WEDNESDAY THE TWENTY-FOURTH OF OCTOBER, 2018
To you, O Son of God, Lord Jesus Christ, as you pray to the eternal Father, we pray, make us one in him. Lighten our personal distress and that of our society. Receive us into the fellowship of those who believe. Turn our hearts, O Christ, to everlasting truth and healing harmony.
( Philip Melanchthon, 1497-1560 )
Watchmen! onward to your stations; blow the trumpet long and loud;
preach the gospel to the nations, speak to every gathering crowd.
See the day is breaking; see the saints awaking, no more in sadness bow.
Watchmen! hail the rising glory of the great Messiah’s reign;
tell the Saviour’s bleeding story, tell it to the listening train.
See his love revealing; see the Spirit sealing; it is life among the slain.
( Joseph Funk, 1778–1862 )
MEDITATION by Tim Madsen
Dedication of the Cathedral of Chartres
On this day in the year 1260 AD, the present cathedral of Chartres in France was dedicated in the presence of King Louis IX. This is a marginal thing to remember, but it opens for us the medieval world and helps us to understand how important the Church and religious faith were to the people of that time.
There have been five cathedrals on this site, the first of which was destroyed by a Danish Invasion in 858 AD. A devastating fire in 1194 brought an end to the fourth cathedral and what visitors see today was built in a relatively short period of time, with over three hundred people working on the cathedral at any given time.
Chartres was one of the major centers of pilgrimage throughout the Middle Ages. And pilgrimage fueled the medieval economy. Chartres was the site of a “holy well” into which the bodies of Christians had been thrown in days of persecution. In 876 AD the cathedral acquired the Sancta Camisa, believed to be the tunic worn by Mary, the mother of Jesus, at the time of his birth. That drew pilgrims from all over Europe. The market in Chartres was held all around the cathedral grounds. Special fairs, organised around feast days of Saint Mary drew thousands there each year.
During the French Revolution, the cathedral was spared by the townsfolk of Chartres, who repelled the more excessive and fanatical patriots, who wanted it demolished. In World War II the cathedral was also spared when the American colonel, Welborn Barton Griffith, Jr. challenged the order to destroy it, by going behind enemy lines to discover whether the Germans were using the cathedral as a staging area for troops. They were not.
Orson Welles said of Chartres Cathedral:
"Now this has been standing here for centuries. The premier work of man perhaps in the whole western world and it’s without a signature: Chartres. A celebration to God’s glory and to the dignity of man. All that’s left most artists seem to feel these days, is man. There aren’t any celebrations. Ours, the scientists keep telling us, is a universe, which is disposable. You know it might be just this one anonymous glory of all things, this rich stone forest, this epic chant, this gaiety, this grand choiring shout of affirmation, which we choose when all our cities are dust, to stand intact, to mark where we have been, to testify to what we had it in us, to accomplish."
Scripture. In the twenty-fourth chapter of "Matthew," at the first and second verse, we read:
As Jesus came out of the temple and was going away, his disciples came to point out to him the buildings of the temple.
Then he asked them, "You see all these, do you not? Truly I tell you, not one stone will be left here upon another; all will be thrown down."
... for peace in the world.
... for stonemasons and all involved in the building and renovation of places of Christian worship.
... for those who have no building in which to worship God, that they may meet God where they are.
... for the United Nations Organisation, for all who work for it and for its success in its task to promote international co-operation and peace between the nations. DETAILS
... for the people of Zambia who celebrate their national day today.
... for an to nuclear proliferation and the thwarting of those who appear determined to return the world to the fearful state of the Cold War years.
... 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 "An Inland Voyage" by Robert Louis Stevenson, 1850-1894:
I find I never weary of great churches. It is my favourite kind of mountain scenery. Mankind was never so happily inspired as when it made a cathedral: a thing as single and specious as a statue to the first glance, and yet, on examination, as lively and interesting as a forest in detail. The height of spires cannot be taken by trigonometry; they measure absurdly short, but how tall they are to the admiring eye! And where we have so many elegant proportions, growing one out of the other, and all together into one, it seems as if proportion transcended itself, and became something different and more imposing. I could never fathom how a man dares to lift up his voice to preach in a cathedral. What is he to say that will not be an anti-climax? For though I have heard a considerable variety of sermons, I never yet heard one that was so expressive as a cathedral. ’Tis the best preacher itself, and preaches day and night; not only telling you of man’s art and aspirations in the past but convicting your own soul of ardent sympathies; or rather, like all good preachers, it sets you preaching to yourself; and every man is his own doctor of divinity in the last resort.
Almighty God, from living stones, your chosen people, you built an eternal temple to your glory. Increase the strength and vitality of your church, so that your faithful people may continue to grow into the new and eternal Jerusalem, where we will need no temple made of hands to praise and worship you forever; 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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