Staying Safe and Staying Connected
Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church,
Today is Wednesday in Holy Week
What Happened This Day?
On Wednesday, Jesus was in Bethany in the house of Simon the Leper. As he sat at the table, an unnamed woman came with an alabaster jar of very costly anointment, which she broke open and poured on Jesus’ head. Some who were present said to one another in anger, “Why this waste? For this ointment could have been sold for a large sum, and the money given to the poor.” And they scolded her.
But Jesus said, “Leave her alone. . . . She has done what she could; she has anointed my body beforehand before my burial.” And he commended her for what she had done.
Judas then went to the authorities and offered to betray Jesus. They were greatly pleased, and promised to give Judas money. And from that moment he began to look for an opportunity to betray him.
Wednesday’s events are recorded in Matthew 26:6-16, Mark 14:3-11, Luke 22:3-6.
In reference to Judas’ intent to betray Jesus, this day is also known as Spy Wednesday, as in ambush or snare.
Hear my prayer, O God; *Psalm 55: 1-2, 5-6, 13-15, 21-24a
do not hide yourself from my petition.
Listen to me and answer me; *
I have no peace, because of my cares.
My heart quakes within me, *
and the terrors of death have fallen upon me.
Fear and trembling have come over me, *
and horror overwhelms me.
For had it been an adversary who taunted me,
then I could have borne it; *
or had it been an enemy who vaunted himself against me,
then I could have hidden from him.
But it was you, a man after my own heart,
my companion, my own familiar friend.
We took sweet counsel together, *
and walked with the throng in the house of God.
My companion stretched forth his hand against his comrade; *
he has broken his covenant.
His speech is softer than butter, *
but war is in his heart.
His words are smoother than oil, *
but they are drawn swords.
Cast your burden upon the LORD,
and he will sustain you *
Psalm 55 is the prayer of an individual seeking God’s help. The psalm makes reference to various threats but twice indicates that the object of the complaint is a friend. It is a prayer for one who is betrayed by a friend.
“Way of the Cross” for Saint Stephen’s Congregation
Click here to view the “Way of the Cross” presentation.
From Our Prayers of the People
Today, let’s pray:
For the peace and unity of the Church of God; for all who proclaim the Gospel, and all who seek the truth.
For all affected by the coronavirus around the world. For comfort and healing for all who are affected by the Coronavirus, and for physicians, nurses, and all others who minister to the sick and the suffering, may God grant them wisdom and skill, sympathy and patience, and may God keep them healthy and safe.
For scientists and researchers around the world as they combat the virus, that their work may yield knowledge to develop a vaccine, treatments, and improved measures to reduce its spread.
For our Government Leaders: Donald Trump, President of the United States; Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York State; Gary McCarthy, Mayor of Schenectady
For those on the Parish Prayer Chain: Leah, Kevin, Guiles Family, Nick, Joe, Doug.
For those who are homebound: Stephen, Pauline, Joan, Janet and Marilyn.
Those who are imprisoned: those particularly vulnerable at this time, especially the women in the Schenectady County Jail.
For those in need of healing: Mark, the Guiles family, Cindi, Peter, Mary Frances, Debbie, and Joe.
For all the blessings of this life.
For Diana B – today is her baptismal anniversary!
For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: Michigan (The Episcopal Church) and West Texas (The Episcopal Church)
For all who have died: especially Robert, Charles, Julia, Adele, Glenn and Clark.
For one another.
Something to share
“Today was a Difficult Day,” said Pooh.A.A. Milne
There was a pause.
“Do you want to talk about it?” asked Piglet.
“No,” said Pooh after a bit. “No, I don’t think I do.”
“That’s okay,” said Piglet, and he came and sat beside his friend.
“What are you doing?” asked Pooh.
“Nothing, really,” said Piglet. “Only, I know what Difficult Days are like. I quite often don’t feel like talking about it on my Difficult Days either.
“But goodness,” continued Piglet, “Difficult Days are so much easier when you know you’ve got someone there for you. And I’ll always be here for you, Pooh.”
And as Pooh sat there, working through in his head his Difficult Day, while the solid, reliable Piglet sat next to him quietly, swinging his little legs…he thought that his best friend had never been more right.”
Judas IscariotR. A. K. Mason, 1971
sat in the upper
room with the others
at the supper
And sitting there smiled
up at his master
whom he knew the morrow
would roll in disaster.
At Christ’s look he guffawed
for then as thereafter
Judas was greatly
given to laughter,
Indeed they always said
that he was the veriest
prince of good fellows
and the whitest and merriest.
All the days of his life
he lived gay as a cricket
and would sing like the thrush
that sings in the thicket
He would sing like the thrush
that sings on the thorn
oh he was the most sporting bird
that ever was born.
News and Updates
Parish Morning Prayer in Zoom – each morning of Holy Week join Dennie and me for an inter-active service of Morning Prayer at 9 am. Time to bring your prayer concerns will be provided. (contact me for the link)
If you did not receive a phone call in the next few days from a member of the Vestry and you would like to be added to the communication list, please let me know (firstname.lastname@example.org) and share with me the best telephone number(s) where we can reach you. We will add you to the list right away.
If you have an update/news, a prayer or poem or something inspirational you would like us to share with the congregation, please send it to us. Please also send us any prayer requests. We will incorporate these into the Morning Prayers as best we can.
Our church campus is closed. All parish meetings and gatherings are canceled and postponed until further notice.
Be careful what you read online. There are reports of false information circulating in an attempt to create fear and confusion. And, God forbid, always remember – any online or texted-based solicitation from me for money is A SCAM. Do not reply to such messages. Delete them.
Our goal is for all of us to stay in touch and connected in this time of isolation.
Share this news, and spread some love, not the virus!
Be of good courage. We are in this together, and we will be together again soon. God bless you and may God be with us in the days ahead.