27 July 2022
Praying with the World Church in
Ordinary Time: Wednesday, 27 July 2022
The annual conference of the Anglican mission agency USPG (United Society Partners in the Gospel) in the High Leigh Conference Centre at Hoddesdon in Hertfordshire concludes today. The conference, which began on Monday, has the theme ‘Living Stones, Living Hope.’
On the main themes in the conference has been the future of theological education. In the Calendar of the Church of England in Common Worship, we remember remembers Brooke Foss Westcott, Bishop of Durham, Teacher of the Faith (1901), with a commemoration today (27 July).
I am continuing my prayer diary each morning this week in this way:
1,Reading the Gospel reading of the morning;
2,a short reflections on the reading;
3, a prayer from the USPG prayer diary, ‘Pray with the World Church.’
One of the Gospel readings provided in Exciting Holiness for Teachers of the Faith and Spiritual Writers is:
Matthew 5. 13-19 (NRSVA):
[Jesus said:] 13 ‘You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled under foot.
14 ‘You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.
17 ‘Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfil. 18 For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one letter, not one stroke of a letter, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. 19 Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, will be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.’
Brooke Foss Westcott was born near Birmingham on 12 January 1825. He was a student at Trinity College, Cambridge (BA , 1848), was elected a Fellow of Trinity College in 1849, and was ordained deacon in 1849 and priest in 1851.
He left Cambridge in 1852 to become an assistant master at Harrow. There he earned a reputation as a lecturer and scholar, and published a series of scholarly works on the Bible. He wrote commentaries on the gospel and epistles of Saint John, and his History of the New Testament Canon (1855) was for many years a standard work in biblical scholarship.
His reputation led eventually in 1870 to his election as Regius Professor of Divinity in the University of Cambridge, a position he retained even after being named bishop of Durham in 1890.
At Cambridge, he worked with the Dublin-born theologian and Biblical scholar, Fenton John Anthony Hort (1828-1892), and his friend from schooldays in Birmingham, Joseph Barber Lightfoot (1828-1889), in leading a revival in biblical studies and theology.
Westcott and Hort collaborated on an influential critical edition of the Greek text of the New Testament. The Westcott-Hort New Testament appeared in 1881 after almost 30 years of work and became a major source for the English Revised Version of the Bible published the same year.
Westcott was influential too in the field of Anglican social thought. In 1889, he convened a conference of Christians from all over Europe to consider the arms race. From this conference emerged the Christian Social Union, with Westcott as its president.
Westcott also played a significant role in founding the Clergy Training School in Cambridge, later renamed Westcott House in his honour.
In 1890, he was consecrated Bishop of Durham in succession to Lightfoot. His social concerns found other outlets in the promotion of missionary work, which he supported enthusiastically as bishop, and in the mediation of the Durham coal strike in 1892.
He died at Auckland Castle in Durham on this day in 1901.
The theme in the prayer diary of the Anglican mission agency USPG (United Society Partners in the Gospel) this week is ‘The Way Towards Healing,’ looking at the work for peace of the Churches in Korea. This theme was introduced on Sunday by Shin Seung-min, National Council of Churches in Korea.
Wednesday 27 July 2022:
The USPG Prayer Diary invites us to pray today in these words:
We pray for unity in difference. May we celebrate the diversity of our churches and communities as we journey together.
Scripture quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicised Edition copyright © 1989, 1995, National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. http://nrsvbibles.org