Monday, September 01, 2008

A new season is upon us

Next Sunday we begin a new season in our journey together as priest and people. I do hope to see you all in church of course.
As we prepare for the new season lets also discipline ourselves to remember that we are all students of Jesus, The Teacher and of the record we have of his life among us.
As we enter the new season we do so, of course, with the sacred writings of the ancients as our guide.
They too are our companions along the way.
As they looked into their experiences and their lives, they saw God's life living and breathing within their hearts.
We shall do nothing less.
Here then are the readings for next Sunday.
Have a look, and then next week we'll see where all this takes us.
In Sunday's lessons we'll hear about the significance of marking a memorial of God's Passover in the run up to the liberation of Israel from slavery. That permanent memorial will in history mark the liberation of all peoples from every form of slavery. It will factor significantly in American history. It was at the center of Christ's redeeming work in freeing us from the bonds of sin and death.
The Psalm sings a new song to God. We'll be singing a new creed on Sunday. It is a wonderful melody. As we learn our new songs, we also learn how to sing of our love for God and one another in our hearts on a daily basis.
Paul continues the theme by inviting us to owe nothing to one another except the love we are bound to bear to one another. We discover this kind of love as we put off the works of darkness and take on the deeds of the light. Thus we put on Christ as we would any fine garment, and our lives become adorned with something beautiful for God.
The Gospel is an interesting redactor. Still the authority of Jesus is clear, however you want to date the passage...if someone sins against you, first talk to that person. Let's face it, it is easier to talk about someone than it is to talk to them directly. When we do, we almost always win their hearts. But not always. Conflict occasionally runs deep. In cases where that is so Jesus would have us take our case to "arbitration", and if that fails to the whole church. If that doesn't work even then...well...treat them like you would a sinner or a tax collector.
And so how does Jesus treat sinners and tax collectors?
Ah, you get the point!
See you all Sunday.
Fr. Paul

The Lessons Appointed for Use on the

The 17th Sunday After Pentecost
Proper 18
Year A

Grant us, O Lord, to trust in you with all our hearts; for, as you always resist the proud who confide in their own strength, so you never forsake those who make their boast of your mercy; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Exodus 12:1-14
The LORD said to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt: This month shall mark for you the beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year for you. Tell the whole congregation of Israel that on the tenth of this month they are to take a lamb for each family, a lamb for each household. If a household is too small for a whole lamb, it shall join its closest neighbor in obtaining one; the lamb shall be divided in proportion to the number of people who eat of it. Your lamb shall be without blemish, a year-old male; you may take it from the sheep or from the goats. You shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month; then the whole assembled congregation of Israel shall slaughter it at twilight. They shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and the lintel of the houses in which they eat it. They shall eat the lamb that same night; they shall eat it roasted over the fire with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. Do not eat any of it raw or boiled in water, but roasted over the fire, with its head, legs, and inner organs. You shall let none of it remain until the morning; anything that remains until the morning you shall burn. This is how you shall eat it: your loins girded, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and you shall eat it hurriedly. It is the passover of the LORD. For I will pass through the land of Egypt that night, and I will strike down every firstborn in the land of Egypt, both human beings and animals; on all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgments: I am the LORD. The blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you live: when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague shall destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.
This day shall be a day of remembrance for you. You shall celebrate it as a festival to the LORD; throughout your generations you shall observe it as a perpetual ordinance.

Psalm 149 Page 807, BCP
Cantate Domino
Sing to the LORD a new song; *
sing his praise in the congregation of the faithful.
Let Israel rejoice in his Maker; *
let the children of Zion be joyful in their King.
Let them praise his Name in the dance; *
let them sing praise to him with timbrel and harp.
For the LORD takes pleasure in his people *
and adorns the poor with victory.
Let the faithful rejoice in triumph; *
let them be joyful on their beds.
Let the praises of God be in their throat *
and a two-edged sword in their hand;
To wreak vengeance on the nations *
and punishment on the peoples;
To bind their kings in chains *
and their nobles with links of iron;
To inflict on them the judgment decreed; *
this is glory for all his faithful people.

Romans 13:8-14
Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. The commandments, "You shall not commit adultery; You shall not murder; You shall not steal; You shall not covet"; and any other commandment, are summed up in this word, "Love your neighbor as yourself." Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law.
Besides this, you know what time it is, how it is now the moment for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we became believers; the night is far gone, the day is near. Let us then lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armor of light; let us live honorably as in the day, not in reveling and drunkenness, not in debauchery and licentiousness, not in quarreling and jealousy. Instead, put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires.

Matthew 18:15-20
Jesus said, "If another member of the church sins against you, go and point out the fault when the two of you are alone. If the member listens to you, you have regained that one. But if you are not listened to, take one or two others along with you, so that every word may be confirmed by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If the member refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if the offender refuses to listen even to the church, let such a one be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. Again, truly I tell you, if two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them."

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