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Church of the Faithful Centurion
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 alone canst order the unruly wills and affections of sinful men; Grant unto thy people, that they may love the thing which thou commandest, and desire that which thou dost promise; that so, among the sundry and manifold changes of the world, our hearts may surely there be fixed, where true joys are to be found…
The very first phrase is critical to understanding the world and our place in it. We want to follow our own hearts, that is the unruly wills and affections of sinful men, which will lead us not to heaven but to hell if left unchecked. This explains why the world is in such a horrible mess, as people by and large are naturally inclined to sin rather than follow God. Just think, all of problems of this world could be easily prevented if people would just open their hearts to God and the Holy Ghost. Alas since people are naturally resistant to God, there will always be some sort of evil in this world. The only goodness in this world comes from those who have the Holy Ghost in their hearts and reject the wicked ways of our natural inclinations and Satan. We are called to not be a part of the world, and be set aside that is to say holy. The Holy Ghost will help us be holy, if we will but let Him into our hearts.
We have to internalize His commands into our hearts through listening and then through repetition, action. This is the only way we can follow His Commandments and show the World we follow Him. For all of the above to happen we have to let God into our hearts, souls, minds and bodies and let His Directions carry us through life. In order to be true believers, we have to actualize our stated beliefs. Actions show that we don’t just talk the ntalk, but that we walk the walk as well. This means we have to live out our Christian Faith and not just talk about it. God can and will help us do this, but only if we let him into our hearts.
Our life will be better when we follow His directions and if we will allow God to rule us and desire His help, we will be able to attain the state of happiness we will then deserve. He knows what is right and what is wrong for us. He does not want us to lead so called puritanical lives with no fun allowed whatsoever, but we must have fun the right way and not the wrong way. The right way can lead to a lifetime of happiness, whereas the wrong way leads to a life time of misery. It is as St. Paul says moderation in all things. Too much of a good thing can end up becoming a very bad thing. This is why God puts limits on us, not to punish us, but to help us live our lives in a spiritual and a physically healthier manner.
Many people think that God forbids things for us, because He does not want us to have fun. Nothing can be further from the truth. He forbids things harmful for our spiritual well being, and allows us to have clean spiritual, joyous things in our life to develop our spiritual well being. Those people confuse the things that are harmful for our spiritual well being with fun and think that the things that are actually helpful for our spiritual well being are not fun. When it is completely not the case. The Holy Spirit will help us to truly see what is harmful for us and what is not harmful for us.
We need God’s help (this is one of the places the Holy Ghost comes in) to be able to want for ourselves that which He Wants for us. The Collect asks us to allow God into our hearts to bend our will towards His Will and His Wants. If we can desire what He Wants, our ability to follow His Instructions will be much enhanced. And not only will they be much enhanced, but the more we follow His Instructions, the easier it will be for us to continue on that straight and narrow path towards heaven. It is like practicing any sort of learned skill, the more you practice at it the better you will get. Of course, we will never be fully perfect at it, but as long as we keep doing our best to get as close as we can to perfection, that is all that matters.
We are God’s creatures, first among all His Creation with all the privileges (which we like) and all the responsibility (which we are not so keen on) which come with that status. All good comes from God, who is always with us; always the same; a true bearing in world in a constant state of flux. While the world may change, the Word will never change, no matter what happens in the world today. His Word is a refreshing constant, in this world where nothing ever seems certain. The Ways of the World go to and fro and are in a constant state of flux. However God’s Word always stays the same and its meaning never changes, as God never changes. As God is truth, which by its nature cannot change, so should we never change in our beliefs towards Him.
So, how can we hear?
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.
The time is now, not tomorrow. The time has come, indeed. How will you ACT?
It is by our actions we are known.