Tuesday, 9 March 2021

Praying in Lent and Easter 2021:
21, Friends’ Metting House, Tokyo

The Quaker Meeting House in Tokyo … I went to church here as a student in Tokyo in 1979 (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Patrick Comerford

During Lent and Easter this year, I am taking some time each morning to reflect in these ways:

1, a photograph of a church or place of worship that has been significant in my spiritual life;

2, the day’s Gospel reading;

3, a prayer from the prayer diary of the Anglican mission agency USPG (United Society Partners in the Gospel).

This week I am offering photographs from seven churches that have connections with my education. My photographs this morning (9 March 2021) are from Friends’ Meeting House in Tokyo.

In 1979, while I was still in my 20s and a journalist on the Foreign Desk of The IrishTimes, the editor, Douglas Gageby, secured a fellowship for me through the Fondation Journalistes en Europe (Paris) and Nihon Shimbum Kyokai (the Japanese Newspaper Publishers Association) that allowed me to spend a full term in Tokyo, from May to August, studying journalism and economics. I stayed in the Asia Bunka Kaikan, a student hostel in Tokyo. Each Sunday, two of us crossed the city and went to church in the Quaker meeting house.

Matthew 18: 21-35 (NRSVA):

21 Then Peter came and said to him, ‘Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?’ 22 Jesus said to him, ‘Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times.

23 ‘For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves. 24 When he began the reckoning, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him; 25 and, as he could not pay, his lord ordered him to be sold, together with his wife and children and all his possessions, and payment to be made. 26 So the slave fell on his knees before him, saying, “Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.” 27 And out of pity for him, the lord of that slave released him and forgave him the debt. 28 But that same slave, as he went out, came upon one of his fellow-slaves who owed him a hundred denarii; and seizing him by the throat, he said, “Pay what you owe.” 29 Then his fellow-slave fell down and pleaded with him, “Have patience with me, and I will pay you.” 30 But he refused; then he went and threw him into prison until he should pay the debt. 31 When his fellow-slaves saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their lord all that had taken place. 32 Then his lord summoned him and said to him, “You wicked slave! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. 33 Should you not have had mercy on your fellow-slave, as I had mercy on you?” 34 And in anger his lord handed him over to be tortured until he should pay his entire debt. 35 So my heavenly Father will also do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother or sister from your heart.’

Prayer in the USPG Prayer Diary:

The Prayer in the USPG Prayer Diary today (9 March 2021) prays:

Let us pray for all countries that depend on tourism for a healthy economy, and which have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Yesterday’s reflection

Continued tomorrow

The Quaker Meeting House in Tokyo provided a warm welcome in 1979 (Photograph: Patrick Comerford)

Scripture quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicised Edition copyright © 1989, 1995, National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide. http://nrsvbibles.org

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