Sunday, January 19, 2014
The Second Sunday after the Epiphany - Roy Morales-Kuhn, Bishop and Pastor - St. Paul's Anglican Church - Anglican Orthodox Church
Bishop Roy is pastor of the biggest AOC parish West of the Mississippi and was consecrated today as a Bishop and is in charge of the Diocese of MidAmerica. Roy will be a great bishop and continue as a great pastor, nothing less is in him.
Second Second after Epiphany
19 January 2014
The Epistle; Romans 12: 6 - 16
The Gospel Mark 1:1 - 11
Humility and glory; quiet dignity and greatness; being a servant and being the God of the Universe. In our scripture readings today we see all of these concepts juxtaposition in so many ways. How can the God of Creation also be a servant of man?
How can one so exalted be so humble and meek?
To answer some of these paradoxes and seemingly conflicting ideas, we need to understand the plan, the grand plan of God, the creator. Why did he send his only Son, in utmost humility, born in a lowly place, and yet born to fulfil all prophesy about his coming? Down through the ages the prophets foretold his coming, where, and even how, but only those who believed seemed to understand what it all meant. And sometime even they didn’t, as we see the questions Peter and some of the other disciples kept asking Jesus about the coming of his kingdom.
What are we to understand? If you read over the “inventory” of talents that believers are ‘gifted’ with, you can begin to understand what we are to do.
A. Prophesy ; now that the canon of Scripture is closed, prophesy could be interpreted as a person who can see what may happen if certain actions are taken OR not taken. True Biblical prophets were and are 100% correct. They were not partly right, somewhat right, they were dead on right. That which they prophesied came true. We have that evidence in the whole Advent season. We see it as read in the Old Testament and fulfilled in the New, time and again. Because of this 100% record of fulfillment, we can also believe that all prophesy yet to come will also be fulfilled 100%. Jesus Christ will return one day to set-up his Kingdom that will have no end.
B. Serving; service is in all things Christian, whether you are a nursery worker, cook funeral lunches, a door greeter, a vestryman, or just volunteer at any worthy cause. Service is everywhere. The apostles were called upon so much to serve, that they finally had to set aside a group of young men to do that work, the deacon became a vital member of the church body, he was able to help with taking care of the physical needs of the church body, while the apostles would take care of the spiritual. The deacon, priest and bishop are also servants to the people for the furtherance of the Kingdom.
C. Teaching; very much like service, teaching can be time consuming, but very fulfilling. To teach you must have a certain amount of patience, an ability to share ideas, information, directions, and concepts. In the realm of Sunday School, or preparing for Confirmation, one must be able to convey the Word of God to the student in a way that is both loving and yet firm. The importance of our belief and the importance of being able to give reason for why and what we believe is the best defense against heresy. Heresy that is sweeping the Church today, taking with it many “soft” believer, people who don’t understand their faith or are unable to defend against the wiles of the Evil One as presented by every day life. Good teachers can be found, a good teacher can also be cultivated, a talent that many times lies dormant, simply because no one asks that person to help in the teaching process.
D. Encouraging; a really daunting task. To be able to get a person or people encouraged about their lot, to help them see that there is a way out of what seems a hopeless mess, this is a talent. I have known people in my life who have stepped in and given me a boost, shown me that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, there is a way to see this crisis through, and even survive, not only to the next day but for the rest of my life. These encouragers are so important, especially today, they not only help us on the way, but they pray for us, they hold us up to the Throne of God, seeking His help in our journey. One of the strongest talents of an encourager is the ability to guide kindly and yet firmly, to pray without ceasing, and to always seek God in the endeavor they are encouraging. One of the best examples of encouragers are the ‘prayer-partners’ such as what we see with the AOC prayer bulletins issued from the National office almost everyday.
E. Contributing; one who has can help those who don’t. Notice St. Paul writes to give generously, but not all. One who has the talent to make and multiply wealth is to share, but not bankrupt themselves, otherwise they will be of no use to anyone. Wealth in the Bible is not condemned, it is the worship of wealth, the love of money, the hoarding of coins that is condemned, not wealth. Christ reminded us that the poor will be with you always. He also reminds us to help them, not condemn them. Again, a tension but not an impossible task, one can be wealthy and be a Christ follower. Be wise with your wealth, it will not go with you when you are gone.
F. Leadership; very short and sweet. Govern diligently. To be on guard for corruption, evil doings, to follow the civil laws as they prevent chaos, but most especially to be diligent, which sounds more like following the law of the land, without corruption. Lead the people. We see this concept outlined in the ordering of deacons, priest, and bishops. But it also applies to those who help the church function on a day to day basis, monthly, annually and in many cases as long as the church endures here on earth.
G. Mercy; showing mercy as St. Paul writes. Being able to forgive, being able to see the positive in a person, especially if they have fouled up once or twice. It is so hard to be merciful, if we are quick to condemn and hold people accountable for something, that in most cases is not that important. Remember the parable of the talents, and the debts one fellow has with his boss, his boss forgives him of his debts, then the forgiven turns on one below him and is without mercy on the debt the fellow below him owes the forgiven. And remember the boss then comes and rectifies the situation, he without mercy is cast out.
Let us think upon our talents, think about those things we are gifted with from our Creator, then pray that God gives us an opportunity to act upon these gifts and to use them to the Glory of God.
Let us pray:
ather, we ask that you illume us with your Holy Spirit, help us to see what work we have been set aside for, the work that you have for us to do, for the advancement of your Kingdom, give us the sense of urgency, the need is great, the workers are few. These things we ask in the Name of God the Father Almighty, Christ Jesus his Only Son, and the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of life, now and forever, Amen
“ As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith”