MONDAY THE FIFTEENTH OF JANUARY 2018
* Eivind Berggrav *
O Christ our God, who are yourself the fulfilment of the law and of the prophets, who accomplished all the dispensation of your father, fill our hearts with joy and gladness always, now and forever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.
( John Chrysostom )
Abide in me, O Lord, and I in you,
from this good hour, oh, leave me nevermore;
then shall the discord cease, the wound be healed,
the lifelong bleeding of the soul be over.
Abide in me; overshadow by your love
each half-formed purpose and dark thought of sin;
quench before it rise each selfish, low desire,
and keep my soul as yours, calm and divine.
As some rare perfume in a vase of clay,
pervades it with a fragrance not its own,
so, when you dwell in a mortal soul,
all Heaven’s own sweetness seems around it thrown.
Abide in me; there have been moments blessed
when I have heard your voice and felt your power;
then evil lost its grasp; and passion, hushed,
owned the divine enchantment of the hour.
These were but seasons beautiful and rare;
abide in me, and they shall ever be;
fulfil at once your precept and my prayer,
come, and abide in me, and I in you.
( Harriet B. Stowe )
MEDITATION by Tim Madsen
Eivind Berggrav: no quisling in Christ’s service
Today Saint Laika’s remembers Eivind Berggrav, Bishop of Oslo, Primate of Norway, who stood up for Christ and the people of Christ against the Nazis in Norway.
Open up a dictionary and look up the word “quisling.” It will be defined in some way as “a collaborator with an enemy power.” “A traitor to one’s country.” The word refers to Vidkun Quisling , a Norwegian fascist politician who collaborated in the Nazi takeover of Norway in World War II, and was installed by the Nazis as the head of a puppet government there.
Quisling found Berggrav a formidable foe. He led the other six bishops in Norway in opposing Nazi measures. He insisted on the right of pastors to keep the confidences of their parishioners. He demanded the non-interference of Nazis in the spiritual performance of pastoral duties. He insisted that Jewish citizens be accorded the same rights as all other Norwegians. Berggrav consolidated a united church front against the Nazis. In response, Quisling stripped him of the title of bishop, declared him an ordinary, private citizen, and placed him under house arrest. This was done on Maundy Thursday in 1942.
The Lutheran Church of Norway was the established church in Norway. When Quisling acted against Berggrav, the church responded. By Easter Sunday, all the bishops and seven hundred and ninety-seven of the eight hundred and sixty-one clergy resigned their positions in the church. Berggrav took the church underground to continue to minister to people independent of the Quisling regime.
Norway was liberated in 1945. Quisling was executed for treason.
After the war, Berggrav was active in the reorganisation of the church. He was active in the World Council of Churches, and the Lutheran World Federation. He died on the fourteenth of January, 1959.
Quote: “It is inappropriate for a Christian to say that the freedom of God’s church or of God’s word is not yet directly threatened and we ought not take suffering and strife upon us just for the sake of ‘secular matters.’ There are no such things as ‘secular matters’ for a Christian conscience. The moment that God calls on him to assume them they are God’s concern. This is why the expression, ‘to suffer for Jesus’ sake’ and ‘to suffer for righteousness sake’ stand side by side in the Sermon on the Mount.”
Scripture. In the thirty-fourth chapter of "Ezekiel," at verses fifteen and sixteen, we read:
"I myself will be the shepherd of my sheep, and I will make them lie down," says the Lord GOD. "I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak, but the fat and the strong I will destroy. I will feed them with justice."
... for peace in the world.
... for those who stand up to tyrants in the name of Christ.
... that we may always find the courage within ourselves to remain loyal to Christ and his teaching whatever the cost.
... for those experiencing uncertainty at work.
... for those killed or injured in a double suicide bombing in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad DETAILS; for an end to all acts of terrorism.
... pray for teenage mothers.
... for those who were injured when a mezzanine floor collapsed at the Indonesian stock exchange building in Jakarta DETAILS; for all who have been hurt in accidents recently.
... for those killed, injured or left homeless following a huge earthquake off south-western Peru's Pacific coast DETAILS; for all recent victims of natural disasters.
... for those who have died recently 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
Almighty God, you endowed the abbot Aelred with the gift of Christian friendship and the wisdom to lead others in the way of holiness: grant to your people that same spirit of mutual affection, that, in loving one another, we may know the love of Christ and rejoice in the gift of your eternal goodness; through the same Jesus Christ our saviour and lord. Amen.
From "The Problem of Pain" by C. S. Lewis:
By the goodness of God we mean nowadays almost exclusively his lovingness and, in this, we may be right. And by love, in this context, most of us mean kindness, the desire to see people other than ourselves happy; not happy in this way or in that, but just happy.
What would really satisfy us would be a God who said of anything we happened to like doing, "What does it matter so long as they are contented?"
We want, in fact, not so much a Father in Heaven as a grandfather in heaven, a senile benevolence who, as they say, "liked to see young people enjoying themselves," and whose plan for the universe was simply that it might be truly said at the end of each day, "a good time was had by all."
Not many people, I admit, would formulate a theology in precisely those terms: but a conception not very different lurks at the back of many minds. I do not claim to be an exception. I should very much like to live in a universe which was governed on such lines. But since it is abundantly clear that I don’t, and since I have reason to believe, nevertheless, that God is love, I conclude that my conception of love needs correction.
Almighty God, shepherd of your people, we thank you for your servant Eivind Berggrav, who was faithful in the care and nurture of your flock. We pray that, following his example, we may attain our full maturity in Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. 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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