From Father Tom …

The Gospel

Mark 1:29-39

After Jesus and his disciples left the synagogue, they entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they told him about her at once. He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up. Then the fever left her, and she began to serve them.

That evening, at sundown, they brought to him all who were sick or possessed with demons. And the whole city was gathered around the door. And he cured many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him. In the morning, while it was still very dark, he got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed. And Simon and his companions hunted for him. When they found him, they said to him, “Everyone is searching for you.” He answered, “Let us go on to the neighboring towns, so that I may proclaim the message there also; for that is what I came out to do.” And he went throughout Galilee, proclaiming the message in their synagogues and casting out demons.

We have a practice in the Episcopal Church called dwelling in the word (or Lectio Divina) in which we read a passage of scripture and then answer several questions. The first question is, what word or phrase jumps out at you?  I have always found this to be grounding for me and gets my head into what I am reading quicker than anything else. In the passage above as I read the Gospel, the word or phrase or sentence that jumped out at me was “Everyone is searching for you.” 

There have been times in my life when I have searched for someone, and I must admit that Jesus has not been one of them. Jesus has just always been right here for me to trust, speak to, rely on and confide in. I hope that you too have a personal relationship with our Lord and savior.

This past weekend was clergy conference. Your deacon, George Ham and I spent the better part of Friday evening and all-day Saturday engaged in conservation with missioners and other Minnesota Clergy from around the state along with Bishop Loya and others. 

I am highlighting Bishop Loya’s words and thoughts here in that he expressed that we all, as Episcopalians, need to be praying on a daily basis if not several times a day. Luckily, we have a Book of Common Prayer that makes it easy for us to pray collectively several times throughout the day with regularity.

The Daily Office starts on page 75, noon day prayer begins on page 103 and is followed by evening prayer on page 115. The prayer book closes out the prayer day with compline on page 127. 

Speaking of compline, the series that Deacon George ran from January 10th to the 20th was highly successful and well attended and I have been toying with the idea of having compline once a week via zoom. To get a feeling of how you and our congregation feel about enjoying some more prayer time together (such as we are) I have created an online survey which I would love for you to take. It will take you less than 1 minute. 

Thank you in advance.

Here is the link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/27DBWN7

Father Tom

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