Holy Trinity Anglican Church

Sermons and Reflections

The First and Greatest Commandment – Reflection for 1 DEC 2019

   To love the Lord your God with your whole heart, mind, and soul. What is required to love? How do I love? What is love? Can I put it in a box with a lid? Can I buy it?
   The Greeks took love and put into three categories, thereby limiting and maintaining control of the thing called love. They put love into the form of defined sculpture, thereby imposing boundaries on what is boundless by creation itself. 
   Philio, brotherly love, also includes sisterly love, a binding of family inherited or chosen, is wonderful but restrictive . An act of true Philio is an act that is historically recorded, for example the Christmas Day in the first World War where a cease fire and both sides sat down together to celebrate and remember the reason fighting could even halt in the midst of war, is God’s love for His creation by giving us His Son, in the form of a newborn infant. The world changed that day and continues to change when we remember the gift of boundless love in the form of the baby infant Jesus.
   Eros, the love that allows for bonding of relationships, in marriage, in child birth’s joy. An action of blending of the physical on one level to the maturity of spiritual on another level. Eros is not the lust of the pornographic but the foundation for family, where two truly become one, another mystery of God for our blessing.
   Agape, a love that is all giving, a love that is so true we think it rare when we see it. An action that focuses on the other than the self. An action that is sacrificial in its nature, as the sacrifice nurtures and encourages and mentors the receiver in his or her journey.
   All these definitions of love have limitations and fall short of what true love is about. True love is an action that is so overwhelming that to grasp its substance is to have your breath taken away with the understanding that you don’t have to know the answer to, what is love. As it is all consuming and impossible to describe except as an unending sense of joy. Is it any wonder that at this time of the year we can become misty eyed over the quietness of the star studded night.
   This is the kind of love to which we are called. This love that has no bounds, no definition, no start or stop. This is the love that God has for us in the infant of Jesus and the adult Jesus on the cross, a love that resurrects the wreckage into glory. C.S. Lewis speaks of that kind of joy when he realizes the love that God has for us, a joy without explanation.
   LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, MIND AND SOUL, because He has loved you with all of Himself through Jesus the Christ, God is with us! 

Expectant Waiting – Sermon at Holy Trinity Anglican Church 1 DEC 2019

Listen to Fr Rob’s sermon – Expectant Waiting

LESSONS:

First Lesson Isaiah 2:1-5

Psalm Psalm 122

Second Lesson Romans 13:8-14

Gospel Matthew 24:29-44

COLLECT: Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which your Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

Christ Is King – Sermon at Holy Trinity Anglican Church 24 NOV 2019

Listen to Fr Rob’s sermon for Christ the King Sunday – Christ Is King

LESSONS:

First Lesson Jeremiah 23:1-6

Psalm Psalm 46

Second Lesson Colossians 1:11-20

Gospel Luke 23:35-43

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.

Surge, Iluminare – Canticle from Morning Prayer

Arise, shine, for your light has come, *
and the glory of the Lord has dawned upon you.
For behold, darkness covers the land; * 
deep gloom enshrouds the peoples.
But over you the Lord will rise, * 
and his glory will appear upon you.
Nations will stream to your light, *
and kings to the brightness of your dawning.
Your gates will always be open; *
by day or night they will never be shut.
They will call you, The City of the Lord, * 
the Zion of the Holy One of Israel.
Violence will no more be heard in your land, * 
ruin or destruction within your borders.
You will call your walls, Salvation, * 
and all your portals, Praise.
The sun will no more be your light by day; *
by night you will not need the brightness of the moon.
The Lord will be your everlasting light, * 
and your God will be your glory.
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.

Where Are We? Sermon at Holy Trinity Anglican Church 17 NOV 2019

Listen to Fr Rob’s sermon – Where Are We?

LESSONS:

First Lesson Malachi 3:13-4:6

Psalm Psalm 98

Second Lesson 2 Thessalonians 3:6-16

Gospel Luke 21:5-19

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.

Treasures from the Book of Common Prayer – Notes on Baptism

From the 39 Articles – XXVII OF BAPTISM. Baptism is not only a sign of profession, and mark of difference, whereby Christian men are discerned from others that be not christened, but it is also a sign of Regeneration or new Birth, whereby, as by an instrument, they that receive Baptism rightly are grafted into the Church; the promises of forgiveness of sin, and of our adoption to be the sons of God by the Holy Ghost, are visibly signed and sealed; Faith is confirmed, and Grace increased by virtue of prayer unto God. The Baptism of young Children is in any wise to be retained in the Church, as most agreeable with the institution of Christ.

From the Notes Concerning Holy Baptism – In Holy Baptism, the outward and visible sign is water, in which candidates are baptized “in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (Matthew 28:19). The inward and spiritual grace is death to sin and new birth to righteousness, through union with Christ in his death and resurrection (Romans 6:1-11).

The Questions for Those Being Baptized 

Question: Do you renounce the devil and all the spiritual forces of wickedness that rebel against God?

Answer: I renounce them. 

Question: Do you renounce the empty promises and deadly deceits of this world that corrupt and destroy the creatures of God?

Answer: I renounce them.

Question: Do you renounce the sinful desires of the flesh that draw you from the love of God?

Answer: I renounce them.

Question: Do you turn to Jesus Christ and confess him as your Lord and Savior?

Answer: I do.

Question: Do you joyfully receive the Christian Faith as revealed in the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments?

Answer: I do.

Question: Will you obediently keep God’s holy will and commandments, and walk in them all the days of your life?

Answer: I will, the Lord being my helper.

Thanksgiving After Baptism

Heavenly Father, we thank you that by water and the Holy Spirit you have bestowed upon these your servants the forgiveness of sin, received them as your own children by adoption, made them members of your holy Church, and raised them to the new life of grace. Sustain them, O Lord, in your Holy Spirit, that they may enjoy everlasting salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Sacrament of Baptism – Sermon at Holy Trinity Anglican Church 3 NOV 2019

Listen to Fr Rob’s sermon – The Sacrament of Baptism

LESSONS:

First Lesson Isaiah 1:10-20

Psalm Psalm 32

Second Lesson 2 Thessalonians 1:1-12

Gospel Luke 19:1-10

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.

Treasures from the Book of Common Prayer – The Preface – Reflection fro 27 OCT 2019

     I’ll be the first to admit that when I pick up a book, I want to get right to the heart of it. I don’t often read the forward, the preface, or the introduction. With the Book of Common Prayer, I’m even more likely to turn simply to the liturgy or prayer for which I am looking. However, the Preface in the various versions of the Book of Common Prayer are hidden gems that reveal the heart of the prayer book tradition.

     The 2019 edition contains the prefaces of the 1549 and 1662 prayers books in the section titled “Foundational Documents.”  In the Preface of the 1549 BCP, we find that the heart of the book is to return simplicity and piety to the common people by conducting worship in the common tongue noting that “the Service in the Church of England (these many years) hath been read in Latin to the people, which they understood not; so that they have heard with their ears only; and their hearts, spirit, and mind, have not been edified thereby,” and “that all things shall be read and sung in the church in the English tongue, to the end that the congregation may be thereby edified.” In addition to language, the change in lectionary such that in the daily office, the whole Bible is read once a year “intending thereby, that the Clergy, and especially such as were Ministers of the congregation, should (by often reading, and meditation of God’s word) be stirred up to godliness themselves, and be more able to exhort others by wholesome doctrine, and to confute them that were adversaries to the truth. And further, that the people (by daily hearing of Holy Scripture read in the Church) should continually profit more and more in the knowledge of God, and be the more inflamed with the love of his true religion.”

     The Preface to the 1662 BCP reveals the desire for unity following the English Civil War stating, “It hath been the wisdom of the Church of England, ever since the first compiling of her publick Liturgy, to keep the mean between the two extremes, of too much stiffness in refusing, and of too much easiness in admitting any variation from it.” And, “Our general aim therefore in this undertaking was, not to gratify this or that party in any their unreasonable demands; but to do that, which to our best understandings we conceived might most tend to the preservation of Peace and Unity in the Church; the procuring of Reverence, and exciting of Piety and Devotion in the publick Worship of God; and the cutting off occasion from them that seek occasion of cavil or quarrel against the Liturgy of the Church.”

     After a brief but thorough historical review of the Anglican Church, The Book of Common Prayer (2019) proclaims itself, “indisputably true to Cranmer’s originating vision of a form of prayers and praises that is thoroughly Biblical, catholic in the manner of the early centuries, highly participatory in delivery, peculiarly Anglican and English in its roots, culturally adaptive and missional in a most remarkable way, utterly accessible to the people, and whose repetitions are intended to form the faithful catechetically and to give them doxological voice.”

     Throughout the centuries, we can see in the prefaces the heart of the Book of Common Prayer the desire for all of the congregation to participate in and be formed by corporate worship and private devotion guided by the prayer book.

What Does It Mean To Be Anglican? Sermon on 27 OCT 2019

Listen to Fr Rob’s sermon What Does It Mean To Be Anglican?

LESSONS:

First Lesson Jeremiah 14:7-10,19-22

Psalm Psalm 84

Second Lesson 2 Timothy 4:6-18

Gospel Luke 18:9-14

COLLECT: Almighty and everlasting God, you govern all things both in heaven and on earth: Mercifully hear the supplications of your people, and in our time grant us your peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

What Does It Mean To Be A Christian? Sermon at Holy Trinity Anglican Church 20 OCT 2019

Listen to Fr Rob’s sermon from the morning service – What Does It Mean To Be A Christian?

LESSONS:

First Lesson Gen 32:3-8, 32:22-30

Psalm Psalm 121

Second Lesson 2 Timothy 3:14-4:5

Gospel Luke 18:1-8

COLLECT: Set us free, loving Father, from the bondage of our sins, and in your goodness and mercy give us the liberty of that abundant life which you have made known to us in our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.