The Twenty-second Sunday after Trinity 05 November anno domini 2023 Holy Communion

Twenty-second Sunday after Trinity                  05 November anno domini 2023

                                                                Holy Communion

                                          We beseech thee to keep thy household the church
                                           in continual godliness, that through thy protection
                                           it may be free from all adversities, and devoutly given
                                           to serve thee in good works, to the glory of thy name,
                                           through Jesus Christ our Lord.               Amen.

            The Epistle. Philippians 1:3-11                                 The Gospel. Matthew 18: 21-35

                                                         #210, 456, 563

                                                       “Days of Future Past”

  It is not only a civic duty to remember those who have served, but it seems that St. Paul made a point of remember those in service of the Lord.  At this time of the year as we approach Veteran’s Day, observed on the 11th of November, we as a community try to remember those who are with us who in some way served in the defense of this nation.  A long time observation, first being set aside to commemorate those who served in the military from 1917-1919.  The day being set aside of course commemorating the cessation of hostilities in Europe with the signing of the Armistice in November 1918.  The exact date of the end of fighting was to be at 11 a.m. on the 11th of November 1918.   For years afterward this date was celebrated as Armistice Day in the United States.   Eventually the commemoration would be renamed Veterans Day in order to remember those who served in the Second World War and the Korean Conflict.  This would take effect in 1954.   So here we have a day set aside to remember those who served and are serving in defense of this nation.  

St. Paul had already begun a similar concept with the early church.
He will write to several of the churches that he either founded or helped in the edification/growth of the same throughout his travels in Asia Minor and Greece.  In the opening chapter of his letter to the church at Philippi he outlines a wonderful joyful catalog of what the Philippians church was doing right.  We always seem to understand Paul as a grumpy old guy calling out sin and error in various churches. His letter to the church at Corinth seems to chastise them for their sinful behavior. 
Instead of that we read where Paul praises the church at Philippi for:1. a happy remembrance, {because of joyful requests},2. wonderful fellowship from the first time they met Paul, 3. their confidence in the good of the gospel,4. the good work in Jesus Christ,5. he has such a high regard for them that even while he is in prison in Rome he can be thankful for their 6.‘defense and confirmation of the gospel’.   
I THANK my God upon every remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making request with joy, for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now; being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ: even as it is meet for me to think this of you all, because I have you in my heart; inasmuch as both in my bonds, and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel, ye all are partakers of my grace.

 Then Paul continues with his great love for the Philippians because of how well they display the love of God through Christ to all those who come to Philippi.  
For God is my record, how greatly I long after you all in the bowels of Jesus Christ.

 He prays that they continue with this great love of the gospel and the desire to share it with the world until the end of time:
And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; that ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ;
   And then he finishes off with the most important concept, the praise of God in three parts and yet unified as one. being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.

Do we as a people in Christ portray any of that which Paul wrote about in this first chapter in the letter to the church in Philippi?  As he approached the end of his life on earth, he looked back at all that had transpired during his missionary journeys and was able to see that there would be more people being saved because of the faithful witness that he describes in this letter.
He could see ‘days of future passed’. 

 Are we able to reach out to those who are lost and share with them the saving gospel of Christ?   
What are we able to do with our knowledge and understanding of God’s Word as far as sharing it with those who are lost?

It is sometimes the simplest things we do that make those who are perishing notice. Sometime just the small quiet things we do and say can spark a conversation that may lead to a time of sharing of the Word. 
May God help us to be aware of our spiritual surroundings, may He give us the discernment to understand when is the time to speak and when is the time to just do the right things.  We should never do what is right when everyone is watching, we must ever do the right things no matter is anyone is watching.  God is watching.   He neither sleeps nor slumbers.

Let us ever be mindful of who we represent to the world.

Let us pray:

O Lord Jesus Christ, who hast ordained this holy sacrament
to be a pledge of thy love, and a continual remembrance of
thy passion: Grant that we, who partake thereof in faith, may grow
up into thee in all things until we come to thy eternal joy,
who with the Father and the Holy Ghost livest and reignest,
one God, world without end.                          Amen.

Be mindful, O Lord, of thy people bowed before thee,
and of those who are absent through age, sickness, or
infirmity.  Care for the infants, guide the young, support the aged,
encourage the faint-hearted, collect the scattered, and bring the
wandering to thy fold.  Travel with the voyagers; defend the widows;
shield the orphans; deliver the captives; heal the sick.  Succour all who
are in tribulation, necessity, or distress.  Remember the good all 
those who love us, and those who hate us, and those who have desired
us, unworthy as we are, to pray for them. And those whom we have
forgotten, do thou O Lord, remember.  For thou art the helper of
the helpless, the savior of the lost, the refuge of the wanderer, the healer
of the sick. Thou, who knowest each man’s need, and hast heard his
prayer, grant unto each according to thy merciful loving-kindness and
eternal love, through Jesus Christ our Lord.                         Amen.