Tenth Sunday after Trinity 25 August 2019 A.D.

Tenth Sunday after Trinity            25 August 2019 A.D.                Morning Prayer

 Psalm. 15, 46     First lesson.  Isaiah  44:1-8, 21-23    Second lesson Romans 12:1 - 9

                            Let thy merciful ears, O Lord, be open to the prayers of
                            thy humble servants; that they may obtain their petitions,
                            make them to ask such things as shall please thee;
                            through Jesus Christ our Lord.                     Amen.
                

                                                              Holiness  


                            The overarching theme of our scripture is holiness.  
1.Who can live with the Lord?   He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart. He that backbiteth not with his tongue, nor doeth evil to his neighbour, nor taketh up a reproach against his neighbour.

    2.Why is the Lord holy?   Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge
              3.What hope do we have in the Lord?  The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Come, behold the works of the LORD, what desolations he hath made in the earth. God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.

Early church Fathers understood, especially from the writings of Leviticus and Deuteronomy that man had a severe flaw, a fatal flaw; he was filled with sin from his birth and needed outside help to overcome that sin.  This is known as total depravity.
The psalmist wrote many times about the good man who avoided or fled evil (sin) and in this way was worshiping the Lord.  Many passages of both Old and New testament writings speak of the overall sinfulness of man.  So how do we get out of this ?
The simple outline found in Psalm 15 guides us to seek holiness, to seek the Lord, to live at peace with our neighbors, and in doing these things he will not be shaken. 

A. Be blameless and do what is right.  Walk according to the precepts we learn from the Ten Commandments.  By reading and understanding how the Lord worked amongst a wicked people gives us the examples of how we should conduct ourselves in our daily lives.

B. Speak the truth and do not slander others.  You don’t have to say anything about someone else, their behavior will reveal what character flaws and possible evil that they may exhibit. You don’t have to report, their lives will do all the talking.  That is what is implied by this passage, in that if you speak the truth and do not slander others, you will reveal your Lord in your actions.

C. Avoid evil.   Now you may despise a vile man, one who purposely seeks out evil and does evil to others, but this despising is to keep you away from that influence, not to drag you down to his level.  And at the same time as you despise one who is vile, you should also honor won who fears or has great respect for the Lord God Almighty.   This one who fears and honors the Lord, keeping his oath even if it hurts, they are the one to look up to, because they are doing the right thing.

 D. Be generous.  Interesting, this instruction is all about money, or funds.  The person, who fears the Lord, lends his money without usury.  Usury, a misunderstood word.  It means that you can lend money without charging too much interest, not interest free.  In the middle ages the interpretation was that no interest could be changed for lending money, if you were a Christian.  So monarchs and the church went to the Jewish population and borrowed money, because the Jews could charge interest.  But we are getting off track here, back to the outline.   The other side of this good man, one who feared the Lord, did not do usury and even more importantly, did not take bribes to “bear false witness against the innocent”.   

 What is the benefit of doing all this that David wrote in Psalm 15 ?  
“ He who does these things will never be shaken.”    The very sure foundation of our Lord God, our creator, our help, our sure way in the wilderness, He will keep us from being shaken.
 Bridges falling down, mine disasters, drought, floods, terror threats on a daily basis, all these things can shake an ordinary person.  But a person at peace, a person who is in love and concord with his neighbor, a person who is honest , a person who is kind, a person who stays away from evil and yet does what is right, he will not be shaken.   All these terrible things can happen, they will continue until Jesus comes again in His Glory to claim his Kingdom, but in the meantime, we can stand up and not be shaken if we follow the simple outline of Psalm 15.

 I leave you with a quote from our other Psalter reading, Ps 46:10  

 “Be still, and know that I am God; 
 I will be exalted among the nations.
 I will be exalted in the earth.”

Let us pray

 O GRACIOUS Father, we humbly beseech thee for thy Universal Church; that thou wouldst be pleased to fill it with all truth, in all peace. Where it is corrupt, purify it; where it is in error, direct it; where in anything it is amiss, reform it. Where it is right, establish it; where it is in want, provide for it; where it is divided, reunite it; for the sake of him who died and rose again, and ever liveth to make intercession for us, Jesus Christ, thy Son, our Lord.      Amen.

O LORD our heavenly Father, whose blessed Son came not to be ministered unto, but to minister; We beseech thee to bless all who, following in his steps, give themselves to the service of their fellow men. Endue them with wisdom, patience, and courage, that they may strengthen the weak and raise up those who fall; and, being inspired by thy love, may worthily minister in thy Name to the suffering, the friendless, and the needy; for the sake of him who laid down his life for us, the same thy Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen.

ALMIGHTY God, the fountain of all wisdom, who knowest our necessities before we ask, and our ignorance in asking; We beseech thee to have compassion upon our infirmities; and those things which for our unworthiness we dare not, and for our blindness we cannot ask, vouchsafe to give us, for the worthiness of thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.