The Propers for today are found on Page 203-204, with the Collect first:
The Tenth Sunday after Trinity.
ET thy merciful ears, O Lord, be open to the prayers of thy humble servants; and, that they may obtain their petitions, make them to ask such things as shall please thee; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Dru Arnold read the Epistle, which came from Paul’s First Letter to the Corinthians, the Twelfth Chapter beginning at the First Verse. Paul starts off by telling us that no man who “speaketh by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.” He goes on to say, “Now there are diversities of gifts, but by the same Spirit.” “…it is the same God which worketh all in all.” Every one is gifted in one manner or another by God, the question really is not do you have a gift from God, but will you use it? Our gifts are so different in their character that we sometimes fail to recognize them for what they are, gifts from God, meant to be used, not ignored.
oncerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant. Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led. Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and that no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost. Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal. For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; to another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another divers kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues: but all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.
Deacons Striker Jack Arnold read today’s Holy Gospel started in the Nineteenth Chapter of the Gospel according to St. Luke, beginning at the Forty-First Verse.
The Gospel tell of Jesus’ time in the temple wherein he sees the people selling their wares having made the temple a den of thieves rather than a house of prayer and cast them out. He also predicts the fall of the temple saying it shall be laid “even with the ground, … they shall not leave one stone upon another,” because the people of the temple had rejected Jesus. The message to those who accept Jesus and his teaching is clear, their temple shall not fall. The message to those who will not hear his message will never be heard, let alone clear, their first indication of a problem will be when their temple falls.
Often people take this Epistle to preclude jumble sales at church. It does not preclude that. It does literally preclude cheating people at those jumble sales! You must understand that the temple hawkers were selling perfect defective “sacrificial lambs” which would be recycled over and over. In their very successful effort to make money they were defrauding the people and insulting God in His own House. It should also be pointed out that a church should be a place of worship. It may be a Prophet Center (to build on Bishop Campbell’s term), but not a Profit Center. If the building needs constant commercial enterprise, then perhaps the emphasis is on the wrong center. A church should be funded for its needs by its members and its wants should go unheeded. A church is about Him, not about IT.
nd when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, and shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation. And he went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold therein, and them that bought; saying unto them, It is written, My house is the house of prayer: but ye have made it a den of thieves. And he taught daily in the temple.
Sermon – Time and Action
Today’s sermon tied the Epistle and Gospel together and is mainly contained in the forewords above. We each have differing talents, but if we use them to the Glory of God, without concern for who gets the credit, all will be well. Do what you can, not what you feel like. Read the Bible, what God wants you to do will be clear. If you do your best to do His Will all will be well with you. Death is a pretty hollow threat if you do your duty. The people of Jerusalem would not have been in the pickle they got in when 70AD came along, had they only done what God wanted. But, it was too hard for them. In 70AD, it seemed pretty easy compared to the fix they were in, but by then it was too late. By that time they were left with only “There are none so poor as cannot purchase a noble death.” But, for most of them by that time they had no will. It left when they failed to follow God’s will.
Do what you are supposed to do when you are supposed to do it. That is duty. It does not matter how you “feel” about black or white. Black is black; White is white. Do your duty. Work as hard as you can, do the best you can, trust in the Lord. By the way, cheat no one. If you follow that, you won’t need to be told, “Particularly in God’s House.”
Bishop Ogles message for today
Today’s work from Bishop Jerry is on the Holy Gospel for this Sunday. It is very interesting. I cannot commend it to you enough.
Devotion for Sunday in 9th Week after Trinity 28 Aug 2011 Anno Domini
"41 And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it,42 Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes.43 For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side,44 And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.45 And he went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold therein, and them that bought; 46Saying unto them, It is written, My house is the house of prayer: but ye have made it a den of thieves.47 And he taught daily in the temple. But the chief priests and the scribes and the chief of the people sought to destroy him." (Luke 19:41-47)
"If you have not yet found out that Christ crucified is the foundation of the whole volume, you have read your Bible hitherto to very little profit. Your religion is a heaven without a sun, an arch without a keystone, a clock without a spring or weights, a lamp without oil. It will not comfort you. It will not deliver your soul from hell." J.C. Ryle
Our Lord Jesus Christ, for the last time in His earthly ministry, approaches Jerusalem where He has declared to the disciples that He will be offered up. Jerusalem has long been a city of turmoil and frequent apostasy away from the Lord who has been its Benefactor and source of particular blessing. Now He comes to this place to prepare all things for those whom He loves even unto the death of the cross. For this moment was He come down to earth, and for this reason will He be lifted up. We are told earlier in this Gospel that Our Lord was resolute to come to Jerusalem for this last time to fulfill all things written in the law and the prophets concerning Him: "And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem." (Luke 9:51) Our courageous Lord never wavered in His love for us to prepare all things needful for our salvation. He is so much more than a Dear Friend and Brother!
"And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it." Please know that Christ was completely aware of all of the cruelty and treason that would be done against Him by the inhabitants of Jerusalem. He knew of the beatings and humiliations – the false charges and mock trial. He knew that the Jewish leaders would turn Him over to the Gentiles for crucifixion. So both Jew and Gentile participated in the sordid and tragic event which would turn to the salvation of all who believed! Jesus, too, saw the many prophets murdered over the centuries within the gates of Jerusalem. He saw the rejection of God's law and prophets by a people intentionally and voluntarily made blind to them. He saw the woman taken in adultery whom He had pardoned.
His panoramic view of, not just the present moment, but of the entire history of the city which moved His soul to weep for her brought tears to the Lord. He could see Mount Moriah where Abraham prepared Isaac as a sacrifice unto the Lord, but relented in order that He might offer up His own Beloved Son. The peak of this Mount reportedly is where the Temple Mount rests. He could see the little children, whom He loved tenderly, playing in her streets. But now the full knowledge of her doom loomed before the loving eyes of Christ. Even though they would treat Him as an outcast good only for crucifixion, He loved them. At last, He saw, seventy years hence, the Roman Armies under General Titus (soon to be Emperor), on April 14, 70 AD (Passover), arrayed before the walls of Jerusalem to destroy it. Siege engines and wall breechers would be erected and the inhabitants both starved and made savage – so much so that they devoured their own babies. He saw the walls breeched and the city ravaged by cruel conquerors. So He wept over Jerusalem for all that was coming to pass over her.
"Saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes." He speaks, not only of old Jerusalem, but to us of the latter day Camp of the Saints. We, too, have opted for a kind of academic approach to faith, and one which will allow the incorporation of social sophistication and worldly values. What is it that hides God's will and purpose from our eyes? It is no cause of God but one which we own entirely. God is our Day Star. His light is so brilliant that it cannot be hidden from our view as long as we allow nothing to come between us and His Face. We are like the reflected light of the moon (it is His Light which we reflect). But when we allow the world to come between us and God – as in an eclipse – we are made dark in our separation from God.
"For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, And shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee; and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation." This happened precisely at the end of the siege of Titus. No man could enter or depart from the city during the siege. Desperation reigned in the hearts of the inhabitants. What a sorry end for a people who had been favored and visited by God Himself! The Roman conquerors destroyed the walls and structures of the city so thoroughly that, indeed, not one stone remained upon another. They did this in search of hidden wealth which the Jews were notorious for hoarding. So the Romans completely demolished every structure that had potential as a hiding place for gold. If the inhabitants had owned any gold, it perished with them as does all of the wealth of the wicked.
"And he went into the temple, and began to cast out them that sold therein, and them that bought." Commercial enterprise within the walls of worship? How busy would Christ be if He entered the "First' churches of our cities today. His labors would have been double were He to come on the Sabbath Day (Saturday) when the grounds are flung open to yard sales and crafts. God does not require income or offerings gained on spiritual grounds. The tithes and freewill offerings of His people are all that is appropriate for the church maintenance. When the Church becomes an unnaturally large Mustard Tree (Matthew 13:32) demons of greed and sin come to live in her branches. Who told you that Christian worship must take place within the refined walls of a cathedral? Who told you that the church and her ministers should be wealthy business executives over the Lord's vineyard? The only such structure our Lord ever entered was the Temple at Jerusalem, and He took a switch to those same people who today proudly stand in the holy places every Sunday to solicit more money from the people after raising all they can by youth car washes or bake sales!
"Saying unto them, It is written, My house is the house of prayer: but ye have made it a den of thieves." The purpose of a building, set aside for worship, is to be reserved to that end and not made into a commercial, money raising venture. How can real prayer be lifted up to God within the earshot of venders and money-grubbers! If divestiture of all properties and buildings is necessary to rid ourselves of the greed of money and love of opulence, then, by all means, leave it and hold all future meetings under a tree. Is the purpose of your presence to pray, or as one member of the den of thieves? How many professional men today join some small, struggling church? Not many! They seek out churches with fashionable décor and a large membership rolls whereby business contacts can be made.
"And he taught daily in the temple." This may be the first proper use of the Temple in many decades. Christ teaches, not about wealth and social fashion, but about things related to God's Will for man. There were some gathered in the dark corners whose minds were not set on the things of God, but the things of this world. We read about them in the remainder of this verse.
Christ drove most of the thieves out, but the bigger ones remained inside – the priests and Temple workers, the Pharisees and members of the Sanhedrin. How did they respond to this challenge to their wealth and power? "But the chief priests and the scribes and the chief of the people sought to destroy him." The chief priest and scribes could tolerate a bit of healing and preaching, but not an assault against their filthy lucre. Now they must try to "destroy him." I have seen this same motive undertaken in churches here in my local community of Enterprise when a deacon, a vestryman, or a warden attempt to make the expenditures of the church public record. I have witnessed, first hand, a very large church (of reputable renown) attempt to cover up the most vile of sins involving even little children. So I am not surprised at the rascals in the Temple at Jerusalem. I know who they are for I have witnessed them with my own eyes! How many of your large churches would even consider a ministerial application of Peter, of John, of James, or even of Christ? "And the Jews marvelled, saying, How knoweth this man letters, having never learned? (John 7:15) Ah, yes! If you cannot question the facts, question the credentials of the messenger! They did likewise to the apostles: "Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus." (Acts 4:13) The question is: unlearned at what? These apostles may not have been conversant in the many externals the Jews had added to the law or the many fine robes necessary to be worn by a "man of letters", or even the proper range of Temple polity – but they had been with Jesus! What a difference THAT makes. It would be edifying to God and man if many who call themselves ministers of God would spend time with Jesus. Then, perhaps, their perspective would change. Have you spent time with Jesus in prayer and in His Word this week?
Bishop Dennis Campbell
Today’s Sunday Report has a guest sermon by Bishop R. Dennis Campbell. As you may have noticed, we often publish Bishop Jerry and Bishop Dennis sermons and notes. This is because no one I have ever heard does as fine a job at expressing biblical concepts in terms we can understand. Today is one of those times!
When God Weeps
The Tenth Sunday after Trinity
28 August 2011
There are no tears in Heaven, but on earth even God weeps. There is something particularly touching about this. The idea that God is moved to sadness and tears for us is something that captures our attention, and our imagination. Numerous works of literature, art, and music draw upon that theme. But why does God weep? What is it about this world that moves the God of all Creation to tears?
Let us make it clear at the start that He does not weep for Himself. Our Gospel Reading finds our Lord in Jerusalem during what He knows are the final days before His crucifixion. He is well aware of what lies ahead of Him. He has come to Jerusalem to die, and die He will. Nothing can turn Him aside from this mission. Yet, it is not the scourge, or the nails, or the cross or the grave that moves Him to tears. He will bear them with all the courage and dignity of the Son of God.
He knows also that His own people will not receive Him. He knows they will reject Him and kill Him. They will curse Him and spit upon Him, and beat Him as He passes them on the way to Golgotha. But He is a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. It is not the rejection that moves Him to weep.
He knows that an even greater terror awaits Him; a terror far worse than any suffering mere men can inflict upon Him. He knows that on the cross He will bear all the hurt and anguish, and anger of God, for the sins of His people. I have no way to even imagine what that must be like. I know on one hand it is to bear the active wrath of God, and that is unimaginably horrible in itself. But even worse is the complete severance of His essential fellowship with the Father and Spirit; to be removed from that sweet and pervading Divine Love and cast into the fiery hate of God's consuming wrath. I do not wonder that He cried out on the cross, "My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?" But even this does not move Him to tears. He weeps for none of these things because He weeps not for Himself. He weeps for us.
Christ weeps for Jerusalem, the Holy City; Jerusalem, the city of peace. As He looks down upon the city from the Mount of Olives, He sees the Temple, symbol of faith, symbol of the presence of God, symbol of Christ. Everything about the Temple is a symbol of Christ. He is the Lamb, slain upon the altar. He is the Great High Priest who offers the sacrifice. He is the altar upon which the sacrifice is offered. He is the Temple, the place where God dwells with man. But the Temple and its ministers have failed Him. They are full of pride and corruption. They have left the true faith to follow the vain imaginations of their own hearts. And God weeps.
He looks at the palace where the king rules the city and the country. This too is a symbol of Christ, the Great King and Shepherd of Israel who rules in justice and mercy. But the human king is nothing like the Great Shepherd of Israel. The human king is corrupt and faithless. Justice is just a word and a joke in his court, and the ability to rule Israel has been taken away from him and given into the hands of the Roman, Pilate. What little power the king does possess is not used to promote true religion and virtue. It is used to promote his own security and wealth. And God weeps.
Our Lord sees the wall around the city, strong and massive, designed to defend Israel from her enemies. The wall is a symbol of Christ. He surrounds His people with safety. He stands between them and their enemies. "A Mighty Fortress Is our God." But the people of Jerusalem do not want protection from their real enemies. Their real enemies, which are world, the flesh, and the devil, are far more dangerous to Israel than the Romans could ever hope to be, yet they pass freely into the city by the consent and invitation of the people; and God weeps.
Christ sees the people of Jerusalem "throwing away happiness with both hands," completely ignorant of the things which belong to their peace. He is their peace. He is their joy. He is their prosperity. He is their hope. But they have rejected Him and sought their peace in wealth and worldly pleasures, though in His Name they "bless" their misguided values and the self-destructive means by which they chase their dreams. He sees them as sheep without a Shepherd, and He would gladly gather them to Himself as a hen gathers her chicks, but they "would not" (Mt. 23:37). They won't have it, and God weeps.
From His position on the Mount of Olives, Christ looks over the Jerusalem of that time, but He also sees it forty years in the future. He sees the city in A.D. 70, surrounded by the Roman army, under siege that will last for years. He sees the wall destroyed. He sees unimaginable suffering. He sees millions of Jews dead in the streets of Jerusalem and in other cities of the Roman Empire, and God weeps.
As Christ looks down on Jerusalem He also sees us. He sees billions of people, just like the Jews, but people of every nation and every era rejecting Christ and chasing the rainbows of sin that will never give them anything but a momentary diversion, while He offers everlasting treasure. He sees people ruining their own lives and bringing untold pain and suffering into the lives of others, and, finally, bringing themselves into the eternal sorrows of hell forever. He knows the joy and blessings He offers, and He sees the destruction and suffering they choose, and God weeps.
If only the things we desire were the things God made us to enjoy. If only we would learn to love the things He promises. If only the things that please God would also please us, how much sorrow we would save ourselves. O, let us learn to love what God loves, and to seek what God wants to give.
O, God, "Let thy merciful ears... be open to the prayers of thy humble servants; and that they may obtain their petitions, make them to ask such things as shall please thee; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."