Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

MONDAY THE SIXTEENTH OF JANUARY, 2017
* EIVIND BERGGRAV *

OPENING PRAYER

Lord, stop us from using you as an excuse not to engage with the world. Immerse us in your creation, inspire us to care for it and do not allow us to separate the religious from the secular, for all is sacred in the kingdom where your will will be done just the same as it is in heaven. Amen.

PSALM TWENTY-SIX

Lord, I love the place where your glory abides.

Give judgement for me, O Lord,
for I have walked with integrity;
I have trusted in the Lord and have not faltered.

Test me, O Lord, and try me;
examine my heart and my mind.
For your love is before my eyes;
I have walked in your truth.
I have not joined the company of the false,
nor consorted with the deceitful.
I hate the gathering of evildoers
and I will not sit down with the wicked.

I will wash my hands in innocence, O Lord,
that I may go about your altar,
to make heard the voice of thanksgiving
and tell of all your wonderful deeds.
Lord, I love the house of your habitation
and the place where your glory abides.

Sweep me not away with sinners,
nor my life with the bloodthirsty,
whose hands are full of wicked schemes
and their right hand full of bribes.

As for me, I will walk with integrity;
redeem me, Lord, and be merciful to me.
My foot stands firm;
in the great congregation I will bless the Lord.

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.

Lord, I love the place where your glory abides.

Have mercy on us and redeem us, O Lord,
for our merits are your mercies
and in your judgement is our salvation;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

Eivind Berggrav: no quisling in Christ’s service (transferred from Sunday)

(Citizens in the USA are honouring Doctor Martin Luther King Junior today. Saint Laika's remembers Doctor King on the fourth of April, the anniversary of the day of his assassination.)

Today Saint Laika’s remembers Eivind Berggrav, bishop of Oslo, primate of Norway, who stood up for Christ and the people of Christ against the Nazis in his land.

Open up a dictionary and look up the word “quisling.” It will be defined in some way as “a collaborator with an enemy power,” “a traitor to one’s country.” The word refers to Vidkun Quisling , a Norwegian fascist politician who collaborated in the Nazi takeover of Norway in World War II, and was installed by the Nazis as the head of a puppet government there.

Quisling found Berggrav a formidable foe. He led the other six bishops in Norway in opposing Nazi measures. He insisted on the right of pastors to keep the confidences of their parishioners. He demanded the non-interference of Nazis in the spiritual performance of pastoral duties. He insisted that Jewish citizens be accorded the same rights as all other Norwegians.

Berggrav consolidated a united church front against the Nazis. In response, Quisling stripped him of the title of bishop, declared him an ordinary, private citizen, and placed him under house arrest. This was done on Maundy Thursday in 1942.

The Lutheran Church of Norway was the established church in Norway. When Quisling acted against Berggrav, the church responded. By Easter Sunday, all the bishops and seven hundred and ninety-seven of the eight hundred and sixty-one clergy resigned their positions in the church. Berggrav took the church underground to continue to minister to people independent of the Quisling regime..

Norway was liberated in 1945. Quisling was executed for treason.

After the war, Berggrav was active in the reorganisation of the church. He was active in the World Council of Churches, and the Lutheran World Federation. He died on the fourteenth of January, 1959.

Quote: “It is inappropriate for a Christian to say that the freedom of God’s church or of God’s word is not yet directly threatened and we ought not take suffering and strife upon us just for the sake of ‘secular matters.’ There are no such things as ‘secular matters’ for a Christian conscience. The moment that God calls on him to assume them they are God’s concern. This is why the expression, ‘to suffer for Jesus’ sake’ and ‘to suffer for righteousness sake’ stand side by side in the Sermon on the Mount.”

Scripture. In the thirty-fourth chapter of "Ezekiel," at verses fifteen and sixteen, we read:

"I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I will make them lie down, says the Lord GOD. I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak, but the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them with justice."

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for the people of Norway.

... for the members of the Lutheran Church of Norway.

... for an end to fascism.

... for citizens of occupied countries and for an end to their oppression.

... for those killed, injured or made homeless when a Turkish cargo plane crashed into a village near Manas airport in Kyrgyzstan. DETAILS

... that peace talks soon resume between Israel and Palestine and for an end to all provocations that make this less likely.

... for the deescalation of the brewing hostility between Serbia and Kosovo. 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 "Fellowship with God" by William Temple:

If our conception of sin and of righteousness needs to be deepened, quite equally is this true of our thought of judgment. Men have persisted in thinking of the divine judgment as being the infliction upon them by an arbitrary despot of penalties not growing out of their crimes but specially imposed. So we are told that because, rightly or wrongly, many men have ceased to believe in the reality of hell, they find in their thought of a future life no constraining motive of conduct. If so, the motive which had been supplied by the thought of a future life cannot have been remarkably Christian. We do not show discipleship to Christ when we lay plans for securing an eternity of self-centred enjoyment. Fear of punishment and hope of reward are always selfish emotions, unless the reward we hope for is the joy of fellowship with one whom we love and the punishment we fear is just exclusion from that fellowship.

CLOSING PRAYER

Almighty God, shepherd of your people, we thank you for your servant Eivind Berggrav, who was faithful in the care and nurture of your flock. We pray that, following his example, we may attain our full maturity in 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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