Daily Prayer At Saint Laika’s

THURSDAY THE TWENTY-NINTH OF JUNE, 2017
* Peter *

OPENING PRAYER

Almighty God, who on the day of Pentecost sent your Holy Spirit to the apostles with the wind from heaven and in tongues of flame, filling them with joy and boldness to preach the gospel: by the power of the same Spirit strengthen us to witness to your truth and to draw everyone to the fire of your love; through Jesus Christ our lord. Amen.

CANTICLE

Forsaken once, and thrice denied,
the risen Lord gave pardon free,
stood once again at Peter’s side,
and asked him, 'Lovest thou Me?'

How many times with faithless word
have we denied his holy name,
how oft forsaken our dear lord,
and shrunk when trial came!

Saint Peter, when the cock crew clear,
went out, and wept his broken faith;
strong as a rock through strife and fear,
he served his Lord till death.

How oft his cowardice of heart
we have without his love sincere,
the sin without the sorrow’s smart,
the shame without the tear!

O oft forsaken, oft denied,
forgive our shame, wash out our sin;
look on us from thy father’s side
and let that sweet look win.

Hear when we call thee from the deep,
still walk beside us on the shore,
give hands to work, and eyes to weep,
and hearts to love thee more.

(C. F. Alexander )

MEDITATION by Tim Madsen

St Peter, apostle: “Quo Vadis?” Not a bad question for any of us

The scriptures of the "New Testament" are full of stories about Peter. The gospel accounts certainly testify to his impetuous nature: stepping outside the boat to walk to Jesus across the water; suffering the rebuke of Jesus for praying that Jesus not suffer; boldly confessing that he would never deny Jesus, only to do that very thing. Of all the apostles of the Lord, Peter is the one we know best. The force of his personality leaves an impression on all who read the stories of Jesus.

The scriptures leave us with the definite notion that Peter assumed the leadership of the Christian movement after Pentecost. He had to steer a course between those who wanted to make following Jesus a Judaic sect and those who wanted to abandon Judaism completely to take the message of Jesus to the wider world.

Most scholars today would say that the two "New Testament" letters that bear his name were most likely not written by Peter himself, but the fact that they were attributed to him shows that as the years stretched on, he remained a powerful leader in the early Church.

The "New Testament" tells us nothing of the later ministry of Peter. An apocryphal book entitled “The Acts of Peter,” (c.150AD) tells us of Peter’s ministry in the city of Rome and of his crucifixion under Nero, a crucifixion, at Peter’s own request, upside down, feeling unworthy to imitate so closely his Lord.

The Acts of Peter also tells that when the persecution of Christians commenced under Nero, Peter fled Rome, seeking safety. On the road out of Rome, Peter met the risen Christ heading toward Rome.

Peter asked him, “Quo vadis, Domine?” (“Where are you going, Lord.”)

Jesus is said to have responded “I am going to Rome, to be crucified again.”

Peter took that as a sign that he should return to Rome to face his own martyrdom.

If Christianity is less about following the rules of some particular group, and more about following Jesus, it seems that “Quo vadis, Domine?” is a good question for us to ask. It sets our faith squarely on the person of Jesus, and provides us an immediacy in our following, less dependent on what others tell us about how we should follow.

Scripture. In the "Second Letter of Peter," chapter one, verses sixteen to eighteen we read:

"For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we had been eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received honour and glory from God the Father when that voice was conveyed to him by the Majestic Glory, saying, ‘This is my Son, my Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.’ We ourselves heard this voice come from heaven, while we were with him on the holy mountain."

INTERCESSIONS

We pray...

... for peace in the world.

... for fishermen, net makers, shipbuilders and all under the patronage of Saint Peter.

... for the people of French Polynesia celebrating Internal Autonomy Day today.

... for those undergoing, waiting for and waiting for the results of medical tests.

... for those who are being treated for cancer; that their treatment will be successful.

... for those who have been sexually abused by members of the clergy or other church leaders.

... for bloggers and others who use the internet to campaign against social injustice, especially Mother Mushroom and all those who face imprisonment or worse for doing so. DETAILS

... for disabled people facing discrimination and prejudice, especially those who are traveling. DETAILS

... for those who have died and for those who mourn their passing.

... for those who are unwell and for those caring for them.

... for those, both close to us and far off, who we hold in our personal prayers.

... for ourselves.

THE LORD'S PRAYER

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.

READING

From a sermon by Augustine of Hippo:

The blessed Peter, the first of the Apostles, the ardent lover of Christ, who was found worthy to hear, "And I say to you, that you are Peter."

He himself, you see, had just said, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God."

Christ said to him, "And I say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my Church."

Upon this rock I will build the faith you have just confessed. Upon your words, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God," I will build my Church; because you are Peter.

Peter comes from "petra," meaning a rock. Peter, “Rocky,” from “rock”; not “rock” from “Rocky.” Peter comes from the word for a rock in exactly the same way as the name Christian comes from Christ.

Before his passion the Lord Jesus, as you know, chose those disciples of his whom he called apostles. Among these it was only Peter who almost everywhere was given the privilege of representing the whole Church. It was in the person of the whole Church, which he alone represented, that he was privileged to hear, To you will I give the keys of the kingdom of heaven. After all, it is not just one man that received these keys, but the Church in its unity. So this is the reason for Peter’s acknowledged pre-eminence, that he stood for the Church’s universality and unity, when he was told, to you I am entrusting, what has in fact been entrusted to all.

To show you that it is the Church which has received the keys of the kingdom of heaven, listen to what the Lord says in another place to all his apostles: "Receive the Holy Spirit;" and immediately afterwards, "Whose sins you forgive, they will be forgiven them; whose sins you retain, they will be retained."

Quite rightly, too, did the Lord after his resurrection entrust his sheep to Peter to be fed. It is not, you see, that he alone among the disciples was fit to feed the Lord’s sheep; but when Christ speaks to one man, unity is being commended to us. And he first speaks to Peter, because Peter is the first among the apostles.

Do not be sad, Apostle. Answer once, answer again, answer a third time. Let confession conquer three times with love, because self-assurance was conquered three times by fear. What you had bound three times must be loosed three times. Loose through love what you had bound through fear.

And for all that, the Lord once, and again, and a third time, entrusted his sheep to Peter.

CLOSING PRAYER

Lord God, You have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown. Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go, but only that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us; through Jesus Christ our lord. Amen.

May the Lord bless us, protect us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.

NOW LIGHT A CANDLE

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