Read Daniel 10
“There, but for the grace of God, go I.” So said the English Reformer John Bradford, apparently, when he saw prisoners being taken for execution. Death, he knew, was what his sin deserved. He would in the end be executed himself, though not for any sin. In 1555, he was burned to death at Smithfield, London, as part of “Bloody” Queen Mary’s campaign against the evangelicals. Tied to the stake, he turned to his fellow martyr, John Leaf, and said, “Be of good comfort, brother, for we shall have a merry supper with the Lord this night.”
Most Christians take mealtimes as a chance to thank God and remember him as their provider, but Bradford saw every part of the day as a gospel reminder. When waking in the morning, he would “call to mind the great joy and blessedness of the everlasting resurrection . . . that most clear light and bright morning . . . after the long darkness.” Seeing the sun, he would praise the Light of the world. Rising, he would think on how Christ raises us up. Dressing, he would pray, “O Christ, clothe me with thine own self” and remember “how we are incorporated into Christ . . . how he clothes us.” Eating meat, he would compare it to feeding on the body of Christ. When returning to his home, he would think “how joyful a return it will be to come to our eternal, most quiet, and most happy home.” And when finally undressing and getting into bed at night, he would think of putting “off the old man, with his lusts” and readying himself for the sleep of death: “As you are not afraid to enter into your bed, and to dispose yourself to sleep, so be not afraid to die.”
For Bradford, this is Christ’s world, and we live most happily in it when we acknowledge that constantly.
Excerpt from “Rejoicing in Christ” by Michael Reeves