Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Thomas Becket, Martyr: 30 December 2009



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_%C3%A0_Becket
Thomas Becket was born in Cheapside, about 1118, of parents who were property owners. One of his father’s wealthy friends taught him to ride a horse and other gentlemanly pursuits. He began his education at Merton Priory and overseas in France. He attracted the attention of Theobald, Archbishop of Canterbury, who made him Archdeacon of Canterbury as well as Provost of Beverley after demonstrating his abilities in several important missions. Upon Theobald’s recommendation, he was appointed Chancellor, and as such was truly the King’s man, upholding Henry II in all things.

In 1162, Theobald died, and Henry II, thinking to consolidate his power over the church and to remove ecclesiastical courts from the land apponted Becket as Archbishop of Canterbury. AT this time, Thomas became an ascetic, and renounced the chancellorship, and a battle began between him and the king. The King tried to force Becket to sign the Constitutions of Clarendon reducing the church’s authority, but Becket refused, and facing trumped up charges on his behaviour as chancellor, fled to France. After several years of exile and negotiations with the Bishop of Rome and threat of excommunication and interdict, Becket was allowed to return. After a severe breachinthe perogaives of the Archbishop of Canterbury (coronation of King Henry III) which resulted in the excommunication of the Archbishop of York, Bishop of London, and Bishop of Salisbury. The king is said to have said, “What miserable drones and traitors have I nourished and brought up in my household, who let their lord be treated with such shameful contempt by a low-born cleric?” (This is probably what he said, there are other versions, but this is the most likely) Four knights upon hearing this went off to Canterbury on December 29th of 1170 and after Becket refused to accompany them to Winchester, returned with their weapons and killed Becket during vespers at Canterbury Cathedral. As Becket was dying, he said, “For the name of Jesus and the protection of the Church, I am ready to embrace death.” In shorter terms, Becket died for the prerogatives of the church.

Thomas Becket’s death also affected culture in other ways. A popular pilgrimage to Canterbury lasted for more than 350 years, and in fact the Canterbury Tales were arranged around one such pilgrimage. We note in passing that King Henry VIII had Becket’s shrine and bones destroyed.



Emmanuel, you raised up Thomas Becket to protect the church against the authorities of this world. Help us to remember that the church must be in subjection to you and your word, and not to the authorities or whims of this world: this we ask in the name of Yeshua haMoshiach, who took our nature upon himself to redeem it. Amen. (white)
Readings:
Psalm 125
2 Esdras 2:42-48
1 John 2:3-6, 15-17
Mark 11:24-33
Note: If there is no celebration of the Eucharist, the readings of the day may be used for Matins instead of those above.

Monday, December 28, 2009

29 December 2009: The Holy Innocents



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massacre_of_the_Innocents

Childermas is usually celebrated on the 28th of December and commemorates the murder of the children of Bethlehem, usually called the Holy Innocents. According to the Bible, these would have been all the children of Bethlehem of two years and under, probably two dozen or less children. . While there are no independent sources of this event, it is highly consistent with King Herod’s actions who was quite prepared to kill anyone including relatives who were a threat to his sitting on the throne.

In this day, we remember not only those innocents who died after the first Christmas, but also all Holy Innocents killed for political expediency, especially today the children who died from AIDS in Rumania in the 1990’s and the street children murdered by police in Latin America.

In an English tradition, in many Cathedrals, a boy bishop was elected on St. Nicholas Day and continued in office until Childermas, conducting all the minor offices of the Cathedral, and often preaching.

Collect: Emmanuel, as we remember the lives and deaths of those who died when Herod was attempting to kill you, help us to resist tyrants, and to stand strong against those forces today which would destroy innocent lives, whether through neglect or intent: this we ask in the name of Yeshua haMoshiach, who took our nature upon himself to redeem it. Amen. (red or violet)

Eucharistic Readings:
Psalm 124;
Jeremiah 31:15-17;
Revelation 21:1-7;
Matthew 2:13-18
Daily Office Readings:
AM Psalm 2, 26; Isaiah 49:13-23; Matthew 18:1-14
PM Psalm 19, 126; Isaiah 54:1-13; Mark 10:13-16
Note: If there is no celebration of the Eucharist, the Eucharistic reading of the Gospel is to be used for Matins. At the discretion of the celebrant other Eucharistic readings may be used for Matins.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

28 December 2009: St. John the Evangelist



http://www.bridgebuilding.com/narr/lbjoe.html

St. John the Evangelist is believed to be the beloved disciple mentioned in the Gospel of St. John. He and his brother were disciples of John the Baptist before becoming disciples of Jesus. He is believed to have been the author of the Gospel of St. John, The three Epistles of St. John, and the book of Revelations. It is almost certain that the Gospel was edited during his life or after his death in Ephesus, where he served as Bishop. John served in Judea and Galilee some twelve years before Herod Agrippa’s persecution drove him out. He ended up in Ephesus, where he served many years, dying at the age of ninety-eight. He suffered in various persecutions and was imprisoned for a while on the island of Patmos. There were several attempts on his life including poison and being boiled in oil which he survived.

Collect: Emanuel, you raised up John to proclaim the Gospel, to reveal that you are love, and to be Bishop of Ephesus. Help us to so love one another that the world would see you in us and our behaviour and come to know you as Lord, and Saviour: this we ask in the name of Yeshua haMoshiach, who took our nature upon himself to redeem it. Amen. (white)

Eucharistic Readings:
Psalm 92 or 92:1-4,11-14;
Exodus 33:18-23; 1 John 1:1-9; John 21:9b-24

Daily Office Readings:
AM: Psalm 97, 98; Proverbs 8:22-30; John 13:20-35
PM: Psalm 145; Isaiah 44:1-8; 1 John 5:1-12
Note: If there is no celebration of the Eucharist, the Eucharistic reading for the Gospel is to be used for Matins. At the discretion of the celebrant other Eucharistic readings may be used for Matins.

Friday, December 25, 2009

St. Stephan




http://orthodoxwiki.org/Apostle_Stephen_the_Protomartyr

St. Stephan was the first of the martyrs to die for Christ. He was one of the first seven deacons of the church, and was a powerful witness, working many miracles, and convincing many through his preaching that Yeshuah (Jesus) was the Jewish messiah. We note in passing, that the word martyr, actually means witness, and Stephan was one of many through the ages who would witness to Jesus by dying for him. In Stephan’s sermons in the Bible, we see that he knew his scriptures when preaching, and that we who preach should share that knowledge. As we remember St. Stephan today, may we also be willing to witness to others that Jesus Christ is the Saviour of the world and may we like him be willing to forgive those who persecute us. His dying words, were, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.”.

Collect: Emanuel, you raised up your servant Stephan to a ministry of service and to preach the Gospel. Teach us like him to forgive those who persecute us, and to be faithful in service and proclaiming your kingdom, this we ask in the name of Yeshua haMoshiach, who took our nature upon himself to redeem it. Amen. (red)
Readings:
Eucharist:
Jeremiah 26:1-9,12-15 Acts 6:8--7:2a,51c-60; Matthew 23:34-39
Daily Office Readings:
AM: Psalm 28, 30; 2 Chronicles 24:17-22; Acts 6:1-7
PM: Psalm 118; Wisdom 4:7-15; Acts 7:59-8:8
Note: If there is no celebration of the Eucharist, the Eucharistic reading for the Epistle is to be used for Matins. At the discretion of the celebrant other Eucharistic readings may be used for Matins.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

21 December 2000" Stl Thomas the Apostle



http://www.slide.com/s/AJ-5EwPj2T8ym695KYNGE7NZ-X_tEdkB

St. Thomas was one of Jesus’ disciples and was called the twin. Little is know of him. In the gospels we are told that Thomas said they should go to Jerusalem with Jesus to die with him, expressing his faith. Thomas though is far more known as being “Doubting Thomas,” for saying he would not believe in the resurrection if he did not touch the nail holes in Jesus’ hands. Jesus reveals himself to Thomas, who exclaims, “My Lord and my God!”

Thomas first served in Syria. From Syria he travelled to India to Palayoor. He stayed there until the year 52 when he travelled to what is now southern Kerala state where he established seven churches. (It is said he was assigned to India by lots between the apostles. He was martyred in Kerala by Bramins who did not want him converting the people to Chrisianity. Most of this part of India remained under the jurisdiction of the Church of the East until more recent times. Today Mar Thoma Christians are divided up between Roman Catholic, Church of the East, Jacobites and Anglicans.

It is interesting to note that there were Jewish colonies in both Palayoor and Kerala, so just as Joseph of Arimathea travelled to Jewish colonies to first proclaim the Gospel, and Paul also visited the Jews at first, so did Thomas visit the Jewish communities first.

Thomas must be admired for his tenacity in travelling such a long way, as tansportaiton in the first centruay was not very good,

Sunday, December 6, 2009

St. Nicholas: 7 December (transferred from Sunday)



http://i73.photobucket.com/albums/i213/barhege/StNicholasIcon.jpg

St. Nicholas (270-December 6, 346) is one of the most beloved of saints, and many tails surround him.

What is known is that Nicholas was from Lycia (in Turkey today) and made pilgrimage to Palestine and Egypt, supposedly to study with the desert fathers. Returning some years later, he went to Myra (now Demre, Turkey) where he was quickly ordained Bishop. He was imprisoned during the Diocletian persecution, but was released when Constantine made Christianity the official religion of the Roman Empire. He also attended the council of Nicaea.

Nicholas was known for his generosity. It is said that a poor man had three daughters and that just before each came of age, he would throw a bag of gold through the window, so that she would have a dowry so as not be need to be sold into slavery. The third time the poor man caught him in the act, and Nicholas told him not to thank Nicholas but the thank God.

Many other fantastic tails surround Nicholas, and while they al probably are based on true stories, the form in which they come to us is more like a fairy tale. Nicholas as a result of his kind actions came to be known as a Patron of children and sailors among others.

Many Orthodox countries, as well as the Netherlands and countries in Eastern Europe celebrate St. Nicholas day. Nicholas is always vested as a Bishop and comes on a white horse, rewarding good children with candy (in Holland with chocolate coins) and bad children with lumps of coal. Shoes are left out to receive these gifts. In Dutch, St. Nicholas is Sinter Klas, and in New York with its mix of Dutch and English came to be known as Santa Claus.

Collect: El Shaddai, as you raised up Nicholas of Myra to be generous to the poor, children and sailors, bless us that we may be blessings to all who are in need, and teach us to protect the poor, children, sailors, and others whom this world has forgotten, and let your blessing be upon them as well. This we ask in the name of Yeshua haMoshiach, who lives and governs with you in Shekina glory everlasting. Amen. (red)

Friday, December 4, 2009

St. Clement of Alexandria: 5 December



http://satucket.com/lectionary/Clement_Alexandria.htm

St. Clement of Alexandria was from Athens and followed many teachers until he came to the true teacher, Jesus. Athens was a trade and culture center at the time, and it was natural that the catechetical school would develop there. Clement was one of the early teachers, beginning teaching there in about 190. Clements main contribution to theology is in what he taught Origen. Also during the persecution in about 212, he flees Alexandria, and going to Cappadocia to help his former pupil Bishop Alexander during the persecution. The events of his death are unknown, but he died between 212 and 215.

Collect: El Shaddai, your presbyter Clement of Alexandria came to you after much seeking and dedicated himself to teaching the faith to Christians and Pagans. Grant in this and every place men and women who are dedicated to teaching your holy word to those who know and do not know you, and grant that we would truly teach Christians what is truly meant to walk with you. This we ask through our Saviour, Yeshuah haMoshiach who taught his disciples the truth. Amen. (red)

Thursday, December 3, 2009

St. Johon of Damascus, Presbyter




http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_of_Damascus

John of Damascus (676-4 December 749) came from a Christian family which served the Caliph of Damascus. His father found a Christian tutor for him, and John received a well rounded education, and served the Caliph in a high position as well from a young age. His name was forged to a document implicating him in an invasion of Damascus. As a result he lost his post, and had his right hand severed. The hand was miraculously restored after a night in prayer.

He retired to Mar Saba Monastery near Jerusalem after this. He was ordained presbyter and wrote several hymns still used in the west, and many hymns still used in the east. He was a defender of icons in the iconoclast controversy, and his writings addressed many of the theological controversies of his time including on the Jakobites, Nestorians, the Monathelites and the Manicheans and of course the Iconoclast controversy.

Collect: El Shaddai, you raised up your presbyter, John of Damascus to defend the faith, and write hymns. So raise up in this and every generations men and women who will defend the church against heresy and who will stand up for the faith. This we ask in the name of Yeshua haMoshiach, who stood against the false teaching of his time, and who lives and reigns with you and Ruach haKodesh, one God in shekina glory everlasting. Amen. (white)

Monday, November 30, 2009

Nicholas Ferrar: 1 December 2009




http://satucket.com/lectionary/Nicholas_Ferrar.htm

Nicholas Ferrar (1592-1637)

Many wonder when I leave out so many English Saints, why I remember the Deacon from Little Gidding.

After being ordained to the deaconate, Nicholas and his family and some friends retired to Little Gillddng, in Huntindonshire, England. Once there, they dedicated themselves to prayer, fasting and giving of alms. They restored the church there, and were responsible to see that it had services. They also taught the children, and saw to the health of the people in the surrounding district. They recited the daily offices and read through the entire Psaltery daily. They always kept at least one person before the alter kneeling in prayer, so as to pray without ceasing. They also wrote several books including a harmony of the Gospels.

Nicolas and his family were a fine example of how Christians can live, single and married together in community, serving the community around them. The finest of Anglican tradition, with daily Morning and Evening prayer and caring for the need of the people. This was a true case of the people being the church.

El Shaddai, you gave your deacon, Nicholas Ferrar the ability to form a Christian community that was truly dedicated to you both in prayer and ministry to others. Grant that we, like the Ferrar family would worship you through prayer and fasting, but also in witnessing and taking care of the poor. This we ask through Yeshua, who prayed, forgave sins and preached to the sinner. Amen. (white)

Sunday, November 22, 2009

23 November: C.S. Lewis




Clives Staples Lewis
29 November 1898-22 November 1963

Born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, C. S. Lewis was baptised into that church at a tender age. As many, he did not receive much nurture from that faith, he fell away from it and officially became an atheist. Like many of his time, Lewis was educated by private tutors and private schools. It was at Malvern College at the age of fifteen that he became an atheist, studying mythology and the occult. He attended Oxford and volunteered to fight in World War I. returning to Oxford afterwards. Influenced by the writings of George McDonald and by G.K. Chesterton, and by J.R.R. Tolkien, Lewis came back to Christ, kicking and struggling in his own words in 1931. Joining the Church of England, his works reflect orthodox Anglicanism of his time. Lewis is chiefly known for, The Pilgirms’s Regress, his Space Trilogy, the Chronicles of Narnia, ere Chrisitanity and the Screwtape Letters. He wrote several other books as well with Christian themes. Lewis is probably the most well know Christian apologist of the twentieth century.


Dear Lord, you gave your servant Clive S. Lewis wonderful ability to proclaim your kingdom, love of you, and spiritual truths through the written and spoken word. Raise up in this and every generation authors who truly love you and proclaim you through word and action. This we ask through Yeshuah haMoshiach who himself used parables to proclaim the truth of the kingdom. Amen. (white)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Hugh of Lincoon: 17 November 2009




http://www.angelusworkshop.co.uk/NEWpages/Lin06.htm

Hugh of Lincoln was born about 1135 in Avalon to noble parents. After his mothers death when he was eight, his father to him to the priory of Villard Benoît at Pontcharra, where Hugh did quite well. He was made deacon at age 19 and was sent to become prior at anther monastery, and then entered the Gran Chartreuse, the mother house for the Carthusians. There he remained until 1179, when he was sent to England to become prior of the first Carthusian house of England. Arriving, he found very little, and that the lands had not even been paid for, forcing a meeting with the King who had promised the funds in relation to his penance relating to the death of Archbishop Thomas of Canterbury Once financing was secured the house grew rapidly and Hugh’s wisdom brought many to the English house.

Hugh was not afraid to address problems in the Kingdom and criticised the King. For leaving Diocesan Sees open in order that the king could receive the revenues. Lincoln itself had been vacant for some eighteen years. The chapter elected Hugh to be their Bishop and he was consecrated on 21 September 1186. Hugh was still not afraid of the King, nor those with royal authority, and excommunicated those who needed it regardless of royal prerogative, and protected the downtrodden, especially the Jews. He travelled ocntatly through the diocese, was constant in charity and raised the educational level of the cathedral school. He was often attended by a pet swan which followed him everywhere. He refused to raise money for King Richard the Lion Heart’s crusades, and was not popular with Prince John, who was not interested in hearing of the Chirsians duty of Kings. Through all, he managed to continue through his diplomatic skills. He died November 16, 1200 of an unknown illness, loved by many.

Collect: Heavenly Father, as you imbued your Bishop Hugh of Lincoln with true grace and agape for all, help your church to love and serve the poor, oppressed, and outcasts, that they may come to know you through our witness, which we ask in the name of your beloved son, who loved us even unto death on the cross. Amen. (white)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

2 November: All Souls Day

At Benim Avraham, we primarily remember All Souls on its eve (Sunday night in this case). We light a candle for our loved ones whom we wish to remember with the words,
I light a candle in the memory of N.N. in remembrance that they showed me the light of Christ by.... After the service is over, each person is encouraged to share something of the loved one's life. It is a time of remembrance,and a time to make sure families truly know something of their family history.

Eve: Psalm: 116:10-17
Isaiah 25:6-9
I Thessalonians 4:13-18

All Souls Day:
Psalm: 130
Wisdom 3:1-9
John 5:24-27

Collect: Blessed Father, you are the Lord of the Living, and all the faithful are alive to you. Bless us with the memories of our loved ones who have gone on before us, that we following their examples may find a mansion prepared for us by our Lord Yeshua. This we ask in his most precious name. Amen. (white)

Friday, October 30, 2009

31 October: Reformation Day

November 31, 1517, Martin Luther nailed his ninety-five theses to the castle church door of Wittenberg. This was a common way of making announcements at the time, and since November 1st is All Saints day, a day of special observance, crowds were guaranteed to see the announcements.

At the heart of the 95 theses was a custom of the day, selling indulgences in order to raise money for the church. The general idea was that one could buy more rapid exit from purgatory for one’s self or a relative. In the famous words of Johann Tetzle, “Sobald der Gülden im Becken klingt, im huy die Seel im Himmel springt,“ (when the guilder in the box clings, the soul into heaven springs.“)

The Pope was rebuilding St. Peter’s Cathedral in Rome, and needed money to work on it. He sent Tetzel and others to raise money through the sale of indulgences. Martin Luther found this reprehensible, and nailed his objections to the church door. (The 95 Theses can be found at: http://www.historyguide.org/earlymod/95theses.html)

Several points made by Luther:

If the pope had this power than he should let all people out of purgatory.

Money spent on charity would do us more good than money spent on indulgences.

Repentance is necessary.

The Pope had enough money to repair St. Peter’s, and should have used his own money.

Martin Luther’s theses were extremely important to the church and to Europe and eventually the world. They lead to challenging the Roman Catholic Church in other areas (such as holding church services in languages which the people understood, the marriage of clergy and many other factors. Most of the Protestant Churches we have today are a direct or indirect result of this challenge to the Roman Catholic Church. The Roman Catholic Church indeed reformed itself to some extent, to win back people lost to protestant churches. Europe itself, became divided between the Protestant North (Great Britain, Scandinavia, Prussia, Holland, Latvia and Estonia), and the Catholic South. Among the Protestants was a great desire to know God’s word in one’s one language and to apply it to one’s life. Europe was transformed, not only religiously by the reformation, but economically as well. Religious wars changed the face of Europe, and indeed had a great affect on those who wrote the constitution of the USA. George Washington feared sectarian wars, and for this reason the USA did not recognise any one form of Christianity.

Tonight is also Halloween, from All Hallows Even, meaning the evening before the feast of All Hallows (i.e. All Saints Day). This feast was originally held in May but was moved to counteract the Pagan Holliday of Samain. It was believed that the dead walked the Earth, and that it was necessary to scare them away with Jack O’ Lanterns (made of turnips and apples originally. Needles to say, we encourage our churches to have a Saints Day party this evening with everyone coming as a saint or personage from the Bible.


Collect: Heavenly Father, on this day Martin Luther nailed his theses to the door of the Wittenberg Cathedral, not to challenge the church, but to transform it into a true body for mission. Grant us zeal in reforming the church and translating scripture and liturgy so all may understand your word, and be enabled for mission to the entire world. This we ask in the name of our Lord Yeshuah. Amen. (white)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

26 October: Alfred the Great, KIng of Wessex



http://www.castles.me.uk/images/king-alfred.jpg

Born in 849 at Berkshire, Alfred wished to become a monk. Instead he became king at the death of his father and four older brothers in 871. At this time the Danes controlled the northeast coast of what we call England today, which was called the Danelaw. Alfred was able to defeat the Danes, and as part of the terms of that defeat, the Danish King, Guthrum became a vassal to Jesus Christ, and therefore so did his nobles. Obviously the baptisms that resulted from this conversion may not have been heartfelt, but, because of this conversion, priests and missionaries were allowed in the Danelaw and in Denmark (which at this time included a portion of Sweden), which in time resulted in legitimate heartfelt conversions.

After defeating Guthrum, Alfred devoted his time to rebuilding the kingdom of Wessex, fortifying it against attack, building schools (including Oxford) and libraries. Enamoured of the Torah’s treatment of the poor, Alfred sought to put such protections in his laws as well. He also translated books and fifty of the Psalms into Anglo Saxon.

The laws which Alfred promulgated are based very much on the Old Testament. In addition to his other talents, Alfred also designed the ships used to defeat King Guthrum.

There are many reason for calling Alfred the Great. Among those not listed above was the protection of England from the Vikings and restoring the peace, allowing British and English Christianity to carry on unmolested. Once King Guthrum had converted he received respect from his Christian subjects in the Danelaw, leading to peace there as well. King Alfred was a man who knew the Bible well, and sought to use it in his life, in the laws and in all he did. Would that our politicians would do likewise.

Collect: Heavenly Father, as Alfred rebuilt England and restored the church, he also witnessed to his enemy Guthrum and persuaded him to receive Messiah. Grant that we too, would pray and witness to all the world, whether they be our friends or our enemies. This we ask through Yeshuah who lives and reins with you and Ruach haKodesh, one God in glory everlasting. Amen. (white)



For more information see: http://www.dr-fnlee.org/docs6/alfred/alfred.pdf

Friday, October 16, 2009

St. Ignatius of Antioch: 17 October 2008


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ignatius_of_Antioch

Ignatius is one of the Apostolic fathers (early leaders in the church who knew the apostles. He is said to have been one of the children that Jesus blessed. He was born around the year 35 and died between 98 and 117. He is counted to be the third Bishop of Antioch (after St. Peter and St. Evodius who died in the year 67. It is said that he knew St. Peter and may have known St. John the Apostle, and it is said that St. Peter appointed him to the see of Antioch. Ignatius is most known to us for the letters he wrote on the way to Rome, where he was martyred by being partially consumed by lions. His remains are in Rome to this day, buried under St. Peter’s Basilica.
Ignatius wrote six letters to churches and one to a bishop. His letters emphasise loyalty to one Bishop per city, who is aided by his presbyters and deacons, the earliest letter to emphasise this. He called the Eucharist the medicine of immortality and looked forward to his martyrdom to be with Jesus face to face. St. Ignatius also is the first to emphasise celebrating the Lord’s day (although Acts 20:7-11 suggests the practice first) saying, “We fashion our lives after the Lord’s day.”
These letters are very important, because we have very little written information about this time in the churches history, guiding us in how we should imitate the primitive church.

For more see: http://www.searchgodsword.org/his/ad/ecf/ant/ignatius/ (note the first seven are those alleged to be genuine.)


Collect: Heavenly Father, as you raised up your servant Ignatius to be Bishop of Antioch and to suffer and die for his faith. Grant that we may gather more frequently to celebrate the Eucharist, sharing the medicine of immortality, and that we would follow the bishop, as Jesus followed the Father, follow the presbytery as we would follow the apostles, and respect the deacons as we respect God’s law. This we ask through our Lord and Saviour Yeshua haMoshiach, who lives and reins with you and the Ruach haKodesh, one God in glory everlasting. Amen. (red)

Monday, October 5, 2009

William Tyndale: 6 October 2009



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/index.html?curid=37669

William Tyndale was born about 1495 near the Welsh border. He studied at Oxford and Cambridge and was ordained to the priesthood in 1521, and soon after began speaking of his desire to translate the scriptures into the English language. It is said that in a dispute with theologians that he said that he would cause a ploughboy to know the scriptures better than the man with whom he disputed.
Finding King Henry VIII to be lacking sympathy for an English Bible, he fled to Germany (and visiting Martin Luther while there). During this time he fled from city to city in exile, in danger of losing his life, and in poverty. In contrast to the popular belief of the time, that we earned our way to heaven, Tyndale preached that salvation was a free gift from God.
He completed his translation of the New Testament in 1525 and had eighteen thousand copies smuggled into England. In 1534 he began work on the Old Testament, and completed the Pentateuch, Jonah, and Joshua through II Chronicles before being captured. He was burned at the stake on this day in 1536, his last words being, “Lord, open the King of England’s eyes.” Miles Coverdale (Jan. 20) went on to finish the work, and up until this time, most Bibles in English are revisions of the Tyndale Coverdale Bible.
For a summary of Tyndales writings, go to English Literature in the Sixteenth Century, Excluding Drama, Oxford UP, 1954), pp 187-191. by C.S. Lewis.
Tyndale and Coverdale actually brought back to England a movement begun by John Wycliff in the 14th century. Since King John’s wife was Anne of Bohemia, Wycliff’s ideas found their way to Prague to influence Jan Huss, who in turn influenced Martin Luther who in turn influenced Tyndale. And interesting circle of ideas. It is believed that the Great Bible, which is the basis for the Authorised (or King James) Version, so that much of Tyndale’s work is preserved in the King James Version.



Collect: Father, you gave to your servant William Tyndale the gifts of knowledge, wisdom and perseverance translate the scriptures into the English language. Grant that we would share his passion to share the scriptures with all the world, that they may be made aware that Yeshuah is the way, the light and the truth, and we pray in the blessed name of Yeshuah, Amen. (red)

Sunday, October 4, 2009

St. Francis of Assisi 5 October 2009






http://store.sojo.net/product_p/icnp_sfa.htm

St. Francis was born in Assisi in 1182, the son of a wealthy cloth merchant, who spent much time in France (hence the nickname Francisco). After sickness and military service he heard Christ tell him to fix his falling down house. Francis took this literally and sold a bale of silk and used the money to restore the church. His father was not happy about this and he denounced Francis and disinherited him. Francis gave his father back his purse, and is said to have laid down his clothes to depart naked. Frances claimed for his bride the Lady Poverty, and begged unused stones and did the work on St. Damien’s himself, doing both the manual labour on the church and to earn food. He also scrounged food from the garbage. He staid with the priest, and took care of the lepers as well, cleaning and washing them, as well as feeding them.

Eventually some other young men took up with him, and the Order of Friars Minor was born. In 1210 it was made official by the Pope, and Francis was ordained to the diaconate so he could read the Gospels to his Friars. Francis and his friars not only rebuilt the crumbling church of St. Damien, but renovated the church in a time when clergy were becoming a little too involved with money. His friars went out, following the Gospel to take nothing with them and to give without charge. They preached the Gospel, using words when necessary. Frances probably also set up the first manger scene. He also went to the Holy Land in 1219 to talk with the Sultan, volunteering to walk through the fire to prove the truth of Christianity. He did set up an armistice, but sadly the Christian rulers would not agree to it. There was one good result, the Franciscans were made guardians of the Christian shrines in the Holy Land.

Sadly, the same thing happened to the Order of Friar’s Minor as happened to the early church. Many people joined seeing the joy of the Friars, but were not ready to embrace Lady Poverty, not realizing the joy of being unencumbered by posseions.. While the order was small, Francis was able to keep this practice up. After he retired though, Franciscans began to own houses and other property, and fell quickly from the high ideals of Francis.

Aside from his joy, Francis was also known for his love of animals, whom he often preached to, and which would obey him. During a 40 day fast near the end of his life he received the stigmata, for which he gave thanks, now being able to know first hand the sufferings of Christ. Francis died, October 3, 1226 singing Psalm 141. Francis is one of the most admired of all saints, but the least imitated. Francis wrote many songs showing his joy, some of which we have with us today. A good way to celebrate the day is watching the movie, “Brother Sun, Sister Moon,” about the life of St. Francis. May we learn to be joyful, needing only the Lord Jesus Christ, and nothing else.

Collect: Father, your servant Francis gave up the riches of the world to serve you in poverty. Guide us that we would not only admire Francis, but seek to imitate him as he imitated you. Make us oh Lord, instruments of your peace and help us to know that it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, in giving that we receive and that in dying we are born to everlasting life, this we ask through our Saviour, Yeshuah haMoshiach who lives and reigns with you and the Ruach haKodesh, one God in glory everlasting. Amen. (white)

Mathew 10:7-10, Psalm 141
Note, this day transferred from 4 October. Please note that we give minimal lessons for most saints who are not in the Bible so as disturb in course readings for daily lessons minimally.)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

October 1st at Sundown, marks the feast of Sukkoth, or Tabernacles. During this feast the Jewish people build tabernacles or huts, and have all their meals in them and sleep in them as well. Sukkoth was the autumn harvest time and was a type of Jewish thanksgiving. As well, it commemorates the forty years in the desert, and God’s provision. We note in passing, according to Nehemiah, during the forty years in the desert, their clothes did not wear out, in other words, along with manna and water, God provided for all the rest of the people’s needs.

Many Jews today see the Succoth or hut as a sign of God’s protection as well, because God protected the people in the desert as well.

We too, see that Yeshua completes this feast as he does all the others. He provides for us, if we seek the kingdom, and he will protect us. He will not let us be tempted past what we can bear.

As Christians, we too can keep the feast, setting up a tent or dining fly, and having our meals in it. We also set up tents and sleep in them as well, as well as cooking at least lunch and dinner outside. Good time for brisket and smoked turkey as well. We do this in remembrance of the forty years in the desert, and remind ourselves that it took forty years for the children of Israel to become true people of God. Even Jesus spent forty days in the wilderness, and St. Paul spent three years in the wilderness. We might think of it as camping out with God.

During Sukkoth, we remember that becoming a Christian is not an overnight thing, but a process: a process in which for some is quicker, for some is slower, but nevertheless a process in which we learn to apply God’s work to our lives; a process in which we learn to overcome temptation; a process in which we learn to be Yeshua’s hands, and feet and eyes, and mouth; a process in which we learn to trust God; a process in which God builds us into better Christians. As the tent surrounds us, so does God’s provision and protection surround us. We have talked about this process before. The Eastern Orthodox Church refers to it as theosis, that is becoming more God like. As Christ is in God, so we are in Christ. As we become more Christ-like, we become more like the father, for Jesus was his perfect reflection. As Yeshua told Phillip, if you have seen me, you have seen the Father.

It is also a time of thinking. Of the six hundred three thousand plus men to cross the Red Sea and were delivered from slavery in Egypt, only two, Yehoshua (Joshua) and Kalev (Caleb) actually made it to the Promised Land. Yeshua tells us, many are called, but few are chosen. St. Paul tells us to run to win the race, and that the bones of the Israelites littering the ground were given as an example for us to learn. Let us look at this and tremble.

God has called us. Will we follow? Will we trust him to provide for us? Will we speak out for him when it is not popular? Will we call others to follow the Lord Yeshua? The entire Exodus process is something that every Christian must go through, from being baptized to learning in the desert. There will be trials and temptations. God will test and prove us in order to make us strong. After all, God wants people of good character to reside with him forever.

Let us as we celebrate this holiday, analyse where we are in our relationship with Yeshua. Are we crying for meat and melons, or are we advancing for the Kingdom of God? Are we wondering where Moses went, or are we preparing for the battle? Let us pray for all Christians, that they would grow in love, knowledge and obedience to the Lord Yeshua haMoshiach (Jesus the Christ), and let us pray for all Yehudim (Jews) that they would see how Yeshua completes the feast and recognise him as Messiah, and may we trusting in his protection, guidance, power, and providence go to war against Satin and those forces which attempt to enslave us.

Collect for the day: Heavenly Father, as we remember that you caused the Israelites to dwell in tents, and as their clothes and shoes did not wear out, grant that we may rest assured of your protection and blessings. This we ask in the name of our Lord Yeshua haMoshiach, who lives and reins with you and Ruach haKodesh, one God in glory everlasting. Amen. (white)

Shalom b’Yeshua haMoshiach


Mar Michael Abportus, OSL
Pastor, Congregation Benim Avraham
Bishop of La Porte, Texas

281-867-9081
mjthannisch@sbcglobal.net

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Remigius, Archbishop of Rheims: 1 October 2009



http://www.allmercifulsavior.com/icons/Icons-Remigius.htm

Remigius was born about 438 and made Bishop at the ripe old age of 22. He served as Bishop of Rheims during the time of the Barbarian invasions and the Arian conflict. In fact it is indeed possible that Remigius changed the history of Europe as he witnessed to Clovis, King of the Franks, who became Catholic Christian as opposed to becoming Arian as did the Goths and the Vandals. Clovis was baptised Christmas day 496 with about three thousand of his followers, and as the Franks were to make big changes in Europe. In fact the Franks prevented the Muslims from taking over France under Charles Martel, and under Charlemagne consolidated power. The Franks also converted the Visigoths so that the Arians no longer had military hegemony over the area. I t should also be noted that Clovis’s descendents helped lead to the conversion of some English royal families during the time of the heptarchy.

I particularly like Religious’ words to Clovis, “Burn what you worshipped, and worship what you burned. Once, Clovis was baptised, Remigius was free to proclaim the Gospel to the Franks, which he did, founding may churches and dioceses. Remigius, like several other saints was known to have a way with animals, sparrows would eat out of his hands as he ate. Chiefly though we remember Remigius for his fine work converting Clovis and the Franks.

Collect: Heavenly Father, as you empowered your Bishop Remigius, to witness the Gospel of our Lord Yeshuah to Clovis, King of the Franks, and to convert him and the Frankish nation, empower us to reach out to the leadership of the nations that they may acknowledge you to be the true sovereign of this world, through our Lord Yeshuah haMoshiach, who lives and reigns with you and the Ruach haKodesh, one God in glory everlasting. Amen. (white)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

St. Jerome: 30 September 2009

St. Jerome




http://www.allmercifulsavior.com/icons/Icons-Jerome.htm

Jerome was born in about 347and was converted and baptised while a student at Rome. While visiting Trier, he found he was attracted to monastic life, which he tested by living alone in the desert in Syria. He continued his studies in Greek and Hebrew and went to Antioch in about the year 379 and studied under Gregory of Nazianzus. From 382-384 he served as secretary to Pope Damascus and spiritual director to women interested in the Monastic life. After Damascus’s death he returned to Bethlehem and founded a monastery there. He remained there until his death, 30 September 420. Jerome is most famous for his translation of the Bible into the common Latin of the day, which was known as the vulgate. Jerome was one of a long line of people who wanted to make the Bible available to all people. We note in passing that Jerome unlike others of his day used the Masoritic Text, even though most references in the New Testament were actually to the Septuagint.

Collect: Father, you raised up Jerome to render the Bible into the tongue of the common people. Grant in this and every generation men and women who can make your word clear to us that we may truly worship you, this we ask in the name of our Lord and Saviour, Yeshuah haMoshiach. Amen. (white)

Monday, September 28, 2009

St. Michael and all Angels


St. Michael and All Angels



http://www.stmichaelshouston.org/hope-stmike_pics/hope-stmike-pics.html

Today we recognise the heavenly hosts. Our Greek brothers and sisters refer to them as the bodiless powers, recognising that angels are essentially spiritual beings. Now just, what are angels? The Greek word, Angel means messenger. Angels and Archangels basically then are messengers sent by God. It is reckoned by theologians that only Angels and Archangels have anything to do with men. The other classes are angels in ascending order are: Principalities, Powers, Virtues, Dominions, Thrones, Cherubim and Seraphim. It is not clear to us the purposes of these various classes of spiritual beings, but we know that they serve God, and the last two, cherubim and seraphim are reckoned as angels of the presence, that is that they are in the highest heaven with the Lord.

Biblically, there are several manifestations of angels. First, we hear of the Angel of the Lord, which for the most part is not reckoned to be an angel, but to be the Lord YHWH himself. Next we run into St Michael, the Archangel who is described in Daniel and Revelations. He is counted as the special angel who is in charge of Israel, and who casts Satan out of heaven. He is again mentioned in Revelations. St. Raphael is mentioned in the book of Tobit and accompanies Tobias on his adventures. St. Gabriel is mentioned in the New Testament, and he is the Angel who announces the birth of Jesus. Uriel is mentioned in IV Esdras. Other angels are not mentioned by name. The Seraphim are described by Isaiah in his vision. The Cherubim are described by Ezequiel in his vision. Thrones are mentioned in Colossians, Dominions in Colossians, Virtues in I Peter, Powers in Colossians, and Principalities in Colossians. It should be mentioned that for most classes of angels, there are corresponding classes of demons. When Satan was cast out of heaven one third of the angels followed him. Therefore angles, spiritual thought they may be, are like us, capable of choosing between right and wrong.

This day we remember especially St. Michael and the other angels who minister to us, and to those in heaven who give us the example of constantly praising Godl

Please go to the reference above and look at the 71 versions of St. Michael, truly fascinating.

Collect: Dear Lord, as you created a vast order of angelic hosts to worship you and do your will, grant that we too like your angels in heavens would worship you and do your will. This we ask in the name of our blessed Yeshuah who is higher than the angels. Amen.
Lessons: Isaiah 6:1-3
Revelation 1:5-14
Mark 13:21-27
Psalm 14

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Yom Kippur: 28 September 2009

Today is Yom Kippur, one of the Holiest of the High Holy Days of the Jews which we remember. Our Lesson from Leviticus explains the preparations which the high priest had to make in order to offer the offering for the sins of the people. First he had to wash, a symbol of purity. Then he had to put on the special clothes reserved to the high priest (clothing indicates our deeds). Afterwards, he had to have a sacrifice to pay for his own sins. Then and only then could he enter into the Holy of Holies and sacrifice for the sins of the peoples, which he did by sprinkling blood on the cover of the ark of the covenant. Note even then, he had a rope tied to his foot just in case. The hem of his robe had bells. If the bells stopped ringing, they knew the High Priest had been struck dead for his sins and was pulled out.

Jesus, by his death on the cross finished this sacrifice for ever. Jesus was without sin, so no need to wash, or even sacrifice. He was perfect man, without sin, so he needed no magnificent clothing to symbolize his good deeds, all his deeds were good. Through his goodness and perfection, he was able to enter into that Holy Place, of which the Holy of Holies was only the palest of shadows. Instead of offering the blood of a lamb, he offered his own blood to cover the mercy seat, once and for all, to cover our sins for ever. When Jesus died on the cross, we are told that the curtain ripped in two. This symbolizes that we all have access to the throne of grace through the blood of Jesus.

The Jews wore white on this day, so symbolize they were clean of sin. The same in days gone past, Christians would don a white garment after their baptism, and wear it for fifty days to remind them that Jesus had paid for their sins and they were cleansed indeed.

Today, and every Friday is good to remember that Jesus, through his life and his death on the cross, provided for us a way to enter into God’s presence. Join with me fasting on this day, so that we may join Jesus in his sufferings so as to remember the wonders he did for us.

Lessons: Leviticus 16:1-34, Hebrews 9:23-28, Mathew 27:45-51

Collect: Heavenly Father, as we remember the day of atonement which prefigured Messiah’s death on the cross. Separate our sins as far from us as the east is from the west, and grant that we may enter into the holy place where you now rein, one God, in glory everlasting. (Lenten array or violet

Thursday, September 24, 2009

St. Sergius: 25 September 2009

St. Sergius


http://www.1-800-porcelain.com/int-1199.html


St. Sergius is one of the three prominent saints of Russia. He was born early in the 14th century, the child of boyars who became impoverished. He was one of three sons. His brother, Stefan was a monk, and upon their parents death, Sergius (Bartholomew) joined him, but persuaded him to move to a more isolated area. Deep in the Forest at Makovets hill, they built a small cell and a wooden church.

His brother left for Moscow, but Sergius remained and took vows as a monk. Others were attracted to him and his way of life, and other cells began to be built around him. They eventually persuaded him to become their father superior and he was ordained to the presbyterate. All the monks, including Sergius lived by their own labour. Eventually they founded a guest house, and eventually a town and villages grew up around Holy Trinity Monastery. The Patriarch of Constantinople granted him a monastic charter. Sergius’s followers founded some 400 monasteries across central and northern Russia. IN imitation of Sergius (and indeed like the Benedictines) they chose the most isolated places to live in to preserve their solitude, but also helped to build communities through their hard work. Sergius not only contributed to the building up of Christianity through Russia, but helped develop towns and civilasion as well.

He did bless Dmitri Donskoy before his battle with the Tartars, but not until being certain that all peaceful alternatives had been tried. When the Metropolitan of Russia, Alexius asked him to take his place, he declined, saying he had never worn gold in his life, so how could he do it, now that he was old. It is also said that like St. Frances and several other saints, that he had a special relationship with animals.

Sergius was truly a holy man of God, who led by example. May God grant our church leaders who would do likewise.

Collect: Father, as you raised up Sergius to inspire the Russian people in their faith, grant that we like his monks would seek to serve our neighbours that they too would come to know you as Lord and Saviour, who lives and reigns with Ruach haKodesh, one God in glory everlasting. Amen. (white)

Sunday, September 20, 2009

St. Mathew the Evangeist: 21 September 2009

St. Mathew the Evangelist
21 September 2009






http://www.saintmaryhouston.org/category/image-galleries/icons-at-st-mary/dome-icons

Mathew the Evangelist, also known as Levi. He began as a tax collector and Jesus called him to repentance, and to follow him. Shortly after this, Jesus went to a supper at Mathew’s home where he was rebuked by the Pharisees for eating in the house of the sinner. One hope that Jesus’s reply of being sent to those who need healing may have brought some Pharisees to repentance, but on said subject the Bible is silent. Legends tell us that Mathew worked among the Hebrews for some 15 years before departing for other climes. Legends also claim that he evangelized (and died) just south of the Caspian Sea, as well as Persia, Parthia, Macedonia and Syria.

It is stated that he left a copy of the Gospel to the Hebrews (and this may be the same one that was taken to India by St. Thomas. We believe that that fist Gospel was written in Aramaic, but more than likely, our present Gospel of Mathew is not a direct translation, but a translation with some additional materials. The Gospel of Mathew has a clear emphasis on showing that Jesus completed the Law and the Prophets and that Jesus was the Jewish Messiah and Saviour of the world.

Collect: Dear Father, as you raised Mathew from being a tax collector to an ambassador for your kingdom, and caused him to write his Gospel for the Messianic Jews of his time; so transform us that our lives would lead to the conversion of many and help us to remember that our lives may be the only Bible unbelievers will read. This we ask through Yeshuah, who lives and reigns with you and the Ruach haKodesh, one God in glory everlasting. Amen. (red)

Mathew 9:9-13 (Eucharist)
Mathew 13:44-52 (Matins or Vespers if using above lesson for Matins)

Friday, September 18, 2009

19 September: St. Theodore of Tarsus, Rosh HaShanna

Today we celebrate St. Theodore of Tarsus and Rosh Hoshanna.

Rosh Hoshanna is Jewish New Year. It is celebrated by dipping bread and apples in honey and eating them asking God to give us a sweet year. This day in the synagogue, the shofar (Ram's horn) is blown to trumpet God in as king of the universe. At point we will go to a river or stream and throw bread crumbs in and watch them being carried away to remember that God will remove our sins from us as far as the east from the west when we accept Jesus as Saviour.

What Does the Shofar Say

Listen to the sound of the Shofar, this Rosh Hashanah day,
What is it, what does the Shofar say?
Awake, sleepers arise!
Don’t be like sheep, so sound asleep,
Letting the wolf in the door, to destroy, corrupt and more.
He’s in the music, promoting drugs,
He’s on TV promoting sex and rebellion,
He’s in the school teaching one to be a hellion.
Parents, do you love your children,
Then teach them, teach them.
At their rising, at their sitting,
Going out, coming in, at their eating,
Jesus Christ is Lord, He died for you, and many more,
And expects to be your Lord.

Listen to the sound of the Shofar, this Rosh Hashanah day,
What is it, what does the Shofar say?
Awake, sleepers arise!
Don’t be like sheep, so sound asleep,
False shepherds abound misleading the sheep,
Saying science, psychology is King.
If it feels good do it, if it hurts no-one, ‘tis not a sin, or so they sing.
Jesus is not Lord, he’s just one way, of which there are many more.
Stand up O sheep, flee from such shepherds, For at that last day, they shall flee, or
Be astounded, upon finding resurrection is true,
But alas they are blue,
For never having known Jesus, they have condemned themselves,
And those who followed them to a future so bleak,
That to think upon makes me weak

Listen to the sound of the Shofar, this Rosh Hashanah day,
What is it, what does the Shofar say?
Ti ra! Ti ra! Arise, charge, ‘tis time to fight the good fight,
‘tis time to show the adversary our might.
Put on the Gospel Armour, refrain from retreating,
It is time to gain souls, it is time to gain kings,
It is time to show the world our Lord and King.
We have been asleep, allowing Satan his will
And we have had to pay the bill.
The time is over, Satin take cover,
For the church is called to be on the move.
Blow the shofar, blow the trumpet, Good Christians, ATTACK!
You are the mighty hosts of the Lord, armed with his Spirit and Word,
The battle is yours, the war is the Lord’s.

St. Theodore of Tarsus



http://www.allmercifulsavior.com/icons/Icons-Theodore.htm

St. Theodore of Tarsus was sent by Pope Vitalian of Rome to take the place of the Anglo Saxon candidate for Bishop, Wighard died in Rome. Theodore, already 65, a monk, but not yet presbyter turned out to be an excellent man for the job. He worked out differences between Roman and Celtic traditions, filled vacant Bishoprics and organized the very first council of the Church of England. He was, according to Bede the first Archibishop whom all the English obeyed. He organized dioceses, set boundaries and basically organized the English church. One of his organizational details is still used by our church. Twenty five percent of the offering to the poor, twenty five percent to maintaining the church, twenty five per cent to the clergy for maintenance of the altar and clergy and twenty five per cent to the bishop for his expenses and misson.

He also founded a school which was attended by Celts and English, helping to unify the traditions, and which taught Greek, Latin, poetry, astronomy and calendar calculation.

When Theodore arrived, things were a mess. When he died twenty three years later at the age of 88 on 19 September, 690, the church was organized and ready for mission.

Collect: Heavenly Father, you sent Theodore to organize and put right the church of England and to reconcile the church of the English with the Church of the Celts. Raise up among us, clergy and laity, who will help organise the church today so that it would be an effective means of evangelising the world in which we live. This we ask in the name of Yeshua, who lives and reigns with you and Ruach ha Kodesh, one God in Glory everlasting. Amen. (white)

Collect for Rosh Hoshanna:Father as on this day we commemorate the creation of human kind, help us to repent in truth from our many sins, and to learn to truly walk and talk with you as did Adam and Hava. Let the shofar truly call us to be with you, and may you grant us a sweet year to come. This we ask through Yeshua haMoshiach who lives and reins with you and Ruach haKodesh, one God in glory everlasting. (white)

Lesson for Rosh Hoshanna: Numbers 29:1-26, Psalm 81

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

St. Ninian, Bishop of Galloway:16 September 2009


St. Ninian, Bishop of Galloway



http://www.allmercifulsavior.com/icons/Icons-Ninian.htm

Ninian was a Celt, born about 360. It is said that he studied in Rome and was a friend and imitator of St. Martin of Tours, his good friend with whom he spent much time. Ninian was the first known preacher who reached out north of Hadrian’s wall, and preached as far South as the English Lake District and as far north as the Firth of Moray. He was important as were Patrick and Columba in preserving the Roman-British Church and definitely had effect on Celtic Christianity. He preached principally to the Picts, and principally in Southern Scotland many churches are dedicated to him and said to have been founded by him. He named his base at Galloway Candida Casa (White House or Whitethorn) which name is believed to have been used by St. Martin of Tours for his monastic settlement.

Most of what is known about Ninian comes from the Venerable Bede.

Collect: Father, as you raised up Ninian as Bishop of Galloway and to preach the Gospel to the Picts. Raise us in this and every land evangelists who are willing to suffer for the faith by preaching no matter what the circumstances. We ask this through the same Yeshuah who gives us joy in all circumstances. Amen. (white)

Monday, September 14, 2009

St. Cyprian, Bishop of Carthage.15 September 2009


Sr. Cyprian, Bishop of Carthage


http://www.allmercifulsavior.com/icons/Icons-Cyprian.htm

St. Cyprian was a well educated and well known orator in Carthage. He was baptised between 245 and 248,and after being baptised gave away some of his wealth. He was ordained deacon fairly quickly after this, and presbyter, and elected Bishop between 248 and 249, though opposed by the presbyters.

Shortly after consecration as Bishop, the Decian Persecution began. Cyprian fled secretly from Carthage, but managed to run and guide the church from a distance. E was condemned for this action, but was justified in the fact that he was able to help his people form a distance. After the persecution arose a controversy over whether or not to readmit to the church those who had sacrificed to the emperor. Many were rapidly readmitted to the communion without demonstrating clear signs of repentance. Cyprian insisted on clear repentance, and many were not readmitted until they were on the death bed, although this was often mitigated. . Presbyters were deposed for such sacrifices.

Another battle was to follow over baptism performed by non-Christians. Cyprian ran against the view of most of the church holding that such baptisms were not valid. In the year 256 began the Valerian persecution, and Cyprian prepared his diocese for this, in example this time, being arrested for being Christian and being put to death for refusing to sacrifice to the emperor. When judged that he must die, he responded thanks be to God, and was beheaded by sword on 14 September 256.

Collect: Father, you raised up Cyprian to be bishop of Carthage, and gave him gifts to administer and guide his church during time of great persecution. Grant that we may like him encourage others to follow the true faith, and like him be prepared to give up our lives for you. This we ask through our Lord and Saviour Yeshua haMoshiach, who lives and reins with you and the Ruach haKodesh, one God in glory everlasting. Amen. (red)

(note this feast day was transferred from Sunday)

The Holy cross: 14 September



http://www.flickr.com/photos/19016362@N00/203269055/

It is said that St. Helena, the mother of Constantine discovered a portion of the true cross in 326. (St. Helena discovered the true sites of many events, guided by dream, a fiend of mine calls her the patron St. of Travel Agents), and while there might be questions about some of the sites, there is a certain amount of archeological evidence showing that the location of the church of Holy Sepulcher is accurate. The church was dedicated on the 13th of September 335. The following day, the cross was taken out to the hill top believed to be Calvary and venerated.

This day, for us a day of fasting, we remember the cross as the instrument of our salvation. Red vestments are worn.

Dear Lord, as the church to venerate the true cross was dedicated this say, so may we dedicate our lives to you that we would be willing to take up our cross and follow, no matter where you lead. This we ask through our Lord and Saviour Yeshua haMoshiach, who lives and reins with you and the Ruach haKodesh, one God in glory everlasting. Amen. (red)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Martyrs of Papua New Guines

Go to: http://www.dioceseofsaintandrew.org/2009/09/02/martyrs-of-new-guinea/

Sunday, August 9, 2009

St. Lawrence, Deacon: August 10, 2009


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St._Lawrence

St. Lawrence was one of the seven deacons of Rome during the persecution of the Emperor Valerian. Lawrence in particular was charged with caring for the poor, and when asked by the persecutors to bring in the church's wealth, he spend the next three days distributing as much as he could to the poor to keep the authorities from getting the money. On the third day, he presented the poor to the authorities, and this is the probable immediate cause of his martyrdom. As St. Lawrence was being roasted alive, it is said that he said, I'm done on this side turn me over now (or this sides done, turn me over and have another bite), which has caused him to be the patron saint of comedians.

Seriously, his dedication to serving the church through serving the poor, and his strong witness in the midst of torture, makes him a model deacon and saint for all time.

Father, you raised up your deacon Laurence to serve you through acts of love, and fearsome martyrdom. Help us that we would always remember that the true treasures of the church are those who need to hear the word of God, this we ask through Yeshuah haMoshiach, who lives and reins with you and Ruach haKodesh, one God in glory everlasting, Amen. (red)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009



http://www.flickr.com/photos/19016362@N00/1023753594/

Transfiguration

On this feast day we remember an event mentioned in three of the Gospels. Yeshua took Kephas, Yakob, and Yohanes to the mountain to pray (they are lying on the ground in fear. Suddenly the appearance of Yeshua was transformed, and they see Moshe and Eliyahu talking with Yeshua. Kephas (Peter) shouts out, we should build three tabernacles (tents) one for each of you. Yeshua is hidden by a cloud, and they hear a voice, "This is my Son, listen to him.

Let us remember this is a very special event. Yeshua is on his way to Yerushalayim to be crucified. Kephas, Yakob and Yohanes (Peter, James and John) are the three disciples of the inner circle, who alone were present with Yeshua for certain miracles. Moshe (Moses) represents the Law, and Eliyahu (Elijah) represents the prophet. They are there as witnesses that Yeshua completed the law and the prophets. Yeshua glows with the uncreated divine light demonstrating that he is God. The apostles naturally are terrified, which is the reaction of all who come face to face with the living God and his power, as we are convicted of our sins. Naturally also, they want to keep this mountain top experience, hence Kephas wanting to build shelters for the three.

OF course the problem with the mountain top, is it is the mountain top. It is not something we can hang on to. God grants visions, signs and wonders not to those who are strong, but to those who are weak and need building up in faith. Once we have been built up in faith, we need to go to the valleys to do our work, in the case of Yeshua, to Yerushalayim to be crucified, in the case of the Apostles to go from Spain (possibley Britain) to India to proclaim the faith and die for it.

Lastly, God tells the Apostles to listen to Yeshua. Those of you who are parents, what do you usually mean when you tell your kids to listen to you? Is it not a request for obedience. Le us then ask God to fill us with the power of the Ruach haKodesh so that we may be tranfigured by Yeshua, that others may see him in us, and that he would strengthen us to proclaim the Gospel.

Dear Lord, as you transfigured Yeshua upon the mountain that his disciples could see his Shekina Glory, so fill us with the power of the Ruach haKodesh that the light of Yeshua would shine out from us in all that we do and say. This we ask in the name of Yeshua haMoshiach, who lives and reins with you and the Ruach haKodesh, one God in glory everlasting. Amen. (gold)


Thursday, May 28, 2009

Shavuot (Pentecost) 2009



The Jewish Pentecost celebrates the arrival at Mt. Sinai and the receiving of the Law, most especially represented by the Ten Commandments. Several important things to note about this day, fifty days after the Jewish Passover.

The first set of tablets were made by YHWH, who gave them to Moshe who took them down to the people. What Moshe found was less than pleasing. The people having given up on Moshe, and apparently on God as well had constructed an idol, the golden calf, and were worshipping it, showing it is easy to take the people out of Egypt, but not so easy to take Egypt out of the people. Moshe, in his anger threw down the tablets which were destroyed, demonstrating that God’s Holiness cannot exist in the presence of sin. Three thousand were killed that day for their apostasy, so a day which should have been of rejoicing became a day of mourning, and Moshe had to go up the mountain for another forty days, this time with tablets he made himself. The tablets being made by Moshe, were not destroyed and were kept in the ark.

The three thousand that died for their apostasy were remembered later. On the first Christian Pentecost, three thousand people were saved through the preaching of St. Peter and the witness of the Holy Spirit.

Traditionally on the eve of Pentecost we stay up late reading the scriptures. On the feast day itself we read of God giving Moshe the Ten Commandments.

The Jewish form of the 10 Commandments:


I. I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

II. Thou shalt have no other gods before me. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.

III. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain: for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.

IV. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: For in six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it. Page 9

V. Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.

VI. Thou shalt not murder.

VII. Thou shalt not commit adultery.

VIII. Thou shall not steal.

IX. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.

X. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour's wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour's.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

St. Cuthbert, 20 March 2009

http://www.allmercifulsavior.com/icons/Icons-Cuthbert.htm


St. Cuthbert was from Northumbria, probably from the neighbourhood of the Firth of Forth. He became a monk in about 651, then became a soldier and returned to being a monk. After the death of the Abbot, Cuthbert was elected to the Abbacy and was later chosen to bring the western customs to Northubria after the council of Whitby. He spent most of his time going on missionary journey’s and attending the needs of his people. After 676, he too on the life of a hermit on the Farne Islands. He also introduced laws protecting the Eider ducks on the island. In 685 he was elected as Bishop of Lindisfarne. After King Ecgfrith came to visit him, he finally took the office of Bishop, but only for a year, after which he retired again to his island. He died the 20th of March 687. Many miracles were attributed tohim.

From Cuthbert, we learn that bishop must be out and about the mission f the church, especially bringing people into the church and training them. He dedicated himself to prayer and solitude, habits we today could foster. He never worried about is perogotives in office, instead building himself a monastic settlement, retired to solitude in his cell.




Collect: Father, you called Cuthbert from being a shepherd of sheep to being a shepherd of persons. Grant that as we was willing to spread the Gospel in remote and dangerous places, that we too may be willing to proclaim the Gospel in areas of which we might fear and to people of whom we may be afraid. This we ask through Yeshuah haMoshiach, who lives and reigns with you and the Ruach haKodesh, one God in glory everlasting. Amen. (white)


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

St. Joseph, 19 March 2009


We know little of the life of St. Joseph. We know, from the offering at the temple that he was a poor man, and we are told by the Bible that he was an honourable man, who did not wish to see his betrothed disgraced (The penalty would have been stoning for her). We do know that he was a man who obeyed the Lord. Each time God spoke to him in dreams, Joseph immediately followed through. As he is not mentioned much in the New Testament, it is believed that he died before Jesus began his public ministry. We do believe that he must have been a very special man to have been given the job of being Jesus’s step father. We pray that we would be like him, obeying the Lord.

Collect: Heavenly Father, you raised up Yosef to be a step Father to our Lord Yeshuah haMoshiach. Grant that every father would be as faithful as Yosef in his sacred responsibility of modeling your fatherhood to us. This we ask through the same Yeshuah haMoshiach our Lord, who called Yosef, “father.” Amen. (white)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

St. Patrick, 17 March 2009


St. Patrick is the most well known of the Irish saints, a true hero of the church. Sadly his day has become more known for revelry and green beer than truly celebrating what he did.

The exact time and place of his birth is unknown. Guesses range from Wales to Kilpatrick, Scotland. What is know is that his father was a deacon and his grandfather was a priest. They were according to sources either Romans, or Romanised Celts.

At the age of 14, Patrick was kidnapped by Irish pirates (common at the time) and taken to Ireland where he herded sheep as a slave. During his captivity his prayer life grew, and at about the age of 20, guided by a dream, he found a ship willing to carry him and made his escape.

He studied to be a presbyter, and eventually was ordained as Bishop. Guided once again by dreams, these expressing the need of the Irish for his presence, he traveled back to Ireland to proclaim the Gospel. Patrick successfully preached the Gospel, aided by disciples he made in Ireland.

Of the legends attributed to him, he used the clover to preach the Gospel. When explaining the trinity he would pluck a clover and ask, is it one leaf or three (botanically speaking it is actually one leaf), and ask the Irish whether it was one or three. Easter at one point fell the same night as a Celtic festival, but Patrick beat them to the draw by lighting a bonfire first. Apparently the king’s men were unable to put it out. Several songs are attributed to Patrick, the most famous being his Lorica or the Deer Cry. It is said when one of the kings was out to capture Patrick, he and his disciples sang this song, and the king’s men only saw deer as they passed by them.

The true miracle behind Patrick’s life though is his great forgiveness. Anyone who can serve as a slave for some 6 years and return to the people who enslaved him to tell them about Jesus shows the true power of forgiveness. Would that we were all so eager to forgive those who sin against us, and to proclaim the Gospel.

Collect: : Heavenly Father; who gave Patrick the strength to persevere and power to forgive his enemies, give us the strength and ability to forgive those who wrong us, and willingness of heart to tell them of the great love of Yeshuah. This we ask in his name, who lives and governs with you and the Ruach haKodesh, one God in glory everlasting. Amen. (white)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

St. Gregory the Great

http://www.allmercifulsavior.com/icons/Icons-Gregory.htm
St. Gregory, Bishop of Rome

Little is know of Gregory’s younger years, except that Italy was in turbulence from Goth invasions. He had three sisters who were nuns, and after the death of his parents converted the house into a monastery. He was ordained deacon, and later served as Papal delegate to Constantinople. He was elected Pope in 590, and immediately set down that he was not claiming St. Peter’s throne, and pr\ised the life of the monks (he was the first Monastic bishop of Rome).

Gregory is most know for sending missionaries to northern Europe in a time in which the Pope had little authority over Italy, Britain or Spain. Most famous of his missions was sending Augustine to England to proclaim the Gospel to the Anglo Saxon peoples, leading to some conflict with the Celtic church, but eventually leading to a missionary movement spreading form England to the north of Europe and extending as far east as Kiev.

Liturgically, plain song chant, or Gregorian chant is often attributed to him, and more factually the liturgy of the pre-sanctified which is used by the Eastern Orthodox church until this day for Lent and Holy Week. Private penance is also attributed to him.

Alms were important to him, but most of the money received by the church went immediately to the service of the poor.

Collect: Lord, you raised up Gregory of Rome to be a servant to the servants of God, and inspired him to send missionaries to England. Raise up in this and every generation Bishops who will truly serve their people in imitation of Messiah, and who are willing to proclaim the Gospel to the ends of the earth. This we ask through Yeshuah haMoshiach, who lives and reigns with you and Ruach haKodesh, one God in glory everlasting. Amen. (white)

Thursday, March 5, 2009

St. Chad: 5 March 2009

http://www.dur.ac.uk/StChads/icon.html

Chad and his brother Cedd were students of St. Aiden at Lindisfarne, where he became acquainted with Celtic Spirituality. Two other brothers were also active in the Anglo-Saxon church. Before being ordained as a priest, he traveled to Ireland with St. Egbert to study there. Apparently the custom was not to ordain to the priesthood until about thirty years old, being the age at which Christ began his ministry.

Chad and his brothers were very influenced by Celtic Spirituality which emphasized austerity, Biblical exegesis, and led to a consciousness and focus on the end times.

We find Chad taking his brother Cedd’s place as abbot at Lastingham after Cedd died in the plague, in 663.

Whenever a gale would spring up, Chad would call on god to have pity on humanity. IF it intensified he would prostrate himself in prayer, and if it grew worse go to the chapel and sing psalms till the storm abated. When asked by his companions, he explained that storms were sent by God to remind humans of the day of judgement and to humble their pride.

Chad was selected Bishop of York (and Northumbria) by king Oswiu. He had to travel to Wessex where he was ordained by the Bishop of Wessex and two Welsh bishops (as the plague had decimated the number of Bishops, and three Bishops were required for ordination.

Chad was faithful in his call traveling to all the towns and villages, baptizing and confirming, following the Celtic role of Bishop as prophet and missionary. As the king had appointed two bishops for York, and the first one had finally returned, Theodore, Archbishop of Canterbury asked Chad to step down, which he did. Surprised by Chad’s humility, Archbishop Theodore had Chad consecrated as Bishop of the Mercia. Land was donated for the monastery of Lichtfield, and Chad took up residence, and began his work as Bishop in similar vein to before, confirming baptizing, and guiding the people. Chad refused to ride horseback, as Jesus had not done so. He has a dispute with Archbishop Theodore over this who manually lifted him into the saddle. Chad died March 2, 672 after encouraging his monks to persevere.

For more information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chad_of_Mercia


Collect: : Dear Lord who raised up Chad to be Bishop of Lichtfield, and gave him humility to cheerfully to relinquish his honours. Grant in this and every generation that we would seek only your honour and glory. This we ask through Yeshuah haMoshiach, who livers and reigns with you and the Ruach haKodesh, one God in glory everlasting. Amen.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Chad of Lichtfied: 2 March 2009

Chad and his brother Cedd were students of St. Aiden at Lindisfarne, where he became acquainted with Celtic Spirituality. Two other brothers were also active in the Anglo-Saxon church. Before being ordained as a priest, he traveled to Ireland with St. Egbert to study there. Apparently the custom was not to ordain to the priesthood until about thirty years old, being the age at which Christ began his ministry.

Chad and his brothers were very influenced by Celtic Spirituality which emphasized austerity, Biblical exegesis, and led to a consciousness and focus on the end times.

We find Chad taking his brother Cedd’s place as abbot at Lastingham after Cedd died in the plague, in 663.

Whenever a gale would spring up, Chad would call on god to have pity on humanity. IF it intensified he would prostrate himself in prayer, and if it grew worse go to the chapel and sing psalms till the storm abated. When asked by his companions, he explained that storms were sent by God to remind humans of the day of judgement and to humble their pride.

Chad was selected Bishop of York (and Northumbria) by king Oswiu. He had to travel to Wessex where he was ordained by the Bishop of Wessex and two Welsh bishops (as the plague had decimated the number of Bishops, and three Bishops were required for ordination.

Chad was faithful in his call traveling to all the towns and villages, baptizing and confirming, following the Celtic role of Bishop as prophet and missionary. As the king had appointed two bishops for York, and the first one had finally returned, Theodore, Archbishop of Canterbury asked Chad to step down, which he did. Surprised by Chad’s humility, Archbishop Theodore had Chad consecrated as Bishop of the Mercia. Land was donated for the monastery of Lichtfield, and Chad took up residence, and began his work as Bishop in similar vein to before, confirming baptizing, and guiding the people. Chad refused to ride horseback, as Jesus had not done so. He has a dispute with Archbishop Theodore over this who manually lifted him into the saddle. Chad died March 2, 672 after encouraging his monks to persevere.

For more information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chad_of_Mercia


Collect: : Dear Lord who raised up Chad to be Bishop of Lichtfield, and gave him humility to cheerfully to relinquish his honours. Grant in this and every generation that we would seek only your honour and glory. This we ask through Yeshuah haMoshiach, who livers and reigns with you and the Ruach haKodesh, one God in glory everlasting. Amen.