The appointed Gospel reading for the Daily Prayer of the Church comes from the 24th chapter of Matthew where we read:
As Jesus came out of the temple and was going away, his disciples came to point out to him the buildings of the temple. Then he asked them, ‘You see all these, do you not? Truly I tell you, not one stone will be left here upon another; all will be thrown down.’
When he was sitting on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, saying, ‘Tell us, when will this be, and what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age?’ Jesus answered them, ‘Beware that no one leads you astray. For many will come in my name, saying, “I am the Messiah!” and they will lead many astray. And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars; see that you are not alarmed; for this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places: all this is but the beginning of the birth pangs.
‘Then they will hand you over to be tortured and will put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of my name. Then many will fall away, and they will betray one another and hate one another. And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray. And because of the increase of lawlessness, the love of many will grow cold. But anyone who endures to the end will be saved. And this good news of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the world, as a testimony to all the nations; and then the end will come. (Mt. 24:1-14).
I suppose that every generation that has read this passage has believed that this was all taking place in their day. And I suppose that it is true. Nation is always rising against nation, and there are always those who are trying to lead the faithful astray claiming to be coming in the name of Jesus. But this is also true; Jesus told us that we would not know the hour of his coming again in power and great glory. Jesus also told us that where 2 or 3 are gathered in his name, he would be in the midst of them. Jesus also told us that he would be with us to the end of the age. And so he is. So when we watch the evening news and we witness war in all parts of the world, when we hear people trying to lead us astray, we can rest assured that Jesus is with us in the here and now no matter what is raging around us.
Let us pray: O God, the King eternal, who divides the day from the night and turns the shadow of death into the morning: Drive far from us all wrong desires, incline our hearts to keep your law, and guide our feet into the way of peace; that, having done your will with cheerfulness while it was day, we may, when night comes, rejoice to give you thanks; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
IT IS HURRICANE SEASON! ARE YOU PREPARED? MAKE SURE THAT YOUR INSURANCE PREMIUMS ARE CURRENT. THE CHURCH HAS PAID ITS INSURANCE PREMIUMS THROUGH SEPTEMBER.
Children’s Summer Art Program, the “Art of Listening” starts on Monday, 21 July and ends on Friday, 25 July. Each day we will start at 10 A.M. and end at 1 P.M. Lunch will be provided.
EFM Dinner on 27 July at 6 P.M. at the Taylors’ home. Every baptized person is called to ministry. The Education for Ministry (“EFM”) program provides people with the education to carry out that ministry. During the Service of Confirmation we ask God to "Renew in these your servants the covenant you made with them at Baptism. Send them forth in the power of the Spirit to perform the service you set before them." EFM offers an opportunity to discover how to respond to the call to Christian service. Please come and learn about the benefits of EFM.
Please remember everyone on our Prayer List.
Your servant in Christ,
Fr. Chester J. Makowski+
St. Augustine of Hippo Episcopal Church
Galveston, Texas 77550