Rev Jack brings the Propers together today. His sermon is below the propers and can be viewed on video here -> https://youtu.be/AM283jncTiE
Today’s Collect reflects our need for God’s help to live in and by His Rules as Jesus did, the first obvious example being His Circumcision. In his Epistle to the people of Philippia Paul points out God had given a name exaulted above all others and that we should acknowledge that in our actions. The Gospel is Luke’s accounting of the angels visiting the shepherds in the field and their subsequent trip to see Jesus in the manger. Jesus came in a humble manner with the Force of God behind him. It all comes together, listen or read to understand how.
Circumcision of Christ
Today we celebrate the circumcision of Jesus in accordance with Jewish tradition, eight days (according to the Semitic and southern European calculation of intervals of days) after his birth, the occasion on which the child was formally given his name. The circumcision of Jesus has traditionally been seen, as explained in the popular 14th century work The Golden Legend, as the first time the blood of Christ was shed, and thus the beginning of the process of the redemption of man, and a demonstration Christ was fully human and of his obedience to Biblical law. No longer celebrated by many churches, including the Roman and TEC, it is still the Eighth Day. That has not changed and so we celebrate the event as it is referred to in scripture, thus should it be recalled.
The propers for today are found on Pages 105-106, with the Collect first:
The Circumcision of Christ.
LMIGHTY God, who madest thy blessed Son to be circumcised, and obedient to the law for man; Grant us the true circumcision of the Spirit; that, our hearts, and all our members, being mortified from all worldly and carnal lusts, we may in all things obey thy blessed will; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Nativity of our Lord, or the Birthday of Christ,
commonly called Christmas Day.
LMIGHTY God, who hast given us thy only-begotten Son to take our nature upon him, and as at this time to be born of a pure virgin; Grant that we being regenerate, and made thy children by adoption and grace, may daily be renewed by thy Holy Spirit; through the same our Lord Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the same Spirit ever, one God, world without end. Amen.
¶ This Collect is to be said daily throughout the Octave.
The Epistle for today came from Paul’s letter to the people of Philippia, starting at the Ninth Verse of the Second Chapter. The portion of the letter used as today’s Epistle is relatively short. God has sent His Son to earth and given him a name above all others, Jesus. Paul exhorts his fellow followers to continue to follow the Lord, not only while he is watching them, but at all times. God will give them the will and ability to do good, but only if they do their best to follow Him.
OD also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.
The Gospel for today came from the Gospel according to Saint Luke, the Second Chapter, beginning at the Fifteenth Verse. Today’s Gospel recounts the angels visit to the shepherds who came into Bethlehem to pay homage to Jesus in the manger. It also documents the circumcision of Jesus, bringing Him under the Law. He who: Is, Was and always Will be, put Himself under the Law, that He might fulfill the Law and be our salvation.
Our salvation from the Law came from the perfect sacrifice one time for the sins of all mankind for all time. The sacrifice had to be a perfect human, one who did not exist until Jesus came. That perfect human had to enter in to the Law, had to be subject to the Law. Thus, Jesus submitted Himself unto the Law that he might in the end have dominion over the Law.
nd it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child. And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them. And when eight days were accomplished for the circumcising of the child, his name was called JESUS, which was so named of the angel before he was conceived in the womb.
 The name Jesus, savior, is the Greek form of the Hebrew name Joshua, which was originally Hoshea (Num. 13:8, 16), but changed by Moses into Jehoshua (Num. 13:16; 1 Chr. 7:27), or Joshua. After the Exile it assumed the form Jeshua, whence the Greek form Jesus. It was given to our Lord to denote the object of his mission, to save.
 The act of circumcision is often used in Scripture as an allegory for The Law, that is the system of the 613 laws referred to as Mosaic Laws under which Jews operated since the time of Moses.
Sermon - Rev Jack Arnold
Church of the Faithful Centurion - Descanso, California
Rev Jack’ sermon can be viewed on video RIGHT HERE -> https://youtu.be/AM283jncTiE
Today we recall the circumcision of our Lord and Savior. He is God, yet He is under The Law. How can this be one might ask? If He is God could He just choose not to obey His Own Laws if He so desires? Not all those 613 laws were those called Moral, that is to say the Ten Commandments, but there are those which are moral and there are also laws of God or physics. To answer the question posed earlier, God, the Ultimate Being, is subject to the laws He made.
While He can, and does on the very special occasion, disregard them such as when the shadow went backwards, for the most part He, too, is subject to The Laws. Why? Because they were made for the general good of this world. They establish the moral code we are to follow if we are to be good citizens of His Kingdom. We see what happens when people do not follow the Laws God set out for us to live by.
If we stop living by The Laws, then we are no better than the animals of this world, who live by no such Laws whatsoever. Then, there is no benefit, no reason, for us to follow Christ if we do not live by the laws He has set before us. That is the whole reason to have the Laws, to rein in our evil desires and make us a holy and wholesome people. Without the Laws, we would be not wholesome and vicious and vile individuals. You can see what would happen as you see the forces of Evil attempting to destroy and discredit Christianity all across the globe. The results of their infiltration in various governments are resulting in less people following the Law and thus less people being wholesome and good and instead being encouraged to pursue their own desires at the cost of their soul and eternal life.
If we think do not need to follow these laws, then how could we claim to be following Him? We follow Him because He is the embodiment of all that is good and pleasing, unlike the world, which seems to be the embodiment of pure evil and sickness. They are revolted by God because as they are born of the darkness and not having accepted His Son and His Grace, they cannot bear to look upon the brightness of God. They are like the Orcs of the Lord of the Rings who are disgusted and in fact harmed by sunlight as they are creatures of the darkness. Moses not being able to look upon God without a veil was also an allegory to this simple fact. If we remain in the darkness, we cannot bear to look upon Him, the Living Light. So, we need to let the Holy Ghost enter into our hearts and allow us to bask in His Everlasting Glory and Light.
Evil and sin are diseases which can only be cured by being regenerated through the Holy Ghost. We cannot cure these diseases on our own, as the blind cannot lead the blind in this case, or more appropriately the sick cannot heal the sick. We need the perfect healer of the Holy Ghost to enter into our hearts and cure us of the malady of sin. As a rule, God does not break His own Laws; in the very unique cases He does it is for an extremely good reason. This world needs a system of order so that things are done in an orderly manner and not confusion. Without a system of order, there is chaos. God is not chaos; God never brings confusion. Chaos and Confusion is not of God, but of the Devil.
God never tests, but when we are tested by this world, He monitors the results. He is very much like the proctors who monitored my online exams at WGU. He did not write our tests; however, He is always watching to see how we perform in stressful and trying situations. He brought the new covenant or new agreement to us through His Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ. Knowing we cannot ever be perfect, He gave us a way to be accounted as perfect at the Judgment Day – One Sacrifice, Made One time, by One Man who was God, for All Mankind for All Time. Jesus is our light and our life. Through Him all things are possible.
All salvation takes is the simple understanding of a child or a shepherd. The simple truth that is Christ. He is not complex. His message is not sophisticated. He is the way. The One Way!
Paul’s Epistle tells us God has set Jesus at the top of the universe’s food chain, so to speak when he says at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, Lord, that is Lord of All. And why? to the glory of God the Father. For God created everything, yet of Him was Jesus begotten. Jesus is the one who created the Earth, so it makes sense that He is at the top of the universes food chain. Recognizing this simple but very important fact, we need to do our best to put Him first in our hearts. We need the help of the Holy Ghost to put Jesus first, as Paul tells us, For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. Notice the to will and to do. We are not only to talk, but more importantly to walk.
When you read the rather straightforward accounting of the shepherds being told of the birth of Jesus and their trip into the village to see the newborn babe Luke gives, do wonder what they thought? Here they have been told the King of Kings had just been born in Nazareth; when they come to town, they find a little baby, wrapped in rags, in an animal feeder. Not a kingly sight, not even a common sight, but an almost pitiful sight. A sophisticated and clever thinker might have doubted the angels and let those thoughts lead them further from The Truth. Yet, in their simple acceptance of the angels’ tidings, they started the spread of The Word. They were truly the first of all those converted to followers of Christ. They had the faith as a child would which is to simply believe what they have seen and been told and not to excessively question it. For us, this is the start of the lesson that our faith must be “as a child”, simple, not complex, not looking to count those angels dancing on the head of the pin, just knowing and believing that however many angels are required to dance on the head of the pin, so will the number be.
This is the first day of the New Calendar Year. Remember also, it is the first day of the remainder of your life here on earth, let it count for something. The line of time stretches from the unfathomable past to the unknowable future. Where the finger of God touches that line is The Present. The Present. The only place in which we can exist; we live in the present, the past will never come again and tomorrow never comes. We can only act in the present, the here and now. Take the right path, starting right now.
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
 Yet, do not misapprehend, we know but little of His Laws and the laws of the universe as He made them. Our grasp of the space time continuum is little beyond that possessed by those at Moses time. He is, was and always will be. We live in the present, remember the past and prepare for what will be, the best we can.