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AOC Sunday Report is
Church of the Faithful Centurion -
Today’s sermon brought
the Collect, Epistle and Gospel together and is partly contained in the
Apostle and Evangelist.
ERCIFUL Lord, we beseech thee to
cast thy bright beams of light upon thy Church, that it, being illumined by the
doctrine of thy blessed Apostle and Evangelist Saint John, may so walk in the
light of thy truth, that it may at length attain to life everlasting; through
Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Christmas Collect is found on
The Nativity of our Lord, or the Birthday of Christ,
commonly called Christmas Day.
God, who hast given us thy only-begotten Son to take our nature upon him, and
as at this time to be born of a pure virgin; Grant that we being regenerate,
and made thy children by adoption and grace, may daily be renewed by thy Holy
Spirit; through the same our Lord Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with
thee and the same Spirit ever, one God, world without end. Amen.
¶ This Collect is to be said daily throughout the Octave.
As is oft the case, today’s
propers all tie together to reinforce a point and build our understanding of
what God wants and expects from each of us. Consider these words from the Collect where we ask God to “…cast thy bright beams of
light upon thy Church, that it, being illumined by the doctrine of thy blessed
Apostle and Evangelist Saint John, may so walk in the light of thy truth, that
it may at length attain to life everlasting…” As is almost always the case, we are asking God to help us
by lighting up our lives and that of the Church that we might hear and
understand the words left by Saint John so to grow closer to what God wants us
to be here and our eternal life.
There is a great reason for this.
John was the longest lived of the disciples, he lived probably to about
age 90! The Book of John is the
single most theologically filled books of the Bible. John explains so much of what we need to know.
In his First General Epistle John
tells us he is passing on what he has seen and heard from Jesus with his own
eyes and ears. It is not a second
hand account, it is not what someone told him. He saw it, he saw it all. He wants us to know what happened with Jesus, how He rose
from the dead as a very practical demonstration of our life eternal with
Him. John also wants us to
know that if we claim fellowship with Jesus, then we need to live fellowship
with Jesus. We need to walk in Jesus’
shadow, which itself is light. For
in him there is no variableness of turning. If we believe on Him, we will do our pitiful best to follow
Him and He will account us as perfect at our accounting. Anyone who thinks they can “work” their
way into Heaven is deceiving themselves.
Our good works are only a demonstration of our faith; they are not our
way into heaven, rather the natural consequence of our believing on Him. If you truly believe on our Lord and in
our God, you will be unable not to do what you are supposed to do. Odd, that.
God will give us the guidance we
need to do His Work on Earth. We have to do our part and accept and act upon
that guidance. Without the acceptance and letting the Holy Ghost in, we cannot
do His Work here. So we have to train our hearts souls and minds to believe on
Him and listen and act upon His Guidance.
When we look at the Gospel, we
see John making an excellent point; words mean something, thus in our study of
the Word, the translation is important.
If we are going to trust in the written word, we need to make certain it
is indeed The Word. This could
lead us to an entire discussion of the various translations of the Bible and
why it is so important to use a translation based on the Received Text and why
we use the King James or Authorized Version. Luckily, today is not the day for that!
John, who oft refers to himself
as the disciple whom Jesus loved,
asks who will betray Jesus? Jesus
does not answer. Peter asks what
shall become of the traitor? Jesus answered, I
will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?. That is where the listening stopped. He went on to say, Follow thou me. No one noticed that. The word then spread the traitor, Judas Iscariot, would not
die but live until Jesus returned to earth. Of course, as John pointed out, He did not say that. What Jesus in effect said was, It is none of your business what happens to
Judas, your job is to follow Me!
Likewise, we need to keep this in mind, our job is not to worry about
what others do or do not do, our job is to do what we are supposed to do. Hard to do, that. But it is what we are
supposed to do nether the less. focus on what we are supposed to do and not
what others are supposed to do.
This section of John’s
Gospel closes with an interesting line that makes you wish he had been a bit
more prolific in his writings, And there are also many
other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I
suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be
written. Still considering the difficulty
in getting words into print in those days, we are grateful for what we have.
What we do have is sufficient for our knowledge as we journey on the narrow,
winding uphill trail towards heaven.
The entire New Testament is a
consistent call to belief in our Lord and action on that belief. Here at Christmastide, at this very
joyous time we need to remember Jesus came into this world with the certain
knowledge of precisely how He would leave, yet He came anyway that we might
have life eternal.
Heaven is at the end of an uphill
The easy downhill trail
does not lead to the summit.
The time is now, not
The time has come,
How will you ACT?
It is by our actions we are
Be of God - Live of God - Act of God
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