Today we celebrated the
Twelfth Sunday after Trinity.
Someone asked, where do the quotes come
from? The answer is from the
people who uttered them. But, how
did you find them? Oh, that. Some from Bishop Jerry, many from Rev
Bryan Dabney, a few from other places, some from Rev Geordie Menzies-Grierson,
but overall mostly from Bryan. He
always has some great ones to share.
On to the On Point quotes –
Ignorance can be cured. Stupid is forever.
On the one hand Death is the triumph of
Satan, the punishment of the Fall, and the last enemy. Christ shed tears at the
grave of Lazarus and sweated blood in Gethsemane: the Life of Lives that was in
Him detested this penal obscenity not less than we do, but more. On the other
hand, only he who loses his life will save it. We are baptised into the death
of Christ, and it is the remedy for the Fall. Death is, in fact, what some
modern people call “ambivalent.” It is Satan’s great weapon and also God’s
great weapon: it is holy and unholy; our supreme disgrace and our only hope;
the thing Christ came to conquer and the means by which He conquered.
Satan produced human Death. But when God
created Man He gave him such a constitution that, if the highest part of it
rebelled against Himself, it would be bound to lose control over the lower
parts: i.e., in the long run to suffer Death. This provision may be regarded
equally as a punitive sentence (“In the day ye eat of that fruit ye shall
die”), as a mercy, and as a safety device. It is punishment because Death—that
Death of which Martha says to Christ, “But . . . Sir . . . it’ll smell”—is
horror and ignominy. (“I am not so much afraid of death as ashamed of it,” said
Sir Thomas Browne.) It is mercy because by willing and humble surrender to it
Man undoes his act of rebellion and makes even this depraved and monstrous mode
of Death an instance of that higher and mystical Death which is eternally good
and a necessary ingredient in the highest life. “The readiness is all”—not, of
course, the merely heroic readiness but that of humility and self-renunciation.
Our enemy, so welcomed, becomes our servant: bodily Death, the monster, becomes
blessed spiritual Death to self, if the spirit so wills—or rather if it allows
the Spirit of the willingly dying God so to will in it. It is a safety device
because, once Man has fallen, natural immortality would be the one utterly
hopeless destiny for him. Aided to the surrender that he must make by no
external necessity of Death, free (if you call it freedom) to rivet faster and
faster about himself through unending centuries the chains of his own pride and
lust and of the nightmare civilisations which these build up in ever-increasing
power and complication, he would progress from being merely a fallen man to
being a fiend, possibly beyond all modes of redemption. This danger was
averted. The sentence that those who ate of the forbidden fruit would be driven
away from the Tree of Life was implicit in the composite nature with which Man
was created. But to convert this penal death into the means of eternal life—to
add to its negative and preventive function a positive and saving function—it
was further necessary that death should be accepted. Humanity must embrace
death freely, submit to it with total humility, drink it to the dregs, and so
convert it into that mystical death which is the secret of life. But only a Man
who did not need to have been a Man at all unless He had chosen, only one who
served in our sad regiment as a volunteer, yet also one who was perfectly a
Man, could perform this perfect dying; and thus (which way you put it is
unimportant) either defeat Death or redeem it. He tasted death on behalf of all
others. He is the representative “Die-er” of the universe: and for that very
reason the Resurrection and the Life. Or conversely, because He truly lives, He
truly dies, for that is the very pattern of reality. Because the higher can
descend into the lower He who from all eternity has been incessantly plunging
Himself in the blessed death of self-surrender to the Father can also most
fully descend into the horrible and (for us) involuntary death of the body.
Because Vicariousness is the very idiom of the reality He has created, His
death can become ours. The whole Miracle, far from denying what we already know
of reality, writes the comment which makes that crabbed text plain: or rather,
proves itself to be the text on which Nature was only the commentary. In
science we have been reading only the notes to a poem; in Christianity we find
the poem itself.
Miracles: A Preliminary Study.
As a Christian you have to live in the midst
of an ungodly world, and it is of little use for you to cry “Woe is me.” Jesus
did not pray that you should be taken out of the world, and what he did not
pray for, you need not desire. Better far in the Lord’s strength to meet the
difficulty, and glorify him in it. The enemy is ever on the watch to detect
inconsistency in your conduct; be therefore very holy. Remember that the eyes
of all are upon you, and that more is expected from you than from other men. Strive
to give no occasion for blame. Let your goodness be the only fault they can
discover in you. Like Daniel, compel them to say of you, “We shall not find any
occasion against this Daniel, except we find it against him concerning the law
of his God.” Seek to be useful as well as consistent. Perhaps you think, “If I
were in a more favourable position I might serve the Lord’s cause, but I cannot
do any good where I am”; but the worse the people are among whom you live, the
more need have they of your exertions; if they be crooked, the more necessity
that you should set them straight; and if they be perverse, the more need have
you to turn their proud hearts to the truth. Where should the physician be but
where there are many sick? Where is honour to be won by the soldier but in the
hottest fire of the battle? And when weary of the strife and sin that meets you
on every hand, consider that all the saints have endured the same trial. They
were not carried on beds of down to heaven, and you must not expect to travel
more easily than they. They had to hazard their lives unto the death in the
high places of the field, and you will not be crowned till you also have
endured hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. Therefore, “stand fast in
the faith, quit you like men, be strong.”
There are three ways of taking the command to
turn the other cheek. One is the Pacifist interpretation; it means what it says
and imposes a duty of nonresistance on all men in all circumstances. Another is
the minimising interpretation; it does not mean what it says but is merely an
orientally hyperbolical way of saying that you should put up with a lot and be
placable. Both you and I agree in rejecting this view. The conflict is therefore
between the Pacifist interpretation and a third one which I am now going to
propound. I think the text means exactly what it says, but with an understood
reservation in favour of those obviously exceptional cases which every hearer
would naturally assume to be exceptions without being told. . . . . That is,
insofar as the only relevant factors in the case are an injury to me by my
neighbour and a desire on my part to retaliate, then I hold that Christianity
commands the absolute mortification of that desire. No quarter whatever is
given to the voice within us which says, “He’s done it to me, so I’ll do the
same to him.”
Ye shall make you no idols nor graven image,
neither rear you up a standing image , neither shall ye set up any image of
stone in your land, to bow down unto it: for I am the LORD your God.
The LORD will not suffer the soul of the
righteous to famish: but he casteth away the substance of the wicked.
Fear, and the pit, and the snare, are upon
thee, O inhabitant of the earth.
O LORD, correct me, but with judgment; not in
thine anger, lest thou bring me to nothing.
And Jesus answering saith unto
them, Have faith in God.
Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth
my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: he is like a
man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock...
According to Roman Catholic tradition Peter
was the first bishop of Rome... The remarkable thing, however, about Peter’s
bishopric in Rome, is that the New Testament has not one word to say about it.
The word Rome occurs only nine times in the Bible, and never is Peter mentioned
in connection with it. There is no allusion to Rome in either of his epistles.
There is in fact no New Testament evidence, nor any historical proof of any
kind, that Peter ever was in Rome. All rests on legend.
20th century American theologian
(Roman Catholicism, p. 117)
Each Sunday there are Propers:
special prayers and readings from the Bible. There is a Collect for the Day; that is a single thought
prayer, most written either before the re-founding of the Church of England in
the 1540s or written by Bishop Thomas Cranmer, the first Archbishop of
Canterbury after the re-founding.
The Collect for the Day is to be
read on Sunday and during Morning and Evening Prayer until the next Sunday. The
Epistle is normally a reading from one of the various Epistles, or letters, in
the New Testament. The Gospel is a
reading from one of the Holy Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. The Collect is said by the minister as
a prayer, the Epistle can be read by either a designated reader (as we do in
our church) or by one of the ministers and the Holy Gospel, which during the
service in our church is read by an ordained minister.
The propers are the same each
year, except if a Red Letter Feast, that is one with propers in the prayerbook,
falls on a Sunday, then those propers are to be read instead, except in a White
Season, where it is put off. Red
Letter Feasts, so called because in the Altar Prayerbooks the titles are in
red, are special days. Most of the
Red Letter Feasts are dedicated to early saints instrumental in the development
of the church, others to special events.
Some days are particularly special and the Collect for that day is to be
used for an octave (eight days) or an entire season, like Advent or Lent.
The Propers for today are found on
Page 206-207, with the Collect first:
The Twelfth Sunday after Trinity.
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
The Epistle came from Paul’s 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’
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.
Today’s 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
The people brought unto him a deaf mute.
Jesus examined the man, put his fingers
in his ears, touched his tongue and said “Ephphatha”
that is, “Be opened.”
did here for the deaf mute physically is what he does for each of us
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.
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
Sermon – Reverend Jack Arnold - Time and
Church of the Faithful Centurion - Descanso, California
Today’s sermon tied the Collect, Epistle and Gospel
together and talked, as is oft the case, of the need for action, not simply
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 that we are continually pray to God, asking Him for what WE
want. Yet, how oft do we listen to
Him when He responds? 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, more than we can even desire. Yet, it requires us to listen to Him, then ACT 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. We have to accept it in the present. We have to remember that
the only time in which we can influence our action with the help of the Holy
Ghost is within the present. We are never in tomorrow, and we are never in the
past, but we are always within the present. Then let us accept His forgiveness
now, not tomorrow, not yesterday, but today.
God gives us guidance 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 or would not comply with the 613 Mosaic Laws, which brought them
death. Jesus gave us the summary
of The Law, which through Him would bring life, everlasting life and happiness
here on earth:
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
Only two laws to comply with, which though simpler,
your neighbor like yourself
Think about it, if you do those two things, you will
find you need no other real moral guidance. 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. Just like the sight picture on a rifle,
lining up the sights with the target. We want our sights to line up with His
Picture. We want our sight picture to be the same as His. The problem is just
like the Jews, we cannot perfectly follow those either. Because we come from
the same common ancestor, Adam, we have the curse of free will. We often
exercise this free will poorly, rather than in the way God intended it, which
is to focus on Him. But we can at
least do our very best to follow those directions and change course whenever we
Doing our best is all that God asks of us, not just
saying we are doing our best when we aren’t. But, happily for us, Jesus’ sacrifice on our behalf accounts
us as just before God. So, now
that we know that, who do we tell about it? Do we let people know, or do we hide our allegiance to the
Lord? If you hide your
allegiance, you really have none. But we must be open about our allegiance and
share the Good News with others, that they in time may come to seek the joys of
His Kingdom. They may not understand right away, but the seed of the Lord may
germinate and grow within them, so that within due course they may understand
the Word and come to seek Him. A seed does not instantly become a large
sycamore tree, it takes years of watering and good sunshine for the plant to grow into the large tree. It is
the same with us, it takes years of good spiritual food and drink (The Holy
Scripture and the Holy Ghost) and of being with fellow believers who are
learning along with you to grow spiritually.
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 that 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.
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
Rev Bryan Dabney
of Saint John’s Sunday Sermon
We are fortunate to
have Bryan’s Sunday Sermon. If you
want people to come to The Truth, you have to speak the truth, expouse the
truth and live the truth. This is really a good piece and I
commend it to your careful reading.
Twelfth Sunday after Trinity
for Morning Prayer today is Isaiah 29:18-24 (KJV):
18 And in that day shall the deaf
hear the words of the book, and the eyes of the blind shall see out of
obscurity, and out of darkness.
19 The meek also shall increase
their joy in the Lord, and the poor among men shall rejoice in the Holy One of
20 For the terrible one is brought
to nought, and the scorner is consumed, and all that watch for iniquity are cut
21 That make a man an offender for
a word, and lay a snare for him that reproveth in the gate, and turn aside the
just for a thing of nought.
22 Therefore thus saith the Lord,
who redeemed Abraham, concerning the house of Jacob, Jacob shall not now be
ashamed, neither shall his face now wax pale.
23 But when he seeth his children,
the work of mine hands, in the midst of him, they shall sanctify my name, and
sanctify the Holy One of Jacob, and shall fear the God of Israel.
24 They also that erred in spirit
shall come to understanding, and they that murmured shall learn doctrine.
prophet Isaiah speaks not only of a near-term event in his day, but of
something that will transpire in the future. Look again at verse 20 wherein we read, For the terrible one is brought to nought, and the scorner is consumed,
and all that watch for iniquity are cut off.
the prophet’s day, the Assyrian king Sennacherib was preparing his army to
march against King Hezekiah of Judah. The Assyrians were well known by the 8th
century BC as a cruel and vicious people. They were approaching the land of
Judah with an army which likely exceeded two hundred thousand strong. The bulk
of that force would eventually lay siege to Jerusalem. In the face of so great
a host, the LORD informed the prophet that he would preserve the city and turn
Sennacherib back. In a later chapter (37:33-37), the prophet set forth the
details of the invasion and siege by the Assyrian army, as well as its
destruction. What a relief it must have been for the people of Jerusalem to see
the corpses of the Assyrians who only a day before had been preparing for their
initial assault upon their city. This miracle was accomplished by one angel who
passed through the Assyrian camp and slew the whole lot of them. Sennacherib’s
military campaign against Judah was further complicated by news that the
Ethiopian king, Tirhakah, was approaching to do battle with him. The Assyrian
king was then in command of a much smaller force which had been besieging
another town. Finding the bulk of his army destroyed, the king retreated to his
own land only to die at the hands of two of his sons (37:38).
scorning leaders of the Assyrians and their army were defeated by him who has
never known defeat. The mocking comments by Rabshakeh — or “chief cup bearer”
of the king (36:2-20) — were brought to nought with the destruction of the
Assyrian army assigned to take Jerusalem. God had been angered by the Assyrian
king’s hubris, while at the same time he was pleased by King Hezekiah’s
humbleness (37:1-7). Humility on the part of the kings of Israel and Judah was
a rare commodity and God rewarded Hezekiah for his recognition that he, the
LORD, was his sure defence in the face of such an overwhelming force.
the millennia, Satan’s minions have sought to harm those who are of the camp of
God. Sennacherib’s campaign against the kingdom of Judah is just one of many
examples we might consider. Others, such as Amalek (Deuteronomy 25:17-19); Haman (Esther
3:1-13); as well as the wicked rulers of
Edom (Obadiah 10-14) are good examples as well for God did indeed curse and crush
those wicked men. But let us not omit God’s judgment on those traitors within
the congregation of his people. Just as Jeroboam (I Kings 12:25-33) and Ahab (I Kings 21:17-26) had sought to turn the people from their worship of the LORD by
following after false deities, so too did God judge and destroy their houses.
does not delight in the destruction of the wicked (Ezekiel 18:23), but he will pour out his wrath upon all who have succumbed to
Satan which includes those who would seek to harm his own. The prophets of old
were given God’s laundry list of offenders who would suffer his wrath. Consider
those on his short list without regard to chronology.
prophet Nahum was given to prophesy about destruction of Nineveh— the capital
of ancient Assyria (3:7). Isaiah prophesied against Damascus (17:1) saying, ...
it shall be a ruinous heap. Ezekiel prophesied against the great city of Tyre
(26:1-6) saying, ... I will also scrape her dust from her, and make her like
the top of a rock. It shall be a place for the spreading of nets in the midst
of the sea. . . Jeremiah prophesied against the wickedness of Moab and said
that he, ... shall be destroyed from being a people (49:42) on account of their
idolatry and their trust in riches. Again, while the aforementioned offenders
were not the only ones; nevertheless, all of the above had taken advantage of
God’s people either through the transmission of idolatry, conquest or
while the above are Old Testament examples; in the New Testament, God has
promised to bring vengeance upon those who persecute his church (II Thessalonians 1:5-10; and St. Jude
14-15). In the future, God is going to
deal with those who have rejected his Christ and who will attempt to destroy
the descendants of Jacob. God loves Israel with an everlasting love. He
promised their forefathers that he would, in spite of their stiffnecked and
refusenik attitude, eventually restore them. The LORD gave the prophet Jeremiah
to proclaim to those same disobedient and backsliding people of his day that,
Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the
house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: not according to the covenant
that I made with their fathers ... which ... they brake ... but this shall be
the covenant that I will make ... after those days, saith the LORD. I will put
my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their
God, and they shall be my people (31:31- 33).
prophet then wrote the following: Thus saith the LORD, which giveth the sun for
light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and stars for light by night,
which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The LORD of hosts is his
name: If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the LORD, then the seed
of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever... If heaven
above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I
will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that have done, saith the
prophets such as Ezekiel (36:16-38), Daniel (9:20-27), Micah (4:1-13; 5:1-15)
and Zechariah (2:8-12; 8:1-8) were given to speak on the matter of the
regathering and reclamation of the nation because from it would come the
Messiah — the deliverer for all mankind. All who will love and seek after him,
will be freed from their sins and trespasses. And all, therefore, who trust in
him shall never be confounded (I
St. Peter 2:6).
Satan and his minions have sought to undo the eternal plan of God to restore
his creation and vanquish evil for ever. So we should not be surprised to see
the devil using his puppet rulers upon the earth as instruments in his schemes
to short-circuit God’s plan of redemption. As Sennacherib was dismayed and
forced to retreat, so shall the same happen to all who come against God’s plan
and purpose for his own.
there days in your life when the forces of darkness seem to surround you? Do
you hear the taunts and the malicious remarks of those who bear not the blood
of Christ upon them? It may seem that such people will overwhelm you but be of
good cheer, . . . because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the
world (I St. John
4:4). We have the Holy Ghost the Comforter. We
have the Spirit of the living God within us. Yes, we will face trials and
tribulations, but we know who our Lord is. He has promised us in his word
written that he, . . . will never leave [us] nor forsake [us] (Hebrews 13:5).We also know that on a predetermined day in the future, God will
bring his judgment upon those of the wicked who will follow after the Beast of
Revelation (13 & 14). The apostle Paul noted that this man of sin and son
of perdition (II
Thessalonians 2:3) shall be consumed by the Lord with
the spirit of his mouth, and shall be destroyed with the brightness of his
Thessalonians 2:8). This evil man will oppose and
exalt himself above all that is called God. He will also be worshipped... as
God... in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God (II Thessalonians 2:4). The arrogance and hubris of this man of sin will exceed even
that of Sennacherib in his pronouncements to King Hezekiah. The same force who
was behind the wicked Sennacherib will thus find his masterpiece of evil in a
human agent— the Antichrist.
doubt such people may cause us grief, but the Bible tells us that people like
Sennacherib will come and go. The vicious, the hateful as well as those who vex
our souls and dampen our spirits will be present with us as long as we are in
this world. But we know in whom we trust. We know that our good and gracious
God has not left us without a Comforter. We know that at his right hand is our
Saviour who will do for us in ways that we can hardly perceive beforehand, but
will, nevertheless, be made abundantly clear through their operation before our
let us trust in Christ Jesus our Lord and lean upon him. For in his strength we
find strength. In his love we find grace. In his forbearance we find mercy. And
in his righteous judgment we, who were formerly fit subjects of God’s wrath,
are now justified by his blood. Let us therefore go forth and proclaim his
message of salvation to all that they too might turn unto him and be saved from
his wrath to come.
righteous God, whose mighty hand no power can turn away; protect us from all
the evil plans and designs of the devil, that we might better serve thee in
this life as we look for that life to come; and these things we ask in the name
of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.
Have a blessed week, Bryan+
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