Holy Trinity Anglican Church

Month: November 2018

First Week of Advent – Intercession

This week we will begin with the prayer of intercession. Intercession is simply praying on behalf of others. For whom should we intercede in this season? Take a few minutes to prayerfully read the Benedictus (Luke 1:68-79). Allow God to lead you to those for whom He would have you pray.

Benedictus     The Song of Zechariah

Luke 1:68-79

Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; *
he has come to his people and set them free.
He has raised up for us a mighty savior, *
born of the house of his servant David.
Through his holy prophets he promised of old,
that he would save us from our enemies, *
from the hands of all who hate us.
He promised to show mercy to our fathers *
and to remember his holy covenant.
This was the oath he swore to our father Abraham, *
to set us free from the hands of our enemies,
Free to worship him without fear, *
holy and righteous in his sight
all the days of our life.
You, my child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High, *
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way,
To give his people knowledge of salvation *
by the forgiveness of their sins.
In the tender compassion of our God *
the dawn from on high shall break upon us,
To shine on those who dwell in darkness and in the shadow of death, *
and to guide our feet into the way of peace.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit; *
as it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be,
world without end. Amen.

This is the song that Zechariah prays over the infant John the Baptist. He foretells the work of Christ who will “shine on those who dwell in darkness and in the shadow of death.” In the Now and Not Yet of the Kingdom, we each walk partially in Light and partially in darkness. Who do you know who currently dwells in darkness? In this Advent season, who needs the light of Christ in their lives? Who are the five people for whom you are called to intercede during this season of Advent? (It is okay to select yourself). There is nothing really special about selecting five people. Feel free to pray for more or fewer people in this season. Five simply allows you to select one person for each week day for whom to pray, or select a day each week to intercede for all five.

How do we intercede? Intercession may be as simple as praying, “Lord Jesus Christ, in your compassion shine the light of your love on ____________________________ who is dwelling in darkness and the shadow of death. Guide my feet into the way of peace. Amen.” Spend some time listening for how God might be calling and guiding you to bring light and peace into this persons life.

If you are desiring a more contemplative prayer practice, prayerfully ask to join Jesus and the Holy Spirit in interceding for the people you have selected. Scripture tells us that both Jesus and the Holy Spirit are engaged in intercession for us (Romans 8:26-27,34 and Hebrews 7:22-25). While this is of great personal comfort to know that Jesus and the Holy Spirit are interceding for me, it is also a beautiful time of prayer to quietly join them in interceding for someone else. While there is no one right way to pray in this way, I will share my practice as a starting point. I find a quiet space and remind myself that, “The Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God” (Romans 8:26-27). I then prayerfully ask to join in this eternal prayer of intercession and wait to be invited. I sit for a while in these “groanings too deep for words” and then ask to join in the specific intercession for a person. I try to resist the urge to bring my own solutions into this prayer but instead listen and follow the Spirit who intercedes “according to the will of God.” 

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Praying through Advent

On Sunday, we celebrated the sovereignty of Christ the King and the “Now” of the Kingdom. This Sunday, we will begin the season of Advent and the longing in the “Not Yet” of the Kingdom. As we look to the “Now” of the Kingdom, we are aware of the Light of Christ. As we consider the “Not Yet” of the Kingdom, we notice the darkness that remains in this world until Christ returns. On our sacred journey in the Now and Not Yet Kingdom, there are parts of our lives that are fully in the Light of the Kingdom. There are also parts of our lives that remain in darkness awaiting the Light of Christ. Advent is the season in which we are aware of our waiting.

We also begin a new year in the Lectionary. Just as we walked through Mark’s Gospel this past year, in the coming year we will walk through the Gospel according to St Luke. Luke records two poems, or canticles, in his account of the time before the birth of Christ that we now use during Morning and Evening Prayer, the Benedictus and the Magnificat. Over the next four weeks, we will explore prayers of intercession, lament, silence, and praise.  We will use these canticles and Psalm 13 and Psalm 62 to guide our prayer during Advent. 

Week 1- Intercession

Week 2 – Lament

Week 3 –  Silence

Week 4 – Praise

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What Is Truth? – Sermon at Holy Trinity Anglican Church Christ the King Sunday 2018

22.4.2010: Sant’Apollinare Nuovo, Ravenna

Listen to Fr Rob’s Sermon from the morning service – What Is Truth?

LESSONS:

First Lesson          Daniel 7:9-14

Psalm                     Psalm 93

Second Lesson     Revelation 1:1-8

Gospel                   John 18:33-37

COLLECT: Almighty and everlasting God, whose will it is to restore all things in your well-beloved Son, the King of kings and Lord of lords: Mercifully grant that the peoples of the earth, divided and enslaved by sin, may be freed and brought together under his most gracious rule; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

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Messengers of the Apocalypse – Sermon at Holy Trinity Anglican Church 18 NOV 2018

Listen to today’s sermon – Messengers of the Apocalypse

LESSONS:

First Lesson           Daniel 12:1-4

Psalm                      Psalm 16

Second Lesson      Hebrews 10:31-39

Gospel                    Mark 13:14-23

COLLECT: Stir up, O Lord, the wills of your faithful people; that they may plenteously bring forth the fruit of good works, as they await the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ to restore all things to their original perfection; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.

Sermon Worksheet:

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How Can We Be Holy? – Sermon at Holy Trinity Anglican Church 11 NOV 2018

Listen to the sermon from the morning service- How Can We Be Holy

Listen to the sermon from the afternoon service – Stories of Widows and Scribes

LESSONS:

First Lesson          1 Kings 17:8-16

Psalm                     Psalm 146

Second Lesson     Hebrews 9:24-28

Gospel                    Mark 12:38-44

COLLECT: O God, whose blessed Son came into the world that he might destroy the works of the devil and make us children of God and heirs of eternal life: Grant that, having this hope, we may purify ourselves as he is pure; that, when he comes again with power and great glory, we may be made like him in his eternal and glorious kingdom; where he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

 

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A Way of Encounter – Reflection for 11 NOV 2018

We tried something new today. Instead of a reflection, we provided a way of listening to the sermon. Most of my (Fr Rob) sermons progress in the same general pattern from an encounter with the text in its original context to a translation of that context to out current situation then an invitation to the Table and a sending into the world. This follows the path of our parish life in submitting ourselves to Scripture, being formed in liturgy and Sacrament, and joining together on a Sacred journey.

How Can I Be Holy?

How Can We Be A Holy People?

Encountering the Text

  • Who exemplifies personal holiness in the text?
  • How does the community attempt to image God as a Holy People?
Encountering Ourselves

  • How can we exemplify personal holiness?
  • In what ways does the Church image God as His Holy People?
Coming to the Table

  • What will you bring to the table?
  • As you encounter Christ, how do you hope to be transformed personally and as a parish?
Going into the World

  • How are you called to be holy?
  • How are we called as a community to image Christ to the world as His Holy People?

Scripture references (Mark 8:34-35, Mark 10:17-22, Mark 10:35-52; Mark 11:1-13:2, Deuteronomy 14:22-29; 24:17-22, Jeremiah 7:3-7, Malachi 3:5, James 1:27, Philippians 2:6-11, Romans 12:1-2, Psalm 51:15-17, 1 Corinthians 11:17-34)

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Almost There – Reflection for 4 November 2018

In today’s gospel, a man approaches Jesus to test him. He asks a question that divided rabbinic schools. The test is which side Jesus will choose. The subtle irony of Mark’s gospel presents itself yet again in the scribes response to the answer Jesus provides, “You are right, Teacher.” We can grin at the irony of a mortal man judging the truth of the Son of God’s answer, but if we are honest, we do the same thing. We pick and choose the parts of Scripture that we like and we try to explain away or ignore the parts that challenge us. 

The scribe goes on to proclaim that the heart is the center of life in relation to God rather than the temple system. As much as the liturgical and sacramental tradition brings us near to the presence of God, if our hearts remain far away, the time is wasted. Just as then, the heart and not the church is the center of our relationship with God. The degree to which we are more interested in how the person in front of us is wrong instead of asking how we can love that person, is the degree to which we remain separated from God. 

Jesus hears the scribes words and knows that the man has the right knowledge. The less subtle irony in Jesus’ proclamation that the man is “not far from the kingdom of God,” encourages and saddens me. The man indeed is standing in the very presence of God, and yet for all his knowledge can not recognize the God he proclaims. 

If we read Mark as a baptismal text, perhaps we can hear the challenge to the catechumens. They have learned the right answers. They are very near the kingdom of God. Will they deny themselves, take up their cross and follow Jesus? Will they journey through death into life in the water of their baptism? Will Christ be revealed to them in the breaking of the bread of the Eucharist? Will they recognize Jesus and respond in love? As we come to the Table today, will we?

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For All The Saints – Sermon at Holy Trinity Anglican Church 4 November 2018

Listen to Fr Ed’s sermon from the morning service – For All The Saints

LESSONS:

First Lesson                 Deuteronomy 6:1-9 (Revelation 7:9-17)

Psalm                            Psalm 119:1-16

Second Lesson            Hebrews 7:23-28 (Ephesians 1:15-23)

Gospel                           Mark 12:28-34 (Luke 6:20-36)

COLLECT: Grant us, Lord, not to be anxious about earthly things, but to love things heavenly; and even now, while we are placed among things that are passing away, to hold fast to those that shall endure; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

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