Then they came again to Jerusalem. And as he was walking in the temple, the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders came to him. (Mark 11:27)
Dear Jesus, please let the Presiding Bishop and the bishops and teachers of the Episcopal Church come to you.
And they said to him, “By what authority are you doing these things? And who gave you this authority to do these things?” (Mark 11:28 )
Holy Spirit, please help the leaders and teachers of the Episcopal Church to acknowledge and accept Jesus’ authority.
But Jesus answered and said to them, “I also will ask you one question; then answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things:” (Mark 11:29)
Jesus, please help all of us respond with faith when you ask those questions that search our hearts and minds.
“The baptism of John–was it from heaven or from men? Answer me.” (Mark 11:30)
Father, John was your man, your prophet — he spoke your word to the people. Please help us this Holy Week hear his call to repent and receive the baptism of fire that Jesus offers us.
And they reasoned among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ He will say, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ But if we say, ‘From men'”–they feared the people, for all counted John to have been a prophet indeed. So they answered and said to Jesus, “We do not know.” (Mark 11:31-33a)
Father, please set the leaders and teachers of the Episcopal Church free from weasel-worded answers, from “carefully nuanced” answers that deny what you have said and done.
And Jesus answered and said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.” (Mark 11:33b)
St. Augustine, the revered Bishop of Hippo who lived in the 3rd and 4th centuries AD, said, “I believe in order to understand” (credo ut intelligam). St. Anselm, who lived primarily in the 11th century AD, echoed this: “I do not seek to understand in order that I may believe, but I believe in order to understand.” Clearly, these two men answered the question by emphasizing faith. If these statements are any indication, St. Augustine and St. Anselm held to this axiom in Hebrews: “Through faith we understand…” (11:3). (From http://cshayden.blogspot.com/2005/05/credo-ut-intelligam.html)
Lord, give the leaders and teachers of the Episcopal Church the gift of faith so that they may believe and understand what you have said and done. Thank you.
Tuesday: 94; Lamentations 1:17-22; 2 Corinthians 1:8-22; Mark 11:27-33
Wednesday: 74; Lamentations 2:1-9; 2 Corinthians 1:23-2:11; Mark 12:1-11
Notes from the Front Line
***** Please pray for the ministry of the Cathedral Church of Down Patrick in the Diocese of Down and Dromore in Northern Ireland and for its rector Henry Hull.
***** Pray for the ministry of Marriage Encounter. Please pray that God will strengthen the marriages of his people in this diocese.
***** Please join the Good Friday Stations of the Cross through Hamilton Hill in Schenectady. It begins at Christ Church Schenectady and ends at the City Mission. There are rides back from the City Mission back to Christ Church. The walk takes about two hours. There are rides for those who cannot do the whole distance.