Theodore of Tarsus

January 23, 2013

A learned monk of the East, Theodore (602-690) was residing in Rome when the English Church, decimated by plague, and torn with strife over rival Celtic and Roman customs, was in need of strong leadership. Theodore provided this for a generation, beginning his episcopate at an age when most people are ready to retire.

After a visitation of the whole of England, he set about reforming the government of the Church by dividing dioceses and extending the episcopate. His effective visitation of all England brought unity to the two strains of tradition among the Anglo-Saxon Christians. For example, he recognized Chad’s worthiness and regularized his episcopal ordination. He presided over synods that brought about reforms, according to canon law. He laid the foundation of parochial organization.

He established a school at Canterbury that gained a reputation for excellence, and where many leaders of both the Irish and the English Churches were trained. Bede recounts, “…every one who desired instruction in the sacred Scriptures had masters at hand to instruct him.”

Theodore was the first archbishop whom all the English obeyed.

Our Father in heaven,
We thank You for the life of Theodore. Bless the visitations of Justin Welby in England. Bless his administrations within the Church of England. May there be masters at hand in the Church of England to instruct all who desire to know sacred Scriptures. Stir a hunger for sacred Scriptures far and wide, we pray. Amen.

Hat tip: SF

Caedmon, monk and poet

January 23, 2013

Bede told the story of Cædmon who was an illiterate cow-herd who miraculously was able to recite a Christian song of creation in Old English verse. This miracle happened after Cædmon left a feast when they were passing a harp around for all to sing a song. He left the hall after feeling ashamed that he could not contribute a song. Later in a dream he said a man appeared to him and asked him to sing a song. Cædmon responded that he could not sing, yet the man told him that he could and asked him to “Sing to me the beginning of all things.” Cædmon was then able to sing verses and words that he had not heard of before. Cædmon then reported his experience first to a steward then to Hild the abbess. She invited scholars to evaluate Cædmon’s gift, and he was sent home to turn more divine doctrine into song. The abbess was so impressed with the success of his gift that she encouraged him to become a monk. He learned the history of the Christian church and created more music like the story of Genesis and many biblical stories which impressed his teachers. Bede says that Cædmon in his creation of his songs wanted to turn man from love of sin to a love of good deeds.
Caedmon’s hymn, composed between 658 and 680, modern English translation:

Now [we] must honour the guardian of heaven, the might of the architect, and his purpose, the work of the father of glory as he, the eternal lord, established the beginning of wonders; he first created for the children of men heaven as a roof, the holy creator Then the guardian of mankind, the eternal lord, afterwards appointed the middle earth, the lands for men, the Lord almighty

Our Father in heaven,
We thank You for the supernatural gift of poetry and song-writing that You bestowed upon Caedmon. We thank You for his fidelity. We humbly ask You for a resurgence of Christian poetry and songs within the Church of England. Amen.

Reference: Wikipedia

Mark 4:1-20

January 23, 2013

      And again He began to teach by the sea. And a great multitude was gathered to Him, so that He got into a boat and sat in it on the sea; and the whole multitude was on the land facing the sea. Then He taught them many things by parables, and said to them in His teaching: “Listen! Behold, a sower went out to sow. And it happened, as he sowed, that some seed fell by the wayside; and the birds of the air came and devoured it. Some fell on stony ground, where it did not have much earth; and immediately it sprang up because it had no depth of earth. But when the sun was up it was scorched, and because it had no root it withered away. And some seed fell among thorns; and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no crop. But other seed fell on good ground and yielded a crop that sprang up, increased and produced: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred.” And He said to them, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”
      But when He was alone, those around Him with the twelve asked Him about the parable. And He said to them, “To you it has been given to know the mystery of the kingdom of God; but to those who are outside, all things come in parables, so that ‘Seeing they may see and not perceive, And hearing they may hear and not understand; Lest they should turn, And their sins be forgiven them.’ “
      And He said to them, “Do you not understand this parable? How then will you understand all the parables? The sower sows the word. And these are the ones by the wayside where the word is sown. When they hear, Satan comes immediately and takes away the word that was sown in their hearts. These likewise are the ones sown on stony ground who, when they hear the word, immediately receive it with gladness; and they have no root in themselves, and so endure only for a time. Afterward, when tribulation or persecution arises for the word’s sake, immediately they stumble. Now these are the ones sown among thorns; they are the ones who hear the word, and the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the desires for other things entering in choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful. But these are the ones sown on good ground, those who hear the word, accept it, and bear fruit: some thirtyfold, some sixty, and some a hundred.” (Mark 4:1-20)
      Holy Spirit, show us the seeds we are sowing and the ground we are sowing on. Help us daily sow the word of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

      Jesus, you have called us out into the harvest fields. Show each of us the field you have prepared for us to labor in. Help us by your Holy Spirit to daily go into that harvest field.

      Father, you are Lord of the harvest: unless you bless our labors, we labor in vain. Bless and guide us as we go out into your harvest fields. Thank you.

A word received: You are in my hands and I AM still carrying you.

Wednesday: 38 * 119:25-48; Isa. 44:24-45:7; Eph. 5:1-14; Mark 4:1-20
Thursday: 37:1-18 * 37:19-42; Isa. 45:5-17; Eph. 5:15-33; Mark 4:21-34

Albany Intercessor

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