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From St. Bartholomew the Great: a Choral Eucharist for the Second Sunday of Lent

February 28, 2021

If you are looking for an online service for this Sunday, here is another option from the Church of St. Bartholomew the Great in London. The sermon is by Fr. Jonathan Livingstone, and the readings are: First Reading: Genesis 17:1–7,15,16; Epistle: Romans 4:13​–25; Gospel: Mark 8:31​–38.

The Second Sunday in Lent: “Lord, help me!”

February 27, 2021

Fr. Bill Klock this week again makes several excellent points about the readings for this Sunday, but in particular I liked the linkage to last week with its “do not receive the grace of God in vain.”. He writes: “As it was in Israel, so sin (and holiness) are serious business in the Church. We cannot argue for freedom and license on the grounds that Jesus forgives sins (How often do we say, “God will forgive me,” before we dive into something we know is wrong?), because to do so ignores our vocation. Christianity is not merely about the forgiveness of sins. Christianity is about God forgiving our sins so that we can be restored to his presence and to our vocation of stewarding his promises and his good news.” True repentance does necessarily entail subsequently seeking after holiness!

The Anglican Expositor

This is part of a series of posts on preaching the Church Year in narrative-historical perspective. More on this project can be found in this introduction.

The Second Sunday in Lent was originally a “vacant” Sunday with no assigned liturgical propers. This was due to the lengthy vigil, ordination, and Mass of Ember Saturday. Our current propers are those of the Sarum Missal. The Collect originated with the Gregorian Sacramentary and the Epistle appears to have the same origin. While there is a clear connection between the Collect and the Epistle, it is difficult to find such a clear connection between the Epistle and the Gospel. It has also been noted that the events of the Gospel are out of sequence with the otherwise chronological arrangement of the other Lenten Gospels. It is possible that when the Sarum Missal was compiled, this Gospel was “borrowed” from a set of…

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A thought for Lent: J.C. Ryle on pursuing holiness

February 26, 2021

This quote from a tract by Ryle, titled Christ is All, is not a bad thought for Lent:

I pity those who try to be holy without Christ! Your labor is all in vain. You are putting money in a bag with holes. You are pouring water into a sieve. You are rolling a huge round stone uphill. You are building up a wall with untempered mortar. Believe me, you are beginning at the wrong end. You must come to Christ first, and He shall give you His sanctifying Spirit. You must learn to say with Paul, “I can do all things through Christ which strengthens me.” (Phil. 4:13)

Let us seek to grow closer to Christ in this season, letting His Spirit sanctify and strengthen us.

From The Pastor’s Heart: Dominic Steele on the Ravi Zacharias sexual misconduct

February 25, 2021

This is a painful subject indeed for many of us, and certainly so if you are like me in having seen Ravi Zacharias as one who we could look up to as a preeminent Christian apologist of our time. But Dominic Steele of The Pastor’s Heart has made available a video of an excerpt from a recent address at Village Church Annandale, Sydney and the congregational question time that followed. I think that anyone who is wrestling with this news will find this helpful.

Something Different: “O, The Deep, Deep Love of Jesus”

February 24, 2021

You may recall that the hymn “O, The Deep, Deep Love of Jesus” is one of my favorites. Here, from Simon Khorolskiy with violinist Katie Gayduchik, is a rendition of this hymn that I would say imparts a particularly Russian flavor to it.

The Anglican Curmudgeon: “Dennis Canon Dead in Texas”

February 23, 2021

To some extent I would say that the Dennis Canon as promulgated and enforced by The Episcopal Church has impeded any efforts by dissident churches to leave. It now appears that this may be coming to an end, at least in Texas, as the U.S. Supreme Court has refused to grant review of the decision in May 2020 in favor of the Diocese of Fort Worth by the Texas Supreme Court. While I am not a legal scholar at all, A.S. Haley of The Anglican Curmudgeon is – and I strongly recommend reading his post titled Dennis Canon Dead in Texas. He does an excellent job of commenting on this situation, and goes on to note that “The success in Texas leaves just one long-standing ECUSA dispute still festering: its pursuit of Bishop Mark Lawrence and his Diocese of South Carolina.” Hopefully this too will come to an end soon.

The Rev. Dick Lucas: “Union with Christ” (John 7:1-53, John 2:1-25)

February 22, 2021

Here is the fifth message in a series by the Rev. Dick Lucas, which has the somewhat arresting title “The bones of John”.  His purpose in this talk series is “to discover the structure of John’s Gospel and how it carries the message of the book. Aimed in the first instance at the Bible teacher, it lays out foundations on which a sermon series can be built, starting with the towering Christ of the prologue.”

This fifth message is titled Union with Christ and it covers John 7:1-53 and John 2:1-25. The notes say: “The new life Christ brings requires no temple. He dwells in the believer, and the believer in him, so the temple becomes obsolete. This is the third hallmark of present salvation and is found in chapters 2 and 7.” As usual I highly commend this series to you.

From All Saints Anglican Church of San Antonio: Ante-Communion for the 1st Sunday in Lent

February 21, 2021

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.

With Great Litany, According to the American 1928 Book of Common Prayer and the 1940 Hymnal

  • Opening Hymn: #59 “Lord Who Throughout These Forty Days”
  • Collect for Purity: Page 67, BCP
  • Summary of the Law & Responses: Page 69-70, BCP
  • Collect of the Day: Lent 1 – Page 125, BCP
  • Collect for the Seasons: Ash Wednesday – Page 124, BCP
  • Epistle: 2 Corinthians 6:1 – Page 126, BCP
  • Gospel: Matthew 4:1 – Page 126, BCP
  • Nicene Creed: Page 71, BCP
  • Great Litany: Pages 54-58, 59, BCP
  • Final Blessing: Page 84, BCP

The First Sunday in Lent: Through Death to Life

February 20, 2021

Fr. Bill Klock brings out one major point in his thoughts on the readings for the First Sunday in Lent: the Apostle Paul’s admonition that we should not receive the grace of God in vain. There are of course other points that he makes, but this one I found most thought-provoking. Have we been transformed by the renewing of our minds through His grace? This is definitely something to think about this Lent.

The Anglican Expositor

This is part of a series of posts on preaching the Church Year in narrative-historical perspective. More on this project can be found in this introduction.

The Epistle and Gospel for the First Sunday in Lent are those of the Sarum and Roman missals. The Gospel recounting Jesus’ temptation by the devil is appointed universally for this Sunday, Jesus’ forty days of fasting being a model for our own forty-day Lenten fast. Massey Shepherd writes, “Our Lenten propers for the Sundays are remnants of a daily course of readings contained in the ancient and medieval service books, drawn up with particular reference to the need of candidates for Baptism at Easter and for penitents seeking readmission to Communion. The Sunday Epistles set forth the wide difference between the ethical and spiritual standards of life accepted in heathen society and those which are fostered in the community of the Church.”

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From Stand Firm: “Fallen Pastors in a Fallen World: Celebrities, Evangelicals, and Sex”

February 19, 2021

As it happens, this is a very timely podcast from the folks at Stand Firm: Fallen Pastors in a Fallen World: Celebrities, Evangelicals, and Sex.