Easter 3 May 12 2019 Fr. Michael Cawthon
We are a “fellowship of Christ’s Religion”
“servants of God”
and our Lord Jesus tells us in the Gospel, that:
“I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice…
Christ’s Religion. Servants of God. Till; He will see us again.
How does this all work?
This is an important discussion for today’s time:
For if we are in the “fellowship of Christ’s Religion”, then
we must avoid those things that are contrary to Him;
“as servants” of God:
we are to be of His Will, not ours,
Yet many make themselves
the “the masters” of their faith (a faith;)
of which (?) they are to be the servants?
When this is done a new faith can emerge, which challenges the Christian Faith itself:
as it is “evolved” in something new that pleases man and not God,
something other than: defined by the church itself?
It is Jesus who says that He “will see us again;” unfortunately, usually due to our decisions, He can become distant to us:
And yet in the Gospel; His promise is to return
and there will be
A great “Joy (that ) no man can take away.”
We are assured of these words as our Lord tells us: (Jhn 14:2)
In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you.
I go to prepare a place for you.
And if I go and prepare a place for you,
I will come again,
and receive you unto myself;
that where I am, there ye may be also.
And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know.
So why does His “modern” Church constantly look for a “new” and “exciting” and a “revised” Jesus:
through new interpretations of His words,
changes are promoted to His religion.
It is Jesus Col 1:18: ‘And … he is the head of the body, the church’’;
Satan often works in small degrees with a slight turn here and there,
as a snake moves and slithers slowly so does sin,
maybe just a degree or two.
of which the immediate change often seems small –
not that important…
but as time passes,
these small changes take on their own life, and identity.
A one degree change in direction, after a few yards, may not appear to be much, but if continued;
that slight change, over the miles (or years),
grows and becomes greater and greater.
For this reason, the church early in its history, agreed that important matters should not be decided by this individual or that individual;
matters pertaining to Christ’s Church, are of such magnitude, as to not be left to man.
Matters of “Christ Church” must be decided by “Christ Church.”
And we are told in Hebrews 8:2-3:
We have such an high priest …
A minister of the sanctuary …
which the Lord pitched, and not man.”
And this is reconfirmed in 9:11 …
Christ being come an high priest of good things to come,
by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands…
Who are we (?) to modernize and change His word?
The first Christian Church assembly, in scripture, occurs in The Acts of the Apostles, 15th chapter,
as it describes a church council held in Jerusalem.
As questions arose concerning circumcision,
as Paul and Barnabas went to Jerusalem.
This meeting is the first in a line in which the Church gathers together to address, not only important doctrinal issues,
but to further establish fellowship within the Church and to maintain the Church itself.
In a few months, in July, St. Michael’s delegation of clergy and Laity will travel to St. Alban’s for our 2019 synod.
Synod is not just a business meeting, an ecclesiastical legislative body,
it is the Church herself gathered,
the Church at worship,
in service and ministry,
the Church in movement, together.
In Acts 2 we read:
“And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.”
God’s will is, that we should be upon one foundation, and under one roof;
he that maketh men of one mind;
are to dwell in one house.
Therefore it is expressly noted that they in Acts:
where they prayed, ‘they prayed all together;’
when they heard, ‘they heard all together;’
when they broke bread, they did it all together.
All together ever: not some in one place,
and some in another;
but all ‘in one and the self-same place.’
For in truth,
division of places will not long be without division of minds.
Together within His Church must be our common ground.
The same Spirit, Who loves u na nim i ty, loves uniformity.
Thus the Church was begun, thus it must be continued.
As being of one of mind and place we, at our synod, will be electing our Bishop Coadjutor,
who in turn will become our next Bishop Ordinary.
This is an exciting time, but as well it can be a very dangerous time,
as temptations can arise to make a slight adjustment (just a degree or two.)
For this reason, pray that we remain within the same Spirit that has guided us for over two thousand years.
We are a Pilgrim People of God, His Church,
making our way – belonging to God,
His ‘called-out ones’ we are,
through this world into the next.
Everything we do, pray, say and think, as Christians,
should orientate us towards our ultimate and final goal;
our ultimate hope which is eternal life in Our Lord Jesus Christ.
As the vocation of a Christian – is as a pilgrimage, the wayfaring journey through this valley of tears,
we must gather together – in Synod, in Communion,
Christians, filtering their existence through the words of Holy Scriptures, often our life itself is described as a journey,
of coming from God and returning to God.
Ours daily pilgrimage should consists of,
Word and Sacrament,
within His Church.
Our Holy Mother, the Church,
is for us a Sign of the Kingdom,
and it is the Sacrament (outwardly and inwardly) of our pilgrimage to Jesus Christ.
He is the Mystery lived out – upon our Altars,
Eucharistically, day by day.
All this, thus fulfills the words of today’s reading:
Of “fellowship within Christ’s Religion”
As “servants of God”
Til “He” will see us again.
All of this is worthy of honor and duty in Honoring the King.
The hour cometh….