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The Sixteenth Sunday after Trinity.
LORD, we beseech thee, let thy continual pity cleanse and defend thy Church; and, because it cannot continue in safety without thy succour, preserve it evermore by thy help and goodness; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Sermon – Reverend Jack Arnold - Time and Action
Church of the Faithful Centurion -
sermon tied the Collect, Epistle and Gospel together
and talked, as is oft the case, of the need for action, not simply diction.
Consider the words of the Collect, “…let
thy continual pity cleanse and defend thy Church; and, because it cannot
continue in safety without thy succour, preserve it evermore by thy help and
When the Collect talks about the
church, just like last week, it is not talking about buildings; it is talking
about us. Each of us; all of
us and together. We need God’s help (pity) to keep the group of us together
following His Will, for without His Help (Holy Ghost) we are doomed to utter
failure. We can see this in the
church today. Many churches are
leaving the Bible used for over 2,000 years and adopting newfangled
translations which mangle His Word.
When they leave the theology Christ gave to us, they soon find they are
on a broad easy path paved with smooth talking New Age pagan theology. The problem is that Heaven is at the
end of a hard and narrow uphill trail.
The easy downhill trail does not lead to the summit. That seemingly easy way leads to the
Pit. The way of the easy to read Bibles with their corrupt non Received Text
manuscripts is not the way to go. This proves the truth of this collect, that
without His help, we are doomed. With His Help, we are set for success for
evermore. He offers, do we accept?
That leads us to Saint Paul’s point:
If we will open our hearts to God, He will send the Holy Ghost to fill
our hearts with Love, Courage, Inspiration, Tenacity and Confidence, to mention
just a few helpful additions to our portfolio. In short, all of the things that
will help our character development. Once the Holy Ghost enters into us, we
will know the full dimensions of Christ, the height, width and depth of His
love for us, and this fullness will fill us to our content, and we will want to
spread that Good News and Love of Him to others. This is what the truly the Good News is all about, His love
for us. His love that He died that we might have eternal life, a happier life
here and a happier life after our life here. He offers all of these things for
our benefit, so that we will be successful for Him. We have to accept this
offer by opening our hearts to Him.
One of my favorite cartoon strips Calvin and Hobbes, oft has
great moral lessons. Calvin’s dad so very often reminds Calvin that doing one’s duty in the face of adversity builds
character. It also strengths the
soul building trust in God. If we
will open our hearts to Him, our ears will hear the command “…
Arise.” When we rise, we rise with the
confidence of immortals and can conquer any obstacle. We will have died in
our old sinful ways and are
resurrected like our Lord in a new spirit and a new birth of everlasting
freedom. But, without an open heart, our ears will never hear the command
directed to our soul, “… Arise.”
We will be dead to eternity. There are none so deaf as those who will
Open your heart to our Lord and arise. Arise; go forth with Love, Courage,
Inspiration, Tenacity and Confidence to fight the battle our Lord leads us
All Jesus asks is that we follow
Him. That is all follow Him. But, words mean something. The word follow is very important.
I have heard my dad say many times in
the military fighter world the strongest acceptance and recognition of
excellence that can be given is, "You lead; I'll follow." For to do so is to put your life in the
other's hands. Literally,
completely and without question.
It is a matter of putting the light on the star and hanging in
there. It is said by few to
an even smaller number. When you
break out of the cloud after an hour of GE-28 Volt burning in your
retina and see the runway or pop over the ridge after a half hour of dodging
trees and triple A and the target is right there in the reticle, or gunsight,
it is all okay. Sometimes in
between, it does not seem like it will turn out that way. What makes you keep the light on the
star is trust. Just like the
Marines in World War II had to put their trust in their squad/platoon/company
leader that they would be able to outfight the Japanese for example. Even
through the hell of battle, they surely must have felt relief when they were
able to finally push the Japanese out of the islands. Like them, we have to
trust God to get us through whatever hell the enemy can throw at us. I see this
as another aspect of that truth.
The numbers are different in the case of God. We all (unlikely to happen) need to put our lives in the
hands of a small number (that would be ONE).
We need recognize who has the ability,
the power, the perfection in leadership and have that trust to say, "You
lead; I'll follow." I believe that is what Jesus expects from us in regard
to our entire life. We may get out of position or even go lost wingman on the
odd occasion, but he expects us to Our very best to follow His lead and stay in
position. Hard to do if your eye
is not padlocked on Him.
I might add, as ministers of our Lord,
we have a similar responsibility to those who would follow us here on
earth. And we have to work even
harder, for created by a perfect God, we are imperfect creatures with free
will. A problematic
combination. We must strive for a
correct attitude, heading, stability and predictability in our path so that we
can be followed towards that final destination that marks a successful mission.
We must always be checking our navigational instruments of the Holy Scriptures
and our navigator the Holy Ghost, to ensure that we are following on the right
heading. We have to be willing to do actions for Him to show that we truly do
have faith and not just say that we have faith. It is a lot easier to say than
do, that is for sure. It is easy
to get wrapped up in little words and over analyze each word of Scripture
rather than just taking the whole with the faith of a Child and taking the big
picture in, rather than a shred of tapestry close in.
When Saint Luke relates the story of
the Widow of Nain, it is more than just a simple miracle.
In those days, a widow with only one
son had little, a widow with no son was in deep trouble. Jesus took compassion on her and also
took the opportunity to make His power evident. He came to the bier, and touched it saying, “Young
man, I say unto thee, Arise.”
The young man arose and began to speak; whereupon Jesus brought him to
his mother. Not surprisingly, news
of this event was spread “forth throughout all Judæa,
and throughout all the region round about.”
Like the young man, we are dead to eternity until we hear the command “…
Arise.” If we hear and act on that command, we
have eternal life, just like the young man, it starts right then! Eternal life
doesn't start when you take your last breath, it starts when you take your
first breath! Think through your life like it will be eternity and plan your
Also, please take note Jesus
ACTED. He did not just tell the
widow He was sorry, so very sorry; He actually did what He could to help
her. He can do more than we can,
but we can do more than we do and we can certainly do more than just talk. Words are very nice, but do not mean a
whole lot unless they are backed by words.
If we truly have faith, then we will
have good actions that will follow with that faith. If we only speak with our
lips and do not have good actions, then we do not have any faith. However, if
we do truly have faith, then we will speak the right things and do the right
Action, not diction, is what counts in
Heaven is at the end of a hard and
narrow uphill trail. The easy
downhill trail does not lead to the summit.
The time is now, not tomorrow. The time has come, indeed. How will you ACT?
It is by our actions we are known.
Be of God - Live of God
- Act of God
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