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The Rev. Dr. Eric Parker: “A Happy Life is a Blessed Life”: A Sermon for the 14th Sunday after Trinity, 2020

September 18, 2020

From St. Paul’s Anglican Church in Lexington, Virginia, here is a sermon by the Rev. Dr. Eric Parker, titled “A Happy Life is a Blessed Life”. The notes say that “’Blessed is he whose unrighteousness is forgiven, and whose sin is covered.’ The story of the ten lepers teaches us that in this life there is only one way to find true happiness, by seeking the One who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and by living a life that is grateful and devoted to Him above all things.”

The Rev. Dr. Benjamin Bernier: “Arise, your faith has made you whole”

September 16, 2020

From the Rev. Benjamin Bernier of Providence REC in Corpus Christi, Texas, here is a message titled “Arise, your faith has made you whole” that is based on the Parable of the Ten Lepers.  I would commend this message to anyone as Fr. Bernier distills the message of this parable very well:

Let us, therefore, learn from this group of ten how to live upon this redeemed world. The cross did for the world what Christ did for this group of ten, but nine went on to seek and enjoy the temporal benefits they received, and only one returned to give thanks to God and obtain a greater blessing than the restoration of temporal health.

He came with thanksgiving worshipping God at the feet of Christ the Lord. This is what life is all about. This is how we overcome the world with its anxiety, fear, and despair.

A thought about the Prayer for “In the time of any common Plague or Sickness”

September 15, 2020

The thought has occurred to me this week that the BCP’s Prayer for “In the time of any common Plague or Sickness” could apply not only to Covid-19, that plague that certainly has everyone’s attention worldwide.  It could as well be applied to spiritual sickness such as that which we are seeing currently in the discord and strife affecting the United States as well as other countries.  May we ask the Lord to “withdraw from us this plague and grievous sickness”, for that is certainly what it is.

Now available for iPhone and iPad: an app for the 2019 Book of Common Prayer

September 14, 2020

If you use the 2019 Book of Common Prayer from the ACNA and have an iPhone or iPad, you may want to check out this new app for the 2019 BCP.  At this time there does not seem to be an Android version available, but give it time.

From All Saints Anglican Church of San Antonio: a Chanted Morning Prayer for the 14th Sunday After Trinity

September 13, 2020

If you are looking for an online service for this Sunday, try this 1928 BCP service, with the 1940 Hymnal, from All Saints Anglican Church of San Antonio, done by Fr. Isaac Rehberg.  I think you will agree that it is very well done, and you will be blessed.  I will copy the order of worship below the video.

*Opening Hymn: #277 “From All that Dwell Below the Sky”

*Morning Prayer Begins on Page 3, BCP

*Venite (Page 9, BCP; Page 325, St. Dunstan’s Plainsong Psalter)

*Psalms 19 (Page 363, BCP; Page 21, Psalter); 24 (Page 368, BCP; Page 28, Psalter)

*1st Lesson: Micah 6:1-8

*1st Canticle: Te Deum (Page 10, BCP; Page 351, Psalter)

*2nd Lesson: Luke 17:11-19 (Page 209, BCP)

*2nd Canticle: Benedictus (Page 14, BCP; Page 397 Psalter)

*Collect for the Day: Trinity 14 (Page 209 BCP)

*Closing Hymn: #278 “All Creatures that on Earth do Dwell”

Prof. Victor Davis Hanson: “The Origins of Western Civilization”

September 12, 2020

From Prof. Victor Davis Hanson, here is a rather good presentation on “The Origins of Western Civilization”.  I understand that this is to be the first in an 8-part series on “The Odyssey of Western Civilization” by the Freedom Academy.  The YouTube notes say “The West arose in a particular time and place, Greece in the eighth century B.C., during the dark age that followed the collapse of Mycenaean civilization. An agricultural revolution gave rise to the autonomous yeoman farmer, backbone of the democratic city-state. Their innovations included constitutional government, free-market economics, private property and individual liberty – concepts unknown in Mycenae, not to mention Egypt and Mesopotamia. Here the West begins.”

This should be an excellent series to help us better understand how Western civilization arose – and perhaps be able to help it continue to flourish.

From Stand Firm: “The Sledgehammer of God? Discipline and Restoration in the Church”

September 11, 2020

From the Stand Firm podcast, here is a discussion titled The Sledgehammer of God? Discipline and Restoration in the Church.  The notes say “In this episode of the Stand Firm podcast, Matt, Jady, and Nick talk about Jesus’ plan for discipline in the church, the difference between public and private sin and rebuke, and the Good News that comes along with repentance, reconciliation, and restoration.”  This is always a relevant topic and I suppose it will remain so this side of Heaven.

From The North American Anglican: “Confirmation in Classical Anglicanism”

September 10, 2020

A number of years (over a decade, actually) ago I wrote my post Thoughts on Baptism and had thought about writing a similar post on Confirmation.  I never quite figured out how to address that subject, though.  Well, it turns out that Drew Keane has written a very good essay on the topic, Confirmation in Classical Anglicanism, at The North American Anglican.  He writes:

The classical Anglican practice of confirmation and its place in the process of Christian initiation was sharply criticized by the twentieth century liturgical movement. Since the promulgation of the 1979 Prayer Book it has frequently been called “a rite in search of a theology.” In fact, many contemporary Anglican liturgical scholars and theologians would like to see the rite altogether eliminated, despite popular attachment to it. I, however, think the rite not only has a theology, but a sound one presented in the 1662 Book of Common Prayer, and will sketch out a case for it here.

In my opinion he has done an excellent job and I commend Confirmation in Classical Anglicanism to you.

The Rev. Bart Gingerich: “What must I do to inherit eternal life?”

September 9, 2020

From the Rev. Bart Gingerich of St. Jude’s Anglican Church in Richmond, Virginia, here is his sermon for this past Sunday.  The notes say: “On this Thirteenth Sunday after Trinity, we are presented with a profound question: what must I do to inherit eternal life? In answer, Fr. Bart Gingerich leads us through our Lord’s parable of the Good Samaritan.”

A repost: Thinking about Anglican eschatology

September 8, 2020

This post seems even more relevant to me now, given the pandemic and unrest we are now seeing, so I thought I would mention it again.

In thinking about the Anglican approach to eschatology (and indeed, pretty much the universal Church’s approach to eschatology before 1830), one thing that has to be remembered is that the currently popular doctrine of a “pre-tribulation Rapture” was actually not really taught until about 1830 when it began to be taught by J.N. Darby and rapidly gained a following.  So…prior to 1830 Anglican writers really did not address the issue of eschatology that much, because it really was not an issue then.  The Articles of Religion do not really touch on this, as they are a 16th Century document.
Interestingly enough, Francis J. Hall, who as you may recall was Anglo-Catholic, in his Volume X wrote a fairly good and sound exposition on eschatology.  That may be to some extent because he did indeed seek to consider doctrine from a systematic approach.  That volume can be accessed here.
The relevant chapter is Chapter V, pages 129-147, where he talks about the Day of the Lord, and at page 140 he begins to address the concept of the millennium.
From my own perspective, I tend to regard “end-times” speculation askance.  To me it is something that we are not really going to understand until we live through it.  That being said, I personally think the idea of a “pre-tribulation Rapture” is not really supported in Scripture and for that matter in the historic teachings of the Church.  To me it is actually dangerous to some extent because it could promote an “escapist” attitude that we in the Western Church will always be spared from tribulation, particularly what is called the “Great Tribulation”.  What will happen to people who have always been taught this if they find themselves going through it?
That being said, I suppose I have been thinking about this some recently because it seems we have conditions being created on a world-wide scale that could bring on a world-wide tribulation: (1) a moral falling away that reminds me of the “falling away” in 2 Thessalonians 2:3, this in turn leading to (2) a breakdown in order and conduct (including financial and economic matters), and at the same time (3) an increase in the power of the central state.  To me these three factors make a world-wide tribulation more likely than ever in history.
This is not something I want to dwell on and morbidly speculate about.  But it does give me some incentive to say that Christians should be striving towards growth in Godliness, seeking to be more conformed unto the image of Christ, that we might be able to endure such times if we do find ourselves called to do so.