Twenty-second Sunday after Trinity or St. Simon & St. Jude 28 October 2018 A.D.

                            St. Simon & St. Jude or the Twenty-second Sunday after Trinity   
                  28 October 2018 A.D.    Morning Prayer
           Psalm 118    First Lesson. Isaiah 28:9-16      Second Lesson. Ephesians 2:11-18

            Oh Almighty God, who hast built thy Church upon
                                    the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Jesus
                                    Christ himself being the head corner-stone; Grant us
                                    so to be joined together in unity of spirit by their doctrine,
                                    that we may be made an holy temple acceptable unto thee;
                                    through the same Jesus Christ our Lord.             Amen.

 Over the years I have taught and preached concepts of the faith based on the biographies of the saints, or Christian folk of days gone by.  I find it appropriate that in this commemoration of the two saints, Simon and Jude, are set for this time of the year.  Not that other saints of the past are any less worth of being studied and emulated, (NOT WORSHIPED or entreated for favor or soterial* grace), but here we look at these two lesser apostles and see what we can learn from their lives.
   The Roman church and to a lesser extent other branches of Christianity, seek to place the saints in a working or soterial   place.  Just like our brief study of angels, saints are created not begotten, there fore they are not to be entreated for grace, favor, or aid in our everyday lives.  We can look to those who have gone before us and fashion our lives to the good aspects of their lives as far as how they lived it for Jesus, but never to be worshiped. 
 Soteria* (swthria), in the Greek is the word “deliverance or safety, salvation”.  

So we are urged to look at the lives of the saints and those who have gone on to the Lord and see what a Christ-like life is supposed to look like.  We are to learn and do by good example.
But the significance of this time of the year can be fixed in what we should call a “Christian Memorial Day”, where we commemorate and remember all the faithful who have joined the Church Triumphant over the last calendar year.  Instead of looking at the chaos that is celebrated with the Samhain or Celtic holiday of darkness, commonly celebrated around Halloween, let us look to the Light.  Jesus told us that He was the Light of the World.  He shines out in this time of chaos and confusion, this time of wrath and anger, He is “our peace”.  He has broken down the wall that separate us from God the Creator, God the Father.   “... And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:
 And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.
 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father...”

 Let us look at what Matthew Henry says about this particular passage from Ephesians 2:11-18:

“Christ and his covenant are the foundation of all the Christian's hopes. A sad and terrible description is here; but who is able to remove himself out of it? Would that this were not a true description of many baptized in the name of Christ. Who can, without trembling, reflect upon the misery of a person, separated for ever from the people of God, cut off from the body of Christ, fallen from the covenant of promise, having no hope, no Saviour, and without any God but a God of vengeance, to all eternity? To have no part in Christ! What true Christian can hear this without horror? Salvation is far from the wicked; but God is a help at hand to his people; and this is by the sufferings and death of Christ.”

And so as we conclude this study, let us look at what Christ is to us, as modeled by the lives and behaviors of those saints who have gone before us.

That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:
 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us; Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;

  “Jesus Christ made peace by the sacrifice of himself; in every sense Christ was their Peace, the author, center, and substance of their being at peace with God, and of their union with the Jewish believers in one church. Through the person, sacrifice, and mediation of Christ, sinners are allowed to draw near to God as a Father, and are brought with acceptance into his presence, with their worship and services, under the teaching of the Holy Spirit, as one with the Father and the Son. Christ purchased leave for us to come to God; and the Spirit gives a heart to come, and strength to come, and then grace to serve God acceptably.”
  As St. James wrote: But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves. For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:  For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.  But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.
Beloved, go and do likewise:

Let us pray:

O Eternal God and merciful Father, we humbly pray for Thy holy Church throughout the world, that it being purged from false philosophy and vain deceit, we may live and act as befits the members of the mystical Body of Thy Son, and in the end be found acceptable unto Thee; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

O God, who rulest over Thy people with fatherly love, give the spirit of wisdom to all who have received from Thee the authority of government, that the welfare of Thy flock may turn to the everlasting joy of their pastors; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

O Lord God of Hosts, fill, we beseech Thee, all those whom Thou hast set as pastors over Thy sheep, with righteousness and true holiness, that by their faith and piety they may overcome the wicked one, and save the Lord’s flock from the danger of his assaults; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

O Lord, support us all the day long of this troublous life, until the shadows lengthen and the evening comes, and the busy world is hushed, and the fever of life is over, and our work is done. Then in Thy mercy grant us a safe lodging, and a holy rest, and peace at the last; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


   May 2019   
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