20 June 2023
Daily prayers in Ordinary Time
with USPG: (23) 20 June 2023
This week began with the Second Sunday after Trinity (18 June 2023) and Father’s Day. The calendar of the Church of England in Common Worship today remembers Sundar Singh of India, Sadhu (holy man), Evangelist, Teacher of the Faith (1929).
Before the day begins, I am taking some time for prayer, reading and reflection.
Over these weeks after Trinity Sunday, I am reflecting each morning in these ways:
1, Looking at relevant images or stained glass window in a church, chapel or cathedral I know;
2, the Gospel reading of the day in the Church of England lectionary;
3, a prayer from the USPG prayer diary.
Church of the Holy Trinity (Aghia Triada), Platanias,Rethymnon:
This week I am reflecting on Orthodox churches named after the Holy Trinity. These Trinity reflections continue this morning (20 June 2023) with photographs from the Church of the Holy Trinity or Aghia Triada in the suburban village of Platanias, on the eastern fringes of Rethymnon.
I have been visiting Rethymnon almost annually since the mid-1980s, and I have stayed in the suburban areas of Platanias and Tsesmes, east of Rethymnon, since 2015. This area is a mix of suburban, commercial, and slowly developing tourism.
The shops and supermarkets cater primarily for the local residents, but there is a number of small hotels and apartment blocks where I have stayed, including La Stella, Varvara’s Diamond, and Julia Apartments, and restaurants that I have become comfortable with and where I receive a warm welcome each time I return.
These two villages have merged almost seamlessly, and although they have two churches, they form one parish, served by one priest, Father Dimitrios Tsakpinis.
These churches are recently-built parish churches: the church in Platanias dates from 1959 and the church in Tsesmes from 1979. They are small, and in many ways, unremarkable churches, compared to the older, more historic churches in the old town of Rethymnon.
But when I am staying in Platanias and Tsesmes, I have seen them as my parish churches, and I have always been welcomed warmly.
The church in Platantias, just 100 metres south of long sandy beach that stretches for kilometres east of Rethymnon, is dedicated to the Holy Trinity (Αγία Τριάδα).
Matthew 5: 43-48 (NRSVA):
[Jesus said:] 43 ‘You have heard that it was said, “You shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy.” 44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be children of your Father in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and on the unrighteous. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax-collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.’
The theme this week in ‘Pray With the World Church,’ the Prayer Diary of the Anglican mission agency USPG (United Society Partners in the Gospel) is ‘The snowdrop that never bloomed.’ This theme was introduced on Sunday.
The Prayer in the USPG Prayer Diary today (20 June 2023, World Refugee Day) invites us to pray:
We pray for refugees, displaced and stateless people. May we greet them with open arms and welcoming hearts, showing God’s love through our words and actions.
Lord, you have taught us
that all our doings without love are nothing worth:
send your Holy Spirit
and pour into our hearts that most excellent gift of love,
the true bond of peace and of all virtues,
without which whoever lives is counted dead before you.
Grant this for your only Son Jesus Christ’s sake,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
we thank you for feeding us at the supper of your Son:
sustain us with your Spirit,
that we may serve you here on earth
until our joy is complete in heaven,
and we share in the eternal banquet
with 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