Today’s readings should cause all of us to stop and ponder.
over what the Jews had done to Jerusalem
and predicted the Temple’s destruction
which would come some 40 years later.
The Jewish people had been freed from their captivity of sin within Egypt
and then led to the Promised Land.
And yet they failed God, over and over,
and corrupted His Laws and His Temple.
And once again, we are shown their disobedience
that we may learn from their mistakes.
His people had not keep His House
as a House of Prayer,
for they had made it into a den of thieves,
as marketing and the changing of money had replaced invaded upon the space for Holy Worship;
and today within the Church itself,
we see the same,
as attempts are made – even changing the Gospel, and some market Jesus for a profit.
Paul reminds us in his letter to the “Corinthians” as they were:
“Carried away unto dumb idols” just as many of us today:
“even bow and pray to the neon Gods and statues”
that (we) have made…”
And many today who accurse Jesus
Do not even know Jesus,
as He and His message
has been clouded and confused by so many.
Isaiah even warns us,: Isa 26:13 KJV – 13 when he says:
O LORD our God,
other lords beside thee
have had dominion over us;
but by thee only
will we make mention of thy name.
So it is clear that we must understand and know
that our blessings come only from our Lord Jesus Christ,
who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings (Ephesians)…
thus we only become accursed, when we are “separated from Him” (Rom 9:3 ).
Therefore it is important that His Church remains true and enriches our relationship with Him,
Not just maintaining, but growing our true relationship with Him.
Paul, in His Epistle, does not want us to be ignorant
(not to know, nor understand; thus being prone to err.)
Yes, it is Paul that makes clear that the Church has diversities:
of administration and of operations:
and of individuals who are given different gifts,
of prophecy and discernment,
of many tongues and the interpreting of those tongues.
But all or our diversities must work together
which brings a wholeness and completeness of the Christian faith.
All must spring forth from that
one Spirit, THE HOLY GHOST…
which solidifies Him within our heart, souls and minds.
Paul reminds the Corinthians, that the Church is not a popularity contest,
between this person or this prophet or the next.
Followers of Jesus must reflect Love for God and of Neighbors,
and it is within the resurrection of Jesus Christ
that we find our unity.
Yes, we are Christians first!
And it is within this deep relationship with God
that makes the gospel more than
or a recipe for private spirituality;
for it is within the Gospel,
that our lives are open for a whole new realm.
It is Jesus only, which carries the covenant story of God and Israel to its culmination.
Just as Moses lead the Jews to the Promise Land,
Jesus leads us to an eternal Life with God
But unlike the Jews, we must remain faithful
AND TRUSTING TOTALLY AND COMPLETELY IN HIS WORD AND SPIRIT.
For this important mission,
His Church must remain true to Him above all else –
above all of the powers of this world.
This is why St. Michael’s must always be a
TRUE House of Prayer which is open to all.
This is where Christ feeds us
and gives us strength
as we are cleansed of our sins.
That is why His doors should be open every day
and why His people should flock to His House every day.
Jesus explains love to us as
Love of God and Neighbor (the Summary of the Law.)
they are not independent one from the other
but are completely and totally connected.
Unlike what was happening in Corinth,
we must keep worship gatherings orderly
and focused on Him.
We must never get distracted from the Church’s principle mission.
Unfortunately some today make an attempt to make and modernize a sales pitch for Jesus ,
or for this God or that God–
(or this cause or that cause.)
in love for
God and neighbors
That other believers, and non-believers, are built up as they are shown a light within their darkness,
as they slowly begin to hear the word of God
The question for us this morning
Are we going to be as the Jews
(who often became dis-satisfied with their God?)
Or, are we going to see and hear, and be faithful,
as we recognize
the visitation of God with us,
through His only begotten, Jesus Christ
– in whom and through whom can we only find true Peace?
A Peace which is restful and peaceful state of a soul,
knowing that our salvation is ONLY through Jesus Christ,
thus providing a feeling of completeness,
of being made whole, again.
I would call it, “a restoration”, of what God has already made good; yes, He made each of us, and then proclaimed it “very good.”
As Jesus offers “His” peace to us,
We must do the same as He has taught us…as we offer His Peace to one another…
Remembering that all is done for one purpose
Of which is too build up His Kingdom, His Way (!!!!)
within a sinful and crumbling world.
Now let us, St. Michael the Archangel, go forth,
not just maintaining His Kingdom,
but growing it expanding it to our next generation of Christians…
Not standing still, but moving forward always and constantly under His guidance