I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. Philippians 4:11b

Leonides, a distinguished and respected philosopher in Alexandria, Egypt, was imprisoned and had all his property confiscated when it was discovered that he was a Christian. He was later beheaded in the persecution under the Roman emperor Septimius Severus.

One of his sons, Origen, went on to become a leading theologian in the 3rd-century Egyptian church. It is said that Origen’s mother hid her son’s clothes to prevent him from joining his father in martyrdom.

Teach me, Lord Jesus, to live simply and love purely, like a child, and to know that You are unchanged in Your attitudes and actions toward me.

Give me not to be hungering for the strange, rare and peculiar when the common, ordinary, and regular – rightly taken – will suffice to feed and satisfy the soul. Bring struggle when I need it; take away ease at Your pleasure.

Jim Elliot (1927-1956)

Jerusalem the golden, with milk and honey blest,
Beneath thy contemplation sink heart and voice oppressed.
I know not, O I know not, what joys await us there,
What radiancy of glory, what bliss beyond compare.
Bernard of Morlaix (fl. 1146)
Translated by John M. K. Neale (1818-1866)

Photo by Chris Benson on Unsplash

Dr Patrick Sookhdeo is the International Director of Barnabas Fund and the Executive Director of the Oxford Centre for Religion and Public Life.