A Charcoal Fire Prayer

Entering the season of early summer in June, we look forward to yard sales, strawberry festivals, fishing, swimming, camping, and picnics. Food grilled on an outdoor fire, no matter how simple, always seems to taste better! After his resurrection, Jesus appeared to some of his disciples by the Sea of Tiberius at dawn. He invited them to a breakfast of bread and fish laid on a charcoal fire. Jesus came to them where they were, fishing in the sea. And he told the very ones who were fishermen what to do to catch fish, because they had caught none that night. Jesus taught the disciples with words, but also in his timing and the use of the charcoal fire things to stir their hearts. To Peter, particularly, he wanted to give restoration and reassurance for his failure to stand by him at his arrest and crucifixion. Peter had denied being Jesus’ disciple three times at another charcoal fire near dawn. Now by this new charcoal fire, Jesus reinstates Peter by asking him three times if he loves Jesus. At Peter’s three yes answers, Jesus tells Peter to feed his sheep. This time, when he tells Peter to follow him, Peter has a better understanding of what following Jesus will entail. He is to testify.

Earlier in the Gospel of John, Jesus had told the apostles that he had many things still to say to them. “When the Spirit of Truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth… when the Advocate comes, whom I will send you from the Father, he will testify on my behalf. You also are to testify because you have been with me from the beginning (John 16: 13a, 26-27).”

We know that the Holy Spirit has been with us at Emmanuel, St. Andrew’s, and St. Matthew’s Churches, because of the faithful witnesses that have been sent to us to testify in the name of Jesus: supply priests so that we have not been left orphans. We are thankful for each one of them: The Reverend Kate Day, Fr. David Hanselman, Fr. Bruce MacDuffie, Fr. Leon Mozeliak, Fr. Robert E. Witt, Jr., The Reverend Thomas Olson, The Reverend Elizabeth Gillett, Fr. Mark Thompson, The Reverend Georgina Hegney, The Reverend Carrie Schofield-Broadbent, Fr. Thomas Margrave, Bishop DeDe Duncan-Probe.

We also thank our Lay Worship Leaders: Cheryl TenWolde, Teresa Clarke, Patricia Lindau, Lynne Walton, Russell Ketch, Kisten Giglio, and Joan Axtell.

The Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday between Pentecost Sunday and Trinity Sunday are designated as Ember Days. These days are favored for special prayers for priests. On these days, and all throughout the month of June our prayers are asked for Fr. Steve White in his call to our three churches, and for all priests and ministers.

For this reason, since the day we heard it, we have not ceased praying for you, and asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of God’s will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you may live lives worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, as you bear fruit in every good work and as you grow in knowledge of God. May you be made strong with all the strength that comes from his glorious power, and may you be prepared to endure everything with patience, while joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has enabled you to share in the inheritance of saints in the light. Colossians 1: 9-12

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