Life of Imitation
"Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God." (Ephesians 5:1-2)
Yesterday was the anniversary of the event that sparked a revolution of love that founded the Church of England. In 1534 King Henry 8th had made himself head of the Church in England although he remained loyal to Catholic doctrine.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Cranmer was however a Protestant and he appointed Hugh Latimer as royal chaplain and Nicholas Ridley as his personal chaplain. Together, they set about reforming the Church in England and returning it to its biblical roots.
In the late 1530's Henry 8th unknowingly authorized the publishing of William Tyndale's translation of the Bible into English but in 1547 Henry died and the Reformation in England faltered. Henry's young son Edward became king at the age of nine and although a committed Christian he only lived for 6 more years.
He was succeeded by Mary Tudor, his half sister, who was a devout Roman Catholic. Crowned Queen Mary 1st, she soon earned the nickname "Bloody Mary", imprisoning Cranmer, Latimer and Ridley. She had them tried for heresy and condemned to death. On 16th October 1555, Latimer and Ridley were led out of prison to be burned at the stake. As the fire was lit, Latimer said to Ridley, "Be of good comfort, Master Ridley, and play the man. We shall this day light such a candle by God's grace in England as I trust shall never be put out." Thomas Cranmer, whose English Prayer Book, we use every Sunday, was executed soon after.
But the deaths of Cranmer, Latimer and Ridley however, did indeed, light a candle that has never been put out.
What motivated them? "Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love." (Ephesians 5:1). The love of Christ had captured their hearts. Compelled by thankfulness. Co ...
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