Well, we find ourselves well into summer today by the Earth’s-trip-around-the-sun calendar, and well into Trinity season by the church calendar. Trinity season encompasses all the long, lovely days of summer and fall in which we slow down from our mad rush from feast day to feast day that takes up December to May, and begin our slow and systematic journey through one of the four Gospels, Matthew this year. We move carefully through the chapters, examining the ministry of Jesus, the miracles, the sermons, and the parables. Trinity is the season where we dig deep into what Jesus taught his followers, and through the Gospel writers, teaches us, about what it means to be Christ-followers, and to participate in God’s Kingdom.
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Welcome to the Fifth Sunday after Pentecost in the name of the Father, the Son and Holy Spirit.
Dear brothers and sisters, Apostle Peter invites us to be “hospitable to one another” and “serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received.” (1 Peter 4:9-10)This apostolic and prophetic request for love, compassionate, hospitality and generosity portrays a familiar scene to most of us.
As a nation, we welcome the refugees and asylum seekers to feel comfortable as they integrate into the Canadian society. As individuals, we invite friends and family members, throwing up parties for remembering significant life events, such as birthdays and anniversaries for marriage.
Homily for the Third Sunday after Trinity—28 June 2020
The Reverend Gene Packwood
is the first of two words I have for you today—as in Jesus Christ our Lord—The One in whom God’s free gift of eternal life comes to us according to St Paul in today’s reading from Romans (Ro6.23). The only one through whom that gift comes, as it happens. St Peter makes it clear in Acts chapter 4—not one of our readings for today, but to the point—when he wrote
there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men and women by which we must be saved.
No other name. No one else, but Jesus only.
Well that’s not very open and inclusive someone might say—and people do. So, George Carey, three Archbishops of Canterbury ago, once wrote that
This is the scandal of particularity with which we must live. Christians cannot yield this un-negotiable element in their faith. We believe that the God of the universe longs to reveal Himself and He does in many different ways and forms, through religion, through reason, art, and human intelligence, but each and every one of these ways is limited. Only in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ can God be fully known, worshipped, and obeyed.
The Most Reverend George Carey, Archbishop of Canterbury, “Archbishop’s Voice,” The Anglican Digest, Pentecost 1992, p63
So—more from Archbishop Carey:
Let’s not have any truck with bland theology, that Jesus is just one option among many. Dialogue with other faiths is very important, but I can respect another faith and a believer of that faith by saying I believe that Jesus Christ is the only way of salvation. Do with that truth what you may, but my job is to say that to you.
It’s our job, too, and just as the Archbishop wrote, Jesus, however scandalously particular, must always be the first, the most important, the defining Word on our lips and in the things we do and the places we go.
Which leads me to the second word for today. It appears six times in our Gospel reading. It’s closely associated with Jesus. The word is WELCOME. Jesus is God’s Word of welcome into the eternal life we read about in Romans this morning. Just as Archbishop Carey wrote, our job as Anglican Christians is to say, in all our words and deeds, in our relationships and consumption, in the way we live, as winsomely as we can, that we believe Jesus is the only way of salvation— welcome! Come on in. Come with us. Taste and see how good He is (Ps34.8). Welcome to the freedom and relief of a forgiven life—in Jesus (Lk1.77). Welcome to the richest, most satisfying, most challenging, fullest abundant life there is—in Jesus (John10.10).
As you live your welcoming life—welcoming Jesus into your own life and welcoming others into His—do it with absolute confidence that the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ
always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere
Always. Sweet smelling. Welcoming. Even across the social distances visited upon us these days—perhaps especially across those “distances”—spreading the heady, heart-warming, heavenly fragrance of the knowledge of our unique and scandalously particular Lord and Saviour.
Two words which go together for today. Welcome, and
Sermon for Trinity 2 – June 21, 2020 Beth Christianson
When I was a teenager, there was a phrase we heard a lot in youth-oriented church ministries: being “on fire for Christ.” Being on fire for Christ meant going to youth group every Friday, and showing up for Sunday School every week at 10 am. It meant going to the various youth retreat weekends on offer throughout the year, and going to Bible camp in the summers. It meant signing up for short-term missions. Being on fire for Christ meant going to the front of the church when the worship band was playing to sing and dance, raise your hands and speak in tongues. Being on fire for Christ meant going back from these mountaintop experiences to your school and telling your classmates about how cool God is, and how cool you were by association. Being on fire for Christ meant being fearless. You couldn’t care if anyone was looking at you, or talking about you. But that’s easy, right? What teenager cares about those things anyway?
St. Mary the Virgin Anglican Church, Trinity 1, June 14, 2020, Matthew 9.35- 10.23. Canon Claude Schroeder
Today on this the First Sunday after Trinity where we are embarking on the long season of Trinity in our church calendar, which is the season devoted towards the long, slow, patient work of growing in our knowledge and love of God, who is “Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.” This as we learned last Sunday, is who God is, and who it is that we have come to love and adore.
St. Mary the Virgin Anglican Church, Trinity Sunday, June 7, 2020 The Revd. Canon Claude Schroeder
In today’s Gospel lesson we come to the climactic moment in St. Matthew’s Gospel, where Jesus, after His Resurrection from the dead, appears to the disciples one last time, and says to them, “ All authority in heaven and earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always unto the end of the age.” (Matthew 28. 18-20)
This is what in the Church is known as “The Great Commission”, the task Jesus has given us to draw others into a relationship of faith and obedience to Himself. How do we do this? The task of making disciples involves two things: baptism, which only ever happens once, whether as a child or as an adult, and it involves teaching, which begins hopefully in childhood and continues for the rest of our lives so that we might grow up and mature in our faith.
St. Mary the Virgin Anglican Church Canon Claude Schroeder
Today on this 50th day after Easter, the Church celebrates the wonderful and joyful Feast of Pentecost, although it is for us a slightly bittersweet occasion, given the fact that we are not able to physically celebrate together. That is the bitter part. What is the sweet part? The sweet part is that “God has shed His love abroad in our hearts through the Holy Spirit is that He has given us.” (Romans 5.5.) It is the Holy Spirit dwelling in our hearts that causes us to cry out to God, “Abba, Father! So that you are not longer a slave- (to sin and the fear of death), but a child, a child of God, if a child then also an heir.” (Galatians 4,6,7) And so, wherever we are this morning, in this we rejoice, and in this we celebrate.
Jesus Christ, the King of Glory, has ascended today into the heavens. He sits at the right hand of the Father and rules heaven and earth.
Now all the psalms of David, our father, are fulfilled. Now the Lord sits with the Lord on the seat of God.
In this greatest of triumphs let us bless the Lord. The Holy Trinity be glorified. Let us give thanks to God.
That’s the English translation of a 12th century Ascension hymn called “Coelos ascendit hodie”. “Now all the psalms of David our father are fulfilled.” I love that line!
Ascension Day, the fortieth day after Easter was this past Thursday. It was lovely to celebrate the feast together, and to see Claude and Nathaniel and Gene, even if only by video. And while I will not be quoting from Led Zeppelin, we do continue on in the same vein today with our scripture readings and our celebration of the ascension of Jesus. These final ten days of the Easter season, between Ascension and Pentecost, really are worthy of the joyful attention of all Christians.
St. Mary the Virgin Anglican Church, Regina, Fifth Sunday after Easter, May 17, 2020. Canon Claude Schroeder
Well, it’s a been a most unusual Easter season, where in the midst of a global pandemic, for the last six Sundays the Church has been celebrating the joy of the Resurrection, the appearances of the Risen Lord to his first disciples, and His being among us still. This Thursday, being the 40th day after Easter, we will celebrate the Ascension of the Lord, which begins a 10 day period of prayerful waiting and anticipation of the celebration of Pentecost, and the fulfilment of Jesus’ promise in the sending of the Holy Spirit.
So liturgically we are approaching a bit of a turning point, and this is reflected in our Scripture readings for today.