Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Anskar, Apostle to the North: 3 February 2011

Anskar, a Saxon, was born in 801, in what would be Picardy today.In 826, when King Harald of Denmark asked for missionaries, Anskar, a Benedictine monk, was one of those who was sent out. Sadly, he was ridiculed by his peers for his missionary fervor. Later he also led a group to Sweden. He built school, and had dealings with the Vikings, who were a tough lot to evangelise, because they thought the breaking of oaths to be honourable. Because of the precariousness of the political situation, he returned to Hamburg, of which he became the first Archbishop. He helped consecrate Gotbert, the first Bishop of Sweden and is held to be the Apostle to the Swedish people. We remember Anskar most for being Apostle to the North, (Denmark, Sweden and Iceland) and because despite the fact he did not see the fruit of his works, he continued his labour. May we do likewise.

Collect: Lord Yeshua, your servant Anskar was called to Denmark and Sweden to proclaim the Gospel, and you gave him strength to continue despite disparagement and deterrence from those around him. Grant to us and our clergy like steadfastness of mind to obey your call, and trust in you for the seed planted to grow. This we ask through Yeshua haMoshiach, who lives and reins with you and the Ruach haKodesh, one God in glory everlasting.

Psalm 69:13-16
Zephaniah 3:9-12
Acts 1:1-9
Mark 6:7-13

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