The skies are gray and the air is filled with mist in London today. On trains people are reading news about a BBC scandal, how today’s children will have a lower standard of living than their parents, unemployment not only in the United Kingdom but in Spain, the intrusion of the European Economic Union’s regulations in England, and how people will have to work until they are 70 because they cannot afford to retire.
The Old Testament reading for today is taken from the Book of Sirach who reminds us:
A wise magistrate educates his people,and the rule of an intelligent person is well ordered.
As the people’s judge is, so are his officials;
as the ruler of the city is, so are all its inhabitants.
An undisciplined king ruins his people,
but a city becomes fit to live in through the understanding of its rulers.
The government of the earth is in the hand of the Lord,
and over it he will raise up the right leader for the time.
Human success is in the hand of the Lord,
and it is he who confers honor upon the lawgiver.
Do not get angry with your neighbor for every injury,
and do not resort to acts of insolence.
Arrogance is hateful to the Lord and to mortals,
and injustice is outrageous to both.
Sovereignty passes from nation to nation
on account of injustice and insolence and wealth.
How can dust and ashes be proud?
Even in life the human body decays.
A long illness baffles the physician;
the king of today will die tomorrow. (Sirach 10: 1-10).
Sirach has a way of putting things into perspective. Everything is in God’s hands; even kings are simply stewards of God’s world. When the rulers of the nations forget whose servants they are, when the rulers of the nations forget that God is their king, then things go badly because priorities are out of order.
Let us pray: O Lord our Governor, whose glory is in all the world: We commend all nations to thy merciful care, that, being guided by thy Providence, we may dwell secure in thy peace. Grant to all in authority, wisdom and strength to know and to do thy will. Fill them with the love of truth and righteousness, and make them ever mindful of their calling to serve this people in thy fear; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.
The Ladies from the Diocese of Southern Malawi are being hosted by the Taylors and St. Augustine’s is hosting a pot luck dinner for them today, Thursday, during their visit to the Island. They will discuss with us their work in the literacy field.
Please remember everyone on our Prayer List, especially Steve Poirier who died yesterday, Rose Daniels, Patricia Florence and Gladys Simon.
Your servant in Christ,
Fr. Chester J. Makowski+St. Augustine of Hippo Episcopal Church
Galveston, Texas 77550