Tuesday, September 27, 2011

the Lords Prayer Scottish Gaelic

The Lord's Prayer

(Scottish Gaelic)

Ar n-Athair a tha air nèamh,
Gu naomhaichear d'ainm.
Thigeadh do rìoghachd.
Dèanar do thoil air an talamh,
mar a nìthear air nèamh.
Tabhair dhuinn an-diugh ar n-aran làitheil.
Agus maith dhuinn ar fiachan,
amhail a mhaitheas sinne dar luchd-fiach.
Agus na leig ann am buaireadh sinn;
ach saor sinn o olc:
oir is leatsa an rìoghachd,
agus an cumhachd,
agus a' glòir,
gu sìorraidh. Amen

Monday, September 26, 2011

the Celtic Cross

The Celtic Cross, or wheel cross, is one of the most widely recognized patterns of this Christian symbol. It comes to us through at least three different paths, or interpretations of its development. First, the circle with rays coming out from the center through its sides, top and bottom, had been a widespread symbol for the sun. In the Celtic world, this sun symbol had often been represented as an actual wheel with numerous spokes, deriving from the old belief that the sun was drawn by a chariot with wheels. This interpretation is adaptable to Christianity on the basis that Christ is the Light of the world. Moreover, with its longer bottom line, the Celtic cross is reminiscent of the Star of Bethlehem, with the light directing us to the birth of the Savior.

The second path is more traditionally Christian and can be traced in the development of the cross itself on monuments in Britain and elsewhere. One of the earliest Christian symbols (even before the cross) was the Chi-Rho -- a combination of the first two Greek letters in the name Christos, resembling a P over an X and often placed within a circle or wreath. Gradually, the X was turned to become a crossed vertical and horizontal line, with the vertical line merging with the vertical line of the P. The loop of the P eventually disappeared, leaving us with the simple cross within a circle. By extending the lines outside the circle, we have the traditional Celtic cross.

In a more basically Celtic tradition, however, the cross is indeed a "wheel cross." The wheel was a symbol of the Indo-European peoples who had come into the West with the domesticated horse and the chariot. So the wheel in its simplest symbolic representation of a circle (the rim) with internal vertical and horizontal lines (the spokes) came to be associated with the Europeans and especially with the Celtic peoples. The Christian cross then is a traditional wheel symbol with the arms extended to form the cross of Christ superimposed upon the circular wheel. This interpretation is highly symbolic of Christ's Lordship over the Celtic people, but it also represents a combination of Christianity with traditional Celtic spirituality.

One thing that the interpretation of the Celtic cross as a wheel cross does give us that is most characteristic of the Celtic way is the idea of connectedness. As the Celtic knots that often adorn it show a connectedness through the single unbroken thread, the wheel cross provides us with another unbroken symbol in a circle -- often used as a symbol itself for the unity of the people of God -- connected and embraced by the arms of the cross.

graphic: St. John's Cross, Iona
from all saints parish web sight

Thursday, September 15, 2011


The Welsh Revival of 1904-1905

During the spring of 1904 a young Welshman named Evan Roberts was repeatedly awakened at 1:00 a.m. He met with God until 5:00 a.m. The Welsh revival followed. Churches were packed for prayer meetings. In a prayer meeting for young people, Pastor Joseph Jenkins asked for testimonies. A young girl named Florrie Evans, who had only been a believer a few days, rose and with a trembling voice said simply, "I love Jesus with all my heart." The other young people's hearts were melted. A powerful spiritual awakening that brought 100,000 people to Christ was under way.

On November 7th, 1904 Moraih Chapel was filled to capacity for a prayer meeting that lasted until 3:00 a.m. Soul winning spread through the coalmines. Profane swearing stopped. Even the miners' horses were puzzled when their masters stopped cursing.

Orders to the Bible Society "for Scriptures from Wales during November and December, were over three times the amount for the corresponding months of 1903..." The Times said this resulted from the Welsh revival, adding that this demand showed no sign of falling off.

"The mighty and unseen breath of the Spirit was doing in a month more than centuries of legislation could accomplish" the pastor of Saint John's-Wood Presbyterian Church declared on Sunday, January 1st, 1905 according to the London Times.

The Welsh revival "had a great effect" in healing spiritual carelessness among Christians and "the growing bitterness which has accentuated our unhappy divisions", the Bishop of Bangor declared on January 2nd, 1905. He called "congregations to meet together often for united prayer."

The Times added that "the religious revival in Wales continues...with unabated zeal." Huge crowds were attending the meetings. Bible verses covered the doors down in the coalmines. "At Swansea the Poor Law guardians...dealt with revival cases in which people...have taken their parents from the workhouse."

"The Welsh revival movement has shown no sign of flagging...", The Times pointed out on January 10th. Entire congregations were on their knees in fervent prayer and "for the first time there was not a single case of drunkenness at the Swansea Petty Sessions."

On January 11th The Times noted that David Lloyd-George, who later became the British Prime Minister, said the Welsh revival gave hope "that at the next election Wales would declare with no uncertain sound against the corruption in high places which handed over the destiny of the people to the horrible brewing interest...".

Lloyd-George even saw one of his political rallies taken over by the Welsh revival. He was impressed as a young girl prayed in the presence of 2,000 people. He said in one town the tavern sold only 9 cents worth of liquor drinks on Saturday night!

The Times observed that "The whole population had been suddenly stirred by a common impulse. Religion had become the absorbing interest of their lives. They had gathered at crowded services for six and eight hours at a time. Political meetings and even football matches were postponed...quarrels between trade-union workmen and non-unionists had been made up..."

"At Glyn-Neath a feud had existed for the past 10 or 12 years between the two Independent chapels, but during the past week united services have been held in both chapels, and the ministers have shaken hands before the congregations."
The Salvation Army set apart January 19th, 1905 for a day of confession, humiliation, and prayer throughout England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. All day prayer meetings were held in many of the principal cities of the British Isles, according to the London Times. The meeting was marked by "fervent prayer and any one who felt called upon to pray." Fires of spiritual revival and moral recovery were spreading.

Coal miners crowed into prayer meetings that lasted till 3:00 a.m. and then washed, ate breakfast and returned to work. Many drunkards confessed their sins and received Christ.

According to the London Times of February 2nd, 1905 due to the Welsh revival many men abandoned dins of iniquity. Employers noticed a great improvement in the work produced by their employees. A judge named Sir Marchant Williams said that his work was much lighter especially regarding drunkenness and related offenses.

The revival fires burning in Wales in 1904-05 spread through England, Ireland and Scotland. Prayer meetings multiplied. As many as 2,000 attended a prayer meeting in the city of Bradford. In the City of Leeds, Samuel Chadwick reported that his church was never empty all day. An amazing work of grace transformed life in a factory.

In 1905 a week of united prayer meetings in an English town called Nuneaton led to a "glorious revival". The Prince's Theatre was packed each Sunday night after church with 1500 praying believers and many unsaved seekers. In Bulwell, many of the most degraded drunkards were converted. In the Bedfordshire villages, whole nights devoted to prayer prepared for powerful evangelism.

Joseph Kemp, pastor of Charlotte Chapel in Edinburgh, visited God's mighty work of revival in Wales in 1904. Back in his home church on New Year's Eve, 1905, an unusually fervent prayer meeting led to conviction of sin. A powerful revival that continued for over two years was under way. A strong work of evangelism began. 1,000 inquirers received counseling.

The Irish Presbyterians issued a Call to Prayer. Noonday and evening prayer meetings multiplied. The Irish Methodists and other denominations experienced an unusual spirit of grace and supplications. In Lurgan, revival meetings packed both the First Presbyterian and the Methodist churches. The taverns were emptied while people who had not attended church before come in record numbers and received Christ.

Revival fires spread through Bangor University resulting in "only a third or fourth of the students attending some of the classes... Beginning with a spontaneous outburst of praise and prayer among the men students, the movement spread...at a united prayer meeting...some...broke down sobbing."

In 1905 when Fred C. Gibson became pastor of 1st Presbyterian Church in Tobormore, County Londonderry, Ireland the little town was morally and spiritually dead. So he signed a covenant with God to seek revival by his preaching and his prayers. In spite of strong resistance, God moved in special meetings that changed the Christians and resulted in remarkable conversions of hardened sinners.

God can do it again. Join with others all over the world in praying for spiritual awakening. Gather a group to pray on the first Monday of each month.

graphics:  upper left: prayer meeting in the coal mines, middle right welsh revival stock photo, lower left Evan Roberts and team

 All Rights Reserved. You may copy for free distribution without making any changes; Rev. Oliver W. Price

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Early Church teaching: the Incarnation (6)

The Word, the Wisdom of God, was made flesh 

from a Sermon of  Peter Chrysologus

The blessed apostle has recalled that two men gave a beginning to the human race, namely Adam and Christ; two men equal in physical nature but unequal in merit; truly alike in their bodily structure, but totally dissimilar in their own origin.  ‘The first Adam', he says, ‘became a living being; the last Adam became a life-giving spirit.

That first Adam was made by this last, from whom he obtained the soul to give him life; the last was author of his own making: he did not look for life from another, but himself alone bestowed life on all.  The first Adam is moulded from the vile dust of the earth, the second comes forth from the precious womb of the Virgin.  In the first Adam earth is changed into flesh, in the last, flesh is raised up to God.

And what more?  This last is the Adam, who when forming the first set his own image in him.  Hence he assumed his role, and received his name to prevent the loss of what he had made to his own image.  There is a first Adam, then, and a last Adam: the first has a beginning, the last has no end.  Because this last is in truth himself the first, as he says, ‘I am the first and the last...'.

‘As was the man of dust, so are those who are of the dust; and as is the man of heaven, so are those who are of heaven'.  How shall those not born in such a condition be found so, remaining not as they were born, but as they were reborn?

This is the reason, brothers, why the heavenly Spirit makes fertile the womb of the virginal font, by the secret admixture of his light, that it may bring forth as heavenly creatures, and bring back to the likeness of the Creator, those whom their origin in earth's dust had produced as men of dust in miserable state.  So now reborn and refashioned to the likeness of our Creator, let us fulfil the apostle's command: ‘Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, let us also bear the image of the man of heaven'.
Now reborn after the pattern of our Lord, as I have said, let us bear the full and complete image of our maker; not in majesty, in which he is alone, but in innocence, simplicity, meekness, patience, humility, mercy and concord - in which he designed to become and to be one with us.

graphics: upper: Zairian Christ, lower: south park Jesus

Monday, September 5, 2011

Mother Teresa (1910- 1997)


    The verses below reportedly were written on the wall of Mother Teresa's home for children in Calcutta, India, and are widely attributed to her.  Some sources say that it was  written on the wall in Mother Teresa's own room.  In any case, they are association with Mother Teresa and the Missionaries of Charity.
        People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered.  Forgive them anyway.
   If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives.  Be kind anyway.
  If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies.  Succeed anyway.
    If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you.  Be honest and sincere anyway.
    What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight.  Create anyway.
    If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous.  Be happy anyway.
     The good you do today, will often be forgotten.  Do good anyway.
    Give the best you have, and it will never be enough.  Give your best anyway.
 In the final analysis, it is between you and God.  It was never between you and them anyway.

-this version is credited to Mother Teresa

living water thumb nail of mother Teresa