Friday, October 14, 2011


Friday, October 14, 2011 -- Week of Proper 23, Year One
Samuel Isaac Joseph Schereschewsky, Bishop of Shanghai, 1906

Today's Readings for the Daily Office (Book of Common Prayer, p. 988)
Psalms 16, 17 (morning)    //     22 (evening)
Jeremiah 38:14-28 
1 Corinthians 15:1-11 
Matthew 11:1-16

I want to think a bit about Samuel Isaac Joseph Schereschewsky who is commemorated today.  His is an amazing story.

A native of Lithuania, he was studying for the rabbinate when he became interested in Christianity.  He moved to the U.S., eventually graduating from my seminary, the General Theological Seminary in New York City.  (1859)  He responded to a call for missionaries to China and learned to write Chinese during the voyage on ship.  (That's remarkable.)  Starting in Peking, he translated the Bible and parts of the Prayer Book into Mandarin.  In 1877 he became Bishop of Shanghai and began translating the Bible into Wenli.  He founded St. John's University in Shanghai.  (That school is a fascinating story as well.  Look it up.)

In 1883, at the age of 52, he was stricken with paralysis.  For most of the rest of his life he lived in Japan where he continued his translation work, typing some 2,000 pages with the middle finger of his partially crippled hand.  He lived until 1906.

Four years before his death, he said this:  "I have sat in this chair over twenty years.  It seemed very hard at first.  But God knew best.  He kept me for the work for which I am best fitted."

That quote humbles and awes me. 


Audio podcast:  Listen to an audio podcast of the most recent Morning Reflections from today and the past week.  Click the following link:
Morning Reflection Podcasts

About Morning Reflections
"Morning Reflections" is a brief thought about the scripture readings from the Daily Office of Morning and Evening Prayer according to the practice found in the Book of Common Prayer of the Episcopal Church.

Morning Prayer begins on p. 80 of the Book of Common Prayer.
Evening Prayer begins on p. 117
An online resource for praying the Daily Office is found at -- Click for online Daily Office
Another form of the office from Phyllis Tickle's "Divine Hours" is available on our partner web site at this location -- --  Click for Divine Hours

The Mission of St. Paul's Episcopal Church
is to explore and celebrate
God's infinite grace, acceptance, and love.

See our Web site at

Our Rule of Life: 
We aspire to...
    worship weekly
    pray daily
    learn constantly
    serve joyfully 
    live generously.

Lowell Grisham, Rector
St. Paul's Episcopal Church
Fayetteville, Arkansas


At 9:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Father knows best. There is a fine line between the contentment illustrated here and the discontentment in the OWS. Crapping on a cop car or a US flag is NOT social change it is foolish discontent, especially when you consider true poverty across the world.

At 9:32 AM, Blogger Lowell said...

Dear Anonymous,

I attended the Occupy Fayetteville gathering Saturday. I thought it was a peaceful, creative container for a lot of constructive dialogue. The main focus was a helpful one -- money and power is concentrated into too few hands in the U.S. today, and that has distorted the expression of democracy and more widespread economic opportunity. There was no inappropriate behavior or even bad language. It was civil expression in its traditional form.

For the most part, that's been true around the nation. You've raised up the exceptions. Have you listened to the messages?



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