Mark 5:18-20

March 22, 2014

And when He got into the boat, he who had been demon-possessed begged Him that he might be with Him. (Mark 5:18 )
      To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven: a time to be with Jesus and a time to go forth as one who follows Jesus. (See Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 )

However, Jesus did not permit him, but said to him, “Go home to your friends, and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He has had compassion on you.” (Mark 5:19)
      Father, the harvest fields are all around us; send laborers into them. Here am I, send me.

And he departed and began to proclaim in Decapolis all that Jesus had done for him; and all marveled. (Mark 5:20)
      Holy Spirit, plese help me to proclaim all that Jesus has done for me. Thank you.

A word received: See my care for you.

Saturday: 75, 76 * 23, 27; Gen. 43:16-34: 1 Cor. 7:10-24: Mark 5:1-20
Sunday: 93, 96 * 34; Gen. 44:1-17: Rom. 8:1-10: John 5:25-29
Third Sunday in Lent: 95 or 95:6-11; Exodus 17:1-7; Romans 5:1-11; John 4:5-26(27-38 )39-42

      Notes from the Front Line

***** Christ Church Schenectady Prayer Table Report, Saturday, March 22, 2014, 9:20 – 10:30 a.m. Louise Popa, David Haig, and Torre Bissell on State St. It was very cold and windy.

+–indicates received a wooden cross made by Dennis Adams of North Carolina
199–“199 Promises of God”, a small paperback with encouraging quotes from the Bible

Steve (regular) — His business is finally getting started.

++Jason (regular) — We prayed for a good apartment for him, a good job, and sobriety. He took an extra cross for Lisa who used to live across the street with him.

Stephen (young man, regular) — He prayed for the healing of Torre’s back and Torre prayed for him.

+ 199 Thomas (man) — He gave his life to Jesus and accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior. We urged him to make following Jesus the focus of his life.

Steve (man) — He asked prayer that he would stay away from drugs and alcohol. We prayed for the Holy Spirit to help him. He said he prays for the power of the Holy Spirit to help him every morning. He already had a cross and a “199”.

+ 199 Vernnita (young woman) — She asked prayer for encouragement.

+ 199 Lucas (man) — He asked prayer that he would be reunited with his wife and children. They are currently separated because of his alcoholism. He confessed his sins and accepted God’s forgiveness. He wants to walk with Jesus.

José (man) — He stopped and blessed us.

Tom (man) — He asked prayer for God’s provision while he waits for his Social Security checks to start.

+ 199 Caroline (woman) — She asked prayer for her brother Gerald.

++ 199 Anna (woman) — Her boyfriend John has problems with his arm. We prayed for healing.

199 Charity (woman) — She asked for a blessing.

Albany Intercessor

Bishop Menees’ Reflection on the Collect for the Third Sunday in Lent

March 22, 2014

Thanks to Soundings blog for making Bp. Menees’ notes on the collects available to a wider audience.  Bishop Eric Menees is Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of San Joaquin.

Almighty God, who seest that we have no power of ourselves to help ourselves: Keep us both outwardly in our bodies and inwardly in our souls, that we may be defended from all adversities which may happen to the body, and from all evil thoughts which may assault and hurt the soul; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
On Lent One, Fr. Tony Faint at St. Timothy’s, Bishop, began his sermon by quoting step one of the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous: “We admitted we were powerless over our addiction – that our lives had become unmanageable.” Fr. Faint’s point was that we must admit that, without the power of the Holy Spirit, we are powerless over sin in our lives.
The collect for the Third Sunday of Lent makes the same point – that we have no power within ourselves to help ourselves overcome sin in our lives. Of course, this is not a new thought – it dates back to the first century, with St. Paul admitting to God, himself, and the people of the Church in Rome: “I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” (Romans 7:15) Admitting that we have no power to help ourselves is absolutely necessary for our salvation. When we live with the illusion that we have the power to help ourselves, then we never need God! So the scriptures teach us that we have no power to help ourselves, and therefore we need to turn to God.
The service of Reconciliation begins with this very admittance:
Bless me, for I have sinned.
The Priest says
The Lord be in your heart and upon your lips that you may truly and humbly confess your sins: In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
I confess to Almighty God, to his Church, and to you, that I have sinned by my own fault in thought, word, and deed, in things done and left undone; especially ______.” (BCP pg. 447)
Precisely because we are powerless to help ourselves, we must seek Him who is all powerful – The Lord God Almighty – for our protection and for our forgiveness. Thanks be to God, we are loved beyond our wildest imaginations by Jesus Christ, who willingly suffered and died that the veil may be torn in two and the chasm between God and man may be bridged.
And so we pray to Him for protection – protection from the enemy and the father of all lies, and for protection against our own weakness to see through those lies; lies like, “You don’t need God,” or “God doesn’t make junk, so you are perfect just the way you are.”
 My prayer for you and for me this Third Sunday in Lent is that we will not rely upon ourselves, but upon Jesus Christ – and Him alone – for our salvation, forgiveness, and protection. And to that I say… AMEN

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