THURSDAY THE TWENTY-SIXTH OF JANUARY, 2017
* TIMOTHY, TITUS AND SILAS *
God our heavenly father, you revealed to us your only son Jesus Christ who became the reconciler of your people to you through his awful death on the cross. He chose disciples to continue teaching and revealing him as lord and saviour. We ask you to open our hearts and let Christ live in us that we would be his present and future disciples for his mission. We pray that the radiant rays of the Holy Spirit may inspire, and strengthen us to preach Christ Jesus as lord, saviour and life giver throughout the world. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Be glad, you righteous, and rejoice in the Lord.
Happy the one whose transgression is forgiven,
and whose sin is covered.
Happy the one to whom the Lord imputes no guilt,
and in whose spirit there is no guile.
For I held my tongue; my bones wasted away
through my groaning all the day long.
Your hand was heavy upon me day and night;
my moisture was dried up like the drought in summer.
Then I acknowledged my sin to you
and my iniquity I did not hide.
I said, 'I will confess my transgressions to the Lord,'
and you forgave the guilt of my sin.
Therefore let all the faithful make their prayers to you
in time of trouble;
in the great water flood, it shall not reach them.
You are a place for me to hide in;
you preserve me from trouble;
you surround me with songs of deliverance.
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.
Be glad, you righteous, and rejoice in the Lord.
Give us honest hearts, O God,
and send your kindly Spirit
to help us confess our sins
and bring us the peace of your forgiveness;
in Jesus Christ our lord. Amen.
MEDITATION by Tim Madsen
Timothy, Titus, and Silas: the second generation of disciples
The mission Jesus left to his disciples was to go and make more disciples. We will never know all of their names, their struggles, the sacrifices they made on behalf of their new faith in Jesus. But here, in the waning days of January, we remember some of them, whose names we know from the pages of the "New Testament."
Timothy and Silas are mentioned in "The Acts of the Apostles." Paul chose Timothy as a companion for his mission to Asia Minor . Timothy undertook missions to the Thessalonians, Corinthians and the Ephesians. Eusebius counts him as the first bishop of that city. Silas is known by his Latinised name Silvanus when Paul cites him as his companion along with Timothy. He went with Paul and Barnabas to deliver the decision of the apostolic council in Jerusalem that gentile believers did not have to observe the law of Moses. Paul chose Silas to accompany him on missions to Asia Minor and Macedonia where he may have remained after Paul left .
Titus, a Greek, accompanied Paul to Jerusalem for the apostolic council. During Paul’s third missionary journey Titus was sent on missions to Corinth from which he gave Paul encouraging reports. Paul, left him to organise the church in Crete, and Eusebius reports that he was the first bishop there.
The names of Timothy and Titus are remembered in the "New Testament." Timothy was the recipient of two letters purportedly written by Paul, and Titus received one such letter. Most contemporary scholars do not believe they were actually written by Paul. They are simply too different in style, vocabulary, and they seem to describe a more structured church than Paul would have known at the time of his death. Nevertheless the letters were widely known in the ancient church, and testify to the ongoing work of the church, in the second generation after Jesus.
Scripture: In the "Third Letter of John," verses four and six to eight, we read:
"I have no greater joy than this, to hear that my children are walking in the truth. Send them on in a manner worthy of God; for they began their journey for the sake of Christ, accepting no support from non-believers. Therefore we ought to support such people, so that we may become co-workers with the truth."
... for peace in the world.
... for those suffering from diseases of the stomach and all under the patronage of Saint Timothy.
... for the United States Army Chaplain Corps.
... for the people of Crete and all under the patronage of Saint Titus.
... for all under the patronage of Saint Silas, for the congregations of churches that bear his name.
... for the people of Australia who are celebrating their national day.
... for the people of India who are celebrating Republic Day.
... for an end to torture throughout the world in whatever form it takes and the thwarting of those practice or support it.
... for the suicidal in our prisons.
... for those killed or injured in an Islamist bomb attack on the Dayah hotel in the Somali capital Mogadishu. 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.
From a homily by John Chrysostom:
Though housed in a narrow prison, Paul dwelt in heaven. He accepted beatings and wounds more readily than others reach out for rewards. Sufferings he loved as much as prizes; indeed he regarded them as his prizes, and therefore called them a grace or gift. Reflect on what this means. To depart and be with Christ was certainly a reward, while remaining in the flesh meant struggle. Yet such was his longing for Christ that he wanted to defer his reward and remain amid the fight; those were his priorities.
Now, to be separated from the company of Christ meant struggle and pain for Paul; in fact, it was a greater affliction than any struggle or pain would be. On the other hand, to be with Christ was a matchless reward. Yet, for the sake of Christ, Paul chose the separation.
But, you may say: “Because of Christ, Paul found all this pleasant.”
I cannot deny that, for he derived intense pleasure from what saddens us. I need not think only of perils and hardships. It was true even of the intense sorrow that made him cry out: Who is weak that I do not share the weakness? Who is scandalised that I am not consumed with indignation?
I urge you not simply to admire but also to imitate this splendid example of virtue, for, if we do, we can share his crown as well.
Are you surprised at my saying that if you have Paul’s merits, you will share that same reward? Then listen to Paul himself:
"I have fought the good fight, I have run the race, I have kept the faith. Henceforth a crown of justice awaits me, and the Lord, who is a just judge, will give it to me on that day; and not to me alone, but to those who desire his coming."
You see how he calls all to share the same glory?
Now, since the same crown of glory is offered to all, let us eagerly strive to become worthy of these promised blessings.
In thinking of Paul we should not consider only his noble and lofty virtues or the strong and ready will that disposed him for such great graces. We should also realise that he shares our nature in every respect. If we do, then even what is very difficult will seem to us easy and light; we shall work hard during the short time we have on earth and someday we shall wear the incorruptible, immortal crown. This we shall do by the grace and mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom all glory and power belongs now and always through endless ages. Amen.
Almighty God, who called Timothy, Titus, and Silas to lay a foundation of faith for your Church: Grant that we also may be living stones built upon the foundation of Jesus Christ our saviour; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, 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
CLICK HERE, then click on "Begin" and follow the instructions on each page.