Thursday, November 24, 2016
Sermon – Rev Hap Arnold – Time and Action
MOST merciful Father, who hast blessed the labours of the husbandman in the returns of the fruits of the earth; We give thee humble and hearty thanks for this thy bounty; beseeching thee to continue thy loving-kindness to us, that our land may still yield her increase, to thy glory and our comfort; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Collect acknowledges in effect God hast blessed the efforts of the workers as shown by the things they produce from the natural resources God provided and that we give thanks for this great harvest of useful things, food and others, and that we pray God will continue to guide us and help us so we can stay prosperous and happy to show how great He is and for our own comfort, by the way.
In his Epistle, James tells us all good is of God and if we are of God, we will act of God. Saint Matthew reminds us we should not worry about how things will be or what we will do. Remember, the line of time stretches from the unknowable past to the unfathomable eternity of the future. But, we humans here on earth live only today. Today is where God’s finger touches that line of time. Just do what we are supposed to now. For yesterday will never come again and tomorrow will never get here. If we do not act today, it will not be done.
Few thinking people would dispute the rather obvious fact our country is in real trouble. More than it has ever been before. With the exception of the Civil War, in the past our threats have been external. We were able to come together around a common core and eliminate the threat. For many years our enemy has been among us, causing division and strife; diverting our people from their common core values.
Make no mistake, this has been a Judeo-Christian country since it was first inhabited, read General Washington’s proclamation regarding Thanksgiving. From the beginning, people came here to worship in freedom, the greater part of them serious Christians, almost all nominal Christians owing their heart’s allegiance to our Lord. But, almost all in the end feeling their world would be best served with freedom of religion. None looked for freedom from religion. Even the very few agnostics valued the Christian religion as the only one suited for a Republic.
Christians are exhorted to pray hard, love hard, work hard and yes, play hard. We are not to be slothful in any thing, but moderate in all things. To be respectful, conservative and happy. We are not to be a burden on others, if possible. “…if any would not work, neither should he eat.” (2 Thessalonians 3)
But, what do we find today? People being exhorted to do what feels good, accept all behavior as deserving of equal consideration and respect, to take it easy, to accept the handouts instead of working. To be slothful, disrespectful, immoral and illiterate. All this by our government and its minions.
With what result?
Record levels with regard to:
· Our country’s respect level at its lowest since 1776;
· Increased crime;
· Illegitimate Births;
· Cohabitation and Serial Habitation;
So, what is the cure? Follow God’s instructions.
What can you do?
Act! Action, not diction is the key!
Act on those right next to you. Spread the Gospel to the person next to you. It is your job! It is God’s commandment. Start with yourself and work outward.
Accept nothing less than your best from you. Maintain a positive attitude, encourage your family to maintain a positive attitude. Attend church, so you can be around people with the right ideas at least once a week. Work with members of your church to stabilize their lives. Hope for the best, prepare for the worst. Remember, we all die. There are none so poor as cannot purchase a noble death. Act like today is your last day. Do what must be done. Accept nothing less from yourself. Encourage your friends and family.
God gave us a job to do. We must not fail. The country may survive, it may not. That is not our concern. Our concern is the battle at hand. I took an oath of office well over forty-five years ago agreeing “I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.” Now is not the time to stop.
The oath of office I took lays out our job pretty clearly. We must do what we can to insure our country is here for the future. That means bring people around to the side of God. We need to be on His Side. God is never on our side, He expect us to come to His Side. The country’s problems all stem from a failure to follow His Directions. So, one person at a time, we need to bring people over to His Side. Start with you and work outward. If one out of a hundred of us brings one person to His Side, things will be different soon.
Start today! Read Scripture every day. Figure out what at least one verse means. It will take a while, but you have the rest of your life to complete your study. Figure out what God wants you to do and do it. Try to pay your own way everywhere. If someone must owe, let others owe you. Do your part. Be part of the economic solution, not the problem. Remember, debt is not your friend. Be vigilant in protecting your civil rights. Do not surrender civil rights for temporary and illusory security. Take the time to talk to others and try to help them understand how much more freedom and hard work can bring compared to “free things” from a plantation government. Support free enterprise and this country. Remember you are free because of the blood shed on your behalf by those who have gone to war to protect you. Do not give up the freedom they died for.
Do not despair! All is not lost. And, if all were lost, there would still be no room for despair, rather one last charge. There is a lot to be done. Go forth and do His Work.
This is a great country; not because God was on our side, but rather because it has always been on God’s Side.
Let it return to that path!
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