Archive for the ‘October 10’ Category

Feast of Edward White Benson (October 10)   6 comments

Edward White Benson

Above:  Edward White Benson

Image in the Public Domain



Archbishop of Canterbury

Edward White Benson was a leading figure in The Church of England in the late 1800s.

Benson was a native of Birmingham, England, where he entered the world on July 14, 1829.  His mother was Harriet Baker Benson (1805-1850).  Our saint’s father, Edward White Benson, Sr. (1802-1843), was a manufacturing chemist.  His death impoverished the family.  Benson studied at King Edward’s School, Birmingham.  James Prince Lee (1804-1869), the headmaster, influenced the young saint greatly.  Benson revered Lee, who went on to become the Bishop of Manchester in 1847  Our saint even preached at Lee’s funeral.  At King Edward’s School Benson forged lifelong friendships with other future leading lights of The Church of England and continued to be their classmate at Trinity College, Cambridge.  These friends were:

  1. Joseph Barber Lightfoot (1828-1889), later the Bishop of Durham (1879-1889);
  2. Brooke Foss Westcott (1825-1901), who succeeded Lightfoot immediately as the Bishop of Durham; and
  3. Fenton John Anthony Hort (1828-1892), who, like Lightfoot and Westcott, was a Biblical scholar and translator.

Benson, who graduated from Trinity College in 1852, won the Chancellor’s medal there that year and became a fellow of that institution in 1853.

Benson became a priest and an educator.  From 1852 to 1858 he served as the Assistant Headmaster of Rugby School, succeeding George Edward Lynch Cotton (1813-1866), later the Bishop of Calcutta and Metropolitan of India.  Frederick Temple (1821-1902) became the Headmaster of Rugby School in 1858.  On June 23, 1859 he conducted the marriage ceremony of our saint and Mary Sidgwick (1841-1918).  Also in 1859 Benson, on the recommendation of Temple, became the first headmaster of Wellington College, an institution for the orphans of army officers.

The Bensons had six children:

  1. Martin White Benson (1860-1878), who died of tubercular meningitis at the age of 17 years;
  2. Arthur Christopher Benson (1862-1925), who became a school master, a prolific writer, the biographer of his brother Robert Hugh Benson as well as his father, and who wrote the lyrics of “Land of Hope and Glory;”
  3. Mary Eleanor Benson (1863-1890), who became an activist for poor people and died of diphtheria, contracted while engaging in that work;
  4. Margaret Benson (1865-1916), an Egyptologist and author;
  5. Edward Frederic Benson (1867-1940), a prolific novelist; and
  6. Robert Hugh Benson (1871-1914), an Anglican priest (1895-1903), convert to Roman Catholicism (1903), Roman Catholic priest (1904-1914), and papal chamberlain (1911f).

None of the Bensons’ children married and all seem to have suffered from congenital mental illness.   Our saint was subject to fits of depression, and not just because he buried two of his children.  (Aside:  One might wonder how much better their lives would have been if certain medications would have been available to them.)

Benson built up Wellington College.  It began as a poorly endowed institution, but he transformed it into a great school by the time he left for Lincoln.  Our saint, while leader of Wellington College, began his study of the life of St. Cyprian of Carthage (died in 258).  Benson’s interest in patristics and ecclesiastical symbolism was obvious in the architecture, mosaics, carvings, and windows of the college chapel, the construction of which he oversaw.

Benson served in other capacities prior to becoming the Archbishop of Canterbury.  As the Chancellor of Lincoln (Cathedral) from 1873 to 1877 he founded a theological college and established night schools and university extension lectures.  As the first Bishop of Truro our saint revitalized Anglicanism in Cornwall, an area in which religious nonconformity was strong  He also founded the cathedral, the construction of which continued after he died.

Archibald Campbell Tait (1811-1882), former Headmaster of Rugby School (1842-1848) and Archbishop of Canterbury (1868-1882), died, creating the vacancy Benson filled in 1883. As the leader of The Church of England our saint opposed attempts to disestablish the Welsh Church, supported high church ritualism at a time when that was controversial, opened talks with the Russian Orthodox Church, and re-established the Anglican bishopric in Jerusalem.  Benson also resolved the schism in the Natal resulting from the heterodoxy of John William Colenso (1814-1883), the deposed and excommunicated Bishop of Natal (1853-1883), who, due to legal maneuverings, retained his title despite his deposition and excommunication.  The official bishop in the area from 1869 to 1892 was William Macrorie (1831-1905), the Bishop of Maritzburg.  Arthur Hamilton Baynes (1854-1942) succeeded Macrorie in 1892 and Colenso the following year, serving until 1901.  (Aside:  “The Church’s One Foundation” contains references to the Colenso Affair.  Consider, O reader, “By schisms rent asunder,/By heresies distressed.”)  Benson was also properly suspicious of the Roman Catholic investigation into the validity of Anglican holy orders relative to Apostolic Succession, for Holy Mother Church ruled Anglican holy orders invalid in 1896.

Benson’s published works included the following:

  1. Work, Friendship, Worship:  Three Sermons Preached Before The University of Cambridge, October, 1871 (1872);
  2. Phoebe the Servant of the Church:  A Sermon, Preached at St. Peter’s Church, South Kensington, on May 11, 1873, in the Aid of the Parochial Mission-Women Fund (1873);
  3. Scholae Cancellarii:  Training of Candidates for Holy Orders at Lincoln:  A Letter to the Right Reverend the Lord Bishop of the Diocese (1875);
  4. Singleheart (1877);
  5. The Cathedral:  Its Necessary Place in the Life and Work of the Church (1878);
  6. The Voice and Its Homes:  A Sermon Preached in Behalf of the Incorporated Church Building Society, in S. Paul’s Cathedral, London, on May 20, 1881:  Being the First Anniversary of the Foundation of Truro Cathedral (1881);
  7. The Primate and Church Defense (1883);
  8. Boy-Life, Its Trial, Its Strength, Its Fulness:  Sundays in Wellington College, 1859-1873:  Three Books–New Edition (1883);
  9. Report of a Speech Delivered at the 183rd Annual Public Meeting of the Society:  Held in St. James’s Hall, on Tuesday, June 17, 1884 (1884);
  10. The Seven Gifts (1885);
  11. The Liquor Traffic with Native Races:  A Letter from the Archbishops (1887);
  12. An Address Given at Croyden:  At a Meeting of the Canterbury Diocesan Church Reading Society, on Monday, Nov. 28th, 1887 (1887);
  13. Christ and His Times:  Addressed to the Diocese of Canterbury on His Second Visitation (1890);
  14. Technical Education and Its Influence on Society:  An Address (1892);
  15. The Church in Wales:  Shall We Forsake Her?  A Speech by His Grace the Lord Archbishop of Canterbury at the Church Congress, Rhyl, on Tuesday, October 6, 1891 (1892);
  16. Fishers of Men:  Addressed to the Diocese of Canterbury in His Third Visitation (1893); and
  17. Living Theology (1893).

Benson died at Hawarden, Wales, on Sunday, October 11, 1896.  He, a house guest of former Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone (1809-1898) at Hawarden Castle, had returned from an exhausting tour of Ireland.  Our saint suffered a stroke while attending a morning service at the local parish church.  He was 67 years old.  Frederick Temple succeeded him as the Archbishop of Canterbury.

Benson left some unpublished writings, which others made available to the public via printing presses.  These works included the following;

  1. Archbishop Benson in Ireland:  A Record of the Irish Sermons and Addresses (1896);
  2. Cyprian:  His Life, His Times, His Work (1897);
  3. The Apocalypse:  An Introductory Study of the Revelation of St. John the Divine, Being a Presentment of the Structure of the Book and of the Fundamental Principles of Its Interpretation (1900); and
  4. On Convocation:  A Letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury; and a Speech in the Upper House of the Convocation of the Southern Province (1917).

Arthur Christopher Benson wrote his father’s biography, The Life of Edward White Benson, Sometime Archbishop of Canterbury (1899)–Volumes I and II.

Edward White Benson worked to glorify God and benefit his fellow human beings.  He pursued these goals in particular ways, at a particular era, and in a particular setting.  The details of his spiritual vocation were specific to him.  Nevertheless, the general calling to glorify God and to benefit others remains unbounded by identity, geography, and time.








O God, our heavenly Father, who raised up your faithful servant Edward White Benson

to be a faithful bishop and pastor in your Church and to feed your flock:

Give abundantly to all pastors the gifts of your Holy Spirit,  that they may minister

in your household as true servants of Christ and stewards of your divine mysteries;

through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you

and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

Acts 20:17-35

Psalm 84 or 84:7-11

Ephesians 3:14-21

Matthew 24:42-47

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 719


Feast of Christian Ludwig Brau (October 10)   Leave a comment

Moravian Logo

Above:  The Logo of the Moravian Church

Scan by Kenneth Randolph Taylor



Norwegian Moravian Teacher and Poet

Christian Ludwig Brau lived for thirty years, during which he served and glorified God.  The native of Drammen, Norway, attended Moravian Church schools in Germany and The Netherlands.  His ambition was to become a missionary to slaves in the West Indies, but bad health prevented that.  Brau became a teacher in Moravian Church schools instead.  The schools in which he taught included those in Gnadau, Saxony, and Zeist, The Netherlands.  Health forced our saint to give up teaching in 1776.  He retired to Barby, Saxony, to recuperate.  There Brau died on February 17, 1777.

Brau left at least two legacies.  The first was the one which teachers live in the lives of their students.  That legacy echoes, often without acknowledgment, for generations.  The other legacy was liturgical.  He composed texts for church anthems.  Two of those have entered the English-speaking part of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church in translation as “Night of Holy, Highest Worth” and “Unto Jesus’ Cross.”

Brau might have been, health permitting, an effective missionary.  We will never know, for that scenario resides in the realm of the counterfactual.  We do know, however, that he spent his time on the Earth for the glory of God via the Church while staying closer to home.





O God, by your Holy Spirit you give to some the word of wisdom,

to others the word of knowledge,

and to others the word of faith:

We praise your Name for the gifts of grace manifested

in your servant Christian Ludwig Brau,

and we pray that the Church may never be destitute of such gifts;

through Jesus Christ our Lord, who with you and the Holy Spirit

lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

Wisdom of Solomon 7:7-14

Psalm 119:97-104

1 Corinthians 2:6-10, 13-16

John 17:18-23

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 720


This is post #1400 of SUNDRY THOUGHTS.


Feast of Johann Nitschmann, Sr., David Nitschmann, Jr., the Syndic; and David Nitschmann, the Martyr (October 10)   1 comment

Nitschmann-Van Vleck

Chart and Scan by Kenneth Randolph Taylor





Moravian Missionary and Bishop



Moravian Bishop and Missionary



Moravian Missionary and Martyr


The process of researching the Nitschmanns led me through a number of contradictory sources.  I paid close attention to minor details to determine relationships.  There were, for example, four David Nitschmanns (two of whom became bishops) and two Johann (or John) Nitschmanns (both of whom became bishops).  I am not surprised, therefore, that some writers whose work I consulted confused one Johann (or John) Nitschmann with another.  They were contemporaries (one born in 1703 and the other in 1712), after all.  Also, I am aware that, in the age of the Internet, I can gain easy access to more information easily from home than was possible with more effort not long ago.  Even with that ease of access to information I became confused along the way, until I checked details (such as birthplaces and geographical locations of certain people in specific years) again and again.  I admit the possibility that I have made some mistakes or at least arrived at some inaccurate determinations (given the material available to me as well as human imperfection), but I have tried to be as accurate as possible.


I was able to draw a family tree for the saints I covered in the previous post.  In this post I cover three other Nitschmanns who were also foundational figures in the Renewed Moravian Church.  At least one of them was a distant cousin of the first five Nitschmanns of whom I wrote.  As for the other two Nitschmanns in this post, I do not know, for my searches yielded no such information.

Some of my sources confused the two Johann (or John) Nitschmanns, who were contemporaries and bishops about nine years apart in age.  I have, however, to the best of my knowledge, been able to distinguish one from the other based on details, such as geographical locations in specific years and birthplaces of children.  The previous post contains a summary of the life of Johann Nitschmann, Jr. (1712-1783).  Now Johann Nitschmann, Sr. (1703-1772), gets his turn.

Johann Nitschmann, Sr., was a prominent figure in the early life of the Renewed Moravian Church.  He came from a family of the Bohemian Brethren/Ancient Unity and emigrated to Herrnhut in 1725.  He became a trusted aide to Count Nicholas Ludwig von Zinzendorf (1700-1760), accompanying the Count on a “witness journey” through Switzerland and southern Germany in 1731.  Nitschmann traveled as far as Freiberg, Saxony.  Three years later Nitschmann married Juliana Haberland (1712-1751), one of the original members of thee Single Sisters’ Choir at Herrnhut.  Anna Nitschmann (1713-1760) and Anna Schindler (later Dober) (1713-1739) had founded the Choir in 1730, and the former led it.  (A choir was a communal group.)  Johann and Juliana had a son, Immanuel (1736), who married into the Van Vleck family, which became prominent in the Moravian Church, supplying ministers, bishops, musicians, and composers.  Count Zinzendorf trusted Johann Nitschmann, Sr., so much that he assigned him to supervise young Christian Renatus von Zinzendorf, a student a Jena.  Nitschmann’s other duties involved evangelism in Jena.

David Nitschmann (1696-1772) was a pioneer at Herrnhut.  In fact, three young David Nitschmanns were pioneers at Herrnhut.  A second David Nitschmann who arrived at Herrnhut 1724 was traveling through Austria in 1729 when authorities arrested him.  He died in prison on Good Friday, April 15, 1729.  Moravian Church records refer to him as David Nitschmann, the Martyr.  A third David Nitschmann, who also settled at Herrnhut in 1724, was David Nitschmann, Jr., the Syndic (1703-1779).  The native of Zauchtenthal , Moravia, was a weaver by trade and a distant cousin of the five Nitschmanns of whom I wrote in the previous post.  David, Jr., was “the Syndic” because his duties included conducting negotiations on behalf of the Renewed Moravian Church.  His first wife, Anna Helena Anders, died in 1734.  Eventually he married a second time, to Rosina Fischer.  The Syndic served as one half of a missionary team to Ceylon from 1739 to 1741.  The other half of that team was a physician, one Dr. Eller.  The two had to return to Herrnhut in 1741 because certain Dutch Reformed clergymen, hostile to the Moravian missionaries, interfered with the mission station.

1741 was an eventful year for the Renewed Moravian Church.  Polycarp Muller and Johann Nitschmann, Sr., became the third and fourth bishops, respectively.  (The David Nitschmann who lived from 1696 to 1772 had become the first bishop of the Renewed Moravian Church in 1735.  Count Zinzendorf had become the second bishop two years later.)  In September 1741 Chief Elder Johann Leonhard Dober (1706-1766) resigned.  The job of leading the Renewed Moravian Church was too much for one person, he said.  There were also concerns that the Chief Eldership might turn into a Moravian Papacy.  The decision of the Synod of 1741 was that Jesus Christ would serve as the Chief Elder and that a three-member committee, the General Conference, would make decisions for the Church.  Two of the original members were the newest bishops.  The third original member was Friedrich von Watteville, who became the fifth bishop in 1743.

The Syndic, a bishop since 1746, served God via the Moravian Church until the end.  The Synod of 1764 reorganized church government, creating three committees:

  1. the Directory, which provided general oversight;
  2. the Board of Syndics, which handled diplomacy and constitutional affairs; and
  3. the Board of Wardens, which handled finances.

The Syndic served, not surprisingly, on the Board of Syndics.  He also traveled widely on official business.  The Syndic died at Zeist, The Netherlands, on March 28, 1779.

Johann Nitschmann, Sr., also continued to serve, sometimes more effectively than others.  From 1749 to 1751 he was the presiding bishop in America.  At that time Nitschmann was, unfortunately, stubborn and strict in his interpretation of his orders from the Directory.  The economy at Bethlehem and Nazareth, Pennsylvania, suffered as a result.  Before he left America Juliana died on February 22, 1751.  The widower bishop returned to Herrnhut, where he became the pastor.  He died at Zeist, The Netherlands, on May 6, 1772.

These saints served God the best way they knew, devoting their lives to the Almighty.  One died because of that dedication.  They were, for all their human flaws, devout and excellent servants of God.

Here ends the second installment of this series of posts.





Almighty God, you have surrounded us with a great cloud of witnesses:

Grant that we, encouraged by the good examples of your servants

Johann Nitschmann, Sr.; David Nitschmann, Jr., the Syndic; and David Nitschmann, the Martyr;

may persevere in running the race that is set before us,

until at last we may with them attain to your eternal joy;

through Jesus Christ, the pioneer and perfecter of our faith,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

Micah 6:6-8

Psalm 15

Hebrews 12:1-2

Matthew 25:31-40

–Adapted from Holy Women, Holy Men:  Celebrating the Saints (2010), page 724


Feast of Louis FitzGerald Benson (October 10)   5 comments


Above:  Interior, Rear of the Church with the Organ Loft from the Altar, First Presbyterian Church, Binghamton, New York

Image Source = Library of Congress

Reproduction Number = HABS NY,4-BING,18–9



U.S. Presbyterian Minister and Liturgist


Louis FitzGerald Benson was the son of a Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, businessman and elder at the Tenth Presbyterian Church.  Our saint earned his Juris Doctor degree from the University of Pennsylvania then practiced law. After a few years, however, he perceived and followed a different vocation.  So he enrolled at Princeton Theological Seminary.  Benson, ordained the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. (1869-1958) in 1888, pastored one congregation, the Church of the Redeemer, Germantown, Pennsylvania, for six years.  Then he embarked upon his true calling.

Benson became an Editor at the Presbyterian Board of Publication and Sabbath-School Work in 1894.  He wrote and translated hymns, edited hymnals, and wrote about hymnody, becoming the foremost hymnodist in the United States during this lifetime and perhaps remaining unsurpassed after this death.  He produced the following volumes:

Our saint, a scholar of hymnody, had a 9,000-volume library.

Our saint shared the first draft of the following hymn, written on November 21, 1924, with his good friend, Henry Sloane Coffin.  Coffin provided praise and constructive criticism, which influenced the final draft.

For the bread, which Thou has broken;

For the wine, which Thou hast poured;

For the words, which Thou hast spoken;

Now we give Thee thanks, O Lord.


By this pledge that Thou dost love us,

By Thy gift of peace restored,

By Thy call to heaven above us,

Hallow all our lives, O Lord.


With our sainted ones in glory

Seated at our Father’s board,

May the Church that waiteth for Thee

Keep love’s tie unbroken, Lord.


In Thy service, Lord, defend us;

In our hearts keep watch and ward;

In the world where Thou dost send us

Let Thy Kingdom come, O Lord.

As I researched our saint I found the following description of him at the Tenth Presbyterian website:

…the foremost hymnodist that America has produced.

I detect irony, for Benson was to the left of that congregation’s current theological position.  He associated with the likes of Henry Sloane Coffin and Henry Van Dyke, liberals in their denomination.  In 1981 Tenth Presbyterian Church affiliated with the Presbyterian Church in America (1973-), which is far to the right of Coffin, Van Dyke, and Benson.

Benson died at Philadelphia, his hometown, in 1930.  On November 2 that year Dr. Henry Van Dyke, speaking at a memorial service for our saint, advised churches to cultivate the following, which were Benson’s ideals for hymns:  cheerfulness, beauty, reverence, and spirituality.  Van Dyke said that

When singing in all our churches has these marks, the joy of worship will revive and the churches will fill up.

–Quoted in Robert Guy McCutchan, Our Hymnody:  A Manual of The Methodist Hymnal, 2d. Ed. (Nashville, TN:  Abingdon Press, 1937, page 437)

Indeed, beauty and reverence in hymnody, combined with great substance thereof, is proper.





Holy God, whose majesty surpasses all human definitions and capacity to grasp,

thank you for those (especially Louis FitzGerald Benson)

who have nurtured and encouraged the reverent worship of you.

May their work inspire us to worship you in knowledge, truth, and beauty.

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

1 Chronicles 25:1-8

Psalm 145

Revelation 15:1-4

John 4:19-26






For Further Reference:


A Related Post:


Proper 23, Year B   Leave a comment

Above:  Front of the 1934 U.S. $100,000 Bill  (Worth $1,630,000 in 2010 Currency)

Images of U.S. banknotes are in the public domain.

God, Injustice, Wealth, and Misplaced Attachments

The Sunday Closest to October 12

Twentieth Sunday After Pentecost

OCTOBER 10, 2021



Job 23:1-9, 16-17 (New Revised Standard Version):

Then Job answered:

Today my complaint is bitter;

his hand is heavy despite my groaning.

Oh, that I knew where I might find him,

that I might come even to his dwelling!

I would lay my case before him,

and fill my mouth with arguments.

I would learn what he would answer me,

and understand what he would say to me.

Would he contend with me in the greatness of his power?

No, but he would give heed to me.

There an upright person could reason with him,

and I should be acquitted forever by my judge.

God has made my heart faint;

the Almighty has terrified me;

If only I could vanish in darkness,

and thick darkness would cover my face!

Psalm 22:1-15 (1979 Book of Common Prayer):

1  My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

and are so far from my cry

and from the words of my distress?

2  O my God, I cry in the daytime, but you do not answer;

by night as well, but I find no rest.

3  Yet you are the Holy One,

enthroned upon the praises of Israel.

4  Our forefathers put their trust in you;

they trusted, and you delivered them.

5  They cried out to you and were delivered;

they trusted in you and were not put to shame.

6  But as for me, I am a a worm and no man,

scorned by all and despised by the people.

7  All who see me laugh me to scorn;

they curl their lips and wag their heads, saying,

8  ”He trusted in the LORD; let him deliver him;

let him rescue him, if he delights in him.”

9  Yet you are he who took me out of the womb,

and kept me safe upon my mother’s breast.

10  I have been entrusted to you ever since I was born;

you were my God when I was still in my mother’s womb.

11  Be not far from me, for trouble is near,

and there is none to help.

12  Many young bulls encircle me;

strong bulls of Bashan surround me.

13  They open wide their jaws at me,

like a ravening and roaring lion.

14  I am poured out like water;

all my bones are out of joint;

my heart within my breast is melting wax.

15  My mouth is dried out like a pot-sherd;

my tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth;

and you have laid me in the dust of the grave.


Amos 5:6-7, 10-15 (New Revised Standard Version):

Seek the LORD and live,

or he will break out against the house of Joseph like fire,

and it will devour Bethel, with no one to quench it.

Ah, that you will turn justice to wormwood,

and bring righteousness to the ground!

They hate the one who reproves in the gate,

and they abhor the one who speaks the truth.

Therefore because you trample on the poor

and take from them levies of grain,

you have built houses of hewn stone,

but you shall not live in them;

you have planted pleasant vineyards,

but you shall not drink their wine.

For I know how many are your transgressions,

and how great are your sins–

you who afflict the righteous, who takes a bribe,

and push aside the needy in the gate.

Therefore the prudent will keep silent in such a time;

for it is an easy time.

Seek good and not evil,

that you may live;

and so the LORD, the God of hosts, will be with you,

just as you have said.

Hate evil and love good,

and establish justice in the gate;

it may be that the LORD, the God of hosts,

will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph.

Psalm 90:12-17 (1979 Book of Common Prayer):

12 So teach us to number our days

that we may apply our hearts to wisdom.

13 Return, O LORD; how long will you tarry?

be gracious to your servants.

14 Satisfy us by your loving-kindness in the morning;

so shall we rejoice and be glad all the days of our life.

15 Make us glad by the measure of the days that you afflicted us

and the years in which we suffered adversity.

16 Show your servants your works

and your splendor to their children.

17 May the graciousness of the LORD our God be upon us;

prosper the work of our hands;

prosper our handiwork.


Hebrews 4:12-16 (Revised Standard Version–Second Catholic Edition):

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and spirit, of joints and marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.  And before him no creature is hidden, but all are open and laid bare to the yes of him with whom have to do.

Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.  For we have not a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sinning.  Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.


Mark 10:17-31 (Revised English Bible):

As he was starting out on a journey, a stranger ran up, and, kneeling before him, asked,

Good Teacher, what must I do to win eternal life?

Jesus said to him,

Why do you call me good?  No one is good except God alone.  You know the commandments:  ‘Do not murder; do not commit adultery; do not steal; do not give false evidence; do not defraud; honour your father and your mother.’

He replied,

But Teacher, I have kept all these since I was a boy.

As Jesus looked at him, his heart warmed to him.

One thing you lack,

he said.

Go, sell everything you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; then come and follow me.

At these words his face fell and he went away with a heavy heart; for he was a man of great wealth.

Jesus looked round at his disciples and said to them,

How hard it is for the wealthy to enter the kingdom of God!

They were amazed that he should say this, but Jesus insisted.

Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God!  It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.

They were more astonished than ever, and said to one another,

Then who can be saved?

Jesus looked at them and said,

For men it is impossible, but not for God; everything is possible for God.

Peter said,

What about us?  We have left everything to follow you.

Jesus said,

Truly I tell you:  there is no one who has given up home, brothers or sisters, mother, father, or children, or land, for my sake and for the gospel, who will not receive in this age a hundred times as much–houses, brothers and sisters, mothers and children, and land–and persecutions besides; and in the age to come eternal life.  But many who are first will be last, and the last first.

The Collect:

Lord, we pray that your grace may always precede and follow us, that we may continually be given to good works; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.


Some Related Posts:

Proper 23, Year A:

Proper 23, Year B:

Amos 5:

Hebrews 4:

Mark 10:

Matthew 19 (Parallel to Mark 10):

A Prayer for Proper Priorities:

A Prayer for Humankind:

For the Right Use of Possessions:


Job sought God and, in Chapter 23, did not find him.  In the next chapter he complained about rampant injustice, a subject which also vexed the prophet Amos.  The rich man in Mark 10 also sought God, yet his attachment to his wealth got in the way.

Do not rely on your money and say, “This makes me sufficient.”

Do not yield to every impulse you can gratify

or follow the desires of your heart.

Do not say, “I have no master”;

the Lord, you may be sure, will call you to account.

–Sirach (Ecclesiasticus) 5:1-3, Revised English Bible

Both economic injustice and idolization of wealth are sins which go hand-in-hand.  Indeed, the idolization of wealth and one’s corresponding social status can lead to more economic injustice by way of Social Darwinism, which is an unfortunate and misleading label, for Darwin wrote about animal species, not human socio-economic status.  It is easier to cling to wealth in lieu of God when one has much money than when one is quite poor, but both the rich and the poor can cling to a great variety of false security blankets.

We–regardless of status–need to have just one security blanket.

As the author of Hebrews reminds us, we can

approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.–4:16, New Revised Standard Version


Our worthiness is in Christ, who died by an unjust act and was therefore acquainted with human inhumanity.  So, where is God in the midst of injustice?  God is in the midst of if with us, suffering with us.  God, who identifies and suffers with us, is our legitimate security blanket.



Posted November 2, 2011 by neatnik2009 in October 10, Revised Common Lectionary Year B

Tagged with

Saints’ Days and Holy Days for October   1 comment


Image Source = Alvesgaspar

1 (Anthony Ashley Cooper, Lord Shaftesbury, British Humanitarian and Social Reformer)

  • Marie-Joseph Aubert, Foundress of the Daughters of Our Lady of Compassion
  • Romanus the Melodist, Deacon and Hymnodist
  • Thérèse of Lisieux, Roman Catholic Nun and Mystic

2 (Ralph W. Sockman, U.S. United Methodist Minister)

  • Carl Doving, Norwegian-American Lutheran Minister and Hymn Translator
  • James Allen, English Inghamite then Glasite/Sandemanian Hymn Writer; and his great-nephew, Oswald Allen, English Glasite/Sandemanian Hymn Writer
  • Petrus Herbert, German Moravian Bishop and Hymnodist

3 (George Kennedy Allen Bell, Anglican Bishop of Chichester)

  • Alberto Ramento, Prime Bishop of the Philippine Independent Church
  • Gerard of Brogne, Roman Catholic Abbot
  • John Raleigh Mott, U.S. Methodist Lay Evangelist, and Ecumenical Pioneer

4 (Francis of Assisi, Founder of the Order of Friars Minor)

  • William Scarlett, Episcopal Bishop of Missouri, and Advocate for Social Justice

5 (David Nitschmann, Sr., “Father Nitschmann,” Moravian Missionary; Melchior Nitschmann, Moravian Missionary and Martyr; Johann Nitschmann, Jr., Moravian Missionary and Bishop; Anna Nitschman, Moravian Eldress; and David Nitschmann, Missionary and First Bishop of the Renewed Moravian Church)

  • Cyriacus Schneegass, German Lutheran Minister, Musician, and Hymn Writer
  • Francis Xavier Seelos, German-American Roman Catholic Priest
  • Harry Emerson Fosdick, U. S. Northern Baptist Minister and Opponent of Fundamentalism

6 (George Edward Lynch Cotton, Anglican Bishop of Calcutta)

  • Heinrich Albert, German Lutheran Composer and Poet
  • John Ernest Bode, Anglican Priest, Poet, and Hymn Writer
  • William Tyndale, English Reformer, Bible Translator, and Martyr; and Miles Coverdale, English Reformer, Bible Translator, and Bishop of Exeter

7 (Wilhelm Wexels, Norwegian Lutheran Minister, Hymn Writer, and Hymn Translator; his niece, Marie Wexelsen, Norwegian Lutheran Novelist and Hymn Writer; Ludwig Lindeman, Norwegian Lutheran Organist and Musicologist; and Magnus Landstad, Norwegian Lutheran Minister, Folklorist, Hymn Writer, and Hymnal Editor)

  • Bradford Torrey, U.S. Ornithologist and Hymn Writer
  • Johann Gottfried Weber, German Moravian Musician, Composer, and Minister
  • John Woolman, Quaker Abolitionist

8 (Erik Routley, English Congregationalist Hymnodist)

  • Abraham Ritter, U.S. Moravian Merchant, Historian, Musician, and Composer
  • Richard Whately, Anglican Archbishop of Dublin, Ireland
  • William Dwight Porter Bliss, Episcopal Priest; and Richard Theodore Ely, Economists

9 (Denis, Bishop of Paris, and His Companions, Roman Catholic Martyrs)

  • John Leonardi, Founder of the Clerks Regular of the Mother of God of Lucca; and Joseph Calasanctius, Founder of the Clerks Regular of Religious Schools
  • Robert Grosseteste, English Roman Catholic Scholar, Philosopher, and Bishop of Lincoln
  • Wilfred Thomason Grenfell, Medical Missionary to Newfoundland and Labrador

10 (Johann Nitschmann, Sr., Moravian Missionary and Bishop; David Nitschmann, Jr., the Syndic, Moravian Missionary and Bishop; and David Nitschmann, the Martyr, Moravian Missionary and Martyr)

  • Christian Ludwig Brau, Norwegian Moravian Teacher and Poet
  • Edward White Benson, Archbishop of Canterbury
  • Louis FitzGerald Benson, U.S. Presbyterian Minister and Hymnodist


12 (Martin Dober, Moravian Bishop and Hymn Writer; Johann Leonhard Dober, Moravian Missionary and Bishop; and Anna Schindler Dober, Moravian Missionary and Hymn Writer)

  • Cecil Frances Alexander, Irish Anglican Hymn Writer
  • Edith Cavell, English Nurse and Martyr, 1915
  • Nectarius of Constantinople, Archbishop

13 (Christian David, Moravian Missionary)

  • Claus Westermann, German Lutheran Minister and Biblical Translator
  • Herbert G. May, U.S. Biblical Scholar and Translator
  • Vincent Taylor, British Methodist Minister and Biblical Scholar

14 (Callixtus I, Anterus, and Pontian, Bishops of Rome; and Hippolytus, Antipope)

  • Roman Lysko, Ukrainian Greek Catholic Priest and Martyr, 1949
  • Samuel Isaac Joseph Schereschewsky, Episcopal Bishop of Shanghai, and Biblical Translator
  • Thomas Hansen Kingo, Danish Lutheran Bishop, Hymn Writer, and “Poet of Eastertide”

15 (Teresa of Avila, Spanish Roman Catholic Nun, Mystic, and Reformer)

16 (Albert E. R. Brauer, Australian Lutheran Minister and Hymn Translator)

  • Augustine Thevarparampil, Indian Roman Catholic Priest and “Good Shepherd of the Dalits”
  • Gaspar Contarini, Italian Roman Catholic Cardinal and Agent of Reconciliation
  • Hedwig of Andechs, Roman Catholic Princess and Nun; and her daughter, Gertrude of Trzebnica, Roman Catholic Abbess

17 (Charles Gounod, French Roman Catholic Composer)

  • Birgitte Katerine Boye, Danish Lutheran Poet, Playwright, Hymn Translator, and Hymn Writer
  • John Bowring, English Unitarian Hymn Writer, Social Reformer, and Philanthropist


19 (Jerzy Popieluszko, Polish Roman Catholic Priest and Martyr, 1984)

  • Claudia Frances Ibotson Hernaman, Anglican Hymn Writer and Translator
  • Paul of the Cross, Founder of the Congregation of Discaled Clerks of the Most Holy Cross and Passion

20 (Philip Schaff and John Williamson Nevin, U.S. German Reformed Historians, Theologians, and Liturgists)

  • Friedrich Funcke, German Lutheran Minister, Composer, and Hymn Writer
  • Mary A. Lathbury, U.S. Methodist Hymn Writer
  • Pavel Chesnokov, Russian Orthodox Composer

21 (George McGovern, U.S. Senator and Stateman; and his wife, Eleanor McGovern, Humanitarian)

  • David Moritz Michael, German-American Moravian Musician and Composer
  • James W. C. Pennington, African-American Congregationalist and Presbyterian Minister, Educator, and Abolitionist
  • Laura of Saint Catherine of Siena, Foundress of the Works of the Indians and the Congregation of Missionary Sisters of Immaculate Mary and of Saint Catherine of Siena

22 (Frederick Pratt Green, British Methodist Minister, Poet, and Hymn Writer)

  • Emily Huntington Miller, U.S. Methodist Author and Hymn Writer
  • Katharina von Schlegal, German Lutheran Hymn Writer
  • Paul Tillich, German-American Lutheran Theologian


24 (Rosa Parks, African-American Civil Rights Activist)

  • Fritz Eichenberg, German-American Quaker Wood Engraver
  • Henry Clay Shuttleworth, Anglican Priest and Hymn Writer

25 (Philipp Nicolai, German Lutheran Minister and Hymn Writer)

  • Proclus, Archbishop of Constantinople; and Rusticus, Bishop of Narbonne

26 (Alfred the Great, King of the West Saxons)

  • Arthur Campbell Ainger, English Educator, Scholar, and Hymn Writer
  • Francis Pott, Anglican Priest and Hymn Writer and Translator
  • Henry Stanley Oakeley, Composer

27 (James A. Walsh and Thomas Price, Cofounders of the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers; and Mary Josephine Rogers, Foundress of the Maryknoll Sisters of Saint Dominic)

  • Aedesius, Priest and Missionary; and Frumentius, First Bishop of Axum and Abuna of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church
  • Dmitry Bortniansky, Russian Orthodox Composer
  • Harry Webb Farrington, U.S. Methodist Minister and Hymn Writer


29 (James Hannington, Anglican Bishop of Eastern Equatorial Africa; and His Companions, Martyrs)

  • Bartholomaus Helder, German Lutheran Minister, Composer, and Hymn Writer
  • Joseph Grigg, English Presbyterian Minister and Hymn Writer
  • Paul Manz, Dean of Lutheran Church Music

30 (Hugh O’Flaherty, “Scarlet Pimperel of the Vatican”)

  • Marcellus the Centurion and Cassian of Tangiers, Roman Catholic Martyrs, 298
  • Oleksa Zarytsky, Ukrainian Greek Catholic Priest and Martyr, 1963
  • Walter John Mathams, British Baptist then Presbyterian Minister, Author, and Hymn Writer

31 (Reformation Day)

  • Daniel C. Roberts, Episcopal Priest and Hymn Writer
  • Gerhard Von Rad, German Lutheran Biblical Scholar
  • Paul Shinji Sasaki, Anglican Bishop of Mid-Japan, Bishop of Tokyo, and Primate of Nippon Sei Ko Kei; and Philip Lendel Tsen, Anglican Bishop of Honan and Presiding Bishop of Chung Hua Sheng Kung Hui


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