13 April 2023
Morning prayers in Easter
with USPG: (5) 13 April 2023
Easter Day on Sunday (9 April 2023) ushered in all our hopes and joys.
I am in Prague for a few days, on a very brief mid-week visit to the Czech capital. But, before this day begins, I am taking some time early this morning for prayer, reflection and reading. In these days of Easter Week, I am reflecting each morning in these ways:
1, Short reflections on the stained-glass windows in Holy Trinity Church, Old Wolverton;
2, the Gospel reading of the day in the lectionary;
3, a prayer from the USPG prayer diary.
The East Window, Middle Circle:
The East Window in Holy Trinity Church, Old Wolverton, dominates the chancel and the whole church. This is a spectacular Rose window by Nathaniel Westlake in 1888, with eight lobes around a large central circle and.
This window was the final element in the scheme of decoration in the church carried out from 1870 on under the supervision of the Stony Stratford-born architect Edward Swinfen Harris.
The window provides a magnificent climax to the interior of the church, drawing the attention of worshippers and visitors to the high altar below it.
The central panel window depicts the Crucifixion, with the Virgin Mary and Saint John, Christ standing beside the Cross. The inner circle surrounding the central panel depicts four scenes I described yesterday (12 April 2023).
The middle circle depicts six Biblical figures – King David and five prophets: Jeremiah, Isaiah, Amos, Daniel and Job – and two representations of the IHS monogram.
The story of Moses has already been told in three of the panels in the inner circle surrounding the central image of the Crucifixion.
This window is by the stained glass artist NHJ Westlake (1833-1921). He was a partner and finally the sole proprietor of Lavers, Barraud & Westlake (1855-1920s), a London-based firm that changed its name several times and became Lavers, Westlake and Co, and eventually NHJ Westlake, before closing in the 1920s.
Luke 24: 35-48 (NRSVA):
35 Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he had been made known to them in the breaking of the bread.
36 While they were talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’ 37 They were startled and terrified, and thought that they were seeing a ghost. 38 He said to them, ‘Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39 Look at my hands and my feet; see that it is I myself. Touch me and see; for a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.’ 40 And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. 41 While in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering, he said to them, ‘Have you anything here to eat?’ 42 They gave him a piece of broiled fish, 43 and he took it and ate in their presence.
44 Then he said to them, ‘These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you – that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.’ 45 Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, 46 and he said to them, ‘Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, 47 and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 You are witnesses of these things.
The theme in this week’s prayer diary of the Anglican mission agency USPG (United Society Partners in the Gospel) is ‘USPG’s Lent Appeal: supporting young mothers affected By HIV.’ This theme was introduced on Sunday by USPG’s Fundraising Manager, Rebecca Allin, who reflected on the 2023 Lent Appeal supporting young mothers affected by HIV, and their children.
The prayer in the USPG Prayer Diary today (13 April 2023, Thursday of Easter Week) invites us to pray:
Let us pray for children around the world. May we pay attention to their needs and learn from their spirit of enquiry and openness.
Lord of all life and power,
who through the mighty resurrection of your Son
overcame the old order of sin and death
to make all things new in him:
grant that we, being dead to sin
and alive to you in Jesus Christ,
may reign with him in glory;
to whom with you and the Holy Spirit
be praise and honour, glory and might,
now and in all eternity.
God of Life,
who for our redemption gave your only-begotten Son
to the death of the cross,
and by his glorious resurrection
have delivered us from the power of our enemy:
grant us so to die daily to sin,
that we may evermore live with him in the joy of his risen life;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
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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