Our Church liturgy is full of themes that show us what Jesus did and said, thus revealing what we should do.
Two weeks ago we were told to “Be Open” and last week we spoke of “being moved” and not losing our first love.
Now this week’s Gospel speaks of God’s mercy as Jesus cleansed (He heals) the lepers.
And yet only one returns, and this one who returns, gives thanks;
and Jesus tells him (him alone) that it was his faith that had healed him (making him whole).
being moved to do as Jesus tells us,
and giving thanks to God is a pretty good example of how salvation works –
opened to the Holy Ghost,
moved to live a life of faith,
and always remembering to return to Christ to give thanks.
This points out the importance of being in Church every week, if not more often.
For if you missed one of the weeks of the past three,
then you are missing part of the picture (the story) that Scripture gives to us.
This is one of beauties of Anglicanism…our lectionary which walk us through the life and teaching of our Lord.
Anglicanism possesses a deep and rich tradition of Christian spirituality, and through the Church,
each of you are invited to grow in holiness, within the tradition of Anglicanism,
according to your individual spiritual personalities.
One can find as deep and rigorous a Christian discipline within Anglicanism, as one can be found anywhere,
but we do not have a “one size fits all” mentality.
Among us, discipline is not imposed (but it is expected,)
as each of you travel along your spiritual journey.
In worship we encounter the God of our salvation through the Scriptures that are read and shared.
Also, in worship, we remember Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, for the reconciliation of the world, as we celebrate the gift of Grace.
Through sacramental acts such as Baptism and the Holy Eucharist, we are drawn into the Divine life of the Body of Christ, which is His Church.
The Anglican tradition is deeply incarnational,
that is to say, that by the Incarnation of Christ we are all blessed.
Our physical bodies, as well as our spiritual bodies, are participants in the salvation that Christ offers,
and both (physically and spiritually) we are to be open to God.
In worship we assemble as the whole people of God.
lay, and clergy,
of all races,
and we are all made one by the spirit of the Risen Christ, as we all come together as His People in worship.
We are united by worship within the Church Universal as well,
as our prayers and praises are joined with the prayers and praises of those who have gone before us in the faith,
all those who will come after us,
and with the angels whose delight it is always to worship God.
We even sing with them a hymn of praise to Our God.
Is this not heavenly, to be as one – regardless of who we are –
and to praise and give thanks to the God that made us.
Is this not the world in which we would love to live.
Is this not the world the perfect example of how we wish our children to learn and live within this world?
And yet, empty seats sadly reveal that we have so far to go…
Many do not see the greatness and holiness which is laid out before us
as the words seem to many, to be just “words” describing the stuff that make up this world.
We hear the Word, but often, we are not moved to do them.
We allow the many obstacles of life to steal away the importance of life in Christ.
We allow this world to guide us and our families, as we have grown accustomed to the de-escalation of our faith
within our lives and families.
We as parents often seem to forget that we are the parents and our responsibility is to teach and protect our children.
The word “teach” is mentioned 109 times in scripture (in both Old and New Testament)
and yet we do not teach, as we allow the world to become the teachers of our children.
And yet, in Deu 11:18 we read “Therefore shall ye lay up, these my words, in your heart and in your soul, …
that they may be as frontlets between your eyes.
And ye shall teach them your children,
speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house,
and when thou walkest by the way,
when thou liest down,
and when thou risest up.
And thou shalt write them upon the door posts of thine house, and upon thy gates” –
So I ask, could the importance of teaching our children be any clearer.
This upcoming School Year – beginning next Sunday and the days following,
is going to be focused on teaching the adults and the children.
To invest the energy and time to learn the Word (The Scriptures) can become a labor and can become a chore;
therefore, Anglicans do not just stress the Word;
but as well, the Sacraments of the Church, which refreshes the body and soul and readies us for the journey ahead.
Our Goal at St. Michael’s is for each of you to fulfill your responsibility to yourself and your family.
So I ask the adults to take Deu 11:18 and print it, and carry it with you –
and when you feel weakened, frustrated, and confused –
pull out this passage from Deuteronomy and read it
as it will provide a priority to guide you and remind you
of your responsibility as a Christian Parents (Grand Parents or God Parents.)
Children, you need to understand that true happiness comes,
not from the stuff of this world, but from your Lord –
your God – Jesus Christ.
Strive to be within His loving arms,
Which, if done, will guide you and protect your soul from the evils of this world.
As a family, walk, talk, and live your Anglican Heritage together,
Feeding daily on His Word and His Sacraments.
Together, Word and Sacrament, will guide you and strengthened you
and will reveal to you a true love and joy can be found nowhere else.
Let us all together, Come unto Him and Walk with Him….
The hour cometh and now is…..