A grateful nation thanks it’s veterans!
November 11, 2019
We recently celebrated All Saints’ Day. Saints are people who are sanctified, or made holy by the love of God. Saints are not perfect, they are human like the rest of us. We can aspire to being saints. In fact, we do this every Sunday. Here is the prayer we say at the conclusion of the Eucharist (2019 version):
Almighty and everliving God, we thank you for feeding us, in these holy mysteries, with the spiritual food of the most precious Body and Blood of your Son our Savior Jesus Christ; and for assuring us, through this Sacrament, of your favor and goodness towards us; that we are true members of the mystical body of your Son, the blessed company of all faithful people; and are also heirs, through hope, of your everlasting kingdom. And we humbly as you, heavenly Father, to assist us with your grace, that we may continue in that holy fellowship, and do all the good works that you have prepared for us to walk in; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be all honor and glory, now and forever.
We pray for things we are confident that God will give us, so the words “assuring us,” “true members,” “blessed company,” and “heirs” are comforting reminders that God has promised to save all his followers, not just the famous saints. Even people who sin (and that is all of us) are saved if we trust in God.
So the answer to the question, “Are you a saint?” is “Yes, I can be because God helps me!”
The church recalls those who have gone before us as faithful servants of Christ. Join us for a service recognizing All Saints Day on Friday – Nov. 1, 2019 at 7:00 p.m.
John Newton (1725-1807) was a slave owner, but he changed his life and became a Christian minister. In thankfulness for his opportunity to recognize his errors and repent, he wrote a song that has given hope to many:
Amazing grace! How sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found; was blind, but now I see.
‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear, and grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear the hour I first believed!
Through many dangers, toils, and snares I have already come;
‘Tis grace that brought me safe thus far, and grace will lead me home.
“Grace” means the undeserved gift of God. Newton realized that happiness comes from recognizing our limitations and relying on the precious love of God. How much does God love us? He sent his only son, Jesus, so that everyone who believes in him may not be lost, but may have eternal life.
October 24, 2019 – Thursday Evening & The Purpose of Life:
When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst, I the Lord will hear them.1
There be many that say, Who will shew us any good?2 What hath man of all his labour, and of the vexation of his heart, wherein he hath laboured under the sun? For all his days are sorrows, and his travail grief; yea, his heart taketh not rest in the night. All is vanity and vexation of spirit.3 They have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.4
Him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.5 I will pour water upon him that is thirsty.6 Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.7
O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is.8
1Isa 41:17; 2Psa 4:6; 3Ecc 2:22,23,17; 4Jer 2:13; 5Joh 6:37; 6Isa 44:3; 7Mat 5:6; 8Psa 63:1;
(From Bagster’s Daily Light – KJV)
October 23 is the feast day of James, the brother of Jesus. To learn about his life, we have to put together several clues from the New Testament.
Matthew 13:55 has residents of Nazareth, Jesus’ home town, exclaiming in wonder, “Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers? This is the carpenter’s son, surely? In not his mother the woman called Mary, and his brothers James and Joseph and Simon and Jude?” (Jerusalem Bible translation)
John 7:2-5 says that “Not even his brothers, in fact, had faith in him.” Hebrew and Aramaic have no separate word for “cousin,” but use the same word to refer to both brothers and cousins, so this reference is not very precise, but it has traditionally been held that James did not believe in Jesus until after the Resurrection.
Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians, 15:5-8, recounts post-Resurrection appearances to Peter (“Cephas” in Greek), to the twelve apostles, then to five hundred more, then to James.
In the Acts of the Apostles, 12:17, Peter, having miraculously escaped from jail, leaves a message for “James and the brothers.”
Later in the Acts of the Apostles, 15:13 ff., when a theological controversy arises in Jerusalem, James appears to be in charge and he formulates the official decision of the church council.
In his letter to the Galatians, 2:9, Paul describes a visit to Jerusalem where he met with James, Peter, and John, “these pillars [of the church].”
During Paul’s final visit to Jerusalem, he is described (Acts 21:18) as visiting “James, and all the elders were present.”
The contemporary Jewish historian Josephus describes James as “the brother of the so-called Christ” and says that he was much respected for his piety. James was reportedly killed by stoning in A.D. 62 or 63.
In 2002 it was reported that an ossuary (a stone box used for storing bones) had been found with the inscription in Aramaic, “James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus.” If genuine, this artifact could be a contemporary physical witness to the life and death of James.
After James’ death, the church in Jerusalem watched with concern as Jewish rebels risked more and more open conflict with occupying Roman troops. Finally, following warnings that Jesus had given, the Christian church left Jerusalem in time to avoid the total destruction of the city by Rome in 70 A.D.
James presided over a significant controversy in the early church about whether new Christians needed to first become Jews (final answer: no). This is reflected in the following prayer:
Lord Jesus Christ, who set your brother James on the throne of Your church in Jerusalem: Grant that as he continually interceded for the sins of your people, and worked to reconcile in one body both Jew and Gentile; so your Church may give itself continually to prayer and to the reconciliation of all who are at variance and enmity, and may ever be an effectual witness for the salvation of all mankind. Grant this, O Son of Man, who are on the right hand of the Father, in the unity of the Spirit, now and ever. Amen!
Sin is failure to do what God wants us to do. There are greater and lesser sins, but it is hard to deny that, to some degree or another, each of us sins every day. This thought has disturbed Christians for centuries. Some have feared that if they sin after being baptized, then maybe the baptism didn’t “take” and they will not be saved. Others turn their anxiety outward and tear down figures of the past because, at some time or another, they committed sin. Others rationalize that “it’s not really sin” if we limit ourselves to gossip and a white lie or two.
The Anglican tradition has always taken a realistic view, as reflected in the following excerpts from the Articles of Religion (1571):
Christ in the truth of our nature was made like unto us in all things, sin only except, from which he was clearly void . . . But all we the rest, although baptized, and born again in Christ, yet offend in many things; and if we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. [From Article XV]
Not every deadly sin willingly committed after Baptism is sin against the Holy Ghost, and unpardonable. Wherefore the grant of repentance is not to be denied to such as fall into sin after Baptism. After we have received the Holy Ghost, we may depart from grace given, and fall into sin, and by the grace of God we may arise again, and amend our lives. [From Article XVI]
The Baptism liturgy includes a prayer for the newly baptized persons, as follows, “That they may persevere in resisting evil, and, whenever they fall into sin, repent and return to the Lord.” Notice that it doesn’t say “if” they fall into sin, but “when.”
All of this is firmly based on the Bible. Remember that Jesus’ closest followers ran away and hid when he was arrested and executed. Peter even lied to save himself. But Jesus forgave all of them.
So is sin OK with God? No. Should we go ahead and sin some more, so that God has more to forgive? By no means.
Jesus came to save us from our sins so that we can live forever with God. The Holy Spirit is available to help us. Therefore we have good reason to hope for the future. What would strengthen that hope? We could get together with other Christians to confess our sins, pray for forgiveness, and participate in the sacrament of bread and wine that Jesus instituted for his followers. Now where could we do that?
In honor of St. Francis
Bring your pet for special
Sunday, October 6th at Noon
St. Barnabas Anglican church
2340 N. 155th
Shoreline, WA 98133
Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time.1
Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished.2
O Lord, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand. Be not wroth very sore, O Lord, neither remember iniquity for ever: behold, see we beseech thee, we are all thy people.3 Thou hast chastised me, and I was chastised, as a bullock unaccustomed to the yoke: turn thou me, and I shall be turned; for thou art the Lord my God. Surely after that I was turned, I repented; and after that I was instructed, I smote upon my thigh: I was ashamed, yea, even confounded, because I did bear the reproach of my youth.4 It is good for a man that he bear the yoke in his youth.5
Affliction cometh not forth of the dust, neither doth trouble spring out of the ground; yet man is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward.6
11Pe 5:6; 2Pro 16:5; 3Isa 64:8,9; 4Jer 31:18,19; 5Lam 3:27; 6Job 5:6,7; (Bagster’s Daily Light KJV)
Thanks to generous donations, our project to replace our two aging furnaces is proceeding. The furnace at the north end of the church building has been replaced, just in time for the cooler temperatures of fall.
Speaking of being strangely warmed, in 1738, John Wesley was attending a church service. While listening to the preacher who was “describing the change which God works in the heart through faith in Christ, I felt my heart strangely warmed. I felt I did trust in Christ, Christ alone for salvation; and an assurance was given me that He had taken away my sins, even mine, and saved me from the law of sin and death.” Wesley went on to be a powerful preacher throughout England. His Methodist movement continues today.
“Trust in Christ, Christ alone for salvation.” That message sounds from the earliest writing of St. Paul and gives us hope today. We can’t save ourselves, but Christ can save us. If you are asked, “What do they do at that church,” the answer is, “They are learning to trust Christ, Christ alone for salvation!”