Thursday, July 18, 2013

The Laying on of Hands

After the laying on of hands at a diaconate ordination. (Diocese of Texas 2009)
In today’s continuation of the Acts of the Apostles, we hear about the laying on of hands on Barnabas and Saul (Paul):
Now in the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen a member of the court of Herod the ruler, and Saul. While they were worshipping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, ‘Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.’ Then after fasting and praying they laid their hands on them and sent them off.
So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia; and from there they sailed to Cyprus. When they arrived at Salamis, they proclaimed the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews. And they had John also to assist them. When they had gone through the whole island as far as Paphos, they met a certain magician, a Jewish false prophet, named Bar-Jesus. He was with the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, an intelligent man, who summoned Barnabas and Saul and wanted to hear the word of God. But the magician Elymas (for that is the translation of his name) opposed them and tried to turn the proconsul away from the faith. But Saul, also known as Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, looked intently at him and said, ‘You son of the devil, you enemy of all righteousness, full of all deceit and villainy, will you not stop making crooked the straight paths of the Lord? And now listen—the hand of the Lord is against you, and you will be blind for a while, unable to see the sun.’ Immediately mist and darkness came over him, and he went about groping for someone to lead him by the hand. When the proconsul saw what had happened, he believed, for he was astonished at the teaching about the Lord. (Acts 13:1-12).
Since the start of the Church, those who have been set apart for ordained ministry have had hands laid upon them by their fathers in faith.  That continues today.  There are 3 rites of ordination: deacons, priest and bishop.  In the ordination rites for deacons and priests, the bishop lays hands on the head of the person to be ordained.  When a bishop is ordained, there are 3 bishops who lay hands on the head of the person to be ordained bishop.  The basics have remained the same for 2000 years.
Let us pray for all of those who have been and will be ordained this summer as deacons and some subsequently as priests in the various parts of the Church:  O God of unchangeable power and eternal light: Look favorably on your whole Church, that wonderful and sacred mystery; by the effectual working of your providence, carry out in tranquility the plan of salvation; let the whole world see and know that things which were cast down are being raised up, and things which had grown old are being made  new, and that all things are being brought to their perfection by him through whom all things were made, your Son Jesus Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Paint to the Music: the week of 25 July from 10 am to 1 pm at Bright-Davies Hall, the Art Room.
Contemporary Moral Issues: 11:00 a.m. on Sundays.  
The Seaside Seniors will meet this Thursday for lunch starting at 11:00 a.m. and then there will be dancing from 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Thursday evening.
St. Augustine’s Feast Day will be celebrated on Sunday, 25 August 2013 at the 9:00 a.m. service followed by a pot luck lunch.  This is the 129th anniversary of the church.
Please remember everyone on our Prayer List, especially Henry and Marguerite who are in the hospital.
Your servant in Christ,
The Rev. Chester J. Makowski+
St. Augustine of Hippo Episcopal Church
Galveston, Texas 77550

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