"Let us pray" To the church in Corinth, St. Paul wrote: For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. Fo

Trinity 12

"Let us pray"

To the church in Corinth, St. Paul wrote:

For we do not want you to be unaware, brothers, of the affliction we experienced in Asia. For we were so utterly burdened beyond our strength that we despaired of life itself. Indeed, we felt that we had received the sentence of death. But that was to make us rely not on ourselves but on God who raises the dead. He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and he will deliver us. On him we have set our hope that he will deliver us again. You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many. (2 Corinthians 1:8-11)

St. Paul does not tell us exactly what the source of his affliction was. We are left to wonder, was it: his battle with wild beasts in Ephesus (this was Tertullian's opinion) or perhaps the uproar against him caused by Demetrius the silversmith in Ephesus (see Acts 19:23)? Or maybe Paul was referring to the "many adversaries" who opposed him in Ephesus (1 Corinthians 16:9)? Another possibility is that St. Paul had nothing specific in mind, but was simply making reference to the numerous trials (including attempts against his life) and the general hardship he endured.

Recall that just after Paul's conversion, Jesus said: "(Paul) is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel. For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name” (Acts 9:15-16).

Within a single breath, Jesus can call Paul both "his chosen instrument" (for ministry) and also one who will "suffer for the sake of my name." This is sobering, for it reminds us that though God loves us, he does not always save us from hardship. Sometimes (oftentimes) it is his will to save us through hardship. The writer to the Hebrews says that "Although he (Jesus) was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered" (Hebrews 5:8).

Jesus was quite serious when he said (to all of his disciples): “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me" (Matthew 16:24).

Following Jesus in the way of the Cross is not an easy way, but it is the only way to follow him. There are not 2 paths for the disciple - there is only the path of the Cross. As Jesus told St. Thomas: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6). Coming to the Father through the Son means faithfully (and even joyfully) bearing whatever cross(es) God gives us, not in our own strength, but by the grace of God. We walk by faith, not by sight: the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, the means of grace and our hope that we are being prepared to join Jesus in Heaven are very strong weapons in our fight to remain faithful during trial.

And so, in faith we continually entrust ourselves to God, even though we do not know how we can possibly endure the trials that assail us. Such is the example given to us by Jesus (recall his anguish in the Garden of Gethsemane and his agony upon the Cross). And, to a lesser extent, such is the example given to us by St. Paul.

What are we to do when in the midst of trial? We are to do what Jesus did and what Paul did - we are to pray and we are to ask others to pray for us.

Your Pastor. Praying for you is one of my daily routines. Please be in touch with me and let me know how I may intercede on your behalf.
The People. We need to be faithful in our prayers for each other. I hope that each of you pray for me and for one another. Please send me prayer requests that can be shared with the rest of the parish, so that may pray for one another. And please consider joining me daily for either morning or evening prayer (enter in the back side door, and go up the back steps to the chancel).
The wider Church. Let us be certain to pray for the whole state of Christ's Church - most especially those Christian who are suffering (such as the Christians in Egypt).

Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. (Romans 12:12)


Prayer requests:

Let us remember to pray for:

Those parishioners who are starting college this Fall: Genna Mitchell; Christine Palazzolo and Austin Caldwell.
Our Nursery School and Classical Christian School - first day of classes, Sept 9.
The family of Mary Iacampo, as they mourn her death.
For our ministry to youth, especially: the start of Sunday School and Children's Church (Sept 8) and the first day of classes for our schools (Sept 9).
Those who are sick or recovering from illness: Richard Harkins, Martha Hevener, and Susan Cassidy.
Our Seminarians: Bart Gingerich & Brian Oldfield.
Those who are without work, the lonely, the mourning, the doubt-filled and those who minister to them.
The persecuted Church in Egypt.
Those suffering in Syria.

Please send your prayer requests to Fr. Patterson (215-884-7660 or jsspatterson@gmail.com)


Briefly Noted:

Mary Iacampo passed away earlier this week. A service will be held at St. Marks on Saturday, September 7th at 11 am.
Last night the Pattersons hosted the families and teachers who are a part of the Classical School. Currently there are 2 Kindergarteners, 4 first graders and 1 second grader.
Please continue to bring in used clothing (in good repair), bicycles (even those that need fixing) and canned goods to be donated to Grace Church (Collingdale). Please speak with Judy Palmer for more information.


On the Calendar:

September 8th - Sunday School and Children's Church begins for 2013/2014.
September 9th - first day of classes for the Nursery School and Classical School.
* Weekly Bible Study - will recommence on Thursday, September 12 at 10 am (meeting weekly).
* On September 29th we will commission all Sunday School, Children's Church, Nursery School and Classical School teachers. Following the service, there will be a reception honoring Dawn Mitchell for her long and faithful service to our church and Nursery School.
* September 20-22: Father/Son retreat.
* September 24 - Confirmation service for Brian and Morgan Oldfield (7 pm).