Author: pastordave2951

Adjunct Instructor at Metropolitan Christian University Pastor and Founder at DCWC Studies Systematic Theology at Metropolitan Christian University Studied at Graduate School Of Episcopal Studies Studied at Graduate School Of Episcopal Studies Studied Systematic Theology at Metropolitan Christian University Went to Fiorello LaGuardia High School of Music and Art Lives in Baltimore, Maryland From New York, New York Married Pronounces name DAY-vid DAY-vis Joined January 2008 dcwcbaltimore.wordpress.com

The Parable of the “Bags of Money”

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By: Rev. Fr. David J. Davis, DD, OSP

Matthew 25.14-30

Verse 14 “Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them. 15 To one he gave five talents of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. 16 The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more. 17 So also, the one with the two talents gained two more. 18 But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money. 19 After a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. 20 The man who had received the five talents brought the other five. `Master,’ he said, `you entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained five more.’ 21 His master replied, `Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ 22 The man with the two talents also came. `Master,’ he said, `you entrusted me with two talents; see, I have gained two more.’ 23 His master replied, `Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ 24 Then the man who had received the one talent came. `Master,’ he said, `I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed. 25 So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’ 26 His master replied, `You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed? 27 Well then, you should have put my money on deposit with the bankers, so that when I returned, I would have received it back with interest. 28 `Take the talent from him and give it to the one who has the ten talents. 29 For everyone who has will be given more, and he will have an abundance. Whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken from him. 30 And throw that worthless servant outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

 

You cannot examine this pericope of scripture and be contextually true without the ethical back story. Ethics is how we execute judgment, (the difference between perceived good, evil; right and wrong; excellence vs. mediocrity, or even a truth vs. a lie.) Ethics are the practices of you inner value system. What is not only important to you, but who you are; ..”for as a man thinketh in his heart, that is who they become.”

We are here this morning not to shout, or dance per se, but to grow and change. As we look at the text, we are immediately arrested by the dilemma of someone doing excellent, someone doing mediocre, and someone doing poorly.  Notice that the person who does the worst, unlike his counterparts starts off his accountability interview with an excuse already at hand and ready to go. This moment is not a moment of relationship, or family, it is a moment of accountability which is the lifeblood of relationship and family. Members of a group who are simply after benefits with no accountability for their behavior or performance, or productivity are bastards and parasites. What is accountability and why is this not a moment of responsibility? First let me tell you that what you are responsible for is what you were given not in review, but in instructions. I cannot hold you accountable for what I have not made you responsible for. Today you will not leave here without knowing what you are responsible for, and therefore from today forward, you are a steward who is accountable.

Accountability vs. Responsibility- The main difference between responsibility and accountability is that responsibility can be shared while accountability cannot. Notice all received the same instruction. Gays have the same instructions as straights. Poor and rich get the same instructions concerning tithing. Back biters, liars, fornicators, disrespectful folks, haters, jealous folks, envious people, all get the same instructions. Don’t just be a Christian; multiply. Be productive, and don’t just show up in the judgment with the same stuff I gave you. We all share the same responsibility. Be Ye Holy. Being accountable not only means being responsible for something but also ultimately being answerable for your actions. Also, accountability is something you hold a person to only after a task is done or not done. Responsibility can be before and/or after a task.

Theology of Stewardship

Stewardship is a theological belief that humans are responsible for the world, and should take care of it. Stewardship refers to the way time, talents, material possessions, or wealth are used or given for the service of God. A biblical world view of stewardship can be consciously defined as: “Utilizing and managing all resources God provides for the glory of God and the betterment of His creation.”[2] The central essence of biblical world view stewardship is managing everything God brings into the believers’ life in a manner that honors God and impacts eternity.

Stewardship begins and ends with the understanding of God’s ownership of all:

The immediate impact of this fact is the knowledge that we cannot pay God for anything since there is no currency that matches His budget.

“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.” (Revelation 22:13) He owns Time.

“The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it.” (Psalm 24:1) He owns all material substance.

“To the Lord your God belong the heavens, even the highest heavens, the earth and everything in it.” (Deuteronomy 10:14) He own the immaterial worlds.

“The land must not be sold permanently, because the land is mine and you are but aliens and my tenants.” (Leviticus 25:23)

“Who has a claim against me that I must pay? Everything under heaven belongs to me.” (Job 41:11)  He doesn’t deal with earthly monies, or currencies.

 

Stewardship is further supported and sustained theologically on the understanding of God’s holiness as found in such verse as: Genesis 1:2[1:2], Psalm 104, Psalm 113, 1 Chronicles 29:10-20, Colossians 1:16, and Revelation 1:8.

An example of stewardship is in Genesis 2:15. “And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the Garden of Eden to dress it and to keep it.” The drive to “serve the garden in which we have been placed” (also Genesis 2:15) sees Christian influence in political and practical affairs.

The concept is also seen in Leviticus 25:1-5 “The LORD said to Moses on Mount Sinai, 2 “Speak to the Israelites and say to them: `When you enter the land I am going to give you, the land itself must observe a Sabbath to the LORD. 3 For six years sow your fields, and for six years prune your vineyards and gather their crops. 4 But in the seventh year the land is to have a Sabbath of rest, a Sabbath to the LORD. Do not sow your fields or prune your vineyards. 5 Do not reap what grows of itself or harvest the grapes of your untended vines. The land is to have a year of rest.” The implication is that the land is not to be exhausted or abused for short-term gains.

Stewardship in Christianity follows from the belief that human beings are created by the same God who created the entire universe and everything in it. To look after the Earth, and thus God’s dominion, is the responsibility of the Christian steward. A useful quote explaining stewardship can be found in Psalm 24:1: “The Earth is the Lord’s and all that is in it, the world, and those who live in it”. A broader concept of stewardship is illustrated in Jesus’ parable of the “talents”, which refer to an amount of money but by implication (and by common use of the word in English) as “abilities.”Additionally, frequent references to the “tithe”, or giving of a “tenth” (the meaning of “tithe) are found throughout the Bible. The tithe represents the returning to God a significant, specific, and intentional portion of material gain. However, giving is not limited to the tithe or a specific amount, illustrated by Jesus’ comment that a woman who gave a very small amount had given more than those had given large amounts because “while they gave out of their abundance, she gave all she had to live on.” (Mark 12.41-44; Luke 21.1-4)

In the text there are three key things we want to walk away from the text with:

    1. God is the one who calls us from outside of time, He is the One who entrusts us with earthly goods or wealth.
    2. He is the one that distributes such time, talent, and financial wealth as He sees fit.
    3. It’s none of my business where the money came from, it’s none of my business where the gifting in my life came from. It’s none of business how long somebody else has got to do what they need to do.

In short, stop measuring things by what others did, didn’t; will, won’t; can, cannot do!

Be content with such things as you have!

Focus on your response to what God gave to you.

Whatever you lost, now is the time to get back.

Fix long term stuff, one day at a time, cause they are usually too big to tackle in one day.

 

Malachi (Mal’aki) the Prophet

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By: Rev. Fr. David J. Davis, DD, OSP

 

Mal’aki was a member of the Great Assembly at the beginning of a second Jewish Commonwealth or State and listed in scripture as the last of the Old Testament prophets. Because of Talmudic legends, some regarded him to be the hero of the Purim story of Esther, Mordechai, but his name sometimes interpreted (Malach), meant angel, or servant of God. He is also been thought to be Ezra the Scribe because Ezra used Mal’aki as a pseudonym in his writings. I believe that Mal’aki is a different person altogether.

 

The book itself is announced in its purpose, in that Mal’aki is a reference to the final prophecy of his book which opens with the words, Hineni sholeach Mal’aki (“Behold I send My messenger”). Only four chapters in length, it is a principal reason why Mal’aki is considered “minor, one of the Trei Asar, Twelve Minor Prophets.” He is thought to be a contemporary of Jeremiah, and perhaps received this prophecy earlier while Jeremiah was active, and along with Chaggai, and Zechariah, he delivered this later. It is the Talmud which declares his prophecy as the conclusion of the prophetic period, during the second year of King Darius’ reign according to the rebuilding efforts of Nehemiah. The Talmud states, “After the last prophets Chaggai, Zechariah, and Mal’aki died, the Divine Spirit of prophetic revelation departed from the Jewish people.”

 

Mal’aki denotes the great intimacy that has developed between Yahusha Elohim, and His people clearly seen in the first line of the prophecy, “I have shown you [Ibry] love, said the Elohim. But you ask, “How have You shown us love?” After all—declares the Elohim—Esaw is Ya’aqob’s brother; yet I have accepted Ya’aqob and have rejected Esaw.” Much has been made over this description of love vs. hate yet it is a expression of a fundamental an Yisra-el thought. That is that though brothers may come from the same household and appear to be equals, their identities and destines are not necessarily aligned. This is evident in that Elohim chose Yisra-el and not Esau as the progenitor of a chosen people. Rabbi Yosef Albo explains that the love described by Elohim in these verses is supra-rational; it cannot be justified by logic alone. It is a love of choice. God having foreknowledge and discerning the end from the beginning made a choice. The term love here is about election as much as about affection.

 

In Chapter One Mal’aki identifies the target of Elohim’s favor and proceeds to tell the who they are to Him. “For I am the Elohim—I have not changed; and you are the children of Jacob—you have not ceased to be.18

The prelude to the daily prayers includes the following declaration of Mal’aki’s:

You were the same before the world was created; You are the same since the world has been created.”

 

Following this loving, sentimental and nation identifying of Yisra-el, the true purpose of the prophecy becomes lucid, the prophecy was written to correct the lax religious and social behaviour of the Yisra–elites, particularly the priests – in post-exilic Jerusalem. The people had departed so far from Yahusha, that when Ezra the prophet came out in the morning to read from the Torah in Nehemiah 8, he had to interpret the text, because they people only spoke Chaldean. They had lost their native language, and their worship.  So, while the priests were going about their duties, they had forgot and forsaken the responsibilities to obey the Lord. God mandated the people should only bring the best animals, firstborn, without spot or blemish, but the priests through the substandard sacrifices which Mal’aki claims are being offered by the priests ignored (Leviticus 1:3, NRSV), and so these priests, who were “to determine whether the animal was acceptable” (Mason 143), were offering blind, lame and sick animals for sacrifice because they thought nobody would notice.

 

He promises the people that Yahweh Sabaoth, (God of War) is coming to bring a curse upon those priests in 2:1.

Beginning in 2:10, He addresses the issue of divorce and domestic relations. He tells the people that they have reduced the covenant blood oath of marriage to a social domestic arrangement giving men the ability to treat the “wives of their youth” treacherously. He accuses the male-men of being faithless and refers to the fact that marriage is a part of the Yisra-el faith, God standing as the judge whose interest is the “righteous seed” that comes from such a union of matrimony. He therefore urges the men to stop their sexual wanderings and remain faithful.

In chapter 3, the last leg of Faith, Family, and Finances completes the three legs of correction beginning at verse 8 through verse 15, the subject is not the tithe. The tithe is incidental to the then current methodology to the established method of financing the temporal needs of the temple. It does not focus on the tithes but rather on “robbing God” or being faithful and honest in our dealings. The text never uses the word “pay” in the tithe, but rather establishes the fact that the tithe already belonged to God. It was never a question of withholding the worshiper’s property or possession, it was stealing something that belonged to another by force. In regard to this type of honoring or giving the offering’s efficacy was established by the attitude of the giver.

 

The final issue addressed by Mal’aki is the eschatological Day of the Lord in 4:1-5,  in which “judgment is coming in the form of a messenger who “is like refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap…”

Sixth Sunday after Epiphany

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The Collect.

ALMIGHTY God, who hast given us thy only-begotten Son to take our nature upon him, and as at this time to be born of a pure virgin: Grant that we being regenerate, and made thy children by adoption and grace. may daily be renewed by thy Holy Spirit; through the same our Lord Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the same Spirit ever, one God, world without end. Amen.

 

Old Testament
Deuteronomy 30:15-20
15“See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil, 16in that I command you today to love the Lord your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His judgments, that you may live and multiply; and the Lord your God will bless you in the land which you go to possess. 17But if your heart turns away so that you do not hear, and are drawn away, and worship other gods and serve them, 18I announce to you today that you shall surely perish; you shall not prolong your days in the land which you cross over the Jordan to go in and possess. 19I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live; 20that you may love the Lord your God, that you may obey His voice, and that you may cling to Him, for He is your life and the length of your days; and that you may dwell in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to give them.”

 

Psalm

Psalm 119:1-8

Beati immaculati

 

1 Happy are they whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the Lord! 2 Happy are they who observe his decrees and seek him with all their hearts! 3 Who never do any wrong, *but always walk in his ways.  4 You laid down your commandments, that we should fully keep them. 5 Oh, that my ways were made so direct *that I might keep your statutes!  6 Then I should not be put to shame when I regard all your commandments. 7 I will thank you with an unfeigned heart when I have learned your righteous judgments. 8 I will keep your statutes; do not utterly forsake me.

Epistle

1 Corinthians 3:1-9

1And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. 2I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. 3For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men? 4For while one saith, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are ye not carnal?

5Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? 6I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. 7So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase. 8Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour. 9For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.

Gospel

Matthew 5:21-37

21“You have heard that it was said to those [d]of old, ‘You shall not murder, and whoever murders will be in danger of the judgment.’ 22But I say to you that whoever is angry with his brother [e]without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment. And whoever says to his brother, ‘Raca!’[f] shall be in danger of the council. But whoever says, [g]‘You fool!’ shall be in danger of [h]hell fire. 23Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, 24leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. 25Agree with your adversary quickly, while you are on the way with him, lest your adversary deliver you to the judge, the judge hand you over to the officer, and you be thrown into prison. 26Assuredly, I say to you, you will by no means get out of there till you have paid the last penny. 27“You have heard that it was said [i]to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ 28But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. 29If your right eye causes you to [j]sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. 30And if your right hand causes you to [k]sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. 31“Furthermore it has been said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ 32But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except [l]sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery. 33“Again you have heard that it was said to those of [m]old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform your oaths to the Lord.’ 34But I say to you, do not swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is God’s throne; 35nor by the earth, for it is His footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. 36Nor shall you swear by your head, because you cannot make one hair white or black. 37But let [n]your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.

 

Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany

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Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany

Sunday, February 09, 2020
The Collect: 

Set us free, O God, from the bondage of our sins, and give us the liberty of that abundant life which you have made known to us in your Son our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Old Testament:

Isaiah 58:1-9a, (9b-12)

1 Shout out, do not hold back!
Lift up your voice like a trumpet!
Announce to my people their rebellion,
to the house of Jacob their sins.
2 Yet day after day they seek me
and delight to know my ways,
as if they were a nation that practised righteousness
and did not forsake the ordinance of their God;
they ask of me righteous judgements,
they delight to draw near to God.
3 ‘Why do we fast, but you do not see?
Why humble ourselves, but you do not notice?’
Look, you serve your own interest on your fast-day,
and oppress all your workers.
4 Look, you fast only to quarrel and to fight
and to strike with a wicked fist.
Such fasting as you do today
will not make your voice heard on high.
5 Is such the fast that I choose,
a day to humble oneself?
Is it to bow down the head like a bulrush,
and to lie in sackcloth and ashes?
Will you call this a fast,
a day acceptable to the Lord?
6 Is not this the fast that I choose:
to loose the bonds of injustice,
to undo the thongs of the yoke,
to let the oppressed go free,
and to break every yoke?
7 Is it not to share your bread with the hungry,
and bring the homeless poor into your house;
when you see the naked, to cover them,
and not to hide yourself from your own kin?
8 Then your light shall break forth like the dawn,
and your healing shall spring up quickly;
your vindicator shall go before you,
the glory of the Lord shall be your rearguard.
9 Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer;
you shall cry for help, and he will say, Here I am.

[If you remove the yoke from among you,
the pointing of the finger, the speaking of evil,
10 if you offer your food to the hungry
and satisfy the needs of the afflicted,
then your light shall rise in the darkness
and your gloom be like the noonday.
11 The Lord will guide you continually,
and satisfy your needs in parched places,
and make your bones strong;
and you shall be like a watered garden,
like a spring of water,
whose waters never fail.
12 Your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt;
you shall raise up the foundations of many generations;
you shall be called the repairer of the breach,
the restorer of streets to live in.]
Psalm:

Psalm 112:1-9, (10)

1 Hallelujah!
Happy are they who fear the Lord *
and have great delight in his commandments!
2 Their descendants will be mighty in the land; *
the generation of the upright will be blessed.
3 Wealth and riches will be in their house, *
and their righteousness will last for ever.
4 Light shines in the darkness for the upright; *
the righteous are merciful and full of compassion.
5 It is good for them to be generous in lending *
and to manage their affairs with justice.
6 For they will never be shaken; *
the righteous will be kept in everlasting remembrance.
7 They will not be afraid of any evil rumors; *
their heart is right;
they put their trust in the Lord.
8 Their heart is established and will not shrink, *
until they see their desire upon their enemies.
9 They have given freely to the poor, *
and their righteousness stands fast for ever;
they will hold up their head with honor.
[10 The wicked will see it and be angry;
they will gnash their teeth and pine away; *
the desires of the wicked will perish.]

Epistle:

1 Corinthians 2:1-12, (13-16)

1 When I came to you, brothers and sisters, I did not come proclaiming the mystery of God to you in lofty words or wisdom. 2For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ, and him crucified. 3And I came to you in weakness and in fear and in much trembling. 4My speech and my proclamation were not with plausible words of wisdom, but with a demonstration of the Spirit and of power, 5so that your faith might rest not on human wisdom but on the power of God.

Yet among the mature we do speak wisdom, though it is not a wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age, who are doomed to perish. 7But we speak God’s wisdom, secret and hidden, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. 8None of the rulers of this age understood this; for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 9But, as it is written,
‘What no eye has seen, nor ear heard,
nor the human heart conceived,
what God has prepared for those who love him’—
10these things God has revealed to us through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches everything, even the depths of God. 11For what human being knows what is truly human except the human spirit that is within? So also no one comprehends what is truly God’s except the Spirit of God. 12Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit that is from God, so that we may understand the gifts bestowed on us by God. [13And we speak of these things in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual things to those who are spiritual.

14 Those who are unspiritual do not receive the gifts of God’s Spirit, for they are foolishness to them, and they are unable to understand them because they are discerned spiritually. 15Those who are spiritual discern all things, and they are themselves subject to no one else’s scrutiny.
16 ‘For who has known the mind of the Lord
so as to instruct him?’
But we have the mind of Christ.]

Gospel:

Matthew 5:13-20

13 ‘You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything, but is thrown out and trampled under foot.

14 ‘You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hidden. 15No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.

17 ‘Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have come not to abolish but to fulfil. 18For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one letter, not one stroke of a letter, will pass from the law until all is accomplished. 19Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, will be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. 20For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.

First Sunday after the Epiphany

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Sunday, January 12, 2020

First Sunday after the Epiphany

The Baptism of Our Lord

The Collect.

Let us Pray:

O LORD, we beseech thee mercifully to receive the prayers of thy people who call upon thee; and grant that they may both perceive and know what things they ought to do, and also may have grace and power faithfully to fulfill the same; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

Old Testament:

Isaiah 42:1-9 (KJV)
42 Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles.
2 He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street.
3 A bruised reed shall he not break, and the smoking flax shall he not quench: he shall bring forth judgment unto truth.
4 He shall not fail nor be discouraged, till he have set judgment in the earth: and the isles shall wait for his law.
5 Thus saith God the LORD, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein:
6 I the LORD have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles;
7 To open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.
8 I am the LORD: that is my name: and my glory will I not give to another, neither my praise to graven images.
9 Behold, the former things are come to pass, and new things do I declare: before they spring forth I tell you of them.
King James Version (KJV)

Response

 

Psalm 29 (KJV)
Afferte Domino

1 Ascribe to the Lord, you gods, *
ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.

2 Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his Name; *
worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.

3 The voice of the Lord is upon the waters;
the God of glory thunders; *
the Lord is upon the mighty waters.

4 The voice of the Lord is a powerful voice; *
the voice of the Lord is a voice of splendor.

5 The voice of the Lord breaks the cedar trees; *
the Lord breaks the cedars of Lebanon;

6 He makes Lebanon skip like a calf, *
and Mount Hermon like a young wild ox.

7 The voice of the Lord splits the flames of fire;
the voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness; *
the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.

8 The voice of the Lord makes the oak trees writhe *
and strips the forests bare.

9 And in the temple of the Lord *
all are crying, “Glory!”

10 The Lord sits enthroned above the flood; *
the Lord sits enthroned as King forevermore.

11 The Lord shall give strength to his people; *
the Lord shall give his people the blessing of peace.

 

Romans 12 King James Version (KJV)

12 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
4 For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:
5 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.

 

 

The Gospel. St. Luke 2: 41 (KJV)

41 Now his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover.

42 And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast.

43 And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it.

44 But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day’s journey; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance.

45 And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him.

46 And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions.

47 And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers.

48 And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing.

49 And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?

50 And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them.

51 And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart.

52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.

 

 

 

 

First Sunday after Christmas-day

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Sunday, December 29, 2019
The Sunday after Christmas-day.

The Collect

Let us pray:

ALMIGHTY God, who hast given us thy only-begotten Son to take our nature upon him, and as at this time to be born of a pure virgin: Grant that we being regenerate, and made thy children by adoption and grace. may daily be renewed by thy Holy Spirit; through the same our Lord Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the same Spirit ever, one God, world without end. Amen.

Old Testament

Isaiah 61:10-62:1-3 King James Version (KJV)

61:10I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels. 11 For as the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth; so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all the nations.

62:1 1 For Zion’s sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth. And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory: and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the Lord shall name. Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God.

Response

The Psalm
Psalm 147 or 147:13-21 King James Version (KJV)
Laudate Dominum

1 Hallelujah!
How good it is to sing praises to our God! *
how pleasant it is to honor him with praise!
2 The Lord rebuilds Jerusalem; *
he gathers the exiles of Israel.
3 He heals the brokenhearted *
and binds up their wounds.
4 He counts the number of the stars *
and calls them all by their names.
5 Great is our Lord and mighty in power; *
there is no limit to his wisdom.
6 The Lord lifts up the lowly, *
but casts the wicked to the ground.
7 Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving; *
make music to our God upon the harp.
8 He covers the heavens with clouds *
and prepares rain for the earth;
9 He makes grass to grow upon the mountains *
and green plants to serve mankind.
10 He provides food for flocks and herds *
and for the young ravens when they cry.
11 He is not impressed by the might of a horse; *
he has no pleasure in the strength of a man;
12 But the Lord has pleasure in those who fear him, *
in those who await his gracious favor.
13 Worship the Lord, O Jerusalem; *
praise your God, O Zion;
14 For he has strengthened the bars of your gates; *
he has blessed your children within you.
15 He has established peace on your borders; *
he satisfies you with the finest wheat.
16 He sends out his command to the earth, *
and his word runs very swiftly.
17 He gives snow like wool; *
he scatters hoarfrost like ashes.
18 He scatters his hail like bread crumbs; *
who can stand against his cold?
19 He sends forth his word and melts them; *
he blows with his wind, and the waters flow.
20 He declares his word to Jacob, *
his statutes and his judgments to Israel.
21 He has not done so to any other nation; *
to them, he has not revealed his judgments.
Hallelujah!

The Epistle

Gal. 4: 1. King James Version (KJV)

Now I say, That the heir, as long as he is a child, differeth nothing from a servant, though he be lord of all;
But is under tutors and governors until the time appointed of the father.
Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world:
But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law,
To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.
And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.
Wherefore thou art no more a servant, but a son; and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

The Gospel

St. Matt. 1. 18.

18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost.
19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not willing to make her a public example, was minded to put her away privily.
20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.
21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.
22 Now all this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken of the Lord by the prophet, saying,
23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
24 Then Joseph being raised from sleep did as the angel of the Lord had bidden him, and took unto him his wife:
25 And knew her not till she had brought forth her firstborn son: and he called his name Jesus.

Dirt In the Hands of Jesus

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John 9:1-7 KJV
By: Rev. Fr. David J. Davis, DD, OSP

“And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth. And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him. I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh when no man can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world. When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay, And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way, therefore, and washed, and came seeing”

 

As a child, the Lord Jesus spoke into me that experience is not the best teacher. He said it is merely the most toxic, costly, and cruel. He is immutable, and He is willing to make every Word He speaks an immutable law. He is the Alpha and the Omega, knowing the end from the beginning, He sets the course already knowing the destination.we should never let what He speaks to become affected and infected with the thoughts of men who fail to believe He is able to do all He says He can do. This is an account of when Jesus was doing what people allowed other people did not have faith to believe.

The strength of our text today is that we need to look at the miracle of what Jesus could do for a man who was blind from birth. While eye salves had previously been made to correct non-congenital vision problems before, But Jesus is so convinced of His power to recover the man’s sight the He creates a salve the is crude, unproven and so unsanitary that a casual observer would conclude that it is dirt, and a detriment to health, and not healing compound. He, however, makes known that in His hands, dirt that might normally cause you harm, will bring about a miracle. After all, He’s only using the elements used to make an entire man from scratch. So in His hands in a matter of seconds, a metamorphic change of the carbon in the soil is performed.

Unseen by the naked eye simple DNA is created exactly matching the genome of the man who is born blind. Precise beyond even modern-day cloning or gene tailoring technology, it is not only of the type of tissue suitable for transplant but the identical match of the deformed tissue it will replace. Cellular mitosis causes the stem cells to reproduce in the cupped palm of his hand, and in just seconds Jesus would turn them into a fully formed eye to be non- surgically implanted without scalpel or suture.

But before the miracle, of the fulfillment of God’s word in the man, comes man’s objection.

 

+ DJD

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