion of the humanitarian cause and those who have lost their lives in the cause of their duty.
We can give thanks for Sérgio Vieira de Mello's lifetime of service and his commitment to the betterment of conditions everywhere in the world.
Scripture. In the fifth chapter of "Galatians," at verses thirteen and fourteen, we read:
For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for self-indulgence, but through love become slaves to one another. For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment, "You shall love your neighbour as yourself."
... for peace in the world.
... for all who work for organisations dedicated to humanitarian aid efforts around the world.
... for all victims of natural and political disasters, especially, at this time, for the hikers who were killed after flash flooding in southern Italy and for those who are missing. 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:
Suppose one reads a story of filthy atrocities in the paper. Then suppose that something turns up suggesting that the story might not be quite true, or not quite so bad as it was made out. Is one’s first feeling, "Thank God, even they aren’t quite so bad as that," or is it a feeling of disappointment, and even a determination to cling to the first story for the sheer pleasure of thinking your enemies as bad as possible?
If it is the second then it is, I am afraid, the first step in a process which, if followed to the end, will make us into devils. You see, one is beginning to wish that black was a little blacker. If we give that wish its head, later on we shall wish to see grey as black, and then to see white itself as black. Finally, we shall insist on seeing everything, God and our friends and ourselves included, as bad, and not be able to stop doing it: we shall be fixed for ever in a universe of pure hatred.
May the love of Jesus Christ bring us wholeness, the grace of God the Father grant us peace, the breath of Holy Spirit instil passion and the unity between them give us strength for this and every day. 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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