Lent Madness: Charles Simeon vs. Philip

Lent Madness continues with this seemingly bizarre matchup  between a 19th century British missionary and one of Jesus’ twelve apostles. This might seem like Duke playing against Western Maryland College in the first round of the NCAA tournament but this is how cinderallas are born. It’s not over until the final vote is counted. Plus, at least Charles Simeon doesn’t have to share his collect with anybody.

In recent Lent Madness action, Polycarp trounced Cyprian 72% to 28% and will move on to face the winner of John Keble vs. Justin Martyr later in the first round. Click Lent Madness 2011 to view the updated tournament bracket.

Charles Simeon was a priest and academic who served as chaplain at Holy Trinity, Cambridge, for 55 years. Two of his students upon whom he exerted great influence, Henry Martin and William Wilberforce (who we’ll see later in Lent Madness), both ended up on the Church’s Calendar of Saints. Simeon is considered a missionary even though he stayed in one place his entire vocational life. It was his preaching of the gospel with such enthusiasm that enabled others to go out and proclaim Christ to the world.

Collect for Charles Simeon
O loving God, who order all things by your unerring wisdom and unbounded love: Grant us in all things to see your hand; that, following the example and teaching of your servant Charles Simeon, we may walk with Christ in all simplicity, and serve you with a quiet and contented mind; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Philip is mentioned only as a name on a list in the synoptic gospels but is visible in several key stories in John. He was called early on in Jesus’ public ministry (1:44) and immediately brought his friend Nathanael to see Jesus. Later, when some Greeks wanted to meet Jesus, they asked Philip for an introduction(12:20). And at the Last Supper (14:8) Philip is quoted as having said to Jesus, “Lord, show us the Father, and we shall be satisfied.” To which Jesus answered, “He who has seen me has seen the Father.”

That’s pretty much all that we know of the life of Philip. Christian tradition holds that he later preached in Greece, Syria, and Phrygia and there are various stories of his martyrdom.

Collect for Philip (and James)                                                                                                                                                           Almighty God, who gave to your apostles Philip and James grace and strength to bear witness to the truth: Grant that we, being mindful of their victory of faith, may glorify in life and death the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.



5 Comments on “Lent Madness: Charles Simeon vs. Philip”

  1. The Virtual Abbey says:

    Voting for the guy with the icon! How’s that for a reasoned reason?

  2. Bob Chapman says:

    Anyone who was an influence on Wilberforce gets my vote.

  3. Anne LeVeque says:

    Philip preached to the Ethiopian eunuch, gaining the first Gentile convert to Christianity – so we do know just a little more about him!

  4. commcanon says:

    As much as I like the quiet life, I gotta go with Philip. If he was good enough for Jesus, he’s good enough for me. Plus the funniest person I know is named Phil.

  5. Stephen Secaur says:

    Now this is the kind of tourney I can get into.

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