THURSDAY THE FOURTH OF MAY, 2017
O blessed Lord, I beseech you to pour down upon me such grace as may not only cleanse this life of mine, but beautify it a little, if it be your will, before I go hence and am no more seen. Grant that I may love you with all my heart and soul and mind and strength, and my neighbour as myself and that I may persevere unto the end; through Jesus Christ. Amen.
( James Skinner )
PSALM SEVENTY-SEVEN ( abridged )
In the day of my trouble I have sought the Lord.
I cry aloud to God;
I cry aloud to God and he will hear me.
In the day of my trouble I have sought the Lord;
by night my hand is stretched out and does not tire;
my soul refuses comfort.
I think upon God and I groan;
I ponder, and my spirit faints.
I consider the days of old;
I remember the years long past;
I commune with my heart in the night;
my spirit searches for understanding.
Will the Lord cast us off for ever?
Will he no more show us his favour?
Has his loving mercy clean gone for ever?
Has his promise come to an end for evermore?
Has God forgotten to be gracious?
Has he shut up his compassion in displeasure?
And I said, "My grief is this:
that the right hand of the Most High has lost its strength."
I will remember the works of the Lord
and call to mind your wonders of old time.
I will meditate on all your works
and ponder your mighty deeds.
Your way, O God, is holy;
who is so great a god as our God?
You are the God who worked wonders
and declared your power among the peoples.
With a mighty arm you redeemed your people,
the children of Jacob and Joseph.
You led your people like sheep
by the hand of Moses and Aaron.
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.
In the day of my trouble I have sought the Lord.
God our shepherd,
you led us and saved us in times of old;
do not forget your people in their troubles,
but raise up your power
to sustain the poor and helpless;
for the honour of Jesus Christ our lord. Amen.
MEDITATION by Tim Madsen
Haymarket Riot, 1886: history continues to repeat itself
The past two years saw urban violence springing up across the United States, coalescing in a movement called “Black Lives Matter.” Rioting was particularly severe in Baltimore. In 2017 police violence against black citizens continued to provoke protest. At the end of April, a fifteen year old unarmed black teen was killed by a Texas police officer.
The Haymarket Riot was the aftermath of a bombing that took place at a labour demonstration on Tuesday the fourth of May, 1886, at Haymarket Square in Chicago. It began as a peaceful rally in support of workers striking for an eight-hour day and in reaction to the killing of several workers the previous day by the police. An unknown person threw a dynamite bomb at police as they acted to disperse the public meeting. The bomb blast and ensuing gunfire resulted in the deaths of seven police officers and at least four civilians; scores of others were wounded.
There is always a constituency. There is always an issue. In 1886 the constituency was German, Eastern European, and Irish working class people. The issue was an eight hour work day. Eight anarchists were ultimately put on trial. Four were hanged, one committed suicide, and three were sentenced to life in prison. Already by 1893 public opinion was turning in favour of the workers. A century later Haymarket Square was designated a Chicago landmark, and a public sculpture was dedicated there in 2004.
To read an account of the Haymarket Riot now is to find oneself eerily in the grip of history repeating itself. Particularly chilling is the way the newspapers in 1886 played up the violence of the workers, when, in effect, the violence was committed by a few, after the many had cleared the square. Today’s media have already come under fire for overplaying the violence in Baltimore and other cities at the expense of frustrated citizens who are simply seeking justice.
Scripture. In the fifth chapter of "Amos" at verses sixteen and seventeen, we read:
"Therefore thus says the LORD, the God of hosts, the Lord, In all the squares there shall be wailing; and in all the streets they shall say, ‘Alas! alas!’ They shall call the farmers to mourning, and those skilled in lamentation, to wailing; in all the vineyards there shall be wailing, for I will pass through the midst of you, says the LORD."
... for peace in the world.
... for victims of violence at the hands of police and security forces; for all victims of state violence.
... for workers campaigning for better pay and working conditions.
... for a truthful and unbiased press.
... for an end to privilege in our nations.
... for firefighters. 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 Epistle of Polycarp to the Philippians":
Stand fast, therefore, in these things, and follow the example of the Lord, being firm and unchangeable in the faith, loving the community of believers and being attached to one another, joined together in the truth, exhibiting the meekness of the Lord in your intercourse with one another, and despising no one. When you can do good, defer it not, because “alms delivers from death.” Be all of you subject one to another “having your conduct blameless among the Gentiles,” that you may both receive praise for your good works, and the Lord may not be blasphemed through you. Teach, therefore, sobriety to all, and manifest it also in your own conduct.
Holy God, in the midst of conflict and division you turn our mind to thoughts of peace. Your Spirit changes our hearts. Enemies begin to speak to one another, and those who have been at odds seek the way of peace together. In all our times of need, help us to find solutions to the problems that beset us; 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.
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