Reaching forth our hands in love

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Today’s matchup in Lent Madness — you are participating in Lent Madness, right? — features Charles Henry Brent, first missionary bishop to the Phillipines and first bishop of Western New York.

Celebrity blogger Laura Darling writes: “After serving as the senior chaplain of the American Expeditionary Forces during World War I, he became bishop of Western New York. Prior to this, he established himself as a leader in the ecumenical movement, having attended the World Missionary Conference in Edinburgh in 1910. He continued to work for the cause of Christian unity, presiding at the World Conference of Faith and Order in Lausanne, Switzerland in 1927.”

However, Brent is also the author of one of the loveliest prayers for mission in Morning Prayer:

Lord Jesus Christ, you stretched out your arms of love on the hard wood of the cross that everyone might come within the reach of your saving embrace: So clothe us in your Spirit that we, reaching forth our hands in love, may bring those who do not know you to the knowledge and love of you, for the honor of your Name. Amen. (BCP 101)

On this Friday, as on so many others, may Jesus clothe us in his own Spirit as we make this our prayer.

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