Eric Henry Liddell achieved international renown as an Olympic gold medalist, as an avid rugby player, and as a person totally devoted to his faith in Jesus Christ.
Liddell was born in 1902 in China, the second son of missionary parents. At the age of six he was sent with his older brother to Eltham College, Blackheath, a boarding school for the children of missionaries. Liddell remained there until he enrolled in Edinburgh University. Liddell excelled in athletics throughout his educational career.
… The award-winning film, Chariots of Fire, is the story of Eric Liddell and his participation in Olympiad VIII.
After his graduation from Edinburgh, Liddell returned to North China, near his birthplace, and served as a missionary from 1925-1943. … In 1943, Liddell was interned in the Japanese concentration camp at Weihsein. Having won the respect of his captors, Liddell is remembered by camp survivors for his ministry among them. He died in 1945 shortly before the camp’s liberation.
Collect for the Commemoration
God whose strength bears us up as on mighty wings: We rejoice in remembering your athlete and missionary, Eric Liddell, to whom you gave courage and resolution in contest and in captivity; and we pray that we also may run with endurance the race set before us and persevere in patient witness, until we wear that crown of victory won for us by Jesus our Savior; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Have you experienced the strength of God in moments of trial? Not many of us will be called upon to endure the trials that filled Eric’s life. Not many of us will be called upon to share the Good News in the extreme conditions encountered by Eric. And yet, we may be called upon to trust God’s strength in the midst of lesser trials. We may be called upon to share the Love we know even when it is inconvenient. May we all “persevere in patient witness” to the God who calls us “my beloved.” ~Fr. Dan
Be well. Do good. Pay attention. Keep learning.
- Eric Liddell (Holy Women, Holy Men)
- Readings appointed for the Commemoration (Lectionary Page)
- What is a Collect? (PDF)