Readings for Lancelot Andrewes Bishop and Scholar (September 26 1626)
“Lancelot Andrewes (1555-1626), Bishop of Winchester, was on the committee of scholars that produced the King James Translation of the Bible, and probably contributed more to that work than any other single person. It is accordingly no surprise to find him not only a devout writer but a learned and eloquent one, a master of English prose, and learned in Latin, Greek, Hebrew and eighteen other languages.” (James Keifer)
Here I am going to deviate from the assigned readings for Lancelot Andrewes and use the opening of the Gospel of Luke as a segue into this Bishop.
“Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught.” (Luke 1:1 – 4)
Like Luke who was an educated man, a physician and Greek writer, Lancelot Andrewes too was an educated man who was devoted to annotating details of his own theology which was only discovered after his passing. “Andrewes was a very devout man, and one of his most admired works is his Preces Privatae (“Private Devotions”), an anthology from the Scriptures and the ancient liturgies, compiled for his own use. It illustrates his piety and throws light on the sources of his theology.” (Great Cloud of Witnesses for September 26)
All of us who believe in God have a theology. Few of us have articulated it even though we weekly recite the Nicene Creed, but often it’s just keeping up with the Church service. And even fewer of us have gone to the point of writing it down. Luke did and so did Lancelot Andrewes, and so can you. If you believe there is a God, then you have a personal theology.
When I sit with people in spiritual counsel I often ask them to journal. From many I get the eye roll. But journaling is spiritual growth. We are never a finished product. We are always evolving. Journaling helps us to see our progress. And who knows, after you have passed, the words you have put to paper may be life-changing for family and friends who come after you. Such words may mean more to them than any material thing you might leave them.
Let us hear what the Spirit is saying through and to God’s people and then ponder anew what the Almighty can do. John+