Come my Way, my Truth, my Life

Wind in the Chimes

Come, my Way, my Truth, my Life: 
Such a way as gives us breath; 
Such a truth as ends all strife, 
Such a life as killeth death.

These words are the first stanza of a poem by George Herbert (1593-1633). See the complete poem and a short essay about George Herbert on the Journey with Jesus website (one of my favorites sites for inspiration). The Episcopal Church remembers and commemorates George Herbert annually on February 27th.

Take a moment to simply listen …

Hymn 487 in (The Episcopal) Hymnal 1982

1 
Come, my Way, my Truth, my Life:
such a way as gives us breath;
such a truth as ends all strife;
such a life as killeth death.

2 
Come, my Light, my Feast, my Strength:
such a light as shows a feast;
such a feast as mends in length;
such a strength as makes his guest.

3 
Come, my Joy, my Love, my Heart:
such a joy as none can move;
such a love as none can part;
such a heart as joys in love.

Text:  George Herbert
Music: The Call by Ralph Vaughn Williams

More

Come my Way, my Truth, my Life. on History of Hymns. Explore the hymn, the author, the tune, and other factors that create this hymn.

About Wind in the Chimes

In Christ there is no East or West

Wind in the Chimes

For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all and is generous to all who call on him. For, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Romans 10:12-13 NRSV

As we come to the end of the week that began on the First Sunday in Lent, Year C, March 6, 2022, we recall that the Church read from Paul’s letter to the Romans (Romans 10:8b-13, see also Galatians 3:28).

At our best we continue to live the wisdom of Paul, making no distinction that separates us who “call on the name of the Lord” rather we promote union in “one great fellowship of love.” In Christ there is no East or West we celebrate this kinship:

Hymn 529 in (The Episcopal) Hymnal 1982

1 
In Christ there is no East or West, 
in him no South or North, 
but one great fellowship of love 
throughout the whole wide earth.

2 
Join hands, disciples of the faith, 
whate'er your race may be! 
Who serves my Father as his child 
is surely kin to me.

3 
In Christ now meet both East and West, 
in him meet South and North, 
all Christly souls are one in him, 
throughout the whole wide earth.

Text:  John Oxenham, 1852-1941 (alt.)

More

In Christ there is no East or West on History of Hymns. Explore the hymn, the author, the tune, and other factors that create this hymn.

About Wind in the Chimes

Lord, who throughout these forty days

Wind in the Chimes

Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. … When the devil had finished every test, he departed from him until an opportune time.

Luke 4:1-2, 13 NRSV

On the First Sunday in Lent, Year C, March 6, 2022, the Church read the account of the Temptation of Jesus according to Luke (Luke 4:1-13). Lord who throughout these forty days is a hymn for the season of Lent and, really, for every season of our lives as we walk with Jesus.

More

Lord who throughout these forty days on History of Hymns. Explore the hymn, the author, the tune, and other factors that create this favorite Lenten hymn.

Temptation (on Brother Give Us A Word a daily meditation offered by the Society of Saint John the Evangelist (SSJE) a religious order of the Episcopal Church.

Index Page of “words” offered by the SSJE Brothers

“Advent Birmingham is a diverse group of musicians who lead worship services in song on Sundays at Cathedral Church of The Advent in Birmingham, Alabama. They also write and record modern hymns of their own and set ancient Christian hymns and songs to modern settings.” (YouTube description) Here is their modern offering of this Lenten hymn:

About Wind in the Chimes

As war rages, some Ukrainians look to Mary for protection—continuing a long Christian tradition

Wind in the chimes

Ukrainian Marian Collection, The Marian Library, University of Dayton CC BY-ND

Ukrainian clergy demonstrating against the war in their country have appeared in media coverage carefully holding an image of the Virgin Mary, her outstretched hands lifting up the edges of a cloak. 

I am an archivist for the Marian Library at the University of Dayton, which includes a collection of Ukrainian artwork about Mary. For Ukrainian Christians, both Orthodox and Catholic, the “Pokrova” image held by protesters represents a long history of seeking Mary’s protection during difficult times.

These pictures depict a particular religious icon known as the “Pokrova” in which Mary’s veil – a “pokrova,” or “cover,” in Ukrainian – is a sign of protection.

Kayla Harris from her essay on The Conversation, March 9, 2022

I encourage you to read more about the “Queen of Ukraine” in Harris’ article. As she notes, “It is quite common for Christians, and even people of other faiths, to ask Mary to intercede on their behalf during hardship.” Let us pray.

About Wind in the Chimes

Praying for peace in Ukraine—even when it feels useless

Wind in the chimes

What do you hear the Spirit saying to you?

As fighting and violence escalate in Ukraine Ashley McKinless and James Martin, SJ, explore our inclination to pray, or not, in this moment. What is the point to utter prayers in the face of such an event? The essay is a thoughtful and honest exploration of prayer as a response to current events and I commend it to you: Praying for peace in Ukraine (America Magazine website)

Collect: Saint Matthias

Apostle (Feb 24)

Most of the symbols of the 12 Apostles include a depiction of the instrument of their martyrdom.

Matthias is named only once in the Acts of the Apostles (Acts 1:21-26). The rest of his story is obscure and sometimes fanciful in the Christian tradition. Nonetheless, it is important to note that he apparently fit Peter’s requirements that to become an apostle with the remaining 11 the man should “have accompanied us (the apostles) during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us—one of these men must become with us a witness to his resurrection” Acts 1:21-22A

After acknowledging the hand of God in selecting and blessing Matthias to be an apostle, we ask that we—the people of God—may always be guided and governed by faithful and true pastors.

What role do we play in supporting and encouraging and caring for the faithful and true pastors by whom we are guided and governed as God answers our prayer?

The Collect for the Commemoration

Almighty God, who in the place of Judas chose your faithful servant Matthias to be numbered among the Twelve: Grant that your Church, being delivered from false apostles, may always be guided and governed by faithful and true pastors; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Learn more

In the nine days of waiting between Jesus’ Ascension and the Day of Pentecost, the disciples remained together in prayer. During this time, Peter reminded them that the defection and death of Judas had left the fellowship of the Twelve with a vacancy. The Acts of the Apostles records Peter’s proposal that “one of the men who have accompanied us during all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us—one of these men must become with us a witness to his resurrection” (Acts 1:21–22). Two men were nominated, Joseph called Barsabbas who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias. After prayer, the disciples cast lots, and the lot fell to Matthias, who was then enrolled with the eleven. (See Acts 1:21-26)

Scripture does not relate anything further about Matthias, but gives him as an example to Christians of one whose faithful companionship with Jesus qualifies him to be a suitable witness to the resurrection, and whose service is unheralded and unsung.

There are, however, several early Christian accounts of his mission and ministry, such as the second century text The Acts of Andrew and Matthias in Cannibal City. According to this account, immediately after the selection of Matthias, the apostles cast lots to determine which of them would take responsibility for which part of the world, and the unlucky Matthias was dispatched to a city of cannibals! Although an unabashedly fictionalized account, it is nevertheless an inspiring tale that shows Matthias being dealt the worst possible lot, and yet nevertheless responding to his call with equanimity, competence, and grace, which are the same qualities we see reflected in the canonical account that is given by Scripture.

Saint Matthias The Apostle in Lesser Feasts and Fasts, Revision 2018

Lots in the Ancient World

Ancient peoples used lot-casting as a form of cleromancy—a type of divination in which the random outcome was believed to reflect divine will. Ancients commonly used small stones labeled to reflect the possible outcomes of the decision (Lindblom, “Lot-casting,” 168). The Bible contains no description of the specific procedure for casting lots, undoubtedly due to the commonplace nature of the practice. Based on etymology, Kitz suggests the Israelites likely placed marked stones into a container, which was then shaken in such a way as to “cast” out a deciding stone (Kitz, “Terminology,” 207–14). Hittite and Akkadian texts also indicate that the casting of stones was used to determine an oracular answer to a series of questions (Kitz, “Urim and Thumim,” 401–10).

Usage in the New Testament

The New Testament contains few references to the use of lots. However, the attested uses reflect the Hebrew mindset regarding divine involvement with the decision:

  • Zechariah was chosen by lot for a rotation in the temple service (Luke 1:9)
  • Peter used lots and prayer to determine a replacement for Judas (Acts 1:15–26).
  • Soldiers cast lots to divide Jesus’ garments after His crucifixion (John 19:24). This is perhaps the most secular use of lots in the Bible.

Source: Rob Fleenor, “Lots,” in The Lexham Bible Dictionary, ed. John D. Barry et al. (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2016).

Be well. Do good. Pay attention. Keep learning.

Image used here, but original source unknown.

Collect: Polycarp

Bishop and Martyr of Smyrna, 156 (Feb 23)

Bishop Polycarp

In the Collect for this Commemoration, we praise God for giving us a servant who is described as holy and gentle. And we praise God for giving this holy and gentle servant “boldness to confess Jesus Christ as King and Savior, and steadfastness to die for his faith.”

We ask for the grace to follow the example of Polycarp which will include sharing the cup of Christ (sorrow and suffering) and rising to eternal life. The prayer invites us to examine our actions (do they reveal us as one who serves, one who is seeking holiness, one who is gentle in a not-so-gentle world) and our trust in God no matter the circumstances (for there are many ways to “share the cup of Christ” short of martyrdom). What do you hear the Spirit saying to you?

The Collect for the Commemoration

O God, the maker of heaven and earth, you gave your venerable servant, the holy and gentle Polycarp, boldness to confess Jesus Christ as King and Savior, and steadfastness to die for his faith: Give us grace, following his example, to share the cup of Christ and rise to eternal life; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Learn more

Polycarp was one of the leaders of the Church who carried on the tradition of the apostles through the troubled period of Gnostic heresies in the second century. According to Irenaeus, who had known him in his early youth, Polycarp was a pupil of John, “the disciple of the Lord,” and had been appointed a bishop by “apostles in Asia.”

[…] Polycarp was burned at the stake. Before his ordeal, he is reported to have looked up to heaven, and to have prayed: “Lord God Almighty, Father of your beloved and blessed child Jesus Christ, through whom we have received knowledge of you, God of angels and hosts and all creation, and of the whole race of the upright who live in your presence, I bless you that you have thought me worthy of this day and hour, to be numbered among the martyrs and share in the cup of Christ, for resurrection to eternal life, for soul and body in the incorruptibility of the Holy Spirit. Among them may I be accepted before you today, as a rich and acceptable sacrifice just as you, the faithful and true God, have prepared and foreshown and brought about. For this reason and for all things I praise you, I bless you, I glorify you, through the eternal heavenly high priest Jesus Christ, your beloved child, through whom be glory to you, with him and the Holy Spirit, now and for the ages to come. Amen.”

Polycarp on Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music website

Be well. Do good. Pay attention. Keep learning.

Collect: Martin Luther

Theologian, 1546 (Feb 18)

Martin Luther by Lucas Cranach, 1532

In the Collect for this Commemoration, we remember Martin Luther as one raised up by God to “reform and renew [God’s] Church in the light of [God’s] word.”

In your life who embodies these qualities today? What contemporary of yours do you see as raised up by God to effect reformation and renewal in the Church in the light of God’s word? I pray there is such a person for you. I pray that you may be the one to embody these things for others.

The Collect for the Commemoration

O God, our refuge and our strength: You raised up your servant Martin Luther to reform and renew your Church in the light of your word. Defend and purify the Church in our own day and grant that, through faith, we may boldly proclaim the riches of your grace which you have made known in Jesus Christ our Savior, who with you and the Holy Spirit, lives and reigns, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

… grant that, through faith, we may boldly proclaim the riches of your grace which you have made known in Jesus Christ our Savior

Collect for the Commemoration of Martin Luther

Learn more

Martin Luther was born November 10, 1483. His intellectual abilities were evident early, and his father planned a career for him in law. Luther’s real interest lay elsewhere, however, and in 1505 he entered the local Augustinian monastery. He was ordained a priest April 3, 1507.

In October 1512 Luther received his doctorate in theology, and shortly afterward he was installed as a professor of biblical studies at the University of Wittenberg. … On the eve of All Saints’ Day, October 31, 1517, he posted on the door of the castle church in Wittenberg the notice of an academic debate on indulgences, listing 95 theses for discussion. As the effects of the theses became evident, the Pope called upon the Augustinian order to discipline their member. After a series of meetings, political maneuvers, and attempts at reconciliation, Luther, at a meeting with the papal legate in 1518, refused to recant.

Luther was excommunicated on January 3, 1521. [… In safety at Wartburg] Luther translated the New Testament into German and began the translation of the Old Testament. He then turned his attention to the organization of worship and education. He introduced congregational singing of hymns, composing many himself, and issued model orders of services. He published his large and small catechisms for instruction in the faith. During the years from 1522 to his death, Luther wrote a prodigious quantity of books, letters, sermons and tracts. Luther died on February 18, 1546.

Martin Luther on Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music website

Be well. Do good. Pay attention. Keep learning.

Collect: Janani Luwum

Archbishop of Uganda, and Martyr, 1977 (Feb 17)

Janani Luwum

Remembering the martyrdom of Janani Luwum—a 20th-century martyr no less—do you hear what we ask of God? “Grant us” we pray “to be so inspired by his witness that we make no peace with oppression but live as those who are sealed with the cross of Christ, who died and rose again….”

A bold intercession for ourselves and all who follow the Way of Love. May we have the heart to listen to God’s response and the courage to accept God’s grace to live as one “sealed with the cross of Christ” and confident that we, too, shall not be conquered by death but live with Christ who died and rose again.

The Collect for the Commemoration

O God, whose Son the Good Shepherd laid down his life for the sheep: We give you thanks for your faithful shepherd Janani Luwum, who after his Savior’s example, gave up his life for the people of Uganda. Grant us to be so inspired by his witness that we make no peace with oppression, but live as those who are sealed with the cross of Christ, who died and rose again, and now lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Learn more

In 1969 Luwum became Bishop of Northern Uganda, where he was a faithful visitor to his parishes as well as a growing influence at international gatherings of the Anglican Communion. In 1974 he was elected Archbishop of the Church of Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, and Boga-Zaire.

Luwum’s new position brought him into direct contact and eventual confrontation with the Ugandan military dictator, Idi Amin, as the Archbishop sought to protect his people from the brutality of Amin’s regime. In August of 1976 Makerere University was sacked by government troops. With Archbishop Luwum as their chair, the Christian leaders of the country drafted a strong memorandum of protest against officially sanctioned rape and murder.

In early February 1977 the Archbishop’s residence was searched for arms by government security forces. On February 16 President Amin summoned Luwum to his palace. He went there, accompanied by the other Anglican bishops and by the Roman Catholic cardinal archbishop and a senior leader of the Muslim community. After being accused of complicity in a plot to murder the President, most of the clerics were allowed to leave. However, Archbishop Luwum was ordered to remain behind. As his companions departed, Luwum said, “They are going to kill me. I am not afraid.” He was never seen alive again. The following day the government announced that he had been killed in an automobile accident while resisting arrest. Only after some weeks had passed was his bullet-riddled body released to his family for burial.

Janani Luwum on Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music website

Be well. Do good. Pay attention. Keep learning.

Collect: Charles Todd Quintard

Bishop of Tennessee, 1898 (Feb 16)

Thomas Bray

In prayer to “Mighty God” we recognize and confess that Bishop Quintard “persevered to reconcile the divisions among the people of his time.” We ask that today our Church (the People of God) “may ever be one, that it may be a refuge for all.” It will take the effort of each one to make this so. Today, what will you do to reconcile divisions and make the People of God a refuge for all?

The Collect for the Commemoration

Mighty God, we bless your Name for the example of your bishop Charles Todd Quintard, who persevered to reconcile the divisions among the people of his time: Grant, we pray, that your Church may ever be one, that it may be a refuge for all, for the honor of your Name; through Jesus Christ, who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen. Amen.

Learn more

Charles Todd Quintard was the second bishop of the Diocese of Tennessee and the first Vice Chancellor of The University of the South at Sewanee.

Quintard was born in 1824 in Stamford, Connecticut. In 1847 he received the degree of Doctor of Medicine from the Medical College of New York University and worked at New York’s Bellevue Hospital. After a brief episode of practicing medicine in Athens, Georgia, Quintard became the professor of anatomy and physiology at Memphis Medical College and an editor of the Memphis Medical Reporter. In 1848, Quintard married Katherine Isabella Hand, a native of Roswell, Georgia, and together they were the parents of three children.

[…] During the Civil War, Quintard played dual roles in the Confederate Army as both chaplain and surgeon. Following the war, he was instrumental in bringing together the previously divided factions and extending the reach of the Episcopal Church, particularly among African Americans.

Bishop Quintard was a strong advocate of education at every level and played a major role in the establishment of schools. Perhaps his greatest accomplishment was the rebuilding of the University of the South at Sewanee after its destruction during the Civil War. He made several successful trips to England to raise the funds to secure the future of the University. From February 1867 to July 1872, Quintard served as the reconstituted University’s first Vice Chancellor. Quintard believed that a great Episcopal university was essential, not just to the church in Tennessee and the southeast, but to the whole church, and thus devoted much of his ministry to Sewanee.

Charles Todd Quintard on Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music website

Be well. Do good. Pay attention. Keep learning.

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