Verse of the Day

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Trinity Sunday

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Bishop Ogles’ and Rev Jack Arnold’s Sermons – Trinity Sunday
Today Bishop Jerry and Rev Jack are on travel to Serbia, Macedonia and France visiting AOC parishes in each of the countries.  They are teaching, preaching, visiting and in the case of Bishop Jerry even confirming and consecrating!  On Sunday 22 May 2016, appropriately Trinity Sunday, in Beograd (Belgrade), Serbia, Bishop Jerry L. Ogles consecrated Rev Igor Djurcik as Bishop of Serbia and Macedonia in The Anglican Orthodox Worldwide Communion. Pray our Lord Jesus Christ will be with Igor and that he will send his grace upon him, that he may truly execute the Office whereunto he is called.

They likely have preached some fine some sermons during their trip, but they have not filtered back here.  Pray for the Holy Ghost to enter into them both that they might do their very best to spread His Word and for a safe and enjoyable trip and to return to their homes in peace.

Sermon – Reverend Hap Arnold - Time and Action
Church of the Faithful Centurion - Descanso, California
Today’s sermon was on the basic concept of the Triune God, that is the Father, Son and Holy Ghost and how they were introduced to us through time and the Bible in particular. Today’s sermon brought the Collect, Epistle and Gospel together and is partly contained in the forewords above.  

Consider these words from the Collect:

… acknowledge the glory of the eternal Trinity, and in the power of the Divine Majesty to worship the Unity …

In the Collect, we acknowledge there is a Triune God, that is to say there are three aspects of God; God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost.  A Triune God, that mean Three in One, not three separate Gods or godlets, but a single being with three aspects.  How does this work?

The honest answer is – WE DON’T KNOW.  We just have been told there are three and They are ONE.  We have some knowledge and scriptural guidance on how parts of the thing work, but not all.  Saint Paul told the people of Corinth, 12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. (1 Corinthians 13:12)  One of the basic principles of classified information is NEED TO KNOW.  Like many secrets, we don’t really have a need to know, so we have not been told.  We know:

·      God is I AM;
·      God the Father sent The Son to be our Savior, He was there at the beginning of this world;
·    The Holy Ghost breathed life into the world, and brings understanding, comfort, strength, perseverance, courage, inspiration, patience;
·      They all have always been and always will be.

That is what we know; it leaves a lot we don’t know, but we can certainly be kept busy with what we do know.  That must be enough for the here and now. We must be content with what we read in Scripture, all the other stuff we wonder about Him is just extraneous details, like how many angels can dance on the head of a pin?  So much theological discussion is captured in that term.  So, how many angels can dance on the head of a pin?  Whatever the number, the answer from our standpoint is so very simple, As many as God determines the circumstances require.  Note, as God requires!  Not you, not me.  God. 

We must put aside the thoughts of who and what God is, and just understand He is I AM, and there is God, there is the Son, and there is the Holy Ghost and they all work together in their own way to be the one God of our faith. There is a reason for this even though we don’t know it, but it works out, so we do not have to wonder how it works, we just continue believing and acting!

But, what of later?  If we have eternal life, we have it now and later.  What comes later?  Heaven.  What is heaven?  John attempts to tell us.  He attempts to show us the majesty and glory of heaven using words.  The picture he paints is intended to be awe inspiring and seems to meet that goal handily.  The main thing we can be certain of is that we will not be disappointed.  We speculate as to will this or that be in heaven?  When we get there the answer will manifest itself and you will have no regrets.  In heaven there is no disappointment.  Heaven is the real world, where things are bright, not dull and dark as though looking through a glass. Rest assured, we will see for ourselves what it is like one day, all we need to know is that it is a really wonderful place that we should be aiming to go to when we die, through our belief and actions here on earth working together!

So, how do we get to the real world from these Shadowlands?  There is but one way, the Einbahnstraße.

Jesus Christ the righteous; and he is the Propitiation for our sins.[1]

Do not be fooled by “fair”, there is only one way into heaven.  That door is at the end of a long and narrow trail, steeply inclined upward with many seemingly easy, smooth, beautiful and interesting branches leading downward into the pit.  Doing good is good, so to speak; doing good without God is not good enough.  Only being accounted perfect will get you up the path and in the door.

We need help!  Lots of help.  The first thing we need in our hearts is a new heart, a new and contrite heart.  That is really hard, in fact, it is so hard it cannot be done by ourselves.  We need something.  A new start.

We must be born of the spirit!  What spirit?  

The Holy Ghost.  We must accept that we in and of ourselves will never be perfect.  No one gets in to heaven unless they are accounted as perfect.  We will never be perfect in and of ourselves.  Should we quit trying?  Not, we are commanded to follow our Christ.  Will we fail?  Without question.  What is the solution?  To believe and follow the Christ.  To open our hearts to the Holy Ghost that we might believe in full and accept the help from the Christ that our imperfection needs to be His followers.

To follow God, we need Christ as our leader and the Holy Ghost as our compass. In short, we need all members of the Trinity’s influence in our lives if we are to arrive in the real world, that of Heaven.

There is but one way to heaven.

That easy to find, easy to follow, easy to hike path does not lead to the summit where eternal life in the real world awaits.  Open your heart to the Holy Ghost; use His Power to follow our Lord to God who awaits in heaven.

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] 1 St. John ii. 1, 2 and Book of Common Prayer, page 76

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