Saint Stephen’s Daily Prayers, Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Staying Safe and Staying Connected

 Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church,

 We continue our life of daily prayer. The Lord be with you!

Today is Tuesday in Holy Week

What Happened This Day?

On Tuesday morning, Jesus and his disciples returned to Jerusalem. They passed the withered fig tree on their way, and Jesus spoke to his companions about the importance of faith.

Back at the Temple, religious leaders were upset at Jesus for establishing himself as a spiritual authority. They organized an ambush with the intent to place him under arrest. But Jesus evaded their traps and then warned the crowds about them, saying: 

“Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, and to have the best seats in the synagogues and places of honor at banquets! They devour widows’ houses and for the sake of appearances say long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.” (Mark 12:38-40)

Later that afternoon, Jesus left the city and went with his disciples to the Mount of Olives, which sits due east of the Temple and overlooks Jerusalem. Here Jesus spoke of future persecutions, an elaborate prophecy about the destruction of Jerusalem and His Second Coming.

After a tiring day of confrontation and warnings about the future, once again, Jesus and the disciples returned to Bethany to stay the night.

Tuesday’s events are recorded in Matthew 21:23–24:51, Mark 11:20–13:37, Luke 20:1–21:38.

Today’s Prayer

Your hands fashioned and made me;

    and now you turn and destroy me. . . .

If I am wicked, woe to me!

    If I am righteous, I cannot lift up my head,

for I am filled with disgrace

    and look upon my affliction. . . .

Are not the days of my life few?

    Let me alone, that I may find a little comfort

before I go, never to return,

    to the land of gloom and deep darkness,

the land of gloom and chaos,

    where light is like darkness.”

           –  Job 10:8, 15, 20-22

Most people have some sense of the story of Job. Although he was a righteous person, pain and suffering came crashing into his life without any apparent reason. In the beginning Job was able to praise God and “keep a stiff upper lip,” eventually his frustration, which is understandable, comes to the surface, as is clear in this prayer.

From Our Prayers of the People 

For the special needs and concerns of our congregation. 

We remember people throughout the world: in places of war and strife, especially refugees and all victims of violence and oppression.

For the just and proper use of your creation: for the victims of hunger, fear, injustice, and oppression.

For comfort and healing for all who are affected by the Coronavirus:  for physicians, nurses, and all others who minister to the sick and the suffering, and for those administering the vaccination, may God grant them wisdom and skill, sympathy and patience, and may God keep them healthy and safe.

For all essential workers: for police, firefighters, EMTs, postal workers, sanitation workers, grocery personnel, delivery and transport workers, and all who must report to work because what they do is essential for our well-being, health, and safety.

For all historical acts of injustice and oppression: especially those perpetuated against native, Black, Hispanic and various Asian Americans in this abundant land, that we may recognize racism in ourselves, in our church, in our society, and the times we have failed to take action.

For those on the Parish Prayer Chain:  Waid, Dan, Hugh, Debby, Irene, Jeanne, Theresa, Josh, Amy, Greg, Craig, Donald, Gerald.

For those who are homebound: Joan, Janet and Marilyn.

For our Government Leaders: Joseph Biden, President of the United States; Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York State; Gary McCarthy, Mayor of Schenectady.

For our Church Leaders: Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop, William Love, and Daniel Herzog, retired bishops; James and Dennie, our priests; Pat, our deacon emeritus and Allison, our Lay Reader.

For those who are imprisoned: those particularly vulnerable at this time, especially the women in the Schenectady County Jail.

For Members who request our prayers for strength and healing:  Eunice, Marilyn, Priscilla, Ruth, Cindi, Mary Frances, Debbie, Joe.

For Daniel – today is his baptismal anniversary!

For all the blessings of this life.

 For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion:  The Diocese of Baringo – The Anglican Church of Kenya.

For all who have died:   Clark, Sara, William, Emma, Dorothy. 

For one another.

Something to share

The Place of the Damned

All folks who pretend to religion and grace,

Allow there’s a HELL, but dispute of the place:

But, if HELL may by logical rules be defined

The place of the damned -I’ll tell you my mind.

Wherever the damned do chiefly abound,

Most certainly there is HELL to be found:

Damned poets, damned critics, damned blockheads, damned knaves,

Damned senators bribed, damned prostitute slaves;

Damned lawyers and judges, damned lords and damned squires;

Damned spies and informers, damned friends and damned liars;

Damned villains, corrupted in every station;

Damned time-serving priests all over the nation;

And into the bargain I’ll readily give you

Damned ignorant prelates, and counsellors privy.

Then let us no longer by parsons be flammed,

For we know by these marks the place of the damned:

And HELL to be sure is at Paris or Rome.

How happy for us that it is not at home!

         – Jonathan Swift

News and Updates 

Holy Week Schedule

Holy Tuesday – March 30, 2021

9:00 am Morning Prayer on Zoom

Holy Wednesday – April 1, 2021

9:00 am Morning Prayer on Zoom

Maundy Thursday – April 1, 2021

9:00 am Morning Prayer on Zoom

Any time – Maundy Thursday Prayer Slideshow

Any time – Eucharist & Stripping of the Altar Video on YouTube

9:00 pm Prayer Vigil through the night at home

Good Friday – April 2, 2021

9:00 am Morning Prayer on Zoom

Any time – Stations of the Cross Slideshow

Any time – Good Friday Prayer Slideshow

Any time – Lessons & Prayers Video on YouTube

Easter Vigil –April 3, 2021

9:00 am Morning Prayer on Zoom

Any time – Lighting of the first fire,

            Nine lessons,

Renewal of Baptismal vows

 and Hebrew response Slideshow

Any time – Vigil Liturgy Video on YouTube

Easter Day – April 4, 2021

8:00 am Morning Prayer on Zoom

9:00 am Eucharist live on Facebook

Reminder

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: james.ross.mcd@gmail.com.

Prayerbook Morning Prayer in Zoom – each morning.  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 Becky for the link:   becky.holder@gmail.com).

If you need a prayerbook, and are not in a position to purchase one, please contact me: james.ross.mcd@gmail.com. I will make sure you have your own Book of Common Prayer. 

Our church campus is only partially open due to the current pandemic.  Please see our website for further information: https://st-stephens.church/. Most parish meetings and gatherings are canceled or postponed until further notice.

Our office email is: office@st-stephens.church.

We continue to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html and the NY  Department of Public Health https://www.health.ny.gov/ for information, updates, and guidance

Be careful what you read online. There are reports of false information circulating in an attempt to create fear and confusion. It is critical to discern what and how something is said as well as what is not said. 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!

Irish Blessing

May the road rise up to meet you,

May the wind be at your back,

May the sun shine upon your face,

he rains fall soft upon soft upon your fields,

And until we meet again

May God hold you in the palm of his hand.

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.