Verse of the Day

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Remembrance of Saint Mark superseding the Third Sunday after Easter


Sermon – Reverend Jack Arnold - Time and Action

Church of the Faithful Centurion

Descanso, California

Rev Jack’s sermon can be viewed RIGHT HERE or:


Today’s sermon brought the Collect, Epistle and Gospel together and is partly contained in the forewords above. 


We are in the Easter Season which consists of Easter and the following four Sundays, through Rogation Sunday.  This is a time we should work on centering our lives on the central figure in our religion, Jesus Christ.  


Consider these words from the Collect:


… who hast instructed thy holy Church with the heavenly doctrine of thy Evangelist Saint Mark; Give us grace that, being not like children carried away with every blast of vain doctrine, we may be established in the truth of thy holy Gospel; through Jesus Christ our Lord…


Today’s Collect is a bit different than usual, it starts with the statement the Church was left clear and correct doctrine by Saint Mark, and by inference the other apostles, on the doctrine of Christianity as laid down for them by God himself in the form of Jesus.  We are cautioned not to fall prey to those who would spread false, unique and appealing doctrine.  The various books of the Bible differ in minor details from each other, but on a macro or global level they are congruent or consistent.  We are not to chase our wake, but rather to follow a steady course making small and conservative corrections consistent with Scripture. No ‘interpretation’ can override the clear and simple meaning of Scripture.  For, once you start down that rabbit hole, there is no telling where you will end up.  There is no hidden meaning in Scripture which conflicts with the clear and simple meaning.


When Paul writes to the people of Ephesus[1], he continues his familiar instruction that God has a purpose[2] for each of us according to our God given talents.  None of us stands higher in His eyes than another, as each block in the arch is necessary to hold it fast.  He points out the one who has assigned these abilities is Jesus Christ Himself.  He says we must no longer be as children but mature individuals capable of setting a steady course.  I liken this to flying.  You set the aircraft in a particular attitude, wait and see what happens.  You make corrections to the attitude and power based on deviation from that which is desired, that is to say you check your performance against a standard and make appropriate corrections.  This is like our lives and Scripture.  No wild changes, no chasing our wake.


John records Jesus’ comparison of Himself to a grape vine, with each of us being branches, without Him, we cannot bear fruit, that is to say do good things.  If we fail to bring forth the fruit of His making, then the Father will prune us.  If we do well, then we will be rewarded; if not here, then in the real world.


As long as we stay close to Christ and feed our souls on Him, we will bring for that needed fruit.


Bearing fruit requires more than mere mouthing, for it is Action, not Diction, that counts.


When Jesus got ready to leave this world for His, He told the disciples that He would send them the Comforter, the Holy Ghost, to keep them in Him and to help them understand what they had so far been unable to truly grasp.  Unless we allow the Holy Ghost to enter into our hearts, we will never understand that which is from God.  This is an important concept with messages that are not from God being bombarded across the world through principalities and powers of this world. Only the Holy Ghost can help us remain grounded within the truth. We need the Holy Ghost to enter into us that we might be able to hear the Word of God, and more important than just hearing the Word, we need the Holy Ghost to be able to act upon the Word. We must allow the Holy Ghost to enter in to our hearts and souls so we can understand what God has for us.  It is that simple.  Open your heart, pray for God to send Him into that open heart. 


For with the Holy Ghost’s help, you can hear, understand and act on The Word.


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] Ephesus is located near the western shores of modern-day Turkey, where the Aegean Sea meets the former estuary of the River Kaystros, about 50 miles south of Izmir, Turkey.

[2] Everyone has a purpose in life, even if it is only to serve as a bad example.

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