Sunday, February 25 was The Second Sunday in Lent. After disruptions caused by ice and flood we were delighted to be back to normal. On our Anglican church calendar this day is sometimes designated Perseverance Sunday as this is the theme of the scriptures for the day. Bishop Hartley based his sermon on the gospel for the day, St. Matthew 15:21, which gives us a lesson both in the benefits of perseverance and the personality of Jesus. This is the story of the healing of the Canaanite woman’s daughter. Jesus had gone out to teach “And behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts and cried unto him…: She was asking for healing for her daughter who was vexed by a devil. He did not respond at first and the disciples asked him not to intervene since the Canaanites were enemies of the Jews. However the woman persists and Jesus heals the daughter even though it is at a distance. This story shows us both a test of the woman’s faith and perseverance and the working of prayer. Here Jesus also taught the disciples that faith and His power are for everyone; His message is universal and heals the rift between the Jews and Gentiles. There are three points to be learned in this passage. First, we cannot be too far from Jesus because He can work at any distance. Second, we cannot be too far from Jesus spiritually because He can always find us. Third, to receive God’s grace we must believe in His power and be part of His world; this is the message of Lent. During prayer time Bishop Hartley said the birthday prayer for our organist Kip Smith whose birthday is this week, and in announcements noted that we will be collecting money for Easter flowers for those who wish to donate memorial flowers, and that our next vestry will be March 11.
For information on St. Francis Anglican (Traditional Episcopal) Church visit our website at stfrancisavamo.org.