THURSDAY THE THIRTIETH OF MARCH, 2017
O God, author of peace and lover of concord, grant to us to be so firmly established in our love of you, that no trials whatsoever may be able to part us from you. Amen.
PSALM SIXTY-SIX ( abridged )
All the earth shall worship you, O Lord.
Be joyful in God, all the earth;
sing the glory of his name;
sing the glory of his praise.
Say to God, "How awesome are your deeds!
Because of your great strength
your enemies shall bow before you.
All the earth shall worship you,
sing to you, sing praise to your name."
Come now and behold the works of God,
how wonderful he is in his dealings with humankind.
He turned the sea into dry land;
the river they passed through on foot;
there we rejoiced in him.
In his might he rules for ever;
his eyes keep watch over the nations;
let no rebel rise up against him.
Bless our God, O you peoples;
make the voice of his praise to be heard,
who holds our souls in life
and suffers not our feet to slip.
Come and listen, all you who fear God,
and I will tell you what he has done for my soul.
I called out to him with my mouth
and his praise was on my tongue.
If I had nursed evil in my heart,
the Lord would not have heard me,
but in truth God has heard me;
he has heeded the voice of my prayer.
Blessed be God, who has not rejected my prayer,
nor withheld his loving mercy from me.
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.
All the earth shall worship you, O Lord.
How generous is your goodness, O God,
how great is your salvation,
how faithful is your love;
help us to trust you in trial
and praise you in deliverance;
through Jesus Christ our lord. Amen.
MEDITATION by Tim Madsen
Innocent of Alaska: priest and missionary
Innocent of Alaska, spent a large part of his life bringing the good news of Christ to the native tribes of Alaska, providing them with a written language, and instructing them in the Bible which he translated into their native tongue. He went on to become the Archbishop of Moscow.
Throughout the nineteenth century, the Russian Orthodox Church took very seriously its mission to bring the good news to the native peoples of Alaska. As a missionary priest, Father Ioann, as he was then known, took his wife and family with him. In these territories he learned several languages and dialects of the indigenous peoples. He wrote many of the earliest scholarly works about the native peoples of Alaska, including dictionaries and grammars for their languages for which he devised writing systems; also, he wrote religious works in, and translated parts of the Bible into, several of these languages. His books were published beginning in 1840.
In 1838, Father Ioann journeyed to Saint Petersburg, Moscow and Kiev to report on his activities and request an expansion of the Church's activities in Russian America. While he was there, he received notice that his wife had died. In 1840 he became a monk and took the name Innocent. Within a few short months he was consecrated as bishop for North America. He moved his residence to Sitka and spent the next decade administering his diocese and making several long missionary journeys. In 1865 he became a member of the governing synod of the Russian Orthodox Church. His work in Alaska ended in 1867 when he was elected to be the Metropolitan Archbishop of Moscow. In his new role he undertook revisions of many church texts that contained errors, raised funds to improve the living conditions of impoverished priests, and established a retirement home for clergy. He died on the thirty-first of March, 1879.
Scripture. In "Psalm Forty-Eight," verses nine and ten we read:
"We ponder your steadfast love, O God, in the midst of your temple. Your name, O God, like your praise, reaches to the ends of the earth. Your right hand is filled with victory."
... for peace in the world.
... for the Christians of Alaska.
... for linguists and translators.
... for those killed or injured in a suicide car bomb attack on a police checkpoint in Iraq's capital Baghdad. 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 "The Way Into the Kingdom of Heaven" by Innocent of Alaska:
We were created to live on earth unlike animals who die and disappear with time, but with the high purpose to live with God, not for a hundred years or so, but for eternity!
Every individual instinctively strives for happiness. This desire has been implanted in our nature by the Creator himself, and therefore it is not sinful. But it is important to understand that in this temporary life it is impossible to find full happiness, because that comes from God and cannot be attained without him. Only he, who is the ultimate good and the source of all good, can quench our thirst for happiness.
Material things can never wholly satisfy us. Indeed, we know from experience that every item we have desired has pleased us only for a short while. Then it became boring, and we started to desire something else. This process of satisfaction and boredom then repeated itself many times.
It seems that in the depth of our subconscious something reminds us that we are just wanderers on this earth and that our true happiness is not here but there, in that other and better world known as Paradise or the heavenly kingdom. Let man own the whole world and everything that is in it, yet all this will interest him for no more than a short period, while the immortal soul, thirsting for personal communication with God, will remain unsatisfied.
Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came to this earth in order to return to us our lost capacity to spend eternity in the blissful presence of God. He revealed to people that all their evil lies in sin and that no one through their own efforts can overcome the evil within themselves and attain communion with God. Sin, ingrained in our nature since the fall, stands between us and God like a high wall. If the son of God had not descended to us through his mercy for us, had not taken on our human nature, and had not by His death conquered sin, all mankind would have perished for ever! Now, thanks to him, those who wish to cleanse themselves from evil can do so and return to God and obtain eternal bliss in the kingdom of Heaven.
Holy God, you blessed your people by calling Innocent to be an apostle and light to the people of Alaska. Guide our steps, that we may witness to the gospel of Christ wherever we are led, and serve you gladly in weakness and in strength; 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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