Dear people of faith,
We come to the time of the week where the worshipping heart of the people come together as community, as church. We look forward to seeing each other ‘in church’. In this time of heightened anxiety of what each day now holds, we hold onto the joy of being face to face.
Can I call your attention to the new communications we are sending out Wednesday, and Friday “Community News”. If you are not receiving these please let me know. We are becoming aware that perhaps a few parishioners are not, as it is sent through a different system to ‘Faith Daily’.
With blessings for this day, and that you will continue to be a blessing for others, Rev’d. Jan
Collect for the Week
O God, the protector of all that trust in you,
without whom nothing is strong, nothing is holy:
increase and multiply upon us your mercy,
that, with you as our ruler and guide,
we may so pass through things temporal
that we finally lose not the things eternal.
Grant this, O heavenly Father,
for the sake of Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Amen APBA p.565
GOSPEL for the Day: Matthew 14: 1-12
At that time Herod the ruler heard reports about Jesus; and he said to his servants, “This is John the Baptist; he has been raised from the dead, and for this reason these powers are at work in him.” For Herod had arrested John, bound him, and put him in prison on account of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, because John had been telling him, “It is not lawful for you to have her.” Though Herod wanted to put him to death, he feared the crowd, because they regarded him as a prophet. But when Herod’s birthday came, the daughter of Herodias danced before the company, and she pleased Herod so much that he promised on oath to grant her whatever she might ask. Prompted by her mother, she said, “Give me the head of John the Baptist here on a platter.” The king was grieved, yet out of regard for his oaths and for the guests, he commanded it to be given; he sent and had John beheaded in the prison. The head was brought on a platter and given to the girl, who brought it to her mother. His disciples came and took the body and buried it; then they went and told Jesus.
REFLECTION on the Gospel: contributed by Rev’d Josie
Who am I in this picture? John the Baptist, the fearless champion of truth and justice? Or Herod, the one who compromised truth and justice because of pressure of opinion and his own personal interests? I am sure all of us can think of times when we compromised with what we knew was the good thing, the right thing to do and took the line of less resistance, particularly when it aligned with our own interests.
Interesting also is the length the text goes to in attempting to lay the blame for the Baptist’s death on the one with the most power in this story. Somehow a woman and girl bear much of the blame in a society when we know they could have only very limited influence on events. Isn’t it easier to pass responsibility on to those who are already marginalized?
FINAL PRAYER Jim Cotter “Unfolding the Living Word”
Living Presence, strong and merciful,
coming in our midst with transforming power,
make ready a way in our wilderness,
clear a path in the tangle of our hearts,
that we may become a repentant people
who hunger and thirst and strive
for what is just and good.
We pray this through the One
in whose constant coming we trust,
whose day is always near,
Jesus the Christ. Amen.