Verse of the Day

Sunday, September 18, 2022

Fourteenth Sunday after Trinity - Propers with explanation – Rev Hap’s Sermon– With Video

 


Rev Hap brings the Propers together.  The Collect asks God’s help to increase in us hope, faith and charity, and more importantly that we might want to things for ourselves that he wants for us, so as to gain increased hope, faith and charity.  And his Epistle to the people of Galatia, Paul tells us Heaven and Earth are in conflict in our lives. If we want to gain eternal life, we have to give up the influence of this world, and accept guidance and In the Gospel, Luke relates Jesus’ story of the 10 lepers who are healed, and only one turned back to give thanks. This is an important concept, giving thanks, being grateful for what we are given. Also, it is important to know just that when the one turned back, Jesus told him thy faith have made thee whole. He had already been healed of leprosy, but the faith in Jesus made his life whole.


Rev Hap’s sermon is below the propers and can be viewed on video RIGHT HERE!


The Propers for today are found on Page 209-210, with the Collect first:

 

The Fourteenth Sunday after Trinity.

 

The Collect.

 

A

LMIGHTY and everlasting God, give unto us the increase of faith, hope, and charity; and, that we may obtain that which thou dost promise, make us to love that which thou dost command; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

The Epistle came from Paul’s Letter to the Galatians, the Fifth Chapter beginning at the Sixteenth Verse.  Paul tells  us that Heaven and Earth are in conflict in our lives, “For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.”  If we are led of the Spirit, we are not under the law.  If we are subject to the law, which we are bound to break due to our own inability to be ultimately good, we are also bound to the pit.  But if we are with Christ, we are forgiven of our sins, providing we are truly repentant.  We will enjoy “the fruit of the Spirit … love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.”

 

I

 say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

 

Today’s Holy Gospel began in the Seventeenth Chapter of the Gospel according to St. Luke, beginning at the Eleventh Verse.  Jesus comes upon ten lepers who appeal to Him,  “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.”  He does and tells them, “Go shew yourselves unto the priests.”  As they left him, their leprosy disappeared.  One of the ten, “when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan[1].”  Jesus marveled at the nine who turned not saying, “Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine?  There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger. And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.”  Once again a Samaritan, the “least” among the Jews was the only one to recognize and offer thanks to the Power of God.  Do we recognize the power of God in our lives and do we thank Him for the good He does us?

 

 

 

A

nd it came to pass, as Jesus went to Jerusalem, that he passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee. And as he entered into a certain village, there met him ten men that were lepers, which stood afar off: and they lifted up their voices, and said, Jesus, Master, have mercy on us. And when he saw them, he said unto them, Go shew yourselves unto the priests. And it came to pass, that, as they went, they were cleansed. And one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at his feet, giving him thanks: and he was a Samaritan. And Jesus answering said, Were there not ten cleansed? but where are the nine? There are not found that returned to give glory to God, save this stranger. And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole.

 


[1] Samaritan - Of or pertaining to Samaria, in Palestine. -- n. A native or inhabitant of Samaria; also, the language of Samaria. [1913 Webster]

  Samaritans were descendants of those who had stayed behind during the Captivity and had been separated for many years from the body of Judaism.  They had not developed, nor did they subscribe to them, all the rules the Jews managed to invent during their separation.  The main body of Jews viewed them as lesser peoples, not really Jews. 


Sermon – Reverend Hap Arnold - Time and Action

Church of the Faithful Centurion - Descanso, California

Rev Hap’s sermon can be viewed on video RIGHT HERE!

 

Today’s sermon tied the Collect, Epistle and Gospel together and talked, as is oft the case, of the need for action, not simply diction.


 

Today we consider The Law and how it failed to solve the problems of the people it was designed to help and think about how getting around technicalities is different than doing what is right.

 

Consider the words of the Collect, “…give unto us the increase of faith, hope, and charity; and, that we may obtain that which thou dost promise, make us to love that which thou dost command …”

 

The Collects often are repetitive, in that we pretty much ask the same thing week after week.  Why is that?  We have the same failings and frailty week after week. We are asking Him to make us want to follow Him that we might gain the prize which He has promised us.  That prize is eternal life which begins when we accept it, not when we die. We need to realize this fact and adjust our lives accordingly. We have to shift our focus from the short term to the ultra-long term (i.e, eternal) view of our actions. This will help us to become better spiritual stewards of the gifts which God has bestowed upon us.  And once more we ask God to help us want what He wants for us not what we want for ourselves.

 

We are praying for the increase of faith, hope and love, so we can maintain that course guidance.  Just like Paul says, if we do not have these qualities in us, it is impossible for us to stay on course. And we do not obtain these qualities from ourselves, but from the Holy Ghost. We need to listen to Him in order to stay on course. Not just listen to what He says then go off and do what we want to do. He is our infallible navigation aid. He will never fail us. The problem lies more in us failing Him. But with His Help and Guidance we will succeed. To succeed, there must be change on our part, modification of our behavior to follow Him. It requires actual action. This is the constant of Christian living that is unavoidable. 

 

Paul lists out the actions that are the works of those who are still under the influence of this world or the flesh, i.e fornication, heresies, strife, envying etc. If we are truly people of God, then we will not have those qualities and will do our best to quell them. Those are all qualities that make us worse human beings and draw us further away from God and not nearer to Him. Then he lists out the qualities of those who are of the spirit, long suffering, peacefulness, good faith, gentleness meekness etc. These are the qualities that if we let the Holy Ghost into our hearts we will heave.

 

It is only by having these qualities that we are able to follow God and do to His Will. Without the Holy Spirit in our hearts, we will be unable to have these qualities and have less happier lives. We have to make the effort to let the Holy Ghost in and shine his light in our hearts and drive out the bad qualities and let the good qualities in. The good qualities will not only help us to serve God, but make us a lot more pleasant human beings to be around.

 

These qualities will improve not just our spiritual but our physical lives immensely. The bad qualities can take a toll on our physical body not just our spiritual selves. The good qualities will do the opposite, will have a positive effect on our physical body and spiritual selves. It is in our best interest to do our best to follow God, and we will not only help Him by doing so, but helping our selves at the same time.

 

In order to perform action actions to serve Him, we need the Holy Ghost. However, the question is who will listen to the Holy Ghost? The only people who listen are those who are in need, hurt, pain and despair.  Often it is because they, or one of their loved ones, are ill or injured, perhaps near death.  Perhaps they are unemployed or undergoing some family upheaval.  Their situation is less than perfect.  They need help and they know it.  In their own mind, they are the Samaritans of this world. It is no accident Jesus’ parables and stories center on actions, not words, thoughts and meditations.  We need to retrain ourselves to ask for His Help before we are in need, pain or despair. The Holy Ghost can help us retrain ourselves, if we will but let Him in. Actions show who you truly are. Actions show the world who you follow, God or Mammon. You are not truly be a believer if you don’t act for Him. Without action, there is nothing. The key driving principle behind his parables are actions for Him, are those of goodness, not of evil.  Those who believe on me keep my commandments.  

 

Actions!

 

Yet, those who turn to God in “need” are no different than each of us.  To quote Paul, “None are perfect, all fall short.”  We, each and every one of us, need God’s help.  Perhaps some need it more, none need it less.

 

When Luke tells us of Jesus and the ten lepers whom He heals and only one expresses thanks, do you think he is only telling of lepers? It is a metaphor for us. When things go wrong, we often blame God. When things go right, oh weren’t we so clever?  All too often, when God assists us, we do not turn back to Him in thanks, but merely go on our way and credit ourselves for being so smart. One of the lessons is that when God helps us in our lives, we should always take the time to give thanks to Him who helped us and created us.

 

 

Through our Lord, God is there for each of us if we will accept His help.  When He gives that help, how do we react?  Frankly most of us just think it our due.  We oft fail to give thanks for all that He gives us.

 

When we get an answer we don’t expect, do we thank Him?  What if we get an answer?  Do we thank Him?

 

Like the lepers only one in ten will show thanks for the mercy and help given them.  Rarely do people give thanks for large efforts done to help them. We must endeavor to be grateful for Him and for all of those who strive hard to help us out in our times of need.  In the case of the lepers, it was the Samaritan[1], showing that fancy dress and rules are not as important as doing what is right and being grateful for what we are given.

 

Are you part of that 10 percent?

 

Remember, it is Please and Thank You that are the magic words, not Please and I don’t have time for you

 

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



[1] Samaritan - Of or pertaining to Samaria, in Palestine. -- n. A native or inhabitant of Samaria; also, the language of Samaria. [1913 Webster]

 

Samaritans were descendants of those who had stayed behind during the Captivity and had been separated for many years from the body of Judaism.  They had not developed, nor did they subscribe to them, all the rules the Jews managed to invent during their separation.  The main body of Jews viewed them as lesser peoples, not really Jews.

Sunday, September 11, 2022

Thirteenth Sunday after Trinity - Propers with explanation – Rev Jack’s Sermon– With Video


Rev Jack' sermon is below and can be viewed on video RIGHT HERE!

Rev Jack brings the Propers together again. The Collect acknowledges God’s most precious gift is to provide guidance to help us follow His will. This is a huge deal, only through following His will can we find true happiness. In the Epistle Paul reminds us, “To Abraham and his seed were the promises made.


He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.” The Law, which came 430 years after this covenant, did not supersede the covenant. The Law was “added because of transgressions, til the seed (Jesus) should come to whom the promise was made … Is the law then against the promises of God?” No. “… for is there had been a law given which could have given life, … righteousness should have been by the law.” For the wages of sin are death, all sin and only those whose sins are set aside by the sacrifice of Jesus are freed from their debt. In the Gospel Jesus tells one of the New Testament’s most widely spread stories, that of the Good Samaritan. Jesus was talking to the people, “And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” The lawyer was about to learn the first lesson of lawyering, ‘Never ask a question you don’t to which know the answer.’ As was often the case, Jesus let the man answer his own question in response to a question from Him. If you want to know, more listen to or read the sermon.

The Propers for today are found on Page 207-209, with the Collect first:

 

The Thirteenth Sunday after Trinity.

 

The Collect.

 

A

LMIGHTY and merciful God, of whose only gift it cometh that thy faithful people do unto thee true and laudable service; Grant, we beseech thee, that we may so faithfully serve thee in this life, that we fail not finally to attain thy heavenly promises; through the merits of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

The Epistle came from Paul’s Letter to the Galatians, the Third  Chapter beginning at the Sixteenth Verse. Paul reminds us, “To Abraham and his seed were the promises made.  He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.”  The Law, which came 430 years after this covenant, did not supersede the covenant.  The Law was “added because of transgressions, til the seed (Jesus) should come to whom the promise was made … Is the law then against the promises of God?”  No.  “… for is there had been a law given which could have given life, … righteousness should have been by the law.”  For the wages of sin are death, all sin and only those whose sins are set aside by the sacrifice of Jesus are freed from their debt.

 

T

Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ. And this I say, that the covenant, that was confirmed before of God in Christ, the law, which was four hundred and thirty years after, cannot disannul, that it should make the promise of none effect. For if the inheritance be of the law, it is no more of promise: but God gave it to Abraham by promise. Wherefore then serveth the law? It was added because of transgressions, till the seed should come to whom the promise was made; and it was ordained by angels in the hand of a mediator. Now a mediator is not a mediator of one, but God is one. Is the law then against the promises of God? God forbid: for if there had been a law given which could have given life, verily righteousness should have been by the law. But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.

 

Today’s Holy Gospel started in the Tenth Chapter of the Gospel according to St. Luke, beginning at the Twenty-Third Verse.  Jesus tells one of the New Testament’s most widely spread stories, that of the Good Samaritan[1],[2].

 

Jesus was talking to the people, “And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”  The lawyer was about to learn the first lesson of lawyering, ‘Never ask a question you don’t to which know the answer.’  As was often the case, Jesus let the man answer his own question in response to a question from Him, “What is written in the law?  How readest thou?”  

 

The man answered well, “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.”

 

Jesus confirmed his answer, “Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.”

 

But, the man wanted more and asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbour?”

 

Among the Jews, it was clear they were to “Love thy neighbor as thy self;” but their view of their neighborhood was not too wide.  From Jesus’ story and question come a clear answer as to how big our neighborhood might be.

 

And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, and went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee. Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbor unto him that fell among the thieves? 

 

To this question, the man answered, “He that shewed mercy on him.” 

 

Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.

 

B

LESSED are the eyes which see the things that ye see: for I tell you, that many prophets and kings have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them. And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life? He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou? And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself. And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live. But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour? And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, and went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee. Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves? And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.



[1] Samaritan - Of or pertaining to Samaria, in Palestine. -- n. A native or inhabitant of Samaria; also, the language of Samaria. [1913 Webster]

 

Samaritans were descendants of those who had stayed behind during the Captivity and had been separated for many years from the body of Judaism.  They had not developed, nor did they subscribe to them, all the rules the Jews managed to invent during their separation.  The main body of Jews viewed them as lesser peoples, not really Jews. 

[2] Good Samaritan n : a person who voluntarily offers help or sympathy in times of trouble [syn: {Samaritan}]


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 and talked, as is oft the case, of the need for action, not simply diction.

 

Consider the words of the Collect:  “…whose only gift it cometh that thy faithful people do unto thee true and laudable service; Grant, we beseech thee, that we may so faithfully serve thee in this life, that we fail not finally to attain thy heavenly promises…”

 

In our prayer to God, we acknowledge that His greatest gift is that we are, through Him, able to give Him true service.  For, it must be understood the only way we can really be happy is when we align our being with His Being. This is a truth that people of this world do not understand and one of the reasons why there is so much strife in the world today.

 

 We must be truly aligned, not trying to get around by using loopholes.  There is a big difference.  We are trying to live by the Big Picture and not worry about little things. Sometimes that is easier said than done, but we must get it done all the same. How are we to get the monumental strength and inspiration to tackle this? It is simple, we are to call on the Holy Ghost to enter into our hearts and ask for His Advice. Asking for His Advice is the easy part. The harder part is once we receive the advice to act upon it and do it for Him. Once we do this we will have the strength and inspiration that we need to live by the Big Picture and not worry. We tend to get ourselves wrapped up in tiny details that don’t matter in the Big Picture. We must ask the Holy Ghost to help us not get wrapped up in these insignificant details, but guide us to focus on the important ones that help us live by the Big Picture.

 

If we are to follow Him truly, we have to truly love Him with all our hearts, souls and minds and to “love thy neighbor as thyself.”  This sounds easy, but is difficult to do in practice. But it is something we must do our best to do all the same. The Holy Ghost can help us achieve this, if we will but let Him into our hearts and guide us in our actions. These are among the first steps to following Him. This is a follow on to last week’s message. This is because the Bible echoes itself at various points, especially in the New Testament. There are many repeating themes in the New Testament; this is one of them. And the gift that the collect speaks of is the Holy Ghost. We need His help if we are to truly love Him with all of our hearts souls and minds. Then, you have to act upon your trust in Him. If you trust Him as a spiritual parent, then just like with your earthly parents, you will take His advice into consideration when acting. 

 

If we do what we should do, we will follow the little rules as a matter of course.  If we get the important things, the little things will follow soon after. The only rules that are important really come from:

 

1.     Love thy God with all thy heart and soul and mind;

2.     Love they neighbor as thyself. 

 

As Jesus says, “On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.” He means all of the moral laws and preaching of prophets past can be traced back to these laws, which comprise the basis for all of the laws that would follow thereafter, especially the Ten Commandments.  The 613 Mosaic Laws can call be traced back to these two commandments. They are the basics of the Christian faith; there is no way to get around these two and be within the spirit or the intent of the Law.

 

The Law failed not because of God but because of the frailty of man. The people spent their time thinking about how to get around technicalities which is different than doing what is right.  In fact people still try to do this with laws of man to this very day. It is inherent in our fallen  nature. Complying with the Law is a different matter than finding loopholes around the Law. The Pharisees did the latter, and we should do the former. We will always find a lot of people that act like the Pharisees, as that is in our fallen nature. We must strive to avoid acting like the Pharisees and act instead as much as like Jesus as it is possible for us imperfect creatures to be. We will never fully get there, but we will never get anywhere if we never try. So let us do our best to be like Jesus to the best of our abilities and we will find our lives will improve significantly.

 

In the Epistle, we are reminded God chose Abraham not because he complied with The Law, for the Law was far into the future.  God chose Abraham because he had faith, put his trust in God and desired to follow Him. If we do the same and put our trust in God, we will be able to perform the laudable service He so desires for the rest of our days. The Law is a small part of the large picture, when we see how it ties into the New Testament, we have a far better understanding of what God wants in our lives, as individuals. It is not just enough to follow the letter of the the law, we need to follow the Spirit of the Law as Jesus embodied in His Summary of the Law. Love God and Love your neighbor and things will work out as a result. We will naturally follow the 10 commandments by following the Summary of the Law

 

However, not everyone on the globe will follow Him, and they will not be truly happy as a result. An example of this are the Pharisees; religious lawyers who specialized in the 613 Mosaic Laws, which brought them death, not life.  Their job was to help people not break The Law without unduly interfering with their lives by forcing them to embrace the intent of The Law.

 

When the Pharisee of the Gospel asked Jesus what he should do to gain eternal life, the Pharisee correctly summarized The Law: Love God; Love your neighbor.  He would have been fine had he stopped there.  But, he had to show the Son how smart he was.  In doing so, the lawyer was about to learn the first lesson of lawyering, ‘Never ask a question to which you don’t know the answer.’  So, he asked, ‘Who is my neighbor?  The answer, of course, is everyone but you; the rest of humanity.  But, as was often the case, Jesus presented the story of the injured man helped by the Samaritan, then asked, Who was neighbor to the injured man?

 

The priest and the Levite would not see the injured man; there are none so blind as those who will not see.  They could or would not follow the second commandment of the Summary of the Law, of loving they neighbor as thyself. Whatever the reason it ended in the same result, they turned their heads away and walked by not even thinking of the injured man and his suffering. They were too prideful to see the truth of loving they neighbor. They were too wrapped up in the riches and cares of this world. Alas there are too many people that are like the Priest and the Levite today in our country. They are caught up in their riches and cares and cannot see their fellow countryman suffering, or will not see them suffering more likely. They think of the suffering people as an inconvenience to their lavish lifestyle.

 

The material things of this world are temporary and they have blinded and ensnared many. Many of churches (like the Roman Church for example) today have fallen into this trap, caring about their position on Earth more than following God’s clearly stated will.  Focusing on this world, which is only a temporary state, is a foolish and fleeting thing. Things on this earth will corrupt and rust and pass away; but things in Heaven and life in Heaven will never corrupt and pass away. We should focus on things eternal, not on things temporary.  What they should focus on is their eternal life. While they claim to know the concept of Heaven, they truly do not know it or believe in it per se.  For it is action that demonstrates and validates claimed belief.

 

Those Jews cared only about not breaking The Law on Earth and hoping that flawed concept would bring them salvation. No matter how they followed it, they could not obtain salvation on their own. The missing link to their solution was one that has been here since The Creation: Jesus Christ. They are searching for Him, but they cannot find Him, as He is right under their noses. He is right in front of them, but they will not see Him as their Messiah. So, they are doomed to always looking for Him, but never being able to find Him until they open up their spiritual senses. This is the problem with the World as well. They search for the answers He provides, but they will not acknowledge Him or His solutions.

 

The world would be better off if they learned the lesson the lawyer learned in today’s Gospel. You will also note the Samaritan, one of those separated from the chosen mass of Judaism, did his duty.  When he left the injured man at the inn, having given the innkeeper roughly two days wages, he said, “Do what need be done, if I owe more I will pay when I pass by next.”  You will note, he put no limit on his duty, he just committed to doing what needed to be done, regardless of cost.  

 

The lawyer to his credit answered honestly, “He that shewed mercy on him.”  Jesus told him, Go, and do thou likewise.

 

Right is not a matter of quantum; it is not a matter of majority rules or public opinion; actions speak louder than words. 

 

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

Sunday, September 4, 2022

Twelfth Sunday after Trinity - Propers with explanation – Rev Jack’s Sermon– With Video


Rev Jack's sermon is below and can be viewed on video RIGHT HERE!


The Propers for today are found on Page 206-207, with the Collect first:

 

The Twelfth Sunday after Trinity.

 

The Collect.

 

A

LMIGHTY and everlasting God, who art always more ready to hear than we to pray, and art wont to give more than either we desire or deserve; Pour down upon us the abundance of thy mercy; forgiving us those things whereof our conscience is afraid, and giving us those good things which we are not worthy to ask, but through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ, thy Son, our Lord. Amen

 

The Epistle came from Pauls Second Letter to the Corinthians, the Third Chapter beginning at the Fourth Verse.  Paul reminds  us through the Grace of God we can be able ministers of the new testament, on our own we can be in the end no good.  If we are able to completely follow the Law, with good intent, we can through that please God, but inasmuch as that is impossible we fall short.  The letter of the Law, which cannot be complied with is death.  But following the spirit of the Law gives life.  That is Jesus message, for in the Law is death and in the spirit life.  For if there is glory in administering the Law, how much more glory is there in the spirit of the Law, which is Jesus message?

 

S

UCH trust have we through Christ to God-ward: not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God; who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life. But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away: how shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious? For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory.

 

Todays Holy Gospel started in the Seventh Chapter of the Gospel according to St. Mark, beginning at the Thirty-First Verse. Jesus came in to the coast of Decapolis[1].   The people brought unto him a deaf mute. Jesus examined the man, put his fingers in his ears, touched his tongue and said Ephphatha[2], that is, Be opened.  What Jesus did here for the deaf mute physically is what he does for each of us spiritually.  Through Jesus, we hear the Word of God and are given the ability to speak it.  Conversely, there are none so deaf as those who will not hear and none so blind as those who will not see.  It is up to each of us to choose if we will remain blind, deaf and dumb or open our eyes to see, hear and speak the Word of God.  When we receive the gift of sight, hearing and speech we embark on a new life of freedom.

 

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ESUS, departing from the coasts of Tyre and Sidon, came unto the sea of Galilee, through the midst of the coasts of Decapolis. And they bring unto him one that was deaf, and had an impediment in his speech; and they beseech him to put his hand upon him. And he took him aside from the multitude, and put his fingers into his ears, and he spit, and touched his tongue; and looking up to heaven, he sighed, and saith unto him, Ephphatha, that is, Be opened. And straightway his ears were opened, and the string of his tongue was loosed, and he spake plain. And he charged them that they should tell no man: but the more he charged them, so much the more a great deal they published it; and were beyond measure astonished, saying, He hath done all things well: he maketh both the deaf to hear, and the dumb to speak.

 


[1] Decapolis - ten cities=deka, ten, and polis, a city, a district on the east and south-east of the Sea of Galilee containing ten cities,  which were chiefly inhabited by Greeks. It included a portion of Bashan and Gilead, and is mentioned three times in the New Testament (Matt. 4: 25; Mark 5: 20; 7: 31). These cities were Scythopolis, i. e., city of the Scythians, (ancient Bethshean, the only one of the ten cities on the west of Jordan), Hippos, Gadara, Pella (to which the Christians fled just before the destruction of Jerusalem), Philadelphia (ancient Rabbath-ammon), Gerasa, Dion, Canatha, Raphana, and Damascus. When the Romans conquered Syria (B. C. 65) they rebuilt, and endowed with certain privileges, these ten cities,  and the province connected with them they called Decapolis. 

[2] Ephphatha the Greek form of a Syro-Chaldaic or Aramaic word, meaning Be opened, uttered by Christ when healing the man who was deaf and dumb (Mark 7: 34). It is one of the characteristics of Mark that he uses the very Aramaic words which fell from our Lord's lips. (See 3: 17; 5: 41; 7: 11; 14: 36; 15: 34)


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!

 

Todays 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, wherein we ask God who is  more ready to hear than we to pray, and art wont to give more than either we desire or deserve; Pour down upon us the abundance of thy mercy; forgiving us those things whereof our conscience is afraid, and giving us those good things which we are not worthy to ask 

 

For the first time in a long time, this collect acknowledges we are continually pray to God, asking Him for what WE want.  Yet, how oft do we listen to Him when He responds with what we need?[1]  If we will listen to Him and DO what He asks, He will give us more than we have need of, more than we ask for and more than we can even desire. The point of the collect is that He has unlimited resources for this and also able to forgive us for things of which are bearing on our conscience. Yet, it requires us to listen to Him, then ACT[2]on what we are told.  When we ask His forgiveness, when He gives it, we need to accept it and live it; if we live in the past, we never will benefit. The only place we can accept it is in the present, in the here and now.   

 

The Collect also acknowledges that God is more ready and more inclined to listen to us that we are to pray to Him. That is a sad but simple truth. We are called to pray to God more often and asking Him for what we need and not just what we want. Want and need are two different words, often used interchangeably which is incorrect. When we do pray to God, He will give us far better answers than we could have ever dreamed up ourselves and if we act upon His Words and take them to heart, the results will be more amazing and epic than we ever could have possibly imagined.

 

As we all know the past has already happened; it is unchangeable. It is set in stone. The future has not yet happened, but can only be influenced through our actions in the present. This is why worrying about the future and past is pointless. We cannot influence things that have already happen and things that are undetermined to happen, We can only influence things in the present. We can only use the past as a data point to learn from, we cannot make any further changes. To use computer speak, it is read only and not read and write. The present is where we can read and write and make changes to our lives. Dwelling on the past does not help solve the problems of the present or future. We must take the lessons of the past, but then once learned, look no more back but forward to what we can do in the present, the only realm of time in which we can actually influence anything. 

 

How do we learn? Luckily for us God gives us guidance to learn through the Holy Ghost, if we will but accept it.  He gives us the power to act in the spirit of The Law.  The Law or actually 613 little laws turned out to be in of itself a death sentence.  The Jews could not, or would not, comply with the 613 Mosaic Laws, which brought them death.  The Law brought Death, but the New Testament of Jesus Christ brought to us Life, true everlasting life. 

 

Very much like in our society today, too many Jews only cared about not violating the Law, not about the spirit of the Law which was intended. People today have  a tendency  to want to be a law abiding citizen and not break any laws. They forget about the spirit of the laws. Following the letter of the Law does not save an individual, following the spirit of the Law is what counts. If you follow the spirit of the Law, you are following what the Law was meant for.  Jesus is the ultimate embodiment of the Law. As the embodiment of the Law, He gave us the important bits of the law, when He gave us the Summary of The Law, which through Him would bring life, everlasting life and happiness here on earth:

 

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HOU shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it; Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets

 

Only two laws to comply with, which though simpler, are harder:

 

1.     Love God

2.     Love your neighbor like yourself

 

There is no getting around these two moral laws; no loopholes in these two laws, they are very plain and very clear.  If you follow those two laws, there is not much other guidance. The Ten Commandments themselves spring from these two laws as a moral base. Loving God and loving your neighbor like yourself will greatly improve your life and others around if you consistently follow it.  The Summary of the Law is the spirit of the New Testament, which is we are to love God and love our neighbors. These are both things seemingly contrary to our sinful nature, but with the help of the Holy Ghost, they can be overcome. And they are also both things that will greatly improve our lives here on Earth. If not in a monetary sense, most certainly our lives will be improved spiritually if we follow the Summary of the Law. If you understand the Big Picture, you know what to do on your part of the Little Picture to make your world line up with His World. Our problem is that like the Jews  we cannot perfectly line up our world with His. Because we come from the same common ancestor, Adam, we have the curse of free will. Luckily for us, we have the Holy Ghost. He can be so useful for us, inputting change of course corrections to us. We just need to listen to His input and then act upon it accordingly. 

 

In the Gospel, Jesus helped a deaf man with an impediment of speech. It is a parable in of itself. The deaf man is a stand in for us. We who cannot seemingly hear Gods commands, or wont. Our speech impediment is that we have sin and that sin causes us to utter offensive or wrong things in our day to day lives. We are asking for Him to heal us of both spiritual impediments. Without His help, we cannot be cleared of our spiritual deafness and uncleanliness.  If we will allow Him into our hearts, Jesus Christ will remove that spiritual block that causes the spiritual deafness and uncleanliness. The key phrase here is that we have to allow Him into our hearts.  He wont come in uninvited; we have to on our own will, willingly invite Him in. Only then can He start the cleansing process. The point of the Gospel is that we need to ask Him to remove our spiritual impediment of sin and open our ears, hearts, souls and minds to His Word. Only then can we be truly in a position to act for Him here on Earth.

 

 

The Holy Ghost is a large part of our spiritual lives. Without Him, we could not be considered one of Christs sheep. He is the one who communicates from God to us and how we are to act on this Earth. He helps guide our spiritual paths and advises us on the correct actions to be taken. We have to let Him into our hearts and lead the transforming and renewal of our minds. Without His help, we cannot adequately follow Him. In other words, we are doomed without the help of the Holy Ghost, which will give us His guidance and advice in conducting our church, professional and personal lives. 

 

When Jesus opened the ears and mouth of the deaf mute, He did for him what the Holy Ghost will do for us, if we will but let Him open first our ears to hear, then our mouths to testify, communicate and direct.  We must lead people to God, not try to push them.  Thus, we need to strive, each of us, to follow God more closely so we can pull on the lead rope.  Leading requires being in front of the people you are attempting to lead, having them follow your example towards an objective.  Study Jesus life, He is a perfect example of a leader.  We cannot ever be perfect, but we can strive for that perfection in our actions.

 

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



[1] Herein lies another problem.  If we pray, it seems we continually pray for what we want and we oft want things that are contrary to our actual needs.  Imperfect creatures with free will, a bad combination in itself, we continually use and understand in our hearts two words: need and want, to mean the same thing; when in fact they often mean two diametrically opposed things.  Thus, amongst other things and perhaps before, we need to pray for the Holy Ghost to help us to understand the difference and ask for what we need.

[2] Here we are again, back to the old Action, not Diction, is what counts!