Ninth Sunday after Trinity 29 July 2018 A.D.

The Ninth Sunday after Trinity      29 July 2018 A.D.    Morning Prayer     

Ps 93                 First Lesson. 1 Samuel 31      Second Lesson. 1 Corinthians 10:1–13    
                                                                                 
    

                              Grant to us, Lord, we beseech thee, the spirit 
                              to think and do always such things as are right;
                             that we, who cannot do any thing that is good without
                             thee, may by thee be enabled to live according to thy will;
                             through Jesus Christ our Lord.                           Amen.

                                                              “ Examples ”

 How is it that we learn from examples?  We can and do learn from bad experiences, a bad taste, a burnt finger, a bad smell, so how do we learn from examples?   In our passage from the first letter to the Corinthians, St. Paul is admonishing a rather randy group of believers to shape up and learn from other’s experiences.  Paul gives the people of Corinth several examples of bad behavior as modeled by the ancestors of these believers, those who left Egypt with Moses.
The city of Corinth was located on the isthmus that would one day have a small canal built near it. This area was a thriving seaport with ALL the sport, vice, corruption, and resident evil humans could put together in one location.  Corinth was well known for its’ vices.    So when Paul was writing to a group of Jewish believers who had settled in that city, he used examples from their past, he pointed to the forefathers and what mistakes they had done; and then just to make it clear, Paul also wrote about the consequences of this behavior.    Remember Jesus gave us many examples during his three and a half years on earth, we know them as parables.   The are stories filled with examples, what to do right, how to avoid the pitfalls of life, and more especially, how to live a Christian life.
 Paul gives us three specific examples of those in the desert, three examples that we should also avoid. 
 1] We should avoid idolatry.  Today that means putting too much affection into something or someone that can keep you from your primary affection, worship of the Lord.   Jobs, hobbies, sports, friends, parties, all things that can get in the way and take your eyes off of Jesus.  The above mentions activities are ok, as long as they do not become the central focus of your life, don’t let them come between you and your God.                                                                           
2]  Do not commit sexual immorality.   “Well some things are no longer considered immoral today as they were 50 years ago”   Ah yes, the age of relativity, the beginning of post modern thought.  If it is prohibited by both the Old and New Testament, it would be considered immoral.   If we leave the social, psychology, and humanist ideals on the shelf, they are not the determinants for what the Bible says is still considered immoral.     Remember, at one time in the Old Testament, throwing your first born child into a fiery furnace to appease Molech was considered the norm by societies that surrounded the Hebrew people.    Thanks to Judeo-Christian influence we have gotten away from child sacrifices.  Today we have too many people who think that maybe rules about marriage are passe’ and all sexual activities outside of marriage is ok, no holds barred.  The only problem is God’s Word tells us to not go that way. We are to either be chaste in our singleness or faithful to one spouse. That one spouse is supposed to be of the opposite gender.  Remember, when God instituted the family in the Garden, it was Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve. 

    3]   The last example Paul gives the Corinthians is grumbling.   Yikes, that covers a large group of us.  I know that when something isn’t happening fast enough for me, I tend to grumble.  Why do you suppose grumbling was singled out?   For one thing, it calls into question God’s ability to provide for us, IN HIS TIME, NOT OURS.  Also, we show our ingratitude towards our Creator, by not accepting what he has given us, He knows what we need and don’t need.   And I think probably the most important reason grumbling was included in the list of examples.....it causes others to stumble.  When we hear someone grumble about things, especially about God’s work, it can cause us to lose hope.  It can cause us to be downhearted, it isn’t a good thing, sort of a slow poison, that causes others to stop enjoying the blessings of the Lord.

 But just in case you were totally discouraged by the three examples, Paul leaves us with a wonderful promise;“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.”


   Wow, what a wonderful promise.    Now when we pray together the Lord’s Prayer, let us take to heart the phrase’...lead us not into temptation....but deliver us from evil’.
 Let us take this message to heart, let us avoid evil in any form, let us cling to the Lord, let us put our trust in Him, He that is able to keep us from harm and lifts us up from temptation.

Let us pray

ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, in whom we live and move and have our being; We, thy needy creatures, render thee our humble praises, for thy preservation of us from the beginning of our lives to this day, and especially for having delivered us from the dangers of the past night. For these thy mercies, we bless and magnify thy glorious Name; humbly beseeching thee to accept this our morning sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving; for his sake who lay down in the grave, and rose again for us, thy Son our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

O GOD, by whom the meek are guided in judgment, and light riseth up in darkness for the godly; Grant us, in all our doubts and uncertainties, the grace to ask what thou wouldest have us to do, that the Spirit of Wisdom may save us from all false choices, and that in thy light we may see light, and in thy straight path may not stumble; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


 

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