Tuesday, March 1, 2016

David, Bishop of Menevia, Wales

Today the church remembers David, Bishop of Menevia, Wales, c. 544.

When the Roman legions were withdrawn in the fifth century, a nightmare of chaos and terror closed in on isolated Britain. England fell into the hands of the heathen Angles, Saxons, and Jutes, and it appeared that Christianity might disappear from the islands altogether. Some Celtic Christians withdrew into Wales, and David emerged as their most effective leader.


David was a monk of noble birth, well-educated, and a famous teacher and preacher. We have little concrete historical data concerning him. Even his name (probably Dawi) seems to have been distorted with the passage of time. We do know that he founded several monastic communities in Wales, and that these served as places of refuge for the homeless, as centers for the spread of Christianity, and as bastions of learning, justice, and good order in a hostile environment. David was the abbot-bishop of the monastery at Menevia. He, and other hearty pioneer monks like him, kept the light of the gospel shining in a very dark and troubled time.

O Almighty God, who did choose your servant David to be an apostle to the people of Wales, to bring those who were wandering in darkness and error to the true light and knowledge of you: Grant us to walk in that same light. Amen.

Almighty God, you called your servant David to be a faithful and wise steward of your mysteries for the people of Wales: Mercifully grant that, following his purity of life and zeal for the Gospel of Christ, we may with him receive our heavenly reward; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_David

Daily Readings for March 1, 2016


Genesis 45:1-15
Then Joseph could no longer control himself before all those who stood by him, and he cried out, "Send everyone away from me." So no one stayed with him when Joseph made himself known to his brothers. And he wept so loudly that the Egyptians heard it, and the household of Pharaoh heard it. Joseph said to his brothers, "I am Joseph. Is my father still alive?" But his brothers could not answer him, so dismayed were they at his presence. Then Joseph said to his brothers, "Come closer to me." And they came closer. He said, "I am your brother, Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt. And now do not be distressed, or angry with yourselves, because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life. For the famine has been in the land these two years; and there are five more years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvest. God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors. So it was not you who sent me here, but God; he has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house and ruler over all the land of Egypt. Hurry and go up to my father and say to him, 'Thus says your son Joseph, God has made me lord of all Egypt; come down to me, do not delay. You shall settle in the land of Goshen, and you shall be near me, you and your children and your children's children, as well as your flocks, your herds, and all that you have. I will provide for you there-- since there are five more years of famine to come-- so that you and your household, and all that you have, will not come to poverty.' And now your eyes and the eyes of my brother Benjamin see that it is my own mouth that speaks to you. You must tell my father how greatly I am honored in Egypt, and all that you have seen. Hurry and bring my father down here." Then he fell upon his brother Benjamin's neck and wept, while Benjamin wept upon his neck. And he kissed all his brothers and wept upon them; and after that his brothers talked with him.


1 Corinthians 7:32-40
I want you to be free from anxieties. The unmarried man is anxious about the affairs of the Lord, how to please the Lord; but the married man is anxious about the affairs of the world, how to please his wife, and his interests are divided. And the unmarried woman and the virgin are anxious about the affairs of the Lord, so that they may be holy in body and spirit; but the married woman is anxious about the affairs of the world, how to please her husband. I say this for your own benefit, not to put any restraint upon you, but to promote good order and unhindered devotion to the Lord. If anyone thinks that he is not behaving properly toward his fiancee, if his passions are strong, and so it has to be, let him marry as he wishes; it is no sin. Let them marry. But if someone stands firm in his resolve, being under no necessity but having his own desire under control, and has determined in his own mind to keep her as his fiancee, he will do well. So then, he who marries his fiancee does well; and he who refrains from marriage will do better. A wife is bound as long as her husband lives. But if the husband dies, she is free to marry anyone she wishes, only in the Lord. But in my judgment she is more blessed if she remains as she is. And I think that I too have the Spirit of God.


Mark 6:1-13
He left that place and came to his hometown, and his disciples followed him. On the sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astounded. They said, "Where did this man get all this? What is this wisdom that has been given to him? What deeds of power are being done by his hands! Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, and are not his sisters here with us?" And they took offense at him. Then Jesus said to them, "Prophets are not without honor, except in their hometown, and among their own kin, and in their own house." And he could do no deed of power there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and cured them. And he was amazed at their unbelief. Then he went about among the villages teaching. He called the twelve and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits. He ordered them to take nothing for their journey except a staff; no bread, no bag, no money in their belts; but to wear sandals and not to put on two tunics. He said to them, "Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave the place. If any place will not welcome you and they refuse to hear you, as you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet as a testimony against them." So they went out and proclaimed that all should repent. They cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.


Psalm 78: Part I Attendite, popule (Give ear, O)
1   Hear my teaching, O my people; incline your ears to the words of my mouth.
2   I will open my mouth in a parable; I will declare the mysteries of ancient times.
3   That which we have heard and known, and what our forefathers have told us, we will not hide from their children.
4   We will recount to generations to come the praiseworthy deeds and the power of the LORD, and the wonderful works he has done.
5   He gave his decrees to Jacob and established a law for Israel, which he commanded them to teach their children;
6   That the generations to come might know, and the children yet unborn; that they in their turn might tell it to their children;
7   So that they might put their trust in God, and not forget the deeds of God, but keep his commandments;
8   And not be like their forefathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation whose heart was not steadfast, and whose spirit was not faithful to God.
9   The people of Ephraim, armed with the bow, turned back in the day of battle;
10   They did not keep the covenant of God, and refused to walk in his law;
11   They forgot what he had done, and the wonders he had shown them.
12   He worked marvels in the sight of their forefathers, in the land of Egypt, in the field of Zoan.
13   He split open the sea and let them pass through; he made the waters stand up like walls.
14   He led them with a cloud by day, and all the night through with a glow of fire.
15   He split the hard rocks in the wilderness and gave them drink as from the great deep.
16   He brought streams out of the cliff, and the waters gushed out like rivers.
17   But they went on sinning against him, rebelling in the desert against the Most High.
18   They tested God in their hearts, demanding food for their craving.
19   They railed against God and said, "Can God set a table in the wilderness?
20   True, he struck the rock, the waters gushed out, and the gullies overflowed; but is he able to give bread or to provide meat for his people?"
21   When the LORD heard this, he was full of wrath; a fire was kindled against Jacob, and his anger mounted against Israel;
22   For they had no faith in God, nor did they put their trust in his saving power.
23   So he commanded the clouds above and opened the doors of heaven.
24   He rained down manna upon them to eat and gave them grain from heaven.
25   So mortals ate the bread of angels; he provided for them food enough.
26   He caused the east wind to blow in the heavens and led out the south wind by his might.
27   He rained down flesh upon them like dust and wing├ęd birds like the sand of the sea.
28   He let it fall in the midst of their camp and round about their dwellings.
29   So they ate and were well filled, for he gave them what they craved.
30   But they did not stop their craving, though the food was still in their mouths.
31   So God's anger mounted against them; he slew their strongest men and laid low the youth of Israel.
32   In spite of all this, they went on sinning and had no faith in his wonderful works.
33   So he brought their days to an end like a breath and their years in sudden terror.
34   Whenever he slew them, they would seek him, and repent, and diligently search for God.
35   They would remember that God was their rock, and the Most High God their redeemer.
36   But they flattered him with their mouths and lied to him with their tongues.
37   Their heart was not steadfast toward him, and they were not faithful to his covenant.
38   But he was so merciful that he forgave their sins and did not destroy them; many times he held back his anger and did not permit his wrath to be roused.
39   For he remembered that they were but flesh, a breath that goes forth and does not return.


Psalm 78: Part II Quoties exacerbaverunt (How often they rebelled)
40   How often the people disobeyed him in the wilderness and offended him in the desert!
41   Again and again they tempted God and provoked the Holy One of Israel.
42   They did not remember his power in the day when he ransomed them from the enemy;
43   How he wrought his signs in Egypt and his omens in the field of Zoan.
44   He turned their rivers into blood, so that they could not drink of their streams.
45   He sent swarms of flies among them, which ate them up, and frogs, which destroyed them.
46   He gave their crops to the caterpillar, the fruit of their toil to the locust.
47   He killed their vines with hail and their sycamores with frost.
48   He delivered their cattle to hailstones and their livestock to hot thunderbolts.
49   He poured out upon them his blazing anger: fury, indignation, and distress, a troop of destroying angels.
50   He gave full rein to his anger; he did not spare their souls from death; but delivered their lives to the plague.
51   He struck down all the firstborn of Egypt, the flower of manhood in the dwellings of Ham.
52   He led out his people like sheep and guided them in the wilderness like a flock.
53   He led them to safety, and they were not afraid; but the sea overwhelmed their enemies.
54   He brought them to his holy land, the mountain his right hand had won.
55   He drove out the Canaanites before them and apportioned an inheritance to them by lot; he made the tribes of Israel to dwell in their tents.
56   But they tested the Most High God, and defied him, and did not keep his commandments.
57   They turned away and were disloyal like their fathers; they were undependable like a warped bow.
58   They grieved him with their hill-altars they provoked his displeasure with their idols.
59   When God heard this, he was angry and utterly rejected Israel.
60   He forsook the shrine at Shiloh, the tabernacle where he had lived among his people.
61   He delivered the ark into captivity, his glory into the adversary's hand.
62   He gave his people to the sword and was angered against his inheritance.
63   The fire consumed their young men; there were no wedding songs for their maidens.
64   Their priests fell by the sword, and their widows made no lamentation.
65   Then the LORD woke as though from sleep, like a warrior refreshed with wine.
66   He struck his enemies on the backside and put them to perpetual shame.
67   He rejected the tent of Joseph and did not choose the tribe of Ephraim;
68   He chose instead the tribe of Judah and Mount Zion, which he loved.
69   He built his sanctuary like the heights of heaven, like the earth which he founded for ever.
70   He chose David his servant, and took him away from the sheepfolds.
71   He brought him from following the ewes, to be a shepherd over Jacob his people and over Israel his inheritance.
72   So he shepherded them with a faithful and true heart and guided them with the skillfulness of his hands.

Daily Meditation for March 1, 2016

From Forward Day by Day

Mark 6:7-8 He called the twelve and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits. He ordered them to take nothing for their journey except a staff; no bread, no bag, no money in their belts.

This is one of those scriptures that doesn’t sound like much until you stop to think about it. If this were written today, Jesus might send missionaries out into the world with just the clothes on their backs, no smartphones, and no credit cards. If we met someone on a journey like that, we’d probably call him or her crazy. Yet that’s exactly what Jesus asked his followers to do—to go out into the world, which was every bit as scary then as it is now—trusting in God to provide.

Really faithful acts often border on crazy. To trust God enough to embark on a journey such as this requires courage, trust, and maybe a willingness to set aside what reason dictates. What might my life look like if I could be that faithful? What are the smaller, slightly less crazy but still demanding things I am called to do as a follower of Jesus?