4th May 2021
...The Gathered Glories...
On May the 4th the Church of England
celebrates the witness of the
Saints and Martyrs of the
What is significant about this day
is that we are not simply remembering
'our own' martyrs, those like Cranmer,
Ridley and Latimer, who died for upholding
devotion to the Church of England
in the face of Roman Catholic persecution.
We are also remembering those Roman Catholics
who died at the hands of Protestants
for maintaining their Faith and allegiance.
It is recognized that there was true Godliness
and great courage in martyrs on both sides of
that divide, and also recognizing that there was
terrible error and great evil committed by
those who ordered the killings on both sides!
It is a salutary lesson in humility;
personal humility as we stand in awe
of the holiness and courage of those who were
prepared to go to their death for their faith,
(could we make such a sacrifice?)
but also corporate humility, humility and
repentance for the Church as an Institution
as we remember how Christians have turned so
swiftly from being oppressed
to becoming oppressors.
I would like to share with you
The Gathered Glories,
a sonnet from Sounding the Seasons,
published by Canterbury Press,
which celebrates the many unknown saints
who have passed through their great
tribulation and now
'shine in glory around the throne of the Lamb.'
Though Satan breaks our dark glass into shards
Each shard still shines with Christ's reflected light,
It glances from the eyes, kindles the words
Of all his unknown saints. The dark is bright
With quiet lives and steady lights undimmed,
The witness of the ones we shunned and shamed.
Plain in our sight and far beyond our seeing
He weaves them with us in the web of being
They stand beside us even as we grieve,
The lone and left behind whom no one claimed,
Unnumbered multitudes, he lifts above
The shadow of the gibbet and the grave,
To triumph where all saints are known and named;
The gathered glories of His wounded love.
It may be interesting to watch,
or just listen to a song
'For all the saints.'
via the link shown below.