St. Mary’s Anglican Church – Revd. Canon Claude Schroeder
Well, for the last six weeks since Easter Sunday we have been proclaiming and celebrating in church the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the Dead. And we are not quite finished yet! Alleluia, Christ is Risen!….
And then last Thursday, the 40th day after Easter, we celebrated the Ascension of Jesus into heaven.
For those who missed the service, happily for us at St. Mary’s, there is no avoiding the Ascension of Jesus Christ. It is something that literally stares us in the face every Sunday morning, in the window above the altar.
At our open house Saturday before last, I explained to the people on the church tour, that in the Ascension Jesus does not become the world’s first astronaut, blasting off the earth and going up into heaven out there somewhere beyond the stars. The Ascension is Jesus into heaven is His entry into the eternity of God.
O God, the King of glory, who hast exalted thine only Son Jesus Christ with great triumph unto thy kingdom in heaven: We beseech thee leave us not comfortless; but send to us thine Holy Ghost to comfort us, and exalt us unto the same place whither our Saviour Christ is gone before, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen.
Well, we are now coming up on the end of the Easter season. This Thursday will be AscensionDay, the 40th day after Easter. Ten days after that, the 50th day after Easter, is Pentecost Sunday. There has been a tradition in the church since the 5th century that the Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday before Ascension are Rogation Days. Over time, this Sunday has been attached to those Rogation Days, becoming known as Rogation Sunday.
O ALMIGHTY God, who alone canst order the unruly wills and affections of sinful men: Grant unto thy people, that they may love the things which thou commandest, and desire that which thou dost promise; that so, among the sundry and manifold changes of the world, our hearts may surely there be fixed, where true joys are to be found; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, who, of thy tender love towards mankind, hast sent thy Son our Saviour Jesus Christ, to take upon him our flesh, and to suffer death upon the cross, that all mankind should follow the example of his great humility: Mercifully grant, that we may both follow the example of his patience, and also be made partakers of his resurrection; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
St. Mary’s Anglican Church, Canon Claude Schroeder
Today, Palm Sunday, marks the beginning of what in traditional Christian churches is called Holy Week. It is the most spiritually intense week of the year for Christians. It’s the time of year we seek to enter more deeply into the mystery of Jesus’ death and resurrection. To set the scene we just heard St. Matthew’s account of the Passion of Christ. If we were to follow the plan as it is laid out in the Book of Common Prayer, we would be back in church every day this week, where in the service of Holy Communion on Monday and Tuesday we would read through Mark’s account of the Passion; Wednesday and Thursday we would read through Luke’s account of the Passion; and on Friday, Good Friday, we would bring have the climatic reading of the Passion according to John. That’s pretty intense.
In lots of ways, I still consider myself to be pretty new to this Anglicanism thing. Before I began coming to church at St. Mary’s, my impression of the Anglican church was synonymous in my mind with England and Englishness. But I’ve learned a lot about our rituals, our church calendar, the festivals and feasts and fasts we observe, and I’ve come to appreciate how much deeper into the history of the Church our Anglican roots go. The lectionary we are following in Lent dates all the way back to the 5th century. We share feasts and fasts with other liturgical churches, holy days which Christians have been observing for nearly all of our history.
Grant, we beseech thee, Almighty God, that we, who for our evil deeds do worthily deserve to be punished, by the comfort of thy grace may mercifully be relieved; through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.
At last, in spite of all, a recognition, For those who loved and laboured for so long, Who brought us, through that labour, to fruition To flourish in the place where we belong. A thanks to those who stayed and did the raising, Who buckled down and did the work of two, Whom governments have mocked instead of praising, Who hid their heart-break and still struggled through, The single mothers forced onto the edge Whose work the world has overlooked, neglected, Invisible to wealth and privilege, But in whose lives the kingdom is reflected. Now into Christ our mother church we bring them, Who shares with them the birth-pangs of His Kingdom.
WE beseech thee, Almighty God, look upon the hearty desires of thy humble servants, and stretch forth the right hand of thy Majesty, to be our defence against all our enemies; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Batter My Heart Batter my heart, three-person’d God, for you As yet but knock, breathe, shine, and seek to mend; That I may rise and stand, o’erthrow me, and bend Your force to break, blow, burn, and make me new. I, like an usurp’d town to another due, Labor to admit you, but oh, to no end; Reason, your viceroy in me, me should defend, But is captiv’d, and proves weak or untrue. Yet dearly I love you, and would be lov’d fain, But am betroth’d unto your enemy; Divorce me, untie or break that knot again, Take me to you, imprison me, for I, Except you enthrall me, never shall be free, Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.
St. Mary’s Anglican Church, Canon Claude Schroeder
Sermon on Matthew 15. 21-27
The Gospel lessons in the first three Sundays in Lent comprise what we might call a mini course in demonology. Everything you wanted to know about demons but were afraid to ask. Well, may not everything you wanted you needed know about demons.
So last Sunday Jesus goes into the wilderness and is tempted by the devil himself on three separate occasions, which serve to inform our understanding of the triple renunciations Christians make in Holy Baptism.
Today we have the story of the Canaanite woman whose daughter was tormented by a demon.