WEDNESDAY THE TWENTY-SIXTH OF APRIL, 2017
Almighty and most merciful God, in whom we live, and move, and have our being; lord of all life; source of all light, guiding and governing all things out of your loving kindness and power! Hear our thanksgivings to you for all the joy that you put into mortal life; but chiefly for the joy that comes of sin forgiven, weakness strengthened, victory promised, life eternal looked for. To every one of us grant that, being fully conscious of having erred and strayed from your ways, we may be equally conscious of our need to go back again to the Good Shepherd. Let there be no doubt with any one of us that you do forgive, even to the uttermost, all those who draw nigh in penitence to you; that so, those of us who are sinful, and sad because sinful, and sorrowful in sinning, may have this day the joy of the Lord. Amen.
( George Dawson )
PSALM SEVENTY-FOUR ( abridged )
Arise, O God, maintain your own cause.
O God, why have you utterly disowned us?
Why does your anger burn
against the sheep of your pasture?
Remember your congregation that you purchased of old,
the tribe you redeemed for your own possession,
and Mount Zion where you dwelt.
Hasten your steps towards the endless ruins,
where the enemy has laid waste all your sanctuary.
Your adversaries roared in the place of your worship;
they set up their banners as tokens of victory.
They said in their heart,
"Let us make havoc of them altogether,"
and they burned down all the sanctuaries of God in the land.
There are no signs to see, not one prophet left,
not one among us who knows how long.
How long, O God, will the adversary scoff?
Shall the enemy blaspheme your name for ever?
Why have you withheld your hand
and hidden your right hand in your bosom?
Yet God is my king from of old,
who did deeds of salvation in the midst of the earth.
Yours is the day, yours also the night;
you established the moon and the sun.
You set all the bounds of the earth;
you fashioned both summer and winter.
Remember now, Lord, how the enemy scoffed,
how a foolish people despised your name.
Do not give to wild beasts the soul of your turtle dove;
forget not the lives of your poor for ever.
Look upon your creation,
for the earth is full of darkness,
full of the haunts of violence.
Let not the oppressed turn away ashamed,
but let the poor and needy praise your name.
Arise, O God, maintain your own cause;
remember how fools revile you all the day long.
Forget not the clamour of your adversaries,
the tumult of your enemies that ascends continually.
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.
Arise, O God, maintain your own cause.
renew your broken people
with your Holy Spirit,
that they may walk your narrow way,
and greet your coming dawn
in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
MEDITATION by Tim Madsen
Toyohiko Kagawa: making all things new in Christ
(transferred from Sunday)
The Saint Laika’s Calendar calls for a remembrance of Toyohiko Kagawa, who died on the twenty-third of April in 1960.
Kagawa was born in 1888 and, as a teenager converted to Christianity. He studied at theological seminaries in Japan and at Princeton University and Princeton Seminary. He sought to introduce Christianity to the Japanese people applying Christ’s teachings directly to Japan’s poor in a theologically uncomplicated way. For over twelve years he lived in a six foot by six foot cubicle in the city of Kobe’s worst slum. He devoted himself to the service of the poor and to improving conditions for Japanese workers.
He became a respected labour leader and a social reformer. He was also a staunch paciﬁst and organised the National Anti-War League in 1928. Kagawa was arrested in 1940 for publicly apologising to the people of China for Japan’s invasion of that country.
He wrote many books and novels, some were widely read. He used the profits from his book sales to establish schools, hospitals, and churches. Although some knew him best as a social reformer and paciﬁst, Kagawa saw himself ﬁrst of all as an evangelist.
“Christ alone can make all things new,” he said. “The spirit of Christ must be the soul of all real social reconstruction.”
"I read in a book that a man called Christ went about doing good. It is very disconcerting to me that I am so easily satisfied with just going about.”
In the fourth chapter of "Philippians," in the twelfth and thirteenth verses, we read:
"I know what it is to have little, and I know what it is to have plenty. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being well-fed and of going hungry, of having plenty and of being in need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me."
... for peace in the world.
... for Japanese Christians.
... for the poor and the poorly paid and for those who campaign to improve their lives.
... for the people of Bangladesh who are celebrating Independence Day today.
... for victims of organ traffickers. DETAILS
... for young people whose behaviour is "challenging" because of mental health problems. Especially those in prison or under other forms of detention. DETAILS
... for workers facing redundancy.
... 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 on the Cross " by Toyohiko Kagawa:
O Son of Man, bearing the cross upon his exhausted and bruised shoulders, climbing the hill of Calvary, I myself have seen him!
Weighted down by the burden, in the road he falls.
Then Simon the father of Rufus, hurrying up to the spectacle to gaze upon it, is pressed into service by the soldiers. He, the astonished countryman, grumbles not a little as he shoulders and carries forward the unwelcome
Thus desires our Lord Jesus of us, that we, too, take our turn in bearing his cross. For Jesus, after three years of unresting struggle, after uncounted nights of prayer, and in particular, after the last night of agony in Passion week; Jesus, the sturdy manual labourer that he is, has no more strength in him to carry the cross alone.
Steadily he guides himself along the road of his destiny that, having saved others, he may not save himself. For, in the name of religion, the ruling classes are carrying on a system of exploitation. Thus for one who lives in the love of the Heavenly Father there can be no avoidance of the direct conflict with them.
He who would save the lost sheep may not shrink from being himself devoured by the wolf. Determined to walk the great highway of holy suffering, in order to live in the love of the Infinite, he willingly abandons himself to the cross.
He it is who is indeed the Son of God.
We bless your name, O God, for the witness of Toyohiko Kagawa, reformer and teacher, who was persecuted for his paciﬁst principles and went on to lead a movement for democracy in Japan; and we pray that you would strengthen and protect all who suffer for their ﬁdelity to Jesus Christ; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, forever and ever. 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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