Pondering for Thursday, July 4, 2019

Daily Office Readings for Thursday Proper 8 of Year 1

AM Psalm 131, 132, [133]; PM Psalm 134, 1351 Samuel 13:5-18; Acts 8:26-40; Luke 23:13-25

“As they were going along the road, they came to some water; and the eunuch said, ‘Look, here is water! What is to prevent me from being baptized?’ He commanded the chariot to stop, and both of them, Philip and the eunuch, went down into the water, and Philip* baptized him.” (Acts 8:36 – 38)

This is why I said a couple of days ago, “Let’s follow Philip the Deacon for a day or two.”  Philip should be called “Philip the Baptizer.”  He baptized Simon and now he baptizes the Eunuch. Baptism is the initiation into Christianity.  We, Episcopalians, require the Naming of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit right after our own Christening name is pronounced, at the point of Baptism.  I have done provisional baptisms for folk who after showing me their baptismal certificate only said in the Name of Jesus Christ.  Having said that, the Episcopal Church will accept Baptisms from other denominations with the provision that it was done in the Trinitarian way. Most main stream denominations are done this way.  And while I fully accept one baptism for the forgiveness of sins I could not pass up the opportunity to be baptized in the River Jordan while on Pilgrimage in the Holy Land in February of 2018.

John Thomas Frazier baptized in the Jordan River February 2018

Readings for Independence Day:

AM Psalm 33; Ecclesiasticus 10:1-8,12-18; James 5:7-10 PM Psalm 107:1-32; Micah 4:1-5; Revelation 21:1-7

“The Lord looks down from heaven, and beholds all the people in the world.” (Psalm 33:13)

As the Revolutionary war was coming to a close, an American ship followed in the wake of the defeated English war ships back to English waters. The crew of this American vessel wanted to have Priests ordained as Bishops in God’s One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.  It took a while; Sam Seabury had to go to Scotland in 1784 to be consecrated bishop. But finally in 1787 William White and Sam Provost were ordained Bishops in England for the Americans.  For me this was the real independence, to maintain our apostolic succession even through war.  God loves people on both sides of every conflict. The Lord looks down from heaven, and beholds all the people in the world.

Thank You Jesus.  John+

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