Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Wednesday in Holy Week: Strengthen me

Last night I was called to visit two members of our parish who were in the emergency room at a local hospital. Neither was in a life-threatening situation, though both certainly wished they were somewhere else. 

A priest friend of mine who has specialized in hospital visitation for years told me once that every time she goes into a hospital room she says to herself "Lord, I am in over my head. Give me strength." And so I do that each time I visit someone in the hospital. 

Wednesday in Holy Week is about having strength. Tomorrow night the Great Three Days of the Easter Triduum begin, and we remember the events of the Last Supper and betrayal. Today, Wednesday in Holy Week, we remember that Jesus prayed for strength.

This morning's Daily Office readings go to that theme. The epistle for the day is the wonderful love letter of Paul to the persecuted Christians in Philippi (Philippians 4:1-13). Somehow they survived for they were able to preserve Paul's letter. In the letter, Paul tells them "the peace of God which passes all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus." And epistle ends with Paul saying "I can do all things through him who strengthens me." It is another way of saying, "Lord, I am in over my head. Give me strength."

Today at St. Paul's will be busy. At noon I will be offering an instructed Eucharist (meet me in the Library). At 5:30 pm is Evening Prayer, and Pastor Janet Legro will be offering a message for children. Our community night dinner is at 6 pm, and I will offer another instructed Eucharist at 7 pm in the chapel. Join us for as much as you can. And may the Lord give you strength!

The artwork today shows the East Transept window at Trinity Cathedral, Sacramento, where I was ordained and served as associate dean for six years, and where Lori and I worshipped for 18 years. The window depicts Paul. In his right hand is a scroll, signifying his letters. In his left hand is a sword, signifying the "sword of the Spirit" and the sword that legend has it was used to behead him. To read more about the windows of Trinity Cathedral, read the highly informative narrative by my friend The Rev. Canon Dr. Grant Carey by clicking HERE.

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