This is what the “one seated on the throne says” (Revelation 21:5). The newness promised by the King is, of course, primarily that of our hearts. But, there can be other forms of newness, which complement and serve as metaphors for what God is doing in us and in our midst. Our church aisles are adorned with beautiful, hand laid, marble mosaic. Over the years, the layers of wax covering the tiles have formed a dark brown haze, concealing the intricate detail and craftsmanship of the mosaic. Well, the one seated on the throne in our parish office, our administrator, Mark Cosenza, is making all things (aisle) new. In addition to his administrative tasks, he has been painstakingly removing the layers of wax and uncovering the beauty that lay hidden.
This is not unlike the work of the Holy Spirit in us, by Whom we “put on the new self” (Ephesians 4:24). And, how fitting this is, as we are more deliberately praying for the renewal of our parish: may the beauty hidden be revealed, and may we grow spiritually and in number. Below you will find a prayer that has been composed with this intention in mind. Details about how, as a parish, we will pray this over the coming year, are forthcoming from the Vestry sub-committee on Evangelization. In the meantime, let us pray:
We, your disciples and friends,
ask for the grace to grow in faith, hope and love
and to grow in membership in our part of the Body of Christ,
Church of the Ascension and Saint Agnes.
Help us always to heed the words of the Letter to the Hebrews(13:2):
to “let mutual love continue”
and “not neglect to show hospitality to strangers”,
believing that, “by doing so,
some have entertained angels without knowing it”.
Lead us into our neighborhoods to be agents of holy transformation,
and with apostolic zeal, to bring back new parishioners
with whom we may worship you as an awesome God.
Give us hearts wide open to welcome them
and all those who come through our doors.
And, by the power of your Spirit,
may we, together,
“go and make disciples of all nations”(Matthew 28:19)