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FRIDAY THE NINETEENTH OF OCTOBER, 2018
The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ open all our eyes, that we may see that blessed hope to which we are called; that we may altogether glorify the only true God and Jesus Christ, whom he has sent down to us from heaven; to whom with the Father and the Holy Spirit be rendered all honour and glory to all eternity. Amen.
( John Jewell, 1522-1571 )
Watched by the world’s malignant eye,
who load us with reproach and shame;
as servants of the Lord most high,
as zealous for His glorious name,
we ought in all his paths to move,
with holy fear and humble love.
That wisdom, Lord, on us bestow,
from every evil to depart;
to stop the mouth of every foe,
while, upright both in life and heart,
the proofs of godly fear we give,
and show them how the Christians live.
( Charles Wesley, 1707–1788 )
MEDITATION by Tim Madsen
Henry Martyn: diffusing the gospel of peace
Henry Martyn was a young man who felt a calling to be a missionary. His life left a bigger impact on global Christianity than the shortness of his life (he lived for just thirty-one years) might lead one to believe.
Henry was born in Truro, Cornwall in 1781. He had intended to practice law, but he was captivated by a sermon he heard on missionary work in India, and so he changed course, got himself ordained as a priest in the Church of England and set off to India in 1805. On his way around the Cape of Good Hope, Africa’s southernmost tip, he was caught up in the British takeover of the colony from the Dutch. He tended to dying soldiers and was repulsed by the horror of war.
He wrote in his diary: “I prayed that England whilst she sent the thunder of her arms to distant regions of the globe, might show herself great indeed, by sending forth the ministers of her church to diffuse the gospel of peace.”
He arrived in India in 1806 and spent the next several years establishing churches and schools and, because he was gifted with an innate understanding of languages, worked on translating "The New Testament" and "The Book of Common Prayer" into Urdu, the local Hindustani language, and into Persian.
In 1811 he travelled to southern Iran where he perfected his Persian "New Testament" and engaged in theological discussions with Muslims, Jews and Armenians, the first English priest ever to break that new ground.
Stricken with fever, he began making his way overland to the Mediterranean, where he hoped to catch a ship back to England. However he made it only as far as Armenia where he died on the sixteenth of October, 1812. He was given Christian burial by the clergy of the Armenian Church.
Scripture. In the forty-ninth chapter of "Isaiah," at verses five and six, we read:
And now the Lord says, "It is too light a thing that you should be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob and to restore the survivors of Israel; I will give you as a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth."
... for peace in the world.
... for translators of the scriptures, that their work may lead to many reading the good news about Jesus Christ and accepting him as their saviour.
... for the people of Niue who celebrate their national day today.
... for those who have died recently and for those who mourn their passing.
... for Chris and all who are undergoing surgery today.
... 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 a sermon by Henry Martyn:
To walk in Christ is to remember always that we have thus, in the person of Christ, all the powers of the Godhead and all the sympathies. of the Manhood interested about us and attached to us; that Christ being with us as God, it is the inﬁnite'strength of the Almighty that defends, unerring wisdom that guides and everlasting love that comforts us; that, as Man, we have in him one that is experimentally acquainted with our sorrows, trials, and temptations, and disposed to sympathise with us.
To walk in Christ is so to acknowledge him in these relations, as to place an unbounded conﬁdence in him. If it be the pressure of present affliction, whether temporal or spiritual, that is our trial, we should assure ourselves that it is permitted or appointed by him, regulated by him in its duration and degree; and a that it shall eventually forward our sanctiﬁcation; and that, in the meantime, grace shall be given us to bear it patiently. If future difﬁculties foreseen, anxiety about our being faithful in such and such circumstances, be the cause of distress (and our creative fancy is ever inventing something or other to terrify us) all such disquieting fears are to be removed by leaving these: difficulties with Christ as the sheep looks to the shepherd for food.
O God of the nations, you gave to your faithful servant Henry Martyn a brilliant mind, a loving heart and a gift for languages, that he might translate the scriptures and other holy writings for the peoples of India and Persia. Inspire in us a love like his, eager to commit both life and talents to you who gave them; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.
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