Archive for the ‘January 12’ Category

Feast of St. Benedict Biscop (January 12)   2 comments

England 700 CE

Above:  England in 700 C.E.

Image in the Public Domain

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

ST. BENEDICT BISCOP (CIRCA 628-JANUARY 12, 688/689)

Roman Catholic Abbot of Wearmouth

As I read and took notes about the life of St. Benedict Biscop I became increasingly impressed.  I also decided that he was among my kindred spirits separated from me by time and space.  His habit of accumulating a relatively large library spanning a variety of subjects yet focused on service books confirmed that conclusion.

January 12 seems to be an auspicious date for saints from Northumbria.  In the previous post I wrote about St. Aelred of Hexham (circa 1109/1110-1167), an influential abbot and writer.  Now I write about St. Benedict Biscop (circa 628-689/690), also an influential abbot and scholar.

Biscop Baducing came from Northumbrian nobility.  For a time he was a warrior of King Oswiu of Bernicia (reigned 642-670).  Our saint, who traveled to Rome five times (often in part to purchase books), was a friend of St. Wilfrid, Bishop of York (lived 634-709), a predecessor of St. Wilfrid of Ripon (died circa 744), also Bishop of York.  (Some sources identify the first St. Wilfrid as St. Wilfrid the Elder and the second St. Wilfrid, the one from Ripon, as St. Wilfrid the Younger.)  In 665, after returning from his second journey to Rome, Biscop settled on the island of Lerins, where he studied to become a monk for two years then took vows and a new name–Benedict.

Thus St. Benedict Biscop found his calling and pursued it.  In 668 and 669 he accompanied St. Theodore of Tarsus, Archbishop of Canterbury from 668 to 690, from Rome to England.  Upon their arrival the Archbishop appointed our saint the Abbot of Sts. Peter and Paul’s, Canterbury, a post he held for two years.  In 674 King Ecgfirth of Northumbria (reigned 670-685) granted St. Benedict Biscop land on which to build a monastery–St. Peter’s, Monkwearmouth.  Our saint traveled in Europe to find the masons to erect the structures in the Pre-Romanesque style.  He also made his final journey to Rome in 679 and returned with books, relics, glaziers, masons, and a papal grant of special privileges for the monastery.  Ecgfirth, impressed, granted more land adjacent to St. Peter’s, Monkwearmouth, in 1182.  Thus St. Paul’s, Jarrow, came to exist.  The priory of St. Peter’s and St. Paul’s became a center of learning, due primarily to its library of almost 300 books–an impressive number for the time and place.  (There were no printing presses in Europe yet, although the Chinese had invented one by that time.)  That library proved invaluable to St. Bede of Jarrow, or the Venerable Bede (circa 673-735), a great historian.

St. Benedict Biscop, who did much to influence the world for the better, spent his last two years in pain and confined to his bed.  He died on January 12, 689 or 690, but his legacy has never ceased to live.  The legacies of teachers survive in their students and those whom the students influence.  To this day the writings of St. Bede remain in print, awaiting more readers.  They would not exist without the efforts of St. Benedict Biscop.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

SEPTEMBER 5, 2015 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF MOTHER TERESA OF CALCUTTA, ROMAN CATHOLIC NUN

THE FEAST OF AARON ROBARTS WOLFE, U.S. PRESBYTERIAN MINISTER AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF WILLIAM MORTON REYNOLDS, U.S. LUTHERAN MINISTER, EPISCOPAL PRIEST, EDUCATOR, AND HYMN TRANSLATOR

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

O God, you have endowed us with memory, reason, and skill.

We thank you for the faithful legacy of [St. Benedict Biscop and all others]

who have dedicated their lives to you and to the intellectual pursuits.

May we, like them, respect your gift of intelligence fully and to your glory.

In the Name of God:  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Deuteronomy 6:4-9

Psalm 103

Philippians 4:8-9

Mark 12:28-34

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

MARCH 6, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT CHRODEGANG OF METZ, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF EDMUND KING, ANGLICAN BISHOP OF LINCOLN

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++–

Advertisements

Feast of St. Aelred of Hexham (January 12)   1 comment

St. Aelred

Above:  St. Aelred

Image in the Public Domain

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

ST. AELRED OF HEXHAM (1109/1110-JANUARY 12, 1167)

Roman Catholic Abbot of Rievaulx

St. Aelred of Hexham became a major figure in the English Roman Catholic Church.  He came from a family in which men served as treasurers of the shrine of St. Cuthbert of Lindisfarne (lived circa 634-687) at Durham.  Our saint’s father was Eliaf, a priest and treasurer of the shrine.  His father, another Eliaf, was also a treasurer of the shrine.  Young St. Aelred served in the court of King St. David I of Scotland (reigned 1124-1153) for up to a decade (perhaps from ages 14 to 24 years), rising to the rank of steward.  Our saint became disillusioned with court politics, so he entered the monastery at Rievaulx at age 24, in 1133 or 1134.

The monastic life was St. Aelred’s vocation.  In 1142 and 1143 he served as the novice master at Rievaulx.  In 1143 he became the first abbot of the new daughterhouse at Revesby, Lincolnshire.  Four years later he became the abbot at Rievaulx, an office he held for the rest of his life.  St. Aelred increased the number of monks at Rievaulx (to about 600 at the time of his death) and the number of daughterhouses.  Toward the end of his life our saint suffered from arthritis and kidney stones.  He died on January 12, 1167.

St. Aelred, a spiritual writer, hagiographer, and historian, became involved in politics, such as a controversy about the appointment of the Archbishop of York, St. William of York (died in 1154), son of the treasurer to King Henry I (reigned 1100-1135).  Our saint also used some of his writings to advise King Henry II (reigned 1133-1189) on how to govern properly.  Some of St. Aelred’s sermons have survived.  His other major works were, in chronological order:

  1. The Mirror of Charity (1142), which he wrote at the request of St. Bernard of Clarivaux (1090-1153);
  2. The Life of David, King of the Scots (1153);
  3. Genealogy of the Kings of the English (1153-1154);
  4. On the Account of the Standard (1153-1154);
  5. The Life of Saint Ninian (1154-1160);
  6. On the Miracles of the Church of Hexham (1155);
  7. A Certain Wonderful Miracle (1160);
  8. Jesus at the Age of Twelve (1160-1162);
  9. The Formation of the Anchoresses (1160-1162);
  10. The Life of Saint Edward, King and Confessor (1161-1163);
  11. Pastoral Prayer (1163-1167);
  12. On the Soul (1164-1167); and
  13. Spiritual Friendship (1164-1167).

St. Aelred understood friendship as a divine gift and a human creation.  Love is a universal gift from God, he wrote, but friendship requires a human effort.  Our saint encouraged expressions of friendship among his monks.  He was correct.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

SEPTEMBER 5, 2015 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF MOTHER TERESA OF CALCUTTA, ROMAN CATHOLIC NUN

THE FEAST OF AARON ROBARTS WOLFE, U.S. PRESBYTERIAN MINISTER AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF WILLIAM MORTON REYNOLDS, U.S. LUTHERAN MINISTER, EPISCOPAL PRIEST, EDUCATOR, AND HYMN TRANSLATOR

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

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 Savior, who lives and reigns

with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

Ruth 1:15-18

Psalm 36:5-10

Philippians 2:1-4

Mark 12:28-34a

Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 167

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Feast of Samuel Preiswerk (January 12)   Leave a comment

Basel, Switzerland

Above:  The Region of Basel, Switzerland

Scanned and cropped from Hammond’s Complete World Atlas (1951)

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

SAMUEL PREISWERK (SEPTEMBER 19, 1799-JANUARY 13, 1871)

Swiss Reformed Minister and Hymn Writer

Samuel Preiswerk followed in his father’s footsteps.  Alexander Preiswerk was a Swiss Reformed minister at Rumlingen, in the Basel canton.  Samuel studied at Basel, Tubingen, and Erlangen before becoming an ordained minister.  He served as the Curate in Charge at Benken, Basel canton, before becoming the preacher at the orphanage at Basel in 1824.  Five years later he began to teach Hebrew at the Basel mission house.  Then, in 1830, Preiswerk became the pastor at Muttenz, near Basel.  Two years later, however, the outbreak of revolution forced him to leave the city.  In 1834 our saint became Professor of Old Testament Exegesis at the seminary at Geneva.  Nine years later he started to serve as the pastor of St. Leonard’s Church, Basel.  His final position was as the highest ranking dignitary at the Cathedral, or Munster, in Basel, starting in 1859.

Preiswerk wrote hymns and helped to edit the Basel Gesangbuch (1854).  Sixteen of his hymns appeared in Evangelischer Lieder Kranz (1844) and nine of them were present in Egangelisher Lieder-Schatz (1850).  Few of his hymns exist in English translation.  Among them is “Hark! the Church Proclaims Her Honor” (1844), thanks to the valiant efforts of Catherine Winkworth (1827-1878).

O hark! the Church proclaims her honor,

And her strength is only this:

God hath laid His choice upon her,

And the work she doth is His.

+++++

He His Church hath firmly founded,

He will guard what He began;

We, by sin and foes surrounded,

Build her bulwarks as we can.

+++++

Frail and fleeting are our powers,

Short our days, our foresight dim,

And we own the choice not ours,

We were chosen first by him.

+++++

Onward, then! For naught despairing,

Calm we follow at His word,

Thus through joy and sorrow bearing

Faithful witness to the Lord.

+++++

Tho’ we here must strive in weakness,

Though in tears we often bend,

What His might began in meekness

Shall achieve glorious end.

The Lutheran Hymnal (1941)

Our saint died at Basel on January 13, 1871.

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

JANUARY 17, 2015 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINT ANTONY OF EGYPT, DESERT FATHER

THE FEAST OF SAINT BERARD AND HIS COMPANIONS, ROMAN CATHOLIC MARTYRS IN MOROCCO

THE FEAST OF EDMUND HAMILTON SEARS, UNITARIAN PASTOR AND HYMN WRITER

THE FEAST OF RUTHERFORD BIRCHARD HAYES, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Dear God of beauty,

you have granted literary ability and spiritual sensitivity to

Samuel Preiswerk and others, who have composed hymn texts.

May we, as you guide us,

find worthy hymn texts to be icons,

through which we see you.

In the Name of God:  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Sirach/Ecclesiasticus 44:1-3a, 5-15

Psalm 147

Revelation 5:11-14

Luke 2:8-20

KENNETH RANDOLPH TAYLOR

APRIL 20, 2013 COMMON ERA

THE FEAST OF SAINTS AMATOR OF AUXERRE AND GERMANUS OF AUXERRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOPS; SAINT MAMERTINUS OF AUXERRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC ABBOT; AND SAINT MARCIAN OF AUXERRE, ROMAN CATHOLIC MONK

THE FEAST OF JOHANNES BUGENHAGEN, GERMAN LUTHERAN PASTOR

THE FEAST OF SAINT MARCELLINUS OF EMBRUN, ROMAN CATHOLIC BISHOP

THE FEAST OF OLAVUS AND LAURENTIUS PETRI, RENEWERS OF THE CHURCH

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Saints’ Days and Holy Days for January   Leave a comment

Snow in January

Image in the Public Domain

1 (EIGHTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS:  HOLY NAME OF JESUS)

  • World Day of Peace

2 (NINTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS: Johann Konrad Wilhelm Loehe, Bavarian Lutheran Minister and Coordinator of Domestic and Foreign Missions)

  • Narcissus, Argeus, and Marcellinus of Tomi, Roman Martyrs
  • Odilo of Cluny, Roman Catholic Abbot
  • Sabine Baring-Gould, Anglican Priest and Hymn Writer

3 (TENTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS: William Alfred Passavant, Sr., U.S. Lutheran Minister, Humanitarian, and Evangelist)

  • Edward Caswall, Roman Catholic Priest and Hymn Writer
  • Edward Perronet, British Methodist Preacher
  • Gladys Aylward, Missionary in China and Taiwan

4 (ELEVENTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS: Felix Manz, First Anabaptist Martyr)

  • Elizabeth Ann Seton, Foundress of the American Sisters of Charity
  • Gregory of Langres, Terticus of Langres, Gallus of Clermont, Gregory of Tours, Avitus I of Clermont, Magnericus of Trier, and Gaugericus, Roman Catholic Bishops
  • Johann Ludwig Freydt, German Moravian Composer and Educator

5 (TWELFTH DAY OF CHRISTMAS: John Nepomucene Neumann, Roman Catholic Bishop of Philadelphia)

  • Antonio Lotti, Roman Catholic Musician and Composer
  • Genoveva Torres Morales, Foundress of the Congregation of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Holy Angels
  • Margaret Mackay, Scottish Hymn Writer

6 (EPIPHANY OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST)

7 (François Fénelon, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Cambrai)

  • Aldric of Le Mans, Roman Catholic Bishop
  • Angelia of Foligno, Penitent and Humanitarian
  • Lucian of Antioch, Roman Catholic Martyr

8 (Thorfinn of Hamar, Roman Catholic Bishop)

  • Archangelo Corelli, Roman Catholic Musician and Composer
  • Harriet Bedell, Episcopal Deaconess and Missionary
  • Nicolaus Copernicus and Galileo Galilei, Scientists

9 (Pepin of Landen, Itta of Metz, Their Relations, Amand, Austregisilus, and Sulpicius II of Bourges, Faithful Christians Across Generational Lines)

  • Anthony Mary Pucci, Roman Catholic Priest
  • Julia Chester Emery, Upholder of Missions
  • Philip II of Moscow, Metropolitan of Moscow and All Russia, and Martyr

10 (Theodosius the Cenobiarch, Roman Catholic Monk)

  • Charles William Everest, Episcopal Priest and Hymn Writer
  • John the Good, Roman Catholic Bishop of Milan
  • William Gay Ballantine, U.S. Congregationalist Minister, Educator, Scholar, Poet, and Hymn Writer

11 (Mary Slessor, Scottish Presbyterian Missionary in West Africa)

  • George Fox, Founder of the Religious Society of Friends
  • Miep Gies, Righteous Gentile
  • Paulinus of Aquileia, Roman Catholic Patriarch

12 (Benedict Biscop, Roman Catholic Abbot of Wearmouth)

  • Aelred of Hexham, Roman Catholic Abbot of Rievaulx
  • Henry Alford, Dean of Canterbury
  • Samuel Preiswerk, Swiss Reformed Minister and Hymn Writer

13 (Hilary of Poitiers, Roman Catholic Bishop of Poitiers, “Athanasius of the West,” and Hymn Writer; mentor of Martin of Tours, Roman Catholic Bishop of Tours)

  • Christian Keimann, German Lutheran Hymn Writer
  • Kentigern (Mungo), Roman Catholic Bishop of Glasgow
  • Marguerite Bourgeoys, Foundress of the Sisters of Notre Dame

14 (Macrina the Elder, Her Family, and Gregory of Nanzianzus the Younger)

  • Christian Keimann, German Lutheran Hymn Writer
  • Civil Rights Martyrs and Activists
  • Kristen Kvamme, Norwegian-American Hymn Writer and Translator

15 (MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR., CIVIL RIGHTS LEADER AND MARTYR)

16 (Pachomius the Great, Founder of Christian Communal Monasticism)

  • Greville Phillimore, English Priest, Hymn Writer, and Hymn Translator
  • Richard Meux Benson, Anglican Priest and Cofounder of the Society of St. John the Evangelist; Charles Chapman Grafton, Episcopal Priest, Cofounder of the Society of St. John the Evangelist, and Bishop of Fond du Lac; and Charles Gore, Anglican Bishop of Worcester, Birmingham, and Oxford; Founder of the Community of the Resurrection; Theologian; and Advocate for Social Justice and World Peace
  • Roberto de Nobili, Roman Catholic Missionary in India

17 (Antony of Egypt, Roman Catholic Abbot and Father of Western Monasticism)

  • Berard and His Companions, Roman Catholic Martyrs in Morocco
  • Edmund Hamilton Sears, Unitarian Pastor and Hymn Writer
  • Rutherford Birchard Hayes, President of the United States of America

18-25 (WEEK OF PRAYER FOR CHRISTIAN UNITY)

18 (CONFESSION OF ST. PETER, APOSTLE)

19 (Sargent Shriver and Eunice Kennedy Shriver, Humanitarians)

  • Caesarius of Arles, Roman Catholic Bishop, and Caesaria of Arles, Roman Catholic Abbess
  • Henry Augustine Collins, Anglican then Roman Catholic Priest and Hymn Writer
  • Richard Rolle, English Roman Catholic Spiritual Writer

20 (Fabian, Bishop of Rome and Martyr)

  • Deicola and Gall, Roman Catholic Monks, and Othmar, Roman Catholic Abbot at St. Gallen
  • Euthymius the Great and Theoctistus, Roman Catholic Abbots
  • Harriet Auber, Anglican Hymn Writer

21 (Mirocles of Milan and Epiphanius of Pavia, Roman Catholic Bishops)

  • Alban Roe and Thomas Reynolds, Roman Catholic Priests and Martyrs
  • Gaspar del Bufalo, Founder of the Missionaries of the Precious Blood
  • John Yi Yon-on, Roman Catholic Catechist and Martyr in Korea

22 (Syncletica of Alexandria, Desert Mother)

  • Adelard of Corbie, Roman Catholic Monk
  • John Julian, Anglican Priest, Hymn Writer, and Hymnologist
  • Vincent Pallotti, Founder of the Pallotines

23 (John the Almsgiver, Roman Catholic Patriarch of Alexandria)

  • Caspar Neumann, German Lutheran Minister and Hymn Writer
  • Phillips Brooks, Episcopal Bishop of Massachusetts
  • Thomas A. Dooley, Physician and Humanitarian

24 (Ordination of Florence Li-Tim-Oi, First Female Priest in the Anglican Communion)

  • Angela Merici, Founder of the Company of St. Ursula
  • Martyrs of Podlasie, 1874
  • Suranus of Sora, Roman Catholic Abbot and Martyr

25 (CONVERSION OF ST. PAUL, APOSTLE)

26 (TIMOTHY, TITUS, AND SILAS, COWORKERS OF THE APOSTLE PAUL)

27 (Allen William Chatfield, Anglican Priest, Hymn Writer, and Translator)

  • Jerome, Paula of Rome, Eustochium, Blaesilla, Marcella, and Lea of Rome
  • John Cosin, Anglican Bishop of Cosin
  • William Jones, Anglican Priest and Musician

28 (Albert the Great and his pupil, Thomas Aquinas, Roman Catholic Theologians)

  • Charles Kingsley, Anglican Priest, Novelist, and Hymn Writer
  • Joseph Barnby, Anglican Church Musician and Composer
  • Richard Frederick Littledale, Anglican Priest and Translator of Hymns

29 (LYDIA, DORCAS, AND PHOEBE, COWORKERS OF THE APOSTLE PAUL)

30 (Lesslie Newbigin, Missionary and Theologian)

  • Bathildas, Queen of France
  • Frederick Oakeley, Anglican then Roman Catholic Priest
  • Genesius I of Clermont and Praejectus of Clermont, Roman Catholic Bishops, and Amarin, Roman Catholic Abbot

31 (Charles Frederick Mackenzie, Anglican Bishop of Central Africa)

  • Henry Twells, Anglican Priest and Hymn Writer
  • Mary Lundie Duncan, Scottish Presbyterian Hymn Writer
  • Menno Simons, Mennonite Leader


Lowercase boldface on a date with two or more commemorations indicates a primary feast.

First Sunday after the Epiphany: The Baptism of Our Lord, Year A   Leave a comment

Above:  Bathabra, Israel:  Traditional Site of the Baptism of Jesus

Image Source = Producer

Jesus:  God Incarnate, Identifying with Us

JANUARY 12, 2020

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Isaiah 42:1-9 (New Revised Standard Version):

Here is my servant, whom I uphold,

my chosen, in whom my soul delights;

I have put my spirit upon him;

he will bring forth justice to the nations.

He will not cry or lift up his voice,

or make it heard in the street;

a bruised reed he will not break,

and a dimly burning wick he will not quench;

he will faithfully bring forth justice.

He will not grow faint or be crushed

until he has established justice in the earth;

and the coastlands wait for his teaching.

Thus says God, the LORD,

who created the heavens and stretched them out,

who spread out the earth and what comes from it,

who gives breath to the people upon it

and spirit to those who walk in it.

I am the LORD, I have called you in righteousness,

I have taken you by the hand and kept you;

I have given you as a covenant to the people,

a light to the nations,

to open the eyes that are blind,

to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon,

from the prison those who sit in darkness.

I am the LORD, that is my name;

my glory I give to no other,

nor my praise to idols.

See, the former things have come to pass,

and new things I now declare;

before they spring forth,

I tell you of them.

Psalm 29 (New Revised Standard Version):

Ascribe to the LORD, O heavenly beings,

ascribe to the LORD glory and strength.

Ascribe to the LORD the glory of his name;

worship the LORD in holy splendor.

The voice of the LORD is over the waters;

the God of glory thunders,

the LORD, over mighty waters.

The voice of the LORD is powerful;

the voice of the LORD is full of majesty.

The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars;

the LORD breaks the cedars of Lebanon.

He makes Lebanon skip like a calf,

and Sirion like a young wild ox.

The voice of the LORD flashes both flames of fire.

The voice of the LORD shakes the wilderness;

the LORD shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.

The voice of the LORD causes the oaks to whirl,

and strips the forest bare;

and in his temple all say,

Glory!

The LORD sits enthroned over the flood;

the LORD sits enthroned as king forever.

May the LORD give strength to his people!

May the LORD bless his people with peace!

Acts 10:34-43 (New Revised Standard Version):

Then Peter began to speak to them:

I truly understand that God shows no partiality, but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. You know the message he sent to the people of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ–he is Lord of all. That message spread throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John announced: how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power; how he went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. We are witnesses to all that he did both in Judea and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree; but God raised him on the third day and allowed him to appear, not to all the people but to us who were chosen by God as witnesses, and who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one ordained by God as judge of the living and the dead. All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.

Matthew 3:13-17 (New Revised Standard Version):

Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan, to be baptized by him. John would have prevented him, saying,

I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?

But Jesus answered him,

Let it be so now; for it is proper for us in this way to fulfill all righteousness.

Then he consented. And when Jesus had been baptized, just as he came up from the water, suddenly the heavens were opened to him and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said,

This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.

The Collect:

Father in heaven, who at the baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan proclaimed him your beloved Son and anointed him with the Holy Spirit: Grant that all who are baptized into his Name may keep the covenant they have made, and boldly confess him as Lord and Savior; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Christian theology holds that Jesus was sinless.  (I accept this proposition as an article of faith.)  Considering that the baptism John the Baptist offered was an outward sign of repentance, and that sinless Jesus had no reason to repent, why did he insist on baptism?

Jesus identified with mere mortals.

The Incarnation signaled this, and Jesus’ baptism continued the theme.  Jesus, who had no sin, came to take all sin onto himself–to become sin near the end of the narrative of his earthly life.  But first he had identify with us in repentance.  There is a certain parallelism at work here.  And sinlessness did not lead to aloofness from sinful human beings.

This is the person we Christians understand to be the Son of God, our Lord and Savior.  He is worthy, indeed.

KRT

http://lenteaster.wordpress.com/2011/07/24/first-sunday-in-lent-year-b/

Feast of Henry Alford (January 12)   1 comment

Above:  Henry Alford

Image in the Public Domain

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

HENRY ALFORD (OCTOBER 7, 1810-JANUARY 12, 1871)

Dean of Canterbury

Henry Alford, born on October 7, 1810, came from a family that had produced clergymen for the Church of England for five consecutive generations.  He continued the legacy as a priest (in London and elsewhere) and as Dean of Canterbury (1857-1871).  He was also a poet, a hymn writer, and Cambridge lecturer.

As a poet Alford edited the works of John Donne, published volumes of his own poetry, and translated Homer’s Odyssey.  His four-volume commentary on the New Testament (1851-1861) depended mostly on the analysis on literary forms and the meanings of Greek texts, not on theology.  (Literary analysis is an essential component of Biblical studies.)

Alford’s epitaph (in Latin) reads, Diversorium Viatoris Hierosolymam Proficiscentis (“the inn of a traveler on his way to Jerusalem”).

Alford’s hymns might be more familiar to churchgoers than his name.  They include “Forward! be our watchword,” “Ten thousand times ten thousand,” and “Come, ye thankful people, come.”

The words to “Come, ye thankful people, come”:

Come, ye thankful people, come, raise the song of harvest home;
All is safely gathered in, ere the winter storms begin.
God our Maker doth provide for our wants to be supplied;
Come to God’s own temple, come, raise the song of harvest home.

All the world is God’s own field, fruit unto His praise to yield;
Wheat and tares together sown unto joy or sorrow grown.
First the blade and then the ear, then the full corn shall appear;
Lord of harvest, grant that we wholesome grain and pure may be.

For the Lord our God shall come, and shall take His harvest home;
From His field shall in that day all offenses purge away,
Giving angels charge at last in the fire the tares to cast;
But the fruitful ears to store in His garner evermore.

Even so, Lord, quickly come, bring Thy final harvest home;
Gather Thou Thy people in, free from sorrow, free from sin,
There, forever purified, in Thy garner to abide;
Come, with all Thine angels come, raise the glorious harvest home.

KRT

++++++++++

A Prayer by Henry Alford, from The Communion of Saints: Prayers of the Famous, edited by Horton Davies:

O Lord, give us more charity, more self-denial, more likeness to you.  Teach us to sacrifice our comforts to others, and our likings for the sake of doing good.  Make us kindly in thought, gentle in word, gracious in deed.  Teach us that is better to give than to receive; better to forget ourselves than put ourselves forward; better to minister than be ministered to.  And to you, the God of love, be glory and praise forever.  Amen.

++++++++++

Heavenly Father, shepherd of your people, we thank you for your servant Henry Alford, who was faithful in the care and nurture of your flock.  We pray that, following his example and the teaching of his holy life, we may by your grace attain our full maturity in Christ, through the same Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.   Amen.

Ezekiel 34:11-16 or Acts 20:17-35

Psalm 84

1 Peter 5:1-4 or Ephesians 3:14-21

John 21:15-17 or Matthew 24:42-47

–Adapted from Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006)

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

http://gatheredprayers.wordpress.com/2013/04/07/we-walk-by-faith-and-not-by-sight/

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Revised on November 15, 2016

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++