Monday, November 22, 2010

I Advent: 28 November 2010

Torah: Deuteronomy 30:10-20
Prophet: Isaiah 40:1-11
Writing: Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
Psalm: 139
Epistle: I Tim 3: 1-16
Gospel: Luke 3:1-20
Collect: El Shadai, you raised up your prophet, John the Baptist to preach repentance and to prepare the path for Yeshua and the kingdom. So prepare our hearts and minds that our Adonai Yeshua may find a home from where through us he may reign and prepare the world for his future return. This we ask through our Adonai Yeshua who lives and reigns with you and the Ruach haKodesh, one God in shekina glory everlasting. Amen.

22 November: Dear Lord, you gave your servant Clive S. Lewis wonderful ability to proclaim your kingdom, love of you, and spiritual truths through the written and spoken word. Raise up in this and every generation authors who truly love you and proclaim you through word and action. This we ask through Yeshuah haMoshiach who himself used parables to proclaim the truth of the kingdom. Amen. (white)

23 November: Heavenly Father, you raised up your servant Clement to be Bishop of Rome and to reestablish the ecclesiastical authority in Corinth. Help our Bishops to remember that to be bishops apart we must be Bishops together, conforming our lives and doctrine to your most holy scriptures. This we ask through Yeshuah who resisted Satan by using the words of the Old Testament. Amen. (white)

24 November: Your name, O Lord, is great and above every name! You are the head over all things. In you the fullness of God is pleased to dwell and makes peace by the blood of your cross. Fall before him for he is Lord of lords and King of kings! Amen.

25 November: Almighty and gracious Father, we give you thanks for the fruits of the earth in their season and for the labors of those who harvest them. Make us, we pray, faithful stewards of your great bounty, for the provision of our necessities and the relief of all who are in need, to the glory of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

26 November: O Lord, your ways are not our ways. We most often hold grudges against our opponents and seek our own revenge for every offense. Forgive us, O merciful Savior, for withholding forgiveness. Help us to love those who
do not love us so they may find your grace irresistible. This we ask through our Lord and Saviour Yeshua haMoshiach, who lives and reins with you and the Ruach haKodesh, one God in glory everlasting. Amen.

27 November: Forgive your church, O Lord, when she does not proclaim the word which you have called her to do. We most often sing about The Great Commission and overlook the needy and suffering. May our righteous sounding words match our deeds for the sake of HaMoshiach and those in need of hope. Amen.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Ezequiel 16:1-63: October 31, 2010

This lesson was written as a powerful warning to the nation of Israel. As such it shows that only God cares for Jerusalem. It was God who clothed Israel (remember, clothing is often a symbol of deeds, and clean luxurious clothing stands for good deeds, showing that even our good deeds come from God, and that only God can cover our evil nature, as Messiah's blood covers our evil nature and saves us.

Instead of thanking God, Israel turns to other gods (this is the symbol of prostitution). She even uses the things God gave her to worship false gods. Even worse, she sacrifices her children to those false gods!Even the Phillistines are shocked at her behaviour!

Brothers and sisters, does this description make you think. As well as describing Jerusalem, does it not describe the country we live in? God has blessed this country greatly, and we take those blessings and build houses and buy cars, but we forget the orphan and widow. Children are sacrificed on the altar of convenience by abortion. Other children are sacrificed because no-one has time to take care of them. Sports, money, drugs, exercise, leisure, have these not become the drugs upon which we squander what God has given us. God promised judgment to Jerusalem. Do we think that we shall avoid it. I think not.

The good news in this is twofold. God will not forget the covenant he made with Israel. There is still a role for the Jews to play, and they will come to know Yeshua as Messiah, Lord and Saviour. There is also hope for us, but we must repent and change our ways. Why do we give our enthusiasm and cash to entertainers? Why do we have time to party, but not have time to tell people that Yeshua came into the world to save sinners. Where are you? Are you wasting God's gifts on the idols of this world, or are you working to save sinners and build up other Christians.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

10 October 2010: 19th Sunday of Gracetid

Torah: Exodus 21:1-22:15
Prophet: Ezekiel 12:1-28
Writing: Proverbs 25:1-28
Psalm: Psalm 19:1-14
Epistle: I Thessalonians 4:1-18
Gospel: Mark 12:35-37
Collect: Gracious Father, who caused Zacheus to repent and make restitution for his sins, open our eyes to our own sins that we may repent, make good our errors, and be reconciled with those whom we have hurt;that the world may see that we truly serving the risen Lord. This we ask in the name of Yeshuah haMoshiach who lives and reigns with you and the Ruach haKodesh, one God in glory everlasting.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

19 September 2010: 16th Sunday of Gracetide

Torah: Lev. 23:33-43
Prophet: Zachariah 14:1-21
Writing: Proverbs 22:1-29
Psalm: 119:169-176
For the Epistle: Rev. 17:1-18
Gospel: Mark 7:24-37
Collect: Gracious Father, who through your son, Yeshua cleansed the lepers and healed the sick. Guide us not to be obstacles to others, but to have that true faith in you that we too could say to the mountain, be removed and cast into the sea and have it done. This we ask in the name of Yeshua haMoshiach who lives and reigns with you and the Ruach haKodesh, one God in glory everlasting.

15 September: : We confess Lord, that sometimes our own witness is dimmed by our pride and stubbornness. Forgive us, we pray, and remind us that the journey is not yet over. Give us grace to persevere under your guidance. For Yeshua's sake. Amen.

16 September: Father, as you raised up Ninian as Bishop of Galloway and to preach the Gospel to the Picts. Raise us in this and every land evangelists who are willing to suffer for the faith by preaching no matter what the circumstances. We ask this through the same Yeshuah who gives us joy in all circumstances. Amen. (white)

17 September: Teach us, O Lord, to see our neighbors with new eyes so that by your grace we may become more useful to them for your sake. In the name of Yeshua, we pray. Amen

Yom Kippur: Heavenly Father, as we remember the day of atonement which prefigured Messiah’s death on the cross. Separate our sins as far from us as the east is from the west, and grant that we may enter into the holy place where you now rein, one God, in glory everlasting. (Lenten array or violet)
Eve: Lev 16:1-34
Psalm 16
Jonah 1:1-4:11
Luke 43:44-46

Sunday, August 15, 2010

11th Sunday of Gracetide

Proverbs 17:1-28

Short but sweet:
Often we are all too convinced of our own holiness and lack of sinfulness because we compare ourselves to other historical figures. We must remember that God's standards are not ours, and that the standard we must measure up to is Yeshua. None of us are good, no, not one, and our righteousness in his sight is as filthy rags. Only Yeshua can give us the power to go and sin no more.






Saturday, April 10, 2010

Thomas Sunday: 11 April 2010

Torah: Genesis 38:1-30
Prophet: Jeremiah 34:1-22
Writing: Proverbs 1:1-33
Psalm: 119:1-8
For the Epistle: Acts 6:1-15
Gospel: John 20:24-31
Collect of the Day: Dear Lord, when Thomas could not believe without seeing, you came to release his faith so he would recognise you as his Lord and God: release our faith, that we would recognise you as saviour of the world, and follow you as Lord, wherever you may lead. This we ask through Yeshua haMoshiach, who lives and reign with you and the Ruach haKodesh, one God in glory everlasting. Amen. (gold)

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

2nd Sunday of Lent

Jeremiah 30:1-24

Last week, we heard the Lord tell us to be happy where he has put us. This week, we are told to trust in God. The Jewish people are told that God will give them freedom and return them to the land of Israel. Even though no-one cares for Israel, God will save them, although he will not allow them to go unpunished. But the time will come again when the people of Israel learn that God will be their God and that they will be his people.

Suffering, isolation, exile, are all strong force which can build or break a people. Just as God spent 40 years in the desert teaching the sons of Israel to remove Egypt from their midst, so did he have them in captivity for 70 years to truly turn them to a true people of God. It appears that during the Babylonian captivity, the Jews became truly God's people. They learned in captivity to take the Sabbath seriously and learned to keep the festivals in spirit and truth, and learned that God was truly with them, and wanted to be their God and protect them.

Likewise, as we look at Jakob, he has spent years being tricked by his cousin, and learning to totally trust in God. It is a lesson which is difficult for us to learn, which is one of the reasons we keep Lent. During this time we read God's word, hopefully go to church a little more, and allow God to speak to us through his word and to transform us into the image of his Son. After all, it is better to practice self-discipline that to have the Lord teach us through discipline and correction.

I note sadly in passing, that in the world I hear people say many sad things. No church is necessary to be a Christian, baptism is not necessary, moral laws don't apply to us. Saddest of all, the belief that we are all going to heaven. If we the Church do not convey the truth to those around us, then God's judgment will come upon us, just as it came upon Israel. We are called to sound the trumpet. We are the ones who are here.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

25 February 2010

Jeremiah 29:1-32

This is a favourite. This scripture is basically, a bloom where you are planted scripture.

Society in the USA particularly needs to hear this scripture. To set it in context, Babylon has conquered Jerusalem, taken the King captive and brought many of the Jews to Babylon. Jeremiah writes this letter telling them to pray for the king, and to get on with their lives, that in God's time (70 years) they will be restored to Jerusalem.

Today, one of the most insidious sins is covetousness. Oh, if I had a better job, I would be happy. If I had a Cadillac, I would be happy, etc, etc. ad nauseum. In this time of Lent, when we are all hopefully fasting, we should be looking at what truly makes us happy. I have seen people eating, who were miserable, because they were not eating what they wanted. I have also seen people whose appetite is spoiled because there is too much food on the table. C.S. Lewis describes the first problem in a wonderful manner in his novel, Perelandra,

So what is covetousness? Is it wrong to want a better house, or car, etc? Clearly no. The secret though is not to make these things our goal in life. When we were house hunting, there were just a couple of details I was interested in. It had to be above the flood line, and it had to be set up with a room we could use as a chapel, and a decent dining room. Did I have to have these things to be happy? No, but we needed them if we were to use our house as a home church, which it still is, though still small. Will we want such a house later. Probably not, I'll be happy with a small two bedroom house with a large dining room for children, grandchildren, and guests. My house is not my goal, but a means to working for the kingdom.

And my car? Well, I have two, a 1995 Olds Sierra, which will get its windows fixed this afternoon. Is it beautiful or elegant? Not really, but it gets me where I want to go. If someone gave me a million tomorrow, would I sell it and buy another? Probably not (although I would like an Aptera), I'd probably just finish a few more minor repairs. My other car, sadly doesn't get me where I want to go, and God willing, it will be repaired some day, but the car is not important. The getting there that is.

God wants us to learn to be thankful for what we have. The Word Eucharist, which we use for the Holy Communion comes from the Greek, Ευχαριστο, which means thanks or thanksgiving. Are you thankful for your spouse, your car, your house, your food, your job? God wants us to learn to be thankful for what we have. People in Haiti are happy just to be alive. Most of you who will read this live a standard of living that most Haitians could only dream about even before the earthquake.

Could our circumstances be better? Maybe yes, maybe no. Can we learn from them. Many would say it was the circumstances of the captivity in Babylon which was the crucible which formed the Jews. In fact I would say that myself. It was in Babylon that the Jews realised that they must depend on God and learned to obey him. In fact during the 70 years of captivity in Babyolon, it seems they learned more than in the prior 600 or so years of being the Kingdom of Judah.

Are your circumstances tough? Don't focus on them, focus on the relationships, especially with God. Allow those circumstances to guide you in developing a relaationship with God, and your family. Be thankful, and learn to have joy in Jesus. Your circumstances may not change, but your perception of them will.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

15 Februart 2010

I am just getting more and more behind. Three doctor's appointments today, two yesterday. Too many sick people in the house.

Sunday's lesson from Jeremiah is most important to the modern church. It is a warning about false prophets. False prophets are dangerous, because they lead us astray. In the time of the lesson from Jeremiah, the false prophets are telling the people not to worry, that God will deliver them in two years. Jeremiah counteracts these prophecies and warns the people this will be a long captivity, and Babylon will prevail.

The danger and mark of false prophets is that they do not call us to repent. The people of Israel didn't need to repent, because God was going to deliver them. They didn't need to worry. God doesn't ever punish his people and they will always come out ahead. Do you know false prophets who speak this way?

Jeremiah and all true prophets for that matter spend a lot of time condemning sin, and calling people to repent.

Are you being told how wonderful it all is, and that you are welcomed by God just as you are, or are you being called to repent and allow God to transform your life. While it is true, God loves you as you are, the point of salavation is that we repent of what we were, and allow God to transform us into the image of Jesus his soon. This is an excellent thought to hold to as we begin this first week of Lent.

Monday, January 25, 2010

25 January 2010

Psalms of Solomon 10

Sadly, I am ubable to copy the Psalm, but you can see it at:

It starts out, "Blesed is th eman whom the Lord remembers with reproving, who is fenced from the evil road by a whip."

This is not the way we think of God. We think of God as love, but we often do not consider what that love truly means. Do you love your children? Sure, everyone does. Do our actions with them always look loving. Not always. When we are slapping their hand or telling them no, it does not always look loving, but it is something that needs to be done. A child who never learned the words "no" or "stop" can be in danger. He or she might be about to put their hands on the hot stove, and we can holler at them to stop, but if they never learned to obey, they will burn their hand. Better to have been swatted a couple of times than to have third degree burns. The same with us. We do not really know what the life to come is going to be like, but one can be sure that being strong and being self disciplined will be part of it. God wants us to grow in knowledge and strength. Just as we learn things from being punished, so do we build up our spiritual muscles by using them to resist that which is evil. Those who never had to resist, often have no power to resist when put in spiritual danger.

We also have to develop our hearts. Again, "Fr the Lord is kind to those who endure discipline." When David sinned, did he blame the devil, or his friends?" No, he admitted his wrong doing and repented to the Lord. An attitude of submission. I fear for some people and some groups. When they are corrected, they get angry instead of accepting the correction. We need to be like David. When we sin, we need to say, "I am the man who sinned against God" and repent, just as David told us.

God is continually with those who accept correction. Their hearts have changed, and God will give that change an opportunity to grow and transform lives. When we do this, we will find the everlasing joy.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

17 January 2009

Jeremiah 24: 1-10

So I will regard those exiled from Judah, those whom I have sent away from this place, to the land of the Chaldeans for good.

This is a message that we don't always find. It is good to be exiles? This is kind of a reverse to our way of thinking. Of course part of the reason that it is good is the kings and rulers of Judah are going to be destroyed, but there is more implied here. In the New Testament, we are told that all things work together for the benefit of those who love the Lord, we just do not always see it that way.

For example, in our first lesson today, Jacob runs away from this brother, but comes back with 11 sons, and wives and concubines and sheep. His exile was a blessing for him.

The exile in Babylon was a blessing in another way. The dispersal of the Jews meant that their ideas spread. Would the Magi have known about the coming Messiah if Daniel had not trained the wise men of Babylon? The love of God, righteousness, and the belief in one God were spread by the Jewish diaspora.

We are told in the Psalms of Solomon, Chapter 9, that the dispersion of Israel among every nation was according to the word of God. And we note, after the final dispersion of the Jews in 70 AD, that the Christians (who were Jews) went with the Jews to various Jewish colonies of the world. In Acts, we see the Apostles and others going to Samaria, and Damascus. Paul everywhere he visits, visits the Jews first. Peter visits the Jews in Babylon, St. Thomas started his trips to India at Jewish colonies, as did St. Joseph of Arimathea in his visit to Britain. In other words, these dispersions, while apparently bad things were not. They worked to the spread of the Kingdom.

Likewise, we can look at the disaster in Haiti as an opportunity. An opportunity to spread God's word, and opportunity to rebuild. We need to not only be helping Port-au-Prince with donations, but with our prayers,and sending Godly people there. Haiti had been bound for spiritual chains for many a year because of the massive massacres that occurred during independence, and the Voodoo which pervades the society.

We need to be praying for the spiritual rebirth of the nation.