Nineteenth Sunday after Trinity 27 October 2019 A.D.

Nineteenth Sunday after Trinity       27 October 2019 A.D.         Morning Prayer

      Psalm 80           First lesson. Jeremiah 5:7-19    Second lesson. 1 Corinthians 13


                                      O God, forasmuch as without thee we are not able to
                                 please thee; Mercifully grant that thy Holy Spirit may
                                 in all things direct and rule our hearts; through
                                 Jesus Christ our Lord.                                      Amen.


God’s Love

  When you spend time reading the Word of God you will begin to notice the strong theme of love that begins to emerge.   We must study the Word carefully to find the divine love that prevails in the Bible, not that it is hidden, but at times obscured by competing ideas from critics of the Word.
So what is love?  The English language is somewhat limited on expressing love, in as far as simplicity, without a load of adjectives and added phrases.  
 Other languages have a more complex way of expressing love in the several forms that involved humans.  In the Greek, you will find at least three words that are used to express this concept, these are Eros, philos, and agape.   

1.Eros, from which we get the words erotic, eroticism, all dealing with the most base and animal-like nature of love. The essential idea of eros was the abandonment of oneself in the immediate pleasure of the moment. There were many gods and goddesses worshiped through out antiquity which included the use of temple prostitutes, male and female. Time and again this form of worship was condemned by the prophets and Jesus. God created male and female, for each other, not to be shared by anyone else. The marriage bed was to remain sacred, all other forms of erotic activities were to be avoided. “Do not commit adultery.”  The common idea on how to deal this ‘eros’ is to abandon oneself to the base nature of our humanity. ‘We cannot help ourselves’.  Of course this only exacerbates the problem. When there are no boundaries then chaos reigns supreme. The very nature of Satan is ever present.  Over time this has become part of multimillion dollar industry, including ‘adult’ dance halls, legal and illegal prostitution, on-line pornography and the film industry that generates. Not to mention the rampant child-sex trade that is spreading around the globe, including the United States. 

  2. The next word, philos, is related to brotherly/sisterly love. A love, a friendship love, a great feeling of worth and emotion given to friends. ‘...Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends...’.  John 15:13. Once again, the great counterfeiter has stepped in to muddy the waters. There is a melding of eros and philos into the idea of same-sex love.  One of the biggest issues in modern society is loneliness.  Because one cannot have a same sex friend without it being misconstrued as being erotic, many avoid such friendships all together. Thus the great loneliness that pervades our society. Boy Scout and Girl Scout programs, where in the past great life-long friendships were forged, have been taken over by the “P.C.” crowd and now made utterly worthless.  It is hard to find a troop where old values are still taught. 
Remember, Satan is fighting a losing battle, he knows that he is defeated, so he is trying his best to destroy any vestige of good in this world; all in the effort to demoralize mankind.  Hopelessness, arising from a demoralized society, can lead to self-destruction, whether quickly or over an extended period of time, that pervading sense of hopelessness is deadly. 
    Now just before you become totally bummed out over the message today, we now look at the most enduring and greatest of loves: AGAPE.  Godly love. 

3. Agape love is the divine love from which we can derive great hope. God’s love towards mankind, undeserved and unearned, and yet freely given to His own.
  When Paul was writing to the church at Corinth, he was expressing this divine love to that church.  They were located in what could be described as maybe a combination of Las Vegas and L.A./New York City, a city of utterly out of control eros. Corinth, a seaport on the Peloponnese peninsula of Greece, was a wide open city of sin. The church of Corinth was being polluted with the overflow of erotic sewage that emanated from the city streets and brothels. 
Paul showed them that there was a better way, the only way.  Love, being termed as charity, was the best way to show God’s love on earth. 
Notice how Paul describes this love.  Kind, patient, long-suffering, not boastful, not envious.
Let’s go to the text and read it in full:
“Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up, Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away”.
And in tying up the whole idea, Paul then finishes up this 13th  chapter with the following:
“And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity”.
   The greatest of these is [love] charity.  So you ask how is this manifest by God towards us?
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life”.
 If one would just accept this great love that God has manifest upon his creation, created in his image, one would have in possession the greatest peace of all time. “...the peace that passes understanding.”.  God’s peace that is bestowed upon those who are loved by their creator.

 Let us pray: 

The Almighty God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who desireth not the death of a sinner, but rather that
he may turn from his wickedness and live, hath in his
hold Word given assurance that he pardoneth and
absolveth all those who truly repent, and unfeighnedly
believe his holy Gospel.  Wherefore let us beseech him
ever to grant us true repentance, and his Holy Spirit, that
those things may please him which we do at this present,
and that the rest of our life hereafter may be pure and
holy; so that at the last we may come to his eternal joy;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.          Amen.

ALMIGHTY God, the supreme Governor of all things, whose power no creature is able to resist, to whom it belongeth justly to punish sinners, and to be merciful to those who truly repent; Save and deliver us, we humbly beseech thee, from the hands of our enemies; that we, being armed with thy defence, may be preserved evermore from all perils, to glorify thee, who art the only giver of all victory; through the merits of thy Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.             Amen.

THE grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Ghost, be with us all evermore.                   Amen.


 

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