Monday, 29 June 2015

Some High Def on St Peter and St Paul, Apostles, Day

Thanks to The Prayer Book Society of Canada
Today started with several disturbing reminders that my Christian faith, worship and living are so not about me feeling comfortable and content. Sigh.

It’s the Feast of St Peter and Paul, Apostles (HD) says the church calendar. That HD does not stand for High Definition, by the way, it means Holy Day. Mind you, a little higher definition probably wouldn’t hurt this comfortable retired guy’s perception of reality just now. So here are some uncomfortably high definition shots for the day:

Peter 

In my Fellowship of St James Summer 2015 - The Devotional Guide notes for the day, Patrick Henry Reardon points out how this is a double feast day because these two apostles are “linked in a special way by their martyrdoms in Rome.” He adds that Peter’s wife was also martyred and that Peter was a witness to it. I did not know that. How awful.

Paul

In one of the Devotional Guide lectionary readings Jesus is telling Ananias that he wanted him to go and lay hands on Saul, “For I will show him,” not how famous he was to be and that he would write most of the New Testament and how amazing signs and wonders would be done through him, but “how much he must suffer for the sake of my name” (Acts 9.16 ESV). No seeker-friendly pitch there.

Hudson Taylor

This morning I shared this Facebook post from my friend John Rye:
150 years ago this weekend, Hudson Taylor was walking on the stony beach at Brighton, south of London, when he decided that God was calling him to set up the China Inland Mission, now Overseas Missionary Fellowship. This differed from other Victorian missionary societies in making its needs known by prayer alone (no appeals for funds), by adopting local dress and culture as much as possible (no ties in school), by being headquartered in a Chinese city, not London,(currently Singapore), by being non-denominational, and by not accepting compensation from the Opium trade (which it consistently denounced) or from colonial treaties ( ie it ministered in places away from military protection). It is best known in the secular world as the mission which Eric Lidell, the runner in 'Chariots of Fire' was a part of until his death in 1945.
Peter Passchier, who serves in Thailand with Overseas Missionary Fellowship along with Kelly, his wife (and erstwhile parishioner at StB), and three small children, commented that he had been particularly moved by Hudson Taylor’s story when he read how Taylor was “unable to bear the sight of a congregation of a thousand or more Christian people rejoicing in their own security, while millions were perishing for lack of knowledge.”

Suffering, martyrdom, security, rejoicing and lack of knowledge. They continue. In high definition video these days.

LORD, have mercy!