Wednesday, August 26, 2015

I Put My Trust in Your Mercy

One of the appointed Psalms for the Daily Prayer of the Church is Psalm 13 for Evening Prayer.  On another day of violence in our country when people are killed on live television, the Psalmist prays:
How long, O Lord? will you forget me for ever? *
                  How long will you hide your face from me?
How long shall I have perplexity in my mind, and grief in my heart, day after day? *
                  How long shall my enemy triumph over me?
Look upon me and answer me, O Lord my God; *
                  give light to my eyes, lest I sleep in death;
Lest my enemy say, "I have prevailed over him," *
                  and my foes rejoice that I have fallen.
But I put my trust in your mercy; *
                  my heart is joyful because of your saving help.
I will sing to the Lord, for he has dealt with me richly; *
                  I will praise the Name of the Lord Most High.
The alleged shooter, Vester Lee Flanagan, a.k.a. Bryce Williams, was by all accounts, an angry man.  In a long letter to the station, he said that he was angered by the shootings in Charleston at the Emmanuel AME Church.  Anger is a dangerous thing.  The people of Emmanuel AME Church reacted to that senseless tragedy in the most Christian of ways.  In the face of their own grief and shock, they were quick to pray, to support each other and to forgive.  The action today is in a marked contrast to that response.  But in the end, we, like our brothers and sisters in faith at Emmanuel AME, put our trust in God because he is merciful with us and our hearts, although in grief, can rejoice because of God’s saving help.  Jesus, by his death and resurrection, has conquered death.  That was exactly what our brothers and sisters at Emmanuel AME witnessed to us, love and forgiveness in the face of evil.  And that, evil cannot abide!
Let us pray:  I am Resurrection and I am Life, says the Lord. Whoever has faith in me shall have life, even though he die. And everyone who has life, and has committed himself to me in faith, shall not die for ever. As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives and that at the last he will stand upon the earth. After my awaking, he will raise me up; and in my body I shall see God. I myself shall see, and my eyes behold him who is my friend and not a stranger. For none of us has life in himself, and none becomes his own master when he dies. For if we have life, we are alive in the Lord, and if we die, we die in the Lord. So, then, whether we live or die, we are the Lord's possession. Amen.
St. Augustine’s Feast Day on Sunday, 30 August.  The Rev. Dr. Tom Bain will be our preacher, and we will have a baptism as well.  Pot luck lunch to follow.  PLEASE REMEMBER TO BRING CANNED GOODS (ESPECIALLY CANNED TUNA, SALMON AND CHICKEN) FOR THE EVENT.
"In the Name of God" Blood Drive: These 3 distinct Galveston religious communities are promoting hope and inclusion by co-hosting the first annual "In The Name of God" Blood Drive at the Galveston Islamic Center, 921 Broadway, Galveston Texas 77550, on Friday, 4 September 2015, from 11 AM to 4 PM. Co-sponsoring the event is the Galveston Islamic Center, Congregation B’nai Israel, and St. Augustine of Hippo Episcopal Church. The donated blood will be for patients at Galveston’s UTMB and Shriners Children’s Hospitals.
Please remember everyone on our Prayer List.
Your servant in Christ,
Fr. Chester J. Makowski+
St. Augustine of Hippo Episcopal Church
Galveston, Texas 77550

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