Holy Trinity Anglican Church

Month: March 2018

Living in God’s Story

Listen to today’s sermon – Living in God’s Story

LESSONS:

First Lesson             Jeremiah 31:31-34

Psalm                        Psalm 51

Second Lesson        Hebrews 4:14-5:10

Gospel                      John 12:20-36

COLLECT: Almighty God, you alone can bring into order the unruly wills and affections of sinners: Grant your people grace to love what you command and desire what you promise; that, among the swift and varied changes of this world, our hearts may surely there be fixed where true joys are to be found; through Jesus Christ our Lord; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Walking in the Light – Reflection for 18 March 2018

Jesus makes an astonishing statement. He says he must die and that he is the light of the world and that those who would be light to the world must follow after him. Then to top it all off, God speaks just at the time Jesus confirms his death. Thunder at that precise moment, I have my doubts, because if it were simply weather why would there be a recording of the event?All this must happen in order that the light might go out into the world. The promise is that we are to become the light of the world!

Ok, what does all that mean to me? One thing is that it is a challenge for each of us to do a self examine. Where are we becoming the light of the world? The Jews hid their light under a basket and thereby deprived the world of the light of God. Christ came so that the light of God would permeate throughout the world. Our job is to go forth proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ. How?

If we are to be the light it most likely means doing something uncomfortable. Talk with the panhandler, yea, he may be a mooch, but he still needs the light of Christ. What if I came to church not expecting anything from God, but only there to tell him how grateful I am and thankful for the blessings He has allowed me to have. What if I just came to worship and nothing else and the receive the gift of eternal life in the Communion? Yes, but, you say, you’re a priest, don’t you do that all the time? Do I? Maybe I don’t do it enough? I have to do it better than anyone else? No, the truth is that I am the same as you and deal with the same demons that you do, if anything I may deal with more demons, just because I am a priest.

My hope lies in Jesus Christ and nothing else, his redeeming work on the cross for my sins, big and little, sins nonetheless. Jesus is the hope for the world and the USA. We have a job ahead of us all, as only 20% of the population in the States are believers. Now is the time to offer hope to the world, our state, our neighborhood, our family, our friends. Pray for them and yourself, to be the light of the world that Christ calls you too. It is the risen Christ we proclaim, Share your hope with the world, softly and heartfelt, with all you are.

Little Things – 11 March 2018

Listen to Fr Rob’s sermon from the morning service at All Saints Anglican Church  – Little Things

The Epistle  Galatians 4:21-31

The Gospel  John 6:1-14

The Collect   GRANT, we beseech thee, Almighty God, that we, who for our evil deeds do worthily deserve to be punished, by the comfort of thy grace may mercifully be relieved; through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

 

Worry or Trust? – Reflection for 11 March 2018

I like plans. I am much more comfortable when I have a plan, especially if it is my own plan. I even like planning and considering options, contingencies, and logistics. I can only imagine the horror that Phillip felt when Jesus turned to him and said, “So what’s your plan to feed all these people?” Phillip didn’t have a plan. He couldn’t even conceive of a plan to feed five thousand plus people in the middle of nowhere with no preparation. He responded the only way that he could, “There’s just no way.”

Fortunately, Jesus already had a plan. He knew what He was going to do. Just as God had fed the Israelites in the wilderness with manna, God would feed these people in the wilderness. Just as Elisha had fed one hundred men with twenty barley loaves, Jesus would feed thousands with just five barley loaves and two fish. Just as the people complained to Moses wanting meat and Moses called out in words similar to Jesus’ question to Phillip, the people gathered around Jesus would soon want meat. Instead of quail, Jesus would provide Himself. This was all part of the plan. (See Numbers 11; 2 Kings 4:42-44)

We are part of this plan, too. Paul tells us that we are “created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Indeed, we are knit together in Christ and empowered by the Holy Spirit to walk and work in this plan. What I am trying to learn and accept is that while I am part of the plan, I am not the planner.

I can easily picture myself on that hillside on the shore of the Sea of Galilee asking questions, counting people, worrying about flour and oil, assigning fire building and cooking tasks. That would be my plan, but Jesus was planning something even greater. He gave simple assignments to the disciples, “have the people sit” and “hand this out” and “gather what is left.” Then, He took what was at hand, an admittedly small amount of the food of the poor, and He gave thanks, broke the bread, and gave it to them. All the people ate and more was left over than what He started with.

I can easily get lost in all the tasks, chores, opportunities, and problems around me. I can worry about how I can get everything done. It can seem so impossible at times that worry turns into despair and paralysis. I wonder if sometimes God does this to test me because He already knows what He will do. In these times, Jesus calls me and says, “Take, eat. This is my Body given for you,” and “This is my Blood shed for you. Drink it.” Even in the most difficult and uncertain times, these are simple tasks are prepared for us to walk in to the glory of God.

Reconciled – Sermon at Holy Trinity Anglican Church 4 March 2018

Listen to this morning’s sermon –  Reconciled

LESSONS:

First Lesson         Exodus 20:1-21

Psalm                     Psalm 19:7-14

Second Lesson     Romans 7:12-25

Gospel                   John 2:13-22

COLLECT: Heavenly Father, you made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you: Look upon the heartfelt desires of your humble servants, and stretch forth the strong hand of your Majesty to be our defense against our enemies; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, world without end. Amen.

Called and Sent – Reflection for 4 March 2018

Whoa! Jesus aren’t you just a little extreme? Jesus asks, who are these money changers that they might be permitted in the House of the Lord? Really? Jesus meek and mild, not a raging lunatic? The apostles remember later the prophecy that ‘the zeal for the Lord’s house will consume him’, just as they remembered Jesus decreed that after the temple, his body, was destroyed, it will be raised again in three days! Jesus is not talking about the stone temple, he is talking about his resurrection.

We don’t have money changers in our churches, we have money dispensers for the convenience of the worshippers so that they can pay their tithe. I do that tongue in cheek, but there is truth in it as it does exist.

I started to think, do we have other money lender type things in the church? I think we do, they are just disguised. The disguises vary. This may not agree with your thinking, but thinking is what I hope will happen. Let me give some examples.
I was approached by a parishioner to speak out against the city of San Antonio for closing some hospitals on the south side of the city. She was adamant that I address this issue from the pulpit and write about it and send letters to the city protesting their actions. I refused. Why, because that is not my job. She was indignant about my refusal saying it most assuredly was my job. I then asked her what scripture said my job description was, she looked blank. My job description is to ‘preach the Word of God and the Gospel, heal the sick, teach those who want to know the Word and equip the Saints for the work of the ministry’. Every Sunday in the finial prayer from the Eucharist, we ask God to send us out into the world to do the work He has given us to do.

Come to the table to be fed and filled up and to be encouraged by the preaching and praying. Let all who come be refreshed and assured of God’s love for us. The church is God’s, it is the body of Christ, come to the body and know the love that God has for you.

And all God’s people said, AMEN.