Toyohiko Kagawa: Prophetic Witness in Japan, 1960

Thursday, April 23, 2015Saturday, April 23, 2016Monday, April 23, 2018
The Collect: 

We bless your Name, O God, for the witness of Toyohiko Kagawa, reformer and teacher, who was persecuted for his pacifist principles and went on to lead a movement for democracy in Japan; and we pray that you would strengthen and protect all who suffer for their fidelity to Jesus Christ; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Old Testament: 
Job 13:13-22

13 ‘Let me have silence, and I will speak,
   and let come on me what may. 
14 I will take my flesh in my teeth,
   and put my life in my hand.* 
15 See, he will kill me; I have no hope;*
   but I will defend my ways to his face. 
16 This will be my salvation,
   that the godless shall not come before him. 
17 Listen carefully to my words,
   and let my declaration be in your ears. 
18 I have indeed prepared my case;
   I know that I shall be vindicated. 
19 Who is there that will contend with me?
   For then I would be silent and die.

20 Only grant two things to me,
   then I will not hide myself from your face: 
21 withdraw your hand far from me,
   and do not let dread of you terrify me. 
22 Then call, and I will answer;
   or let me speak, and you reply to me.

Psalm 140

To the leader. A Psalm of David.
1 Deliver me, O Lord, from evildoers;
   protect me from those who are violent, 
2 who plan evil things in their minds
   and stir up wars continually. 
3 They make their tongue sharp as a snake’s,
   and under their lips is the venom of vipers.

4 Guard me, O Lord, from the hands of the wicked;
   protect me from the violent
   who have planned my downfall. 
5 The arrogant have hidden a trap for me,
   and with cords they have spread a net;*
   along the road they have set snares for me.

6 I say to the Lord, ‘You are my God;
   give ear, O Lord, to the voice of my supplications.’ 
7 O Lord, my Lord, my strong deliverer,
   you have covered my head in the day of battle. 
8 Do not grant, O Lord, the desires of the wicked;
   do not further their evil plot.*

9 Those who surround me lift up their heads;*
   let the mischief of their lips overwhelm them! 
10 Let burning coals fall on them!
   Let them be flung into pits, no more to rise! 
11 Do not let the slanderer be established in the land;
   let evil speedily hunt down the violent! 

12 I know that the Lord maintains the cause of the needy,
   and executes justice for the poor. 
13 Surely the righteous shall give thanks to your name;
   the upright shall live in your presence.

Philippians 1:12-20

12 I want you to know, beloved,* that what has happened to me has actually helped to spread the gospel, 13so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard* and to everyone else that my imprisonment is for Christ; 14and most of the brothers and sisters,*having been made confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, dare to speak the word* with greater boldness and without fear. 15 Some proclaim Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from goodwill.16These proclaim Christ out of love, knowing that I have been put here for the defence of the gospel; 17the others proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely but intending to increase my suffering in my imprisonment. 18What does it matter? Just this, that Christ is proclaimed in every way, whether out of false motives or true; and in that I rejoice. Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, 19for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will result in my deliverance.20It is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be put to shame in any way, but that by my speaking with all boldness, Christ will be exalted now as always in my body, whether by life or by death.

Luke 22:47-53

47 While he was still speaking, suddenly a crowd came, and the one called Judas, one of the twelve, was leading them. He approached Jesus to kiss him; 48but Jesus said to him, ‘Judas, is it with a kiss that you are betraying the Son of Man?’ 49When those who were around him saw what was coming, they asked, ‘Lord, should we strike with the sword?’ 50Then one of them struck the slave of the high priest and cut off his right ear.51But Jesus said, ‘No more of this!’ And he touched his ear and healed him. 52Then Jesus said to the chief priests, the officers of the temple police, and the elders who had come for him, ‘Have you come out with swords and clubs as if I were a bandit? 53When I was with you day after day in the temple, you did not lay hands on me. But this is your hour, and the power of darkness!’