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WEDNESDAY THE TENTH OF OCTOBER, 2018
Shine into our hearts, O loving Master, by the pure light of the knowledge of yourself, and open the eyes of our mind to your teaching, that in all things we may both think and act according to your good pleasure: and meditating of those things that are holy, may continually live in your light. Amen.
( Dawn Office of the Eastern and Leonine Churches )
Wake the song of jubilee, let it echo over the sea!
Now is come the promised hour, Jesus reigns with sovereign power.
All you nations, join and sing, Christ of lords and kings is King.
Let it sound from shore to shore, Jesus reigns forevermore.
Now the desert lands rejoice and the islands join their voice;
yes, the whole creation sings, Jesus is the King of kings.
See the ransomed millions stand, palms of conquest in their hands,
this before the throne their strain, hell is vanquished, death is slain.
Blessing, honour, glory, might are the conqueror’s native right;
thrones and powers before him fall, Lamb of God and Lord of all.
Time has nearly reached its sum; all things with the bride say, “Come.”
Jesus, whom all worlds adore, come, and reign forevermore.
( Leonard Bacon, 1802–1881 )
MEDITATION by Tim Madsen
History and myth among Muslims and Christians in the eighth century
Which paradigms of history and society guide us in our understanding of the world and its ways? This is the essential post-modern question. What set of truths guide you as you make your way through the world?
For the fanatical edge of the Muslim world, it is their belief in the superiority of Islam and its eventual triumph over all other religions that guides their actions. In my youth, one paradigm was Christopher Columbus discovering a “new world” in 1492. Many today view his journey through the lens of the repression of native peoples. Hero or chump?
On the tenth of October, 732 AD, Muslim troops coming up from Spain, led by Abdul Rahman Al Ghafiqi, waged a battle against Frankish troops, who were under the leadership of Charles Martel, near the town of Poitiers, France. In that battle, the Muslim forces were defeated, Al Ghafiqi was killed, and the Franks succeeded in driving Muslims back across the Pyrenees where they continued to build a Moorish civilisation centred around the city of Cordoba.
As a result of his prowess, the Church conspired with Martel to strip the kingship of the Frankish people from the Merovingian kings and give it to his family. Martel’s son was Pepin and his grandson was Charlemagne.
Folks of a certain age were taught that the Battle of Poitiers (a.k.a. the Battle of Tours) was a “turning point in history.” It was the battle that “saved Western Europe for Christianity.” The famous historian Edward Gibbon was of this view. Other contemporary historians play down this view. Many argue that the Battle of Poitiers is a myth created to represent western culture’s superiority over others. Some argue that the western expansion of Islam had reached, at the Pyrenees, a natural end, others view the Battle as a simple exercise of raw political power as Martel’s force sought to impose their will on the Frankish peoples.
As we move day by day through our contemporary world, and we see daily what appears to be a clash between radical Islam and the west, it’s important to remind ourselves of the power of myths to shape our understanding of events. It is also good to remember that ever since Saint Paul wrote in “Galatians,” chapter four, verse seven, that Jesus was born “in the fullness of time,” that time is not a matter of indifference to God. As you view the escalating Christian-Muslim violence today, your paradigm might lead you to believe that even now Christ is raising up a new champion to fight for the “true” religion, or it might lead you to a weeping Christ, distraught that once again God’s children resort to bloodshed as a means of sorting out their problems with one another.
Scripture. In “Psalm Ninety,” verses ten to twelve we read:
The days of our life are seventy years, or perhaps eighty, if we are strong; even then their span is only toil and trouble; they are soon gone and we fly away. Who considers the power of your anger? Your wrath is as great as the fear that is due to you. So teach us to count our days that we may gain a wise heart.
… for peace in the world.
… for an end to all religious wars and sectarian violence; that terrorism in the name of religion may cease.
… that in God’s time the gospel of Jesus Christ will be embraced willingly and freely by all the people, unforced, without bribery and with no strings attached.
… for Christians and adherents of other faiths in the Middle East, who have been victims of ethnic cleansing or forced from their homelands in recent years.
… for all who live with mental ill health and for an end to the stigma attached to mental illness. DETAILS
… for the people of the Republic of China, Fiji and North Korea, who celebrate their national days today.
… 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 American Democrat” by James Fenimore Cooper:
In America, the taint of sectarianism lies broad upon the land. Not content with acknowledging the supremacy of the Deity and with erecting temples in his honour where all can bow down with reverence, the pride and vanity of human reason enter into and pollute our worship and the houses that should be of God and for God, alone, where he is to be honoured with submissive faith, are too often merely schools of metaphysical and useless distinctions. The nation is sectarian, rather than Christian.
Religion’s first lesson is humility; its fruit, charity. In the great and sublime ends of Providence, little things are lost, and least of all is he imbued with a right spirit who believes that insignificant observances, subtleties of doctrine and minor distinctions, enter into the great essentials of the Christian character. The wisest thing for him who is disposed to cavil at the immaterial habits of his neighbour, to split straws on doctrine, to fancy trifles of importance and to place the man before principles, would be to distrust himself. The spirit of peace is not with him.
O God, it is your will to hold both heaven and earth in a single peace. Let the design of your great love shine on the waste of our wraths and sorrows, and give peace to your Church, peace among nations, peace in our homes and peace in our hearts; 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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