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Tuesday, August 22, 2017
Devotion on Hymns of the Church - Hymn 572 – O Master, Let Me Walk With Thee – 22 August 2017, Anno Domini (In the Year of our Lord
21 I hate, I despise your feast days, and I will not smell in your solemn assemblies. 22 Though ye offer me burnt offerings and your meat offerings, I will not accept them: neither will I regard the peace offerings of your fat beasts. 23 Take thou away from me the noise of thy songs; for I will not hear the melody of thy viols. 24 But let judgment run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream (Amos 5:21-24)
8 He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God? (Micah 6:8)
1 Be ye therefore followers of God, as dear children; 2 And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweetsmelling savour. (Eph 5:1-2)
Here is a General Hymn of the 1940 Hymnal with little theological application other than the necessity of pure love. Its author, Washington Gladden (1879), believed that knowing the Lord Jesus Christ would inevitably lead one to a love for His creatures as well. He did not believe in any such false premises as a separation of religion from state or society. A Christian, in Gladden’s view, is a Christian at all times whether in education, law, medicine, or politics. A soldier does not remove his uniform at the door of the chapel, and neither does a Christian lay down his cross on the outer steps of government. Gladden recognized the blinding effects of religious leaders who placed higher emphasis on the church properties and institution than upon the Lord for whom the church was founded. He once castigated his denomination’s acceptance of a $100,000.00 gift from John D. Rockefeller to foreign missions due to the corrupt nature of the giver.
The tune selected by Gladden for this hymn is the same that appears in the 1940 Hymnal, MARYTON, by Percy Smith. It is unfortunate that two core verses pointing to Gladden’s essential point were omitted from the Hymnal. I will include them at the end of this devotion.
O Master, Let Me Walk With Thee
O Master, let me walk with thee
in lowly paths of service free;
tell me thy secret; help me bear
the strain of toil, the fret of care.
Help me the slow of heart to move
by some clear, winning word of love;
teach me the wayward feet to stay,
and guide them in the homeward way.
Teach me thy patience, still with thee
in closer, dearer company,
in work that keeps faith sweet and strong,
in trust that triumphs over wrong.
In hope that sends a shining ray
far down the future’s broadening way,
in peace that only thou canst give,
with thee, O Master, let me live.
O Master, let me walk with the in lowly paths of service free; tell me thy secret; help me bear the strain of toil, the fret of care. There are moments of despondency in which we walk unwittingly with the Lord as did the two men on the Road to Emmaus following the crucifixion, and Christ walked right beside. It was in the breaking of the bread at Emmaus that the two realized that it was Jesus and recognized Him - their eyes were opened in the breaking of the bread. Those two men did not have the benefit of the full and complete revelation that we have today in the full Canon of Scripture. In the diligent study of God’s Holy Word, we are made aware, both by faith and grace, that He walks with us even in the “Valley of the Shadow of Death.” He reveals His mysteries in the shadows of faith and spiritual enlightenment gleaned from an understanding of His Word.
Help me the slow of heart to move by some clear, winning word of love; teach me the wayward feet to stay, and guide them in the homeward way.” We are the lower lights of the harbor that guide the ships of sea into safe harbor after being attracted by the Great Lighthouse of God’s Holy Spirit. I read of a good Christian lady who found a shoeless 9-year old boy on the streets of Baltimore during the cold month of January. She took him into a shoe store, bought him a pair of new shoes, sox, and a scarf. As she turned to leave after paying, she heard the boy call after her: “Are you God‘s wife?” It is amazing what power love can have, as a testimony of our faith, in others. Truly, it is more blessed to give than to receive. If we have been blessed with resources to give, is it not better than suffering penury and nothing to give? We guide the feet of those around us by drawing their hearts to Christ. We are a walking Bible to those whom God may be calling to His Throne of Grace. By sharing His Word, we are providing the poor of spirit with a Lamp for their feet and a Light for their path.
Teach me thy patience, still with thee in closer, dearer company, in work that keeps faith sweet and strong, in trust that triumphs over wrong. If we are walking with the Lord, it is quite unlikely that we may demonstrate less patience with others than He has exercised with us. When we make a separation, even a small one, between ourselves and the Lord, our work becomes less His and more ours. It becomes devoid of joy. But joining hands with our Lord adds a sweet savor to our labors so that it is He, and not us, who is working in our members.
In hope that sends a shining ray far down the future’s broadening way, in peace that only thou canst give, with thee, O Master, let me live. Even if we walk on a dark path, isn’t it hope-inspiring to see a bright light on the path ahead? That is the Light of Hope that Christ gives each of us who follow on His footsteps. We know that there is Light ahead even if the shadows lengthen on our way. “ . . . . weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. (Psalm 30:5) If we belong to Christ, we need not worry that we may be barred from living with Him. Christ will not abide in us unless we also abide in Him: Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. (John 15:4)
Now what of the two missing stanzas omitted from the 1940 Hymnal and others?
O Master, let me walk with Thee,
Before the taunting Pharisee;
Help me to bear the sting of spite,
The hate of men who hide Thy light.
The sore distrust of souls sincere
Who cannot read Thy judgments clear,
The dullness of the multitude,
Who dimly guess that Thou art good.
O Master, let me walk with Thee, Before the taunting Pharisee; The hate of men who hide Thy light.” I believe it beyond doubt that the Pharisees (prominent ministers of Jesus’ day) knew exactly who He was. But they feared the loss of their comfortable, down-ladened nests. So they CHOSE blindness. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. (James 2:19) These covetous ministers of then, and NOW, obscure the truth for the sake of filling their coffers with filthy lucre, i.e., Joel Osteen. If one proclaims the pure, unadulterated truth of Scripture, these men try to suppress the voice. The motive is obvious to me why the modern clergy would like to remove such verses as Matthew 23:14 from their new and corrupt bibles: Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation. It might expose their own greed!
The sore distrust of souls sincere Who cannot read Thy judgments clear, The dullness of the multitude, Who dimly guess that Thou art good. It is sad to know that some are blinded in their malice toward things Godly and Divine. Many multitudes followed Christ to witness His miracles, but few stood beneath the Cross to be accounted one with Him. Those who dimly view that Christ is good probably constitute the greater number of those identifying themselves as Christians. They are casual Christians who do not seek the deeper knowledge of the One who they profess Redeemed them. But we must preach the Word regardless the mild reception of it. Perhaps even the Seed that fell by the wayside and was consumed by birds (demons) may be later deposited on a fertile field and bear fruit. That is God’s business and not our own.
Sunday, August 20, 2017
|The entire AOC Sunday Report is RIGHT HERE!|
Happy Tenth Sunday after Trinity!
We have really great sermons today from Bishop Jerry, as well as Revs Jack and Bryan. They cover a lot of different ground in a widely different manner, so you won't be bored! I enjoyed Jack's the most, but that is probably because it was the one I heard.
There are a lot of people who need your prayers, start with Shamu, both traveling and health, then work on Jimmy, Mary, Bob and Michael and work out from there.
Take the help God offers and have a great week ahead!
Church of the Faithful Centurion
Sermon Notes - Tenth Sunday after Trinity - Saint Andrew’s Anglican Orthodox Church - 20 August 2017, Anno Domini
|If you enjoy this, the entire AOC Sunday Report is RIGHT HERE!|
The Tenth Sunday after Trinity.
ET thy merciful ears, O Lord, be open to the prayers of thy humble servants; and, that they may obtain their petitions, make them to ask such things as shall please thee; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
2……And Abel was a keeper of sheep, but Cain was a tiller of the ground.
¶ But Christ, having come a High Priest of good things to come, by a greater
Friday, August 18, 2017
The Happiest Girl in Korea - the Story of Anna Song (OK Pun ie) of Korea – 18 August 2017, Anno Domini
I don't often write about things like this, but considering the times of materialism in which we live, I thought it might be fitting to remember a brave girl who found beauty and comfort in a cold harsh world.
During the late Choson era many of the Korean people lived in abject poverty, subsisting on the crops they were able to harvest each year and having little money for anything else. If they did manage to save a little money they were often quickly relieved of it through the squeezing taxes of the Yangban (nobility). Often the harvests failed and as a result, many people starved to death. Others, out of desperation, sold themselves or members of their family as slaves. It is difficult for us to understand but sometimes slavery in Korea was preferable to freedom. A slave was fed, clothed and sheltered by the slave's owner, but a free person was often left to fend for himself and sometimes starved to death during years of famine.
Ok Pun-ie was born in 1892. Her family, most likely farmers, was extremely poor, who barely eked out a living. They tried to provide for Pun-ie and her younger siblings the best that they could, but despite their best efforts; the children's lives were filled with hunger and cold. As time went by, the family's situation became more desperate until it probably climaxed in the great famine of 1901. Food was scarce and to the distraught parents it soon became obvious that unless something drastic was done, they would all perish. As was all too common in the past, the parents, in great sorrow, sold Pun-ie into slavery to a wealthy family for a quantity of food which they used to feed Pun-ie's siblings. She never saw her family again.
It is tragic to note that slavery had actually been abolished several times in the past. The last time slavery was abolished was during constitutional changes in the Korean government in the fall of 1895. According to Resolution 9, “male and female slavery, whether private or official, was to be abolished.'' However, laws are useless unless enforced, and the law that was designed to protect Puni-ie, failed her.
Pun-ie's life as a slave was not a good one. Even though she was a small girl she was forced to work long hours in the elements, fed too little and beat too often. This continued until the winter of 1905 when on one cold day her life changed. For hours she had been exposed to the cold with little clothing and her hands and feet became frostbitten, yet she was given no medical attention. Days passed into weeks and the condition of her hands and feet grew worse, the pain intensified and eventually developed into gangrene, and though she tried, she was no longer able to work.
Her owners took her to one of the foreign hospitals in Seoul and explained to her that the foreign doctor would make her ``well as soon as possible so that you can be of some use.'' The prognosis was bad, and the owners left her, no longer concerned about her fate. For eight months the young girl fought for her life, her days passed in fever induced states of delirium broken only by the horrific pain in her limbs, or after being anesthetized for surgery, sleeping in relative comfort. Remarkably Pun-ie often asked about her owners during her lucid moments but she was always told that they would not come and get her for a long time.
Pun-ie's final operation was completed in September 1906. The gangrene had been so severe the doctors had no other choice but to amputate both of her hands and one foot. Over the next months she was left to recuperate and become accustomed to her new life. Though she had only been a slave in the eyes of many, to the Western doctors and nurses of the hospital she soon became an inspiration.
During the Christmas season of 1906, Pun-ie noticed Minerva Guthapfel (a nurse) writing a letter to her friends in the United States. Pun-ie asked the nurse to please include a greeting from her: ``the happiest girl in Korea.'' Nurse Guthapfel could not believe that this poor child could possibly think of herself as ``the happiest girl in Korea,'' and asked her to explain why she felt that way.
Pun-ie gave six reasons. First, the doctors had taken away all of her pain. Second, she had not been beaten once since she had arrived at the hospital. Third, she no longer felt the pangs of intense hunger. Fourth, she was never going back to her owners but was instead to live the rest of her life in the hospital. Fifth, the small Christmas tree in the hospital was the first that she had ever seen, and she thought it was beautiful though it was nearly bare of ornaments. Finally, she had found God.
Over the next couple of years Pun-ie improved and always maintained her insistence that she was the happiest girl in Korea. Many people could not understand how she could remain so cheerful. One Korean woman even wondered why the doctors ``didn't take the knife they used to cut off her hands, and put it through her heart.'' It would have saved ``lots of trouble and lots of expense.'' They couldn't understand that Pun-ie gave something back in return _ she gave inspiration.
She became baptized and was no longer known as Pun-ie but as Anna Song. She learned to write with a pencil tied to the stumps of her hands, and though it was a laborious process, she wrote letters to the nurses that had befriended her and returned to the United States. Her story became known in the States and one woman, whose daughter had recovered from a severe illness, sent a wheelchair to Korea for Anna's use. She also served as an interpreter for the hospital and reminded others that their pains and sorrows were not as bad as they believed. There is always hope.
After 1910, the story of Anna Song faded from history (perhaps some of the religious libraries or archives in Korea might be able to add to this story) but she left us her legacy. During this holiday season I think it's important that we think about those around us and the trials they face, and not concentrate so much upon our own, because often ours pale in comparison.