Feb. 28 – 11:00am, Morning Prayer – Join here at 10:30am for gathering – service starts at 11am Meeting ID 834 7356 6532 Password 748475
Feb. 28 – 7:00pm, Compline – Join here at 6:30am for gathering – service starts at 7pm Meeting ID 834 7356 6532 Password 748475
March 1 – 6:30am – Be Still – Silent Prayer Meeting ID: 879 8071 6417 Passcode: 790929 Every Monday in Lent
March 3 – 10:00am – Ecumenical Bible Study through Zoom
March 6 – 11:00pm – 3pm, Diocesan Quiet Day. “Embracing Listening and Honest Conversation as Spiritual Disciplines.” Register
March 7 – Third Sunday in Lent
March 7 – 11:00am Morning Prayer – Join here at 10:30am for gathering – service starts at 11am Meeting ID 834 7356 6532 Password 748475
March 7 – 7:00pm, Compline – Join here at 6:30am for gathering – service starts at 7pm Meeting ID 834 7356 6532 Password 748475
ECW Soup Day, March 1!
This is an ECW project to deliver soup to about 10 families in the area that we have not seen during the pandemic. For more information
Diocese Quiet Day -“Embracing Listening and Honest Conversation as Spiritual Disciplines”, March 6, 11am-3pm
Led by The Very Rev. Kim Coleman
The initiative focuses on the sharing of 4 questions
•1 What do you love? •2 What have you lost? •3 Where do you hurt? •4 What do you dream?
This virtual gathering is powered by Zoom. Register or use this link – http://bit.ly/2NfqJuY
They are asking for contributions to compensate our facilitators. The suggested amount is $25; however, any amount is gratefully accepted.
Checks should be mailed to the ECW treasurer: Kaaron Austin, 7319 Willson Road, Henrico, VA 23231. To ensure delivery, please do not alter the street address—the spelling is correct.
Lent Began Feb. 17
Lent is a 40 day Christian festival beginning Ash Wednesday and concluding on Easter (Sundays are not counted). The 40 day fast of Jesus in the wilderness was responsible for the number 40 being chosen . It was said by Athanasius in 339 AD to be celebrated the world over.
The word “Lent” comes from the old Anglo-Saxon word lengten, which means “springtime,” named so for the time of the year in which it occurs. The five Lenten Sundays are followed by the Sunday of the Passion, Palm Sunday, which begins Holy Week, when we relive the events of Jesus Christ’s suffering and death.
What we now call Lent was originally a period of fasting and study for catechumens who were to be baptized on the Saturday before Easter. The purpose of this extended fast was to practice self-denial and humility. This was to prepare oneself for receiving God’s grace and forgiveness in baptism, given on Easter Saturday or Easter Sunday.
• A time for looking at the things we do that are wrong or that tempt us, asking God’s and other people’s forgiveness; • A time for giving up things that keep us from being loving people; • A time for doing extra things that will help us grow closer to God; • A time to be more aware of what it means to love as God loves us; • A time to ask God to help us to be more loving, remembering that God is always ready to strengthen us. • A time to let go of our normal routine, try a new spiritual practice, to step out of our box, to reflect on ourselves, to reflect on a relationship with God. It can be a very creative time. At a later time these practices may help us endure trying of challenging times. Lent gives us a chance to practice facing our fears, journeying in the wilderness, confronting the dangers and difficulties we find there, and reaching out for Jesus’ hand the entire trip.
"The forty days of Lent serve as a time for Christians to return to the Sacred Presence, to the God who has never left us, even though at times we have been far away. Lent is a time to renew classic disciplines of prayer and reflection, as well as ancient practices such as fasting and Bible study. All of this is designed to renew a right spirit within us and to prepare us for the events of Jesus’ death and resurrection at Easter."
‐The Rev. Gary Jones, St. Stephens, Richmond
Lent at St. Peter’s, 2021
Lent 3, Year B Lectionary Sunday, February 28, 2021
I.Theme – Old and new covenants
"Moses with the Ten Commandments" – Rembrandt, 1659
The lectionary readings are here or individually:
Commentary by Rev. Mindi Welton-Mitchell:
We continue to recall the covenants of God with the people, remembering the promises of old. We have remembered the covenants of God with Noah and all of creation, between God and Abraham and Sarah and their family, and now God’s new covenant with the people journeying out of Egypt to be their God in Exodus. God’s covenant requires that the people live in community, and these “ten best ways” (a phrase I borrow from the curriculum Godly Play) are part of that covenant, what the people have to do on their end to uphold the covenant. As we know, the covenant is larger than this, and there are over 600 law codes in Exodus and Leviticus on how the people of Moses’ day were required to live in community with each other, but these ten are the ones that have stood the test of time and have become a part of even our secular society. We remember most of all that to be part of God’s family, we have to be in community with each other.
Psalm 19 is a song of praise about creation and God’s covenant. The writer delights in the law of the Lord–in following God’s law, the psalmist knows he is part of the faithful community, part of God’s family–this is beautiful to the psalmist. The writer desires to be in the company of the faithful to God, and sings the beauty of the laws and ordinances.
John 2:13-22 extends the idea of the faithful community to within and beyond the walls of the Temple. When Jesus enters the temple and sees all sorts of animals being sold for the sacrifices, the temple priests making money off of those coming to exchange for the temple currency, his anger is kindled. In the other three Gospels Jesus turns over the tables, but in John’s Gospel (in which this event happens much earlier, on a first trip to Jerusalem, not the week Jesus is killed as it is in the other Gospels), Jesus makes a whip of cords and drives out the moneychangers and sellers. Jesus desires to end all boundaries to relationship with God. No longer will the poor, who do not have the money for the temple currency or to afford the clean animals for the sacrifice, be turned away, and no longer will those in the temple appear to have special access to God. The temple of God will no longer be in stone, but in Christ, and in our very selves, the body of Christ. No longer will there be arbitrary separation based on human standards, but all who believe will be in relationship with God.
1 Corinthians 1:18-25 is the famous discourse of Paul, that we proclaim Christ crucified. The new covenant in Christ is not written on tablets of stone or seen in a bow in the clouds, but is written in our hearts, as the prophet Jeremiah proclaimed. But more importantly, the new covenant is one in which death is no more. The cross is a stumbling block to those for whom the Messiah was supposed to avoid death. The cross is foolish to those who have had gods defy death. Instead, the cross calls us to put to death the sin within us, and to work to end sin in the world. But death itself is not something to be feared, because death has no power over us. The new covenant is new life–here and to come.
The new covenant, which is emerging in the Lenten passages this season, ends all separation from God. The covenant with Noah and all creation ensures that days and seasons, the passing of years, will never cease. The covenant with Abraham and Sarah promises a family of God that will endure for generations. The covenant with Moses and the people at Sinai ensures a community of faith, the family of God, participation with each other and relationship with God. But Christ calls forth a greater covenant, one in which there are no boundaries that can be drawn on earth or by any power to separate us from God’s love, and that by being the body of Christ, we are the temple for God, that cannot be destroyed because we have the promise of eternal life in Christ.
John 2:13-22 -Exploring the Temple Incident
We explore this verse in John’s Gospel:
"Making a whip of cords, he drove all of them out of the temple, both the sheep and the cattle. He also poured out the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. He told those who were selling the doves, "Take these things out of here! Stop making my Father’s house a marketplace!" His disciples remembered that it was written, "Zeal for your house will consume me." The Jews then said to him, "What sign can you show us for doing this?" Jesus answered them, "Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up." The Jews then said, "This temple has been under construction for forty-six years, and will you raise it up in three days?" But he was speaking of the temple of his body. "
1. The Setting
The story takes place within the 3rd temple (1st Solomon’s, 2nd one returning from Babylonia). Herod’s temple did take a generation to build. He ruled 36 years and the temple took 46 years to construct – and it was huge! The Temple area had been enlarged to a size of about thirty-five acres. Today the Western Wall, the so-called Wailing Wall, is all that remains of the ancient walls of Herod’s Temple
More specifically, the events took place outside in the Court of Gentiles. There was a market there selling sacrificial animals and birds outside the place where the priests worked. There was also a money exchange, since the Temple dues had to be paid in Tyrian coinage, and most people had Jerusalem coinage only. This meant that the atmosphere in the Court of the Gentiles was like an oriental bazaar where merchants haggled with Jewish pilgrims – like souvenir shops clustered round modern-day cathedrals
The market did provide a valuable service. Those selling animals were providing a service to those who needing an animal to sacrifice during Feast time. Obviously this had been approved by the Jewish leaders in the temple. This was a great convenience to Jews traveling great distances, since they did not have to have livestock in tow. They could buy the necessary sacrificial animals right at the temple.
The money changers were providing a valuable service. A tax was collected from every Israelite who was twenty years old. This was due during the month preceding the Passover and was either sent in by those who lived at a distance or paid in person by those who attended the festival. They had to pay in Jewish money and not by a foreign coin and nbsp;work, to enjoy working, and to experience thenbsp;work, to enjoy working, and to experience thethus the need to have their money exchanged
2. The issues
A. Jesus saw trade in the Temple as a desecration of its true purpose so, maybe with the help of others, he tried to shut down the trade in sacrificial animals and the money-changing that was going on. It was not a case of type of activity but where it was done.
B. He saw the Court of the Gentiles as a sacred place, part of God’s Temple. The tradespeople used the Court of the Gentiles as a short-cut between the city and the Mount of Olives – the Temple precincts could be entered from all four sides. The Court of the Gentiles was something less than a place of prayer.
Jesus was not the only one to object: there was widespread criticism of the 1st-century Temple scene among Jewish writers. The general hullabaloo of the area made this impossible, and it angered him. There is a strong contrast between "my Father’s house" and "a house of merchandise." This Father and any house of his have to do with prayer, worship, true religion.
Jesus is claiming to have the authority to correct evils performed in the temple. John is interested in showing his audience early on that Jesus is the long awaited Messiah, and as such, he is divinely empowered from on High to purge the Temple of its impurities.
C. He made an assessment that the trade and money changing exploited people, especially the poor, by making excessive charges, so he intervened. This is based on the other Gospels not John who never uses the phrase "den of robbers." Their endeavor to buy God’s favor is what fueled Jesus to cleanse the temple precincts.
D. Jesus thought the priests and Temple personnel were abusing their sacred roles by being involved in business in a sacred area. It was not the animal vendors and money-changers he criticised as much as the Temple establishment who allowed it. The ruling priests, especially the high priest himself, gave permission for these commercial activities to take place. They were ultimately responsible for this desecration of a holy place.
In the end, the temple story is important in John because he wants to convey the idea that what contributed to Jesus’ arrest and death was his so-called profanation against the Temple, and that it would be through his death and resurrection that he would fulfill the role as Messiah.
3. Contemporary voices
David Lose – God is no longer just accessible through the temple. In today’s world, church is not the destination but where we receive and then sent to partner to God in ordinary life.
Lawrence – The temple represents economic exploitation
Becky Zink-Sawyer – It is a message against all injustices that seek positive transformation
Daniel Clendenim –The cleansing of the temple is a stark warning against every false sense of security — against every nice-n-neat box I try to stick Jesus into for my own comfort. Jesus comes to challenge rather than to reinforce my prejudices and illusions. He comes to defamiliarize what religion makes safe and cozy. He never once says, "understand me." He says something far more radical. "Follow me.
Bill Loader – We don’t need the Temple to find God, we have Jesus for that
Scott Hoezee – The money changers et. al. were eclipsing the real role of the temple. The Jews no longer saw the temple as God’s house and lacked their faith of the past.
The Temple Incident – the Artists’ perspective
Giotto – "Explusion of the Moneychangers from the Temple" (1304-1306)
El Greco– "Purification of the Temple" (1570’s)
Valentine de Boulogne – "Expulsion of the Moneychangers from the Temple " (1620-1625)
Rembrandt-"Christ Driving the Moneychangers from
the Temple " (1626)
Arts and Faith for Lent 3
By Daniella Zsupan-Jerome, assistant professor of liturgy, catechesis, and evangelization at Loyola University New Orleans.
Quentin Matsys, the Flemish master of the 16th century, was known for his caricature painting and satirical commentary. In his Jesus Chasing the Merchants from the Temple, we see his caricatural style shine. Each person in this image has a unique expression, even the lamb being carried away in the center of the scene. Matsys was not one for flattery—the faces of some of the merchants border on grotesque, though not all. He is careful to maintain these as human faces, ones we can identify with and see ourselves in.
The scene includes the range of characters noted in the Gospel story. Christ is in the center, driving out the merchants with his rope whip, three merchants receiving his blows. One of them, perhaps a money changer, lies on the ground, his table flipped, his coins scattered. Another merchant is just making his escape with a lamb on his back, while the most grotesque one on the left is trying to get away with his goods under his arms. In the back left, three distinguished-looking men observe—these are perhaps the Jewish leaders who debate with Christ about the Temple in John’s Gospel. To the right of the scene are three additional onlookers: one more merchant partially concealed by a sack, a seated figure, and a Temple-goer, whom we see in profile.
The setting evokes the idea of the Temple, but in fact it is a high-Gothic church contemporary to the artist’s time, perhaps the Cathedral of Antwerp, the town where the artist was most active. Likewise, the colorful clothes each character wears tell us that Matsys set this scene not in the Temple of first-century Jerusalem, but in his own 16th century. This is a not-so-subtle satirical commentary suggesting that perhaps the Church at his time needed Jesus’ cleansing. Yet, through the use of thoroughly human faces, it is not just the people of Matsys’s time that needed repentance and purification. The image invites us to see ourselves in it as well, to see and acknowledge honestly those areas of our lives needing a major cleaning. The variety of faces offer several entry points for us—the person on the ground, the one escaping, the one looking on, the one hiding, the one at a critical distance—where do we find ourselves in this image?
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4. Server Schedule March, 2021
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Block Print by Mike Newman
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Knowing that not everyone prays at the same pace, you have control over the pace of the retreat. After each screen, a Continue button will appear. Click it when you are ready to move on. If you are new to online prayer, the basic timing of the screens will guide you through the experience.
Daily meditations in words and music.
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Saints of the Week, Feb 28, 2021 – March 7, 2021
|Anna Julia Haywood Cooper, Educator, 1964, and Elizabeth Evelyn Wright, Educator, 1904|
|David, Bishop of Menevia, Wales, c. 544|
|Chad, Bishop of Lichfield, 672|
|John and Charles Wesley, Priests, 1791, 1788|
|Paul Cuffee, Missionary, 1812|
|William W. Mayo, 1911, and Charles Menninger, 1953, and Their Sons, Pioneers in Medicine|
|Perpetua and Felicity, Martyrs, 202|