Rev Jack's sermon is at the bottom of this entry and can be viewed on video RIGHT HERE!
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.
The Epistle 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.
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 Gospel 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 “perfect” sacrificial offerings to God the temple hawkers were selling were perfectly defective “sacrificial lambs” which would be recycled over and over. Those buying were likely for the most part honest in their attempt to offer unto God that due Him, yet their effort was being diverted and redirected by those “in charge”, the priests and hawkers. 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, 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 come much later, if not in fact 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.
 A fine set of very apropos terms I first heard from Bishop Dennis Campbell in 2011.
Sermon – Reverend Jack Arnold - Time and Action
Church of the Faithful Centurion - Descanso, California
Rev Jack's sermon can be viewed on video RIGHT HERE!
Today’s sermon tied the Collect, Epistle and Gospel together.
Consider the words from the Collect, wherein we ask God to make us … 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 …
Once again, this Collect is kind of a restatement of many of the Collects. First, we ask God to hear our prayers, funny in that He always listens intently to us when we pray and we very seldom listen to Him when He answers. It is an odd paradox, He listens; we never seem to listen. This is why the theme is constant through ought all of the Collects. It seems as if at times we should pray that we should listen; not Him, as He always listens! Nonetheless, we ask His help to ask for those things we need, not those things we want and are bad for us. We need to be humble when we ask.
What does that word mean?
According to the dictionary, to be HUMBLE means to be:
Modest - unassuming in attitude and behavior
Respectful - feeling or showing respect and deference toward other people
Lowly - relatively low in rank and without pretensions
These are three characteristics we cannot possess in our imperfect state. We otherwise might be like the Pharisees who would make a show of praying in public to appear pious when they were anything but. To avoid being like the Pharisees, we must recognize that when we ask for His Help that we must recognize the difference between our desires (our wants) and our needs and realize that they are not the same thing. What we need is what God wants for us, the things that will help us and not hurt us. We have to realize what God wants for us is far more important than the things that we selfishly want. And that in the long run what God wants for us will be healthier for our physical, mental and spiritual selves than what we want. Wanting is fine, as long as you are willing to work hard and do it and it is something that is not against God’s will for us.
Paul reminds us though each believer is different, be in in personality, size, shape or color, in Christ’s church those distinctions are nearly meaningless. In the Church we each have our own differing talents that we can use to further his mission on this Earth. We also have each our own unique role to play in the Church. Each role is necessary for the successful operation of the Church here on Earth. There is not one role that is not important. They are all critical in their own way to the Church’s ministry. If we do not care who gets the credit, then all will be well. If we focus on doing our part rather than worrying about how much credit we will receive, we will find that we can accomplish a lot more than we think we can. For there is nothing the Church cannot accomplish if we unite through the Holy Ghost and work on furthering God’s cause here on Earth. Our Heavenly Father has given each of us unique talents to be used to further His Mission. Together, our talents can help us as the Body of Christ serve and glorify Him on Earth.
If you will but read the Bible, what God wants you to do will be clear. It may be hard sometimes, but you will know it is the course of action that you must take. 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. If you have done your best, that is at the end of the day, you have done your best to follow Him, then truly you have nothing to fear. Contrast this with the people of Jerusalem. They could or would not see what God wanted for them or now for us. In 70AD, what had been so hard earlier seemed pretty easy compared to the fix they were in, but by then it was too late. By then 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.
The example of them is a good object lesson for us, to do what we can in the here and now and not worry about tomorrow. We shouldn’t complain if it is too hard for us, because being on God’s side, nothing is too hard for us. There will be a lot of times where we just feel like giving up and that it is too hard. But keeping going is easier than if we just give up. We can’t change the past that is fixed and done, but we can change the future through our actions in the present. So let our actions be good ones, that help the Church on Earth and change the future in a positive manner.
When Luke wrote of the sales in the temple, he had a point. The point was not to preclude jumble sales at church. He is not against the sales. However, what He is against is the cheating in the name of God. That is pretty clear. You must understand 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. I think in a way this can be pointed at those who are cheating people in the name of God in our own time, such as Joel Osteen and the like.
To paraphrase Christ, where their treasure is, there will their heart be also. It should also be pointed out a church should be a place of worship. It may be a Prophet Center, but not a Profit Center. Similar sounding words, but a totally different meaning for the church. If the building needs constant commercial enterprise, then perhaps the emphasis is on the wrong center. All of these churches that emphasize quantity over quality should be suspect. It does not matter the quantity, as long as you have a base of quality believers who serve the One Triune God. We need to be concerned more about the spreading of His Word, the constant truth, then focusing on how many people we can attract, and how the message can be changed to suit them. These are both problems with the modern churches today. A church should be funded for its needs by its members and its wants should come much later, if not in fact unheeded. A church is about Him, not about IT.
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.”
Action counts. For by their actions ye shall know them.
Heaven is at the end of an 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
 The concept of being truthful in the efforts we make to spread The Word is not a separate subject by any means, but would take more time to talk about than we have time for here. Suffice it to say that we must take every care to spread The Truth and not what our audience, whoever that may be, would like to hear. When we bring our “sacrifice” to the “temple” we need make certain it is in fact as perfect as we can make it. This is so hard that one of the recurring themes of the Collects is asking for guidance to ask for the right things.
 A term I first heard from Bishop Dennis Campbell in 2011. It was a great thought then and a great thought now!