THURSDAY THE TWENTY-THIRD OF FEBRUARY, 2017
you are merciful and forgiving.
Grant that those who are suffering the hurts of the past
may experience your generous love.
Heal their memories, comfort them,
and send them all from here
renewed and hopeful;
in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
PSALM FORTY-EIGHT ( abridged )
We have waited on your loving-kindness, O God.
Great is the Lord and highly to be praised,
in the city of our God.
His holy mountain is fair and lifted high,
the joy of all the earth.
On Mount Zion, the divine dwelling place,
stands the city of the great king.
In her palaces God has shown himself
to be a sure refuge.
We have waited on your loving-kindness, O God,
in the midst of your temple.
As with your name, O God,
so your praise reaches to the ends of the earth;
your right hand is full of justice.
Let Mount Zion rejoice and the daughters of Judah be glad,
because of your judgements, O Lord.
Walk about Zion and go round about her;
count all her towers;
consider well her bulwarks; pass through her citadels,
That you may tell those who come after
that such is our God for ever and ever.
It is he that shall be our guide for evermore.
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.
We have waited on your loving-kindness, O God.
Father of lights,
raise us with Christ to your eternal city,
that, with kings and nations,
we may wait in the midst of your temple
and see your glory for ever and ever. Amen.
MEDITATION by Tim Madsen
Sophie and Hans Scholl, Cristoph Probst: the White Rose
On the twenty-second of February, 1943, Hans Scholl, his sister Sophie and their friend, Cristoph Probst, were executed by the Nazis. They were part of a group known as “The White Rose,” which was distributing anti-Nazi propaganda in and around Munich, Germany. They were observed by a custodian at the university passing out their literature and he turned them in to the Nazis on the eighteenth of February. Four days later they were tried and executed. Hans was twenty-four, Sophie was twenty-one, Cristoph was twenty-two.
Hans and Sophie Scholl lived with their family in the southern German city of Ulm when National Socialists took power in 1933. Both children were still in school at the time (Hans was born in 1918 and Sophie in 1921). Their father, Robert, earned enough to support his wife, Magdalena, and five children as a tax adviser. A liberal man, Scholl did not approve of Germany's new leader and he and his wife taught their children the importance of tolerance.
Nevertheless they enthusiastically joined the Hitler Youth. They believed that Adolf Hitler was leading Germany and the German people back to greatness. Gradually though, Hans and Sophie began realising that their father was right. They concluded that, in the name of freedom and the greater good of the German nation, Hitler and the Nazis were enslaving and destroying the German people. They became disenchanted with the Hitler Youth, and began drawing their friend Cristoph and others into their resistance.
One day in 1942, copies of a leaflet entitled “The White Rose” suddenly appeared at the University of Munich. The leaflet contained an anonymous essay that said that the Nazi system had slowly imprisoned the German people and was now destroying them. The Nazi regime had turned evil. It was time, the essay said, for Germans to rise up and resist the tyranny of their own government.
Ultimately, there were six leaflets published and distributed by Hans and Sophie Scholl and their friends, four under the title “The White Rose” and two under the title “Leaflets of the Resistance.”
Members of the White Rose had various religious backgrounds. Sophie and Hans Scholl were influenced by anti-Nazi Roman Catholics and Cristoph Probst was baptised by a Catholic priest on the night before he died. Even in the deepest darkness of Hitler’s regime, the White Rose testifies to the light that shines, which no darkness can overcome.
Quote: “I never knew dying is so easy. I die without any feeling of hatred. Never forget that life is nothing but a growing in love and a preparation for eternity.” (Chistoph Probst in a farewell letter to his sister)
Scripture. In the twelfth chapter of "Hebrews," at verses three and four, we read:
"Consider him who endured such hostility against himself from sinners, so that you may not grow weary or lose heart. In your struggle against sin you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood."
... for peace in the world.
... for all who risk their lives, liberty and livelihoods standing up to oppression wherever it is found.
... that the rise of fascism in our world today may be reversed.
... for the people of Brunei and the people of Guyana who are celebrating their national day today.
... for transgender students in the U.S.A.
... for Bradley Lowery and all children living with cancer or other life-threatening illnesses. 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 "Fellowship with God" by William Temple:
But if God is truly described as love, then at once it is clear that no distinction can be drawn between his will and his substance. Love is itself a disposition and energy of the will, and if this is what God is, then his very substance is will. There is no longer any danger in the admission of this. The peril of Pantheism is vanished. For the essential evil of Pantheism is its degradation of the creator into a mere soul or even a mere logical ground of the universe whose character has to be constructed by a process of induction from the facts of experience in past and present. If God is just the unknowable, from whose being the universe has resulted, such Pantheism cannot be avoided; and to regard the creation as a necessary act on the part of God will lead to this, unless God is truly believed to be love and all necessary consequences of his being are therefore regarded as expressions of love.
But God is Love. And if we say that the universe is necessary to God, as I for one should certainly say, we mean that because he is love he needs it as the object of his love and not that he needs it for the satisfaction of any self-regarding desire nor that it is an automatic emanation. He made all things, and by his will they came to be. All things are the creation of the will of God, the will of love. Because he is love, he made them and in this sense they are the necessary product of the divine nature.
Love must declare itself. From all eternity it is self -revealing.
"The Word was in the beginning with God."
Creation is that self-revelation which is implicit in the very nature of God. What we mean by creation may not exhaust this and the universe as we know it may be only a fraction of what flows from the love of God. But God's revelation of himself it is, a revelation which his nature, being love, inevitably gives.
Holy and righteous God, in every age you have called men and women to contend fearlessly against evil, even at the cost of their own lives. Help us, like your servants Sophie and Hans Scholl, and Cristoph Probst, to make no peace with oppression, and to let the light of our faith shine in all we say and do; through Jesus Christ our saviour and lord. 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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