MONDAY THE FIFTH OF DECEMBER, 2016
* NELSON MANDELA *
Disturb us, O Lord
when we are too well-pleased with ourselves
when our dreams have come true
because we dreamed too little,
because we sailed too close to the shore.
Disturb us, O Lord
when with the abundance of things we possess,
we have lost our thirst for the water of life
when, having fallen in love with time,
we have ceased to dream of eternity
and in our efforts to build a new earth,
we have allowed our vision of heaven to grow dim.
Stir us, O Lord
to dare more boldly, to venture into wider seas
where storms show your mastery,
where losing sight of land, we shall find the stars.
In the name of him who pushed back
the horizons of our hopes
and invited the brave to follow. Amen
( Desmond Tutu )
Deliver me, O Lord, by your hand.
Hear my just cause, O Lord; consider my complaint;
listen to my prayer, which comes not from lying lips.
Let my vindication come forth from your presence;
let your eyes behold what is right.
Weigh my heart, examine me by night,
refine me, and you will find no impurity in me.
My mouth does not trespass for earthly rewards;
I have heeded the words of your lips.
My footsteps hold fast in the ways of your commandments;
my feet have not stumbled in your paths.
I call upon you, O God, for you will answer me;
incline your ear to me, and listen to my words.
Show me your marvellous loving-kindness,
O Saviour of those who take refuge at your right hand
from those who rise up against them.
Keep me as the apple of your eye;
hide me under the shadow of your wings,
from the wicked who assault me,
from my enemies who surround me to take away my life.
They have closed their heart to pity
and their mouth speaks proud things.
They press me hard, they surround me on every side,
watching how they may cast me to the ground
like a lion that is greedy for its prey,
like a young lion lurking in secret places.
Arise, Lord; confront them and cast them down;
deliver me from the wicked by your sword.
Deliver me, O Lord, by your hand
from those whose portion in life is unending,
whose bellies you fill with your treasure,
who are well supplied with children
and leave their wealth to their little ones.
As for me, I shall see your face in righteousness;
when I awake and behold your likeness,
I shall be satisfied.
Glory to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning is now
and shall be for ever. Amen.
Deliver me, O Lord, by your hand.
deliver us from all envious thoughts,
and when we are tempted by the desire for wealth,
let us see your face;
for your abundance is enough to clothe our lack;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
MEDITATION by Tim Madsen
Nelson Mandela: teaching people to love
Today Saint Laika’s remembers Nelson Mandela, the anti-apartheid revolutionary, politician and philanthropist who died on this day in 2013. It is somewhat intimidating to try to say something meaningful in a short devotion. I suppose at the bottom of it all there was Mandela’s willingness to suffer for his beliefs, and his willingness to forgive those who caused his suffering, so that his beliefs could take root and grow.
Apartheid was a system of racial segregation in South Africa enforced through legislation by the National Party governments, the ruling party from 1948 to 1994, under which the rights, associations, and movements of the majority black inhabitants were curtailed by the minority white government. From 1960 to 1983, three and a half million non-white South Africans were removed from their homes, and forced into segregated neighbourhoods, in one of the largest mass removals in modern history. The government segregated education, medical care, beaches, and other public services, and provided black people with services that were often inferior to those of white people.
Confronted by this dehumanising system, Mandela fought against it in both non-violent and violent ways. He was a leader in the Defiance Campaign against Unjust Laws sponsored by the African National Congress in 1952. Working as a lawyer he was repeatedly arrested for seditious activities. In 1962, he was arrested, convicted of conspiracy to overthrow the state, and sentenced to life imprisonment. He served twenty-seven years of that sentence. From prison he became a symbol for the anti-apartheid struggle. The world took notice and South Africa became increasingly isolated. An international campaign lobbied for his release, which was granted in 1990 amid escalating civil strife. Mandela joined negotiations with Nationalist president, F. W. de Klerk, to abolish apartheid and establish multiracial elections in 1994. In those elections he became South Africa’s first black president. Under his leadership a new constitution was promulgated. He established the Truth and Reconciliation Commission to heal the wounds of racism.
He introduced measures to encourage land reform, combat poverty, and expand healthcare services. He declined to run for a second term. He retired and became an elder statesman, focusing on charitable work in combating poverty and HIV/AIDS through the Nelson Mandela Foundation.
Quote: “People must learn to hate and if they can learn to hate, then they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”
Scripture. In the fifth chapter of "Matthew," verses forty-six to forty-eight, we read:
"For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax-collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the gentiles do the same? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly father is perfect."
... for peace in the world.
... for the people of South Africa, that their politicians may give up their corrupt ways and return to the just ways of Nelson Mandela and the founders of democracy in their land.
... for an end to apartheid and segregation wherever it exists in our world.
... for prisoners of conscience and all who have been imprisoned unfairly.
... for those who fight for freedom, democracy and justice within their own lands.
... for an end to the growing racial segregation in the United Kingdom. DETAILS
... for the three people murdered by a gunman as they left a restaurant in Imatra, Finland and for their family and friends. DETAILS
... for agency workers.
... 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.
From "Meditations for Every Day" by Father Andrew SDC:
When our Lord came to this earth in what St Paul calls the fullness of time, it was not only the right psychological moment, when the world was united in the great Roman empire, speaking more or less the same language, and at peace, so that travellers could travel in comparative safety. All this made it an extraordinarily good moment for the dissemination of a great gospel, but it was also the moment of the worlds great need. The old pagan religions had altogether ceased to satisfy, pagan morality had become extraordinarily corrupt, and just when the world was groping in darkness and stricken with wounds, Christ came. The world needed him, and God in the Incarnation found a way to come to the world.
As we think of the present state of the world from the point of View of an ordinary man, it is not at all a hopeful situation, but, from the point of view of a Christian, we know that mans extremity is Gods opportunity, and God himself will come in his own way. We are not sufficient for the situation, but God certainly is, and he will give us the power to behave in such a way as to give him glory and reveal love to our neighbour. There is no sort of guarantee that life will mechanically develop into beauty, that you and I left to ourselves will evolve into sanctity. Our hope is not in ourselves but in him. In his own hidden way he enters into our life, in the midst of our darkness, pain, and temptation. Let us not doubt that he is sufficient for our situation, that he is saving us, perhaps all unknown to ourselves, as he was the worlds saviour though the world knew him not.
Eternal God, when we are confronted by systemic evil, racial hatred, and injustice, inspire us to action through the life of your servant Nelson Mandela, who was willing to give his own life for the betterment of his people. Strengthen us by the sufferings of our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and 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.
NOW LIGHT A CANDLE
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