Thursday, April 27, 2017

Mascall: the nature of the resurrection

Thursday, April 27, 2017
    Feast of Christina Rossetti, Poet, 1894
Meditation:
    For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.
    —1 Corinthians 13:9-12 (ESV)
Quotation:
    There are, of course, interesting questions that can be asked about the nature of the transformation which our Lord’s body underwent in his resurrection, and if we know anything about physics and biology we are quite likely to ask them. But, since we are concerned with an occurrence which is [by hypothesis] unique in certain relevant aspects, we are most unlikely to be able to give confident answers to them. [Paul M.] van Buren’s remarks about biology and the twentieth century are nothing more than rhetoric or, at best, are simply empirical statements about his own psychology. The first century knew as well as the twentieth that dead bodies do not naturally come to life again, and no amount of twentieth-century knowledge about natural processes can tell us what may happen by supernatural means.
    ... E. L. Mascall (1905-1993), The Secularization of Christianity, London: Darton, Longman & Todd, 1966, p. 79-80 (see the book)
    See also 1 Cor. 13:9-12; John 6:39-40,54; 10:28; 11:25; Rom. 6:23; 1 John 2:25; Jude 1:21
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, Your will alone has raised me from death to life.
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Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Owen: hot and cold

Wednesday, April 26, 2017
Meditation:
    In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.
    —Judges 21:25 (KJV)
Quotation:
    Common experience declares... how momentary and how useless are those violent fits and gusts of endeavours which proceed from fear and uncertainty, both in things spiritual and temporal, or civil. Whilst men are under the power of actual impressions from such fears, they will convert to God, yea, they will [turn in a moment], and perfect their holiness in an instant; but so soon as that impression wears off (as it will do on every occasion, and upon none at all) such persons are as dead and cold towards God as the lead or iron, which ran but now in a fiery stream, is when the heat is departed from it.
    ... John Owen (1616-1683), V.2 in A Discourse Concerning Holy Spirit, bk. I-V [1674], in Works of John Owen, v. III, London: Johnson & Hunter, 1852, p. 603 (see the book)
    See also Judg. 21:25; Pr. 18:9; Rom. 12:11; Heb. 5:11-14; 6:10-20; 2 Pet. 1:10-11
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, send Your grace, to keep my mind and heart focused on Your will.
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Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Barclay: our sense of need

Tuesday, April 25, 2017
    Feast of Mark the Evangelist
Meditation:
    [Jesus:] “How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the only God? Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father. There is one who accuses you: Moses, on whom you have set your hope. If you believed Moses, you would believe me; for he wrote of me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?”
    —John 5:44-47 (ESV)
Quotation:
    So long as we judge ourselves by human comparisons, there is plenty of room for self-satisfaction, and self-satisfaction kills faith, for faith is born of the sense of need. But when we compare ourselves with Jesus Christ, and through Him, with God, we are humbled to the dust, and then faith is born, for there is nothing left to do but to trust to the mercy of God.
    ... William Barclay (1907-1978), The Gospel of John, v. 1, Edinburgh: Saint Andrew Press, 1965, p. 201 (see the book)
    See also John 5:44-47; Matt. 6:2-6; John 12:39-44; Rom. 8:6-9; 12:2; 1 Cor. 2:12; 2 Cor. 5:16; Heb. 3:12
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, grant that I may become one who is concerned only with pleasing You.
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Monday, April 24, 2017

Allen: expecting a response

Monday, April 24, 2017
    Commemoration of Mellitus, First Bishop of London, 624
Meditation:
    And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.”
    —Matthew 4:19 (ESV)
Quotation:
    To preach the Gospel requires that the preacher should believe that he is sent to those whom he is addressing at the moment, because God has among them those whom He is at the moment calling: it requires that the speaker should expect a response.
    ... Roland Allen (1869-1947), Missionary Methods: St. Paul’s or ours?, London: World Dominion Press, 1927, reprinted, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 1962, p. 74 (see the book)
    See also Matt. 4:19; 20:16; Mark 1:17-18; Luke 5:10-11; Acts 2:41,47; 5:14; 6:7; 1 Cor. 9:20-22
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, I hear Your call to me.
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Sunday, April 23, 2017

Powell: the use of afflictions

Sunday, April 23, 2017
    Feast of George, Martyr, Patron of England, c.304
    Commemoration of Michael Ramsey, Archbishop of Canterbury, Teacher, 1988
Meditation:
    Besides this, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them. Shall we not much more be subject to the Father of spirits and live? For they disciplined us for a short time as it seemed best to them, but he disciplines us for our good, that we may share his holiness. For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
    —Hebrews 12:9-11 (ESV)
Quotation:
    By afflictions, God is spoiling us [i.e., taking away from us] of what otherwise might have spoiled us. When he makes the world too hot for us to hold, we let it go.
    ... Thomas Powell (see the book)
    See also Heb. 12:9-11; Ps. 118:18; Pr. 19:18; 2 Cor. 4:17; 12:9
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, grant me a spirit of patience in hardship, that I might not cling to the world.
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Saturday, April 22, 2017

Cogdell: the joy set before him

Saturday, April 22, 2017
Meditation:
All the ends of the earth
    will remember and turn to the LORD,
and all the families of the nations
    will bow down before him,
for dominion belongs to the LORD
    and he rules over the nations.
All the rich of the earth will feast and worship;
    all who go down to the dust will kneel before him—
    those who cannot keep themselves alive.
Posterity will serve him;
    future generations will be told about the Lord.
They will proclaim his righteousness
    to a people yet unborn—
    for he has done it.
    —Psalm 22:27-31 (NIV)
Quotation:
    This last section of Psalm 22 [i.e., verses 27-31] reminds us of Hebrews 12:2: “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” The “joy” that was set before Jesus was, we feel, knowing of the riches which would come to his brethren out of his death. In short, we are his joy, set before him when on the cross. As we have seen, only as the circle of the love of Jesus becomes world wide and as big as history will it be complete.
    ... John R. Cogdell, “The humanity of Jesus Christ, as revealed in certain Psalms”, section IV (see the book)
    See also Ps. 22:27-31; Isa. 53:10-12; Acts 2:36; Phil. 2:8-11; Heb. 12:2
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, You suffered and died for me. Show me how I can become the joy that You saw on the Cross.
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Friday, April 21, 2017

Vockler: the necessity of Christian unity

Friday, April 21, 2017
    Feast of Anselm, Abbot of Le Bec, Archbishop of Canterbury, Teacher, 1109
Meditation:
Sing to the LORD a new song;
    sing to the LORD, all the earth.
Sing to the LORD, praise his name;
    proclaim his salvation day after day.
Declare his glory among the nations,
    his marvelous deeds among all peoples.
For great is the LORD and most worthy of praise;
    he is to be feared above all gods.
    —Psalm 96:1-4 (NIV)
Quotation:
    For us in the Pacific, in Asia, in India, and in Africa, Christian unity is not an optional extra. It is an urgent necessity, for our divisions are a real stumbling-block to the proclamation of the Gospel...
    Mission is at the heart of the divine reality. It is the will of God and the Kingdom of God which are to be made known. Wherever we are, our purpose is not to propagate the Church as an end in itself, but to proclaim Christ as Lord of all life and as Saviour of all men.
    ... John C. Vockler (1924-2014), “Sermon at the Mass Meeting of Missionary Witness,” included in Anglican Congress 1963: Report of Proceedings, Eugene Rathbone Fairweather, ed., Editorial Committee, Anglican Congress, 1963, p. 148-149 (see the book)
    See also Ps. 96:1-4; John 17:22-23; Rom. 15:5-6; Eph. 4:3
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, unite Your people.
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