14 April 2023
Morning prayers in Easter
with USPG: (6) 14 April 2023
Easter Day on Sunday (9 April 2023) ushered in all our hopes and joys.
I am in Prague on the last day of a very brief mid-week visit to the Czech capital. But, before this day begins, and before returning to England, 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, Outer 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 on Wednesday morning (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, described in my posting yesterday (13 April 2023).
The outer circle surrounding the central image of the Crucifixion depicts six Biblical stories, as well as an image of the Risen Christ and a symbol of the Holy Trinity
These six Biblical scenes combine to tell the story of perfect worship and sacrifice:
1, Adam and Eve: This image shows Adam and Eve beneath the Tree of Knowledge, with the serpent, and Eve offering fruit from the Tree of Knowledge (Genesis 2-3). Westlake’s signature, in the form of his initials, can be seen in this panel, behind one of Eve’s feet.
2, The Sacrifice of Abel: Abel is kneeling before a stone altar, offering his sacrifice (Genesis 4: 2-4).
3, The Sacrifice of Noah: Noah and his family – in all, the eight people who survived the flood – are offering a sacrifice (Genesis 8: 20-22).
4, The Sacrifice of Melchizedek: the priest Melchizedek is offering bread and wine, a foretaste of the Eucharist and a forerunner of Christ as the Great High Priest (Genesis 14: 1-24; see Hebrews 7: 1-28).
5, The Sacrifice of Abraham: Abraham is offering his son Isaac as a sacrifice … but God has other plans (Genesis 22: 1-19).
6, The Tree of Life in the Book of Revelation: The Tree of Life in the Book of Revelation is a symbol of perfect worship:
Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city. On either side of the river is the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, producing its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. Nothing accursed will be found there any more. But the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him; they will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And there will be no more night; they need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign for ever and ever. (Revelation 22: 1-5)
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.
John 21: 1-14 (NRSVA):
21 After these things Jesus showed himself again to the disciples by the Sea of Tiberias; and he showed himself in this way. 2 Gathered there together were Simon Peter, Thomas called the Twin, Nathanael of Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two others of his disciples. 3 Simon Peter said to them, ‘I am going fishing.’ They said to him, ‘We will go with you.’ They went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.
4 Just after daybreak, Jesus stood on the beach; but the disciples did not know that it was Jesus. 5 Jesus said to them, ‘Children, you have no fish, have you?’ They answered him, ‘No.’ 6 He said to them, ‘Cast the net to the right side of the boat, and you will find some.’ So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in because there were so many fish. 7 That disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, ‘It is the Lord!’ When Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he put on some clothes, for he was naked, and jumped into the lake. 8 But the other disciples came in the boat, dragging the net full of fish, for they were not far from the land, only about a hundred yards off.
9 When they had gone ashore, they saw a charcoal fire there, with fish on it, and bread. 10 Jesus said to them, ‘Bring some of the fish that you have just caught.’ 11 So Simon Peter went aboard and hauled the net ashore, full of large fish, a hundred and fifty-three of them; and though there were so many, the net was not torn. 12 Jesus said to them, ‘Come and have breakfast.’ Now none of the disciples dared to ask him, ‘Who are you?’ because they knew it was the Lord. 13 Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. 14 This was now the third time that Jesus appeared to the disciples after he was raised from the dead.
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 (14 April 2023, Friday of Easter Week) invites us to pray:
Let us pray for our neighbour near and far. May we reach out to those in need and seek to build inclusive communities where all are valued and none excluded.
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
Subscribe to: Post Comments (Atom)
Post a Comment