Chad, Bishop of Lichfield, Missionary, 672
I cry aloud to God; I cry aloud to God and he will hear me.
In the day of my trouble I have sought the Lord; by night my hand is stretched out and does not tire; my soul refuses comfort. I think upon God and I groan; I ponder, and my spirit faints. You will not let my eyelids close; I am so troubled that I cannot speak. I consider the days of old; I remember the years long past; I commune with my heart in the night; my spirit searches for understanding.
Will the Lord cast us off for ever?
Will he no more show us his favour?
Has his loving mercy clean gone for ever?
Has his promise come to an end for evermore?
Has God forgotten to be gracious?
Has he shut up his compassion in displeasure?
And I said, ‘My grief is this: that the right hand of the Most High has lost its strength.’ I will remember the works of the Lord and call to mind your wonders of old time. I will meditate on all your works and ponder your mighty deeds. Your way, O God, is holy; who is so great a god as our God?
You are the God who worked wonders and declared your power among the peoples. With a mighty arm you redeemed your people, the children of Jacob and Joseph.
The waters saw you, O God; the waters saw you and were afraid; the depths also were troubled.
The clouds poured out water; the skies thundered; your arrows flashed on every side;
The voice of your thunder was in the whirlwind; your lightnings lit up the ground; the earth trembled and shook.
Your way was in the sea, and your paths in the great waters, but your footsteps were not known. You led your people like sheep by the hand of Moses and Aaron.
Is Israel a slave? Is he a home-born servant? Why then has he become plunder?
The lions have roared against him, they have roared loudly.They have made his land a waste; his cities are in ruins, without inhabitant. Moreover, the people of Memphis and Tahpanhes have broken the crown of your head. Have you not brought this upon yourself by forsaking the Lord your God, while he led you in the way?
What then do you gain by going to Egypt, to drink the waters of the Nile?
Or what do you gain by going to Assyria, to drink the waters of the Euphrates?
Your wickedness will punish you, and your apostasies will convict you. Know and see that it is evil and bitter for you to forsake the Lord your God; the fear of me is not in you,
says the Lord God of hosts.
For long ago you broke your yoke and burst your bonds, and you said, ‘I will not serve!’ On every high hill and under every green tree you sprawled and played the whore. Yet I planted you as a choice vine, from the purest stock.
How then did you turn degenerate and become a wild vine?
Though you wash yourself with lye and use much soap, the stain of your guilt is still before me,
says the Lord God.
How can you say, ‘I am not defiled, I have not gone after the Baals’?
Look at your way in the valley; know what you have done—a restive young camel interlacing her tracks, a wild ass at home in the wilderness, in her heat sniffing the wind!
Who can restrain her lust?
None who seek her need weary themselves; in her month they will find her. Keep your feet from going unshod and your throat from thirst.
But you said, ‘It is hopeless, for I have loved strangers, and after them I will go.’
As a thief is shamed when caught, so the house of Israel shall be shamed—they, their kings, their officials, their priests, and their prophets, who say to a tree, ‘You are my father’, and to a stone, ‘You gave me birth.’ For they have turned their backs to me and not their faces. But in the time of their trouble they say, ‘Come and save us!’
But where are your gods that you made for yourself?
Let them come, if they can save you, in your time of trouble; for you have as many gods as you have towns, O Judah.
Why do you complain against me? You have all rebelled against me, says the Lord.
In vain I have struck down your children; they accepted no correction. Your own sword devoured your prophets like a ravening lion. And you, O generation, behold the word of the Lord!
Have I been a wilderness to Israel, or a land of thick darkness Why then do my people say, ‘We are free, we will come to you no more’?
Can a girl forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire?
Yet my people have forgotten me, days without number.
Now when Jesus learned that the Pharisees had heard, ‘Jesus is making and baptizing more disciples than John’— although it was not Jesus himself but his disciples who baptized—he left Judea and started back to Galilee. But he had to go through Samaria. So he came to a Samaritan city called Sychar, near the plot of ground that Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired out by his journey, was sitting by the well. It was about noon.
A Samaritan woman came to draw water, and Jesus said to her, ‘Give me a drink’. (His disciples had gone to the city to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, ‘How is it that you, a Jew, ask a drink of me, a woman of Samaria?’ (Jews do not share things in common with Samaritans.) Jesus answered her, ‘If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, “Give me a drink”, you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.’ The woman said to him, ‘Sir, you have no bucket, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? Are you greater than our ancestor Jacob, who gave us the well, and with his sons and his flocks drank from it?’ Jesus said to her, ‘Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.’ The woman said to him, ‘Sir, give me this water, so that I may never be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water.’
Jesus said to her, ‘Go, call your husband, and come back.’ The woman answered him, ‘I have no husband.’ Jesus said to her, ‘You are right in saying, “I have no husband”; for you have had five husbands, and the one you have now is not your husband. What you have said is true!’ The woman said to him, ‘Sir, I see that you are a prophet. Our ancestors worshipped on this mountain, but you say that the place where people must worship is in Jerusalem.’ Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such as these to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.’ The woman said to him, ‘I know that Messiah is coming’ (who is called Christ). ‘When he comes, he will proclaim all things to us.’ Jesus said to her, ‘I am he, the one who is speaking to you.’
Almighty God, from the first fruits of the English nation who turned to Christ, you called your servant Chad to be an evangelist and bishop of his own people: give us grace so to follow his peaceable nature, humble spirit and prayerful life, that we may truly commend to others the faith which we ourselves profess; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.