TUESDAY THE SIXTH OF JUNE, 2017
Grant, Lord, that I may not, for one moment, admit willingly into my soul any thought contrary to your love. Amen.
( E. B. Pusey )
PSALM NINETY ( abridged )
O Lord my God, in you I take refuge.
Lord, you have been our refuge
from one generation to another.
Before the mountains were brought forth,
or the earth and the world were formed,
from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
For a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday,
which passes like a watch in the night.
You sweep them away like a dream;
they fade away suddenly like the grass.
In the morning it is green and flourishes;
in the evening it is dried up and withered.
The days of our life are three score years and ten,
or if our strength endures, even four score;
yet the sum of them is but labour and sorrow,
for they soon pass away and we are gone.
So teach us to number our days
that we may apply our hearts to wisdom.
Turn again, O Lord; how long will you delay?
Have compassion on your servants.
Satisfy us with your loving-kindness in the morning;
that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
Show your servants your works
and let your glory be over their children.
May the gracious favour of the Lord our God be upon us;
prosper our handiwork; O prosper the work of our hands.
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.
O Lord my God, in you I take refuge.
our eternal refuge,
teach us to live with the knowledge of our death
and to rejoice in the promise of your glory,
revealed to us in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
MEDITATION by Tim Madsen
Be careful what you call a cross
The bombing of Coptic Christians on Palm Sunday by ISIS terrorists and the shooting of twenty-eight Copts on a bus in the Egyptian desert has continued to shine a light on the persecution faced by so many Christians in many parts of the world. The notion, first urged by Jesus, that his followers should take up their cross and follow him takes on a new poignancy when we hear of the sufferings contemporary Christians are willing to accept for their faith in him.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, in his book, "The Cost of Discipleship," comments:
“To endure the cross is not a tragedy; it is the suffering which is the fruit of an exclusive allegiance to Jesus Christ. When it comes, it is not an accident, but a necessity. It is not suffering per se, but suffering and rejection for the sake of Christ. If our Christianity has ceased to be serious about discipleship, if we have watered down the gospel into emotional uplift which makes no costly demands and which fails to distinguish between natural and Christian existence, then we cannot help regarding the cross as an ordinary everyday calamity, as one of the trials and tribulations of life. Jesus says that every Christian has his or her own cross waiting for them, a cross destined and appointed by God.”
If Bonhoeffer is correct, and we followers of Jesus who live in relative comfort and peace have turned our bearing of the cross into something ordinary and trivial, perhaps our persecuted brothers and sisters can lead us forward to reclaim a way of following Jesus which invites us to a more sacrificial way of living. As more and more people are slipping into poverty, homelessness, and hunger, the costly demand of the cross may lead us to offer hope and help and, more importantly, dignity and respect, toward those in the greatest need.
Scripture. In the gospel of Mark, chapter eight, verses thirty-four and thirty-five, we read:
“Jesus called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, ‘If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it.'”
... for peace in the world.
... for the Christians of Egypt and for the people of the persecuted church throughout the world, may God protect them from those who seek to defeat their faith through violence and oppression.
... for the people of Sweden who celebrate their national day today.
... for those whose job it is to protect us from attack by terrorists and other criminals who seek to do us harm.
... 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 "Open Doors" website:
“What we are seeing happening in the Middle East is bringing us all together. We churches do not have the luxury of staying separate any more. We have realised that what we have in common far exceeds what separates us.”
( Egyptian church leader )
War doesn’t discriminate against denominations, a church leader in Egypt has discovered. People have died for their faith, regardless of what church they go to. The persecution is bringing believers together as they share in their suffering. In Aleppo, twelve bishops from different denominations came together to pray. It was the first time something like that has happened in centuries.
The church in the Middle East is becoming more united in Christ.
Almighty God, your son, our saviour, suffered at the hands of sinners and endured the shame of the cross. Grant that we may walk in the way of his cross, and find it the way of life and peace; through the same 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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