Daily Prayer

WEDNESDAY THE TWENTIETH OF SEPTEMBER, 2017
* John Coleridge Patteson *

OPENING PRAYERS

We beseech you, O Lord, remember all for good; have mercy upon all, O God. Remember every soul who, being in any affliction, trouble, or agony, stands in need of your mercy and help, all who are in necessity or distress; all who love or hate us.

You, O Lord, are the helper of the helpless; the hope of the hopeless; the saviour of them who are tossed with tempests; the haven of them who sail; be you all to all.

Your glorious majesty, O Lord our God, be upon us; prosper the work of our hands; oh, prosper our handy-work.

Lord, be within me to strengthen me; without me to keep me; above me to protect me; beneath me to uphold me; before me to direct me; behind me to keep me from straying; round about me to defend me.

Blessed be you, O Lord, our Father, for ever and ever. Amen.

( Lancelet Andrewes )

CANTICLE

Go sound the Gospel trumpet
beyond the rolling sea,
from chains of sin and darkness
to set the captive free.

Go bear the joyful tidings
that first, on Judah’s plain,
awoke the wondering shepherds
to praise Messiah’s name;
exalt the king of glory
who left his throne on high,
and came to earth a ransom
for guilty man to die.

Go in your master’s vineyard
and labour heart and hand;
the word of life eternal
proclaim to every land:
the sweet and precious promise
to all who will believe;
free grace and full salvation
for all who will receive.

Go tell the broken spirit
that vainly sighs for rest,
there is a home in glory,
a home for ever blest;
go bring the lost to Jesus,
his tender love to share;
go forth to every nation:
immortal souls are there.

Go sound the Gospel trumpet
beyond the rolling sea,
from chains of sin and darkness
to set the captive free.

( Fanny Crosby )

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

John Coleridge Patteson:
from Oxford to the South Pacific

John Coleridge Patteson was born in London in 1827. He attended Balliol College, Oxford, and graduated in 1849. In 1852, after a tour of Europe and a study of languages, he became a fellow of Merton College, Oxford. In 1855, he heard Bishop George Selwyn of New Zealand call for volunteers to go the South Pacific to preach the gospel. He went there, and founded a school for the education of native Christian workers. He was adept at languages and learned twenty-three of the languages spoken in the Polynesian and Melanesian Islands of the South Pacific. In 1861 he was consecrated Bishop of Melanesia.

The slave-trade was technically illegal in the South Pacific at that time, but the laws were only laxly enforced and in fact slave-raiding was a flourishing business. Patteson was actively engaged in the effort to stamp it out. However, injured men do not always distinguish friends from foes. After slave-raiders had attacked the island of Nakapu, in the Santa Cruz group, Patteson and several companions visited the area. They were assumed to be connected with the raiders and Patteson's body was floated back to his ship with five hatchet wounds in the chest, one for each native who had been killed in the earlier raid.

The death of Bishop Patteson caused an uproar back in England and stimulated the government there to take firm measures to stamp out slavery and the slave trade in its Pacific territories. It was also the seed of the strong and vigorous church in Melanesia today.

Patteson and his companions died on the twentieth of September, 1871.

Scripture. In the seventh chapter of "Acts," verses fifty-eight to sixty, we read.

"Then they dragged him out of the city and began to stone him; and the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul.

"While they were stoning Stephen, he prayed, ‘Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.’

"Then he knelt down and cried out in a loud voice, ‘Lord, do not hold this sin against them.’

"When he had said this, he died."

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... that we may have the courage to go where God sends us.

... for missionaries, at home and abroad.

... for an end to all forms of slavery.

... for the people of Nepal who celebrate their national day today.

... for those killed, injured or made homeless by a strong earthquake that has struck central Mexico; for those who are missing, for all affected by the quake. DETAILS

... for the people of the Virgin Islands, Puerto Rica and all whose lands have been battered by Hurricane Maria. DETAILS

... for those who have died 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, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.

READING

From "Bishop Patteson: as the Natives Saw Him" by Edward Wogale:

Formerly, when I was little, I lived in my heathen land, and I used to see Bishop Patteson coming frequently to us, but I thought that he came to us without a reason and I did not think that he would take me away by and bye, but he took me, and I lived with him when I was still a boy.

Listen: he taught me altogether about this good teaching that I have received, about baptism, about confirmation, about the holy sacrament and about prayer. And about prayer he said thus: If I pray I should pray for myself, and for all my brethren, and for him also, and that I should pray daily. And I think that he taught me thoroughly and truly about these things.

And I saw myself that there was a heart very good indeed within him, a generous heart full of love and pity, When he was still weak, because he had been ill, he did not consider that at all, but still gave all his energy to teaching us, ready for our going to the lands to the north.

Now on that voyage in which he died, I went together with him to Mota, and I saw that he gave very much of his heart to teaching the Mota people during that visit: for in the morning and in the evening he was always talking to them about this good teaching, and if he saw anyone on the road walking or sitting down anywhere he would speak to him about this teaching. And he urged very strongly, also, us who went together with him, that we should give all our energies, together with him, to proclaiming this teaching to them; and the Mota people loved him very much. During that time that he lived at Mota he baptised men, adults, and children also. When they were counted there were two hundred and ninety-seven who then received for themselves baptism at that time. And his clothes, he distributed them all to those who had received baptism, and he gave also his handkerchief to them.

And when we rowed ashore to the islands to the north, he used to do like this: If it was a good landing, we put him ashore with the crowd; but if it was at a land where they did not know him well, he would ask for the boat to float at a distance from the shore, and he alone would remain amongst the crowd. But if the landing-place was bad, he would swim ashore to the people, and the boat would float on the sea. Then, when he had remained with them for a time, he would make presents of many things to them, and then swim back again to the boat. He did like this always in all his voyages.

The Bishop was good indeed; he did not live apart from us, but he was always friends with us, and we lived always in his house with him. And he did not despise at all anyone amongst us, but he kept us thoroughly with him. And he said that he did not wish us to be shy with him, or to be afraid of him. Not this, but if anyone wished to speak to him about anything, that he should speak out, and not fear him. Yes, indeed, there was a very humble disposition (or nature) with him, and he said daily to us thus: That we should not pride ourselves; but if we humbled ourselves that would be good.

And, again, he was very patient with us. He did not do anything to make one fear him, but he spoke quietly always about anything that was right for that one: whether it was ordering him, or forbidding him, he did it quietly: and truly it was always right.

CLOSING PRAYER

God of all tribes and peoples and tongues, who called your servant John Coleridge Patteson to witness in life and death to the gospel of Christ amongst the peoples of Melanesia, grant us to hear your call to service and to respond trustfully and joyfully to Jesus Christ our redeemer, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.

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