Epiphany V

Grace and Peace be unto you. In the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. Amen.

In today’s Collect, first, we ask God to keep the church and the household in faith. Second, the church is the head of the faith - for spiritual guidance, spiritual meat, and spiritual protection. And the household is the head of the family - for guidance, protection, and nourishment. And third, to keep the faithful church, we ask God to defend us with his mighty power because we our weak by ourselves.

In today’s Epistle, God tells us that we are his elect for the faithul. First, what is an elect? An elect means we are chosen by God - not by what we are or what we have done. But by Grace alone. Second, Christians are also Holy. In other words, we are set apart from the world by God so Christians can recognize the believers with the unbelievers. Third, we are loved by God. When unbelievers sin, they are breaking God’s word and will be judged. But when believers sin, they are breaking God’s love for us. Fourth, we are to forgive as Christ forgave us. Forgiveness goes both ways. Fifth, Paul lists eight graces: compassion, kindness, humbleness of mind, meekness, long suffering, forbearance, forgiveness, and love. Sixth, some of these graces are sometimes misunderstood as a flawed human trait or as a weak Christian virtue. But I beg to differ.

One, the humbleness of mind is thinking of others and not of oneself. Two, meekness is not weakness. Meekness is having control when things get out of control. Three, long-suffering means speaking and acting with long patience, not with a quick temper. Four, forbearance means holding back a quick judgment. Five, forgiveness means that the Christians endure provocations but no retaliation. And six, love is the fruit of the Spirit. And it is through the Spirit that all other graces are held together.

Seventh, how do we attain all these graces? It is with the Peace of Christ “to rule in your hearts” in one body. And it is with the Word of Christ “to dwell in you” in the words of wisdom. In other words, with Christ in you and his words in you. You become an icon of Christ. And that is how we attain the Grace. And eighth, moreover, we are also to teach and admonish one another in psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. In other words, we are to praise God in hymns and to preach the scripture in the spiritual songs to one another.

In today’s Gospel, first, the Kingdom of Heaven is like a good seed in a field. Second, men ought to be aware of the enemy because he can come and plant the tares in his field of wheat - anytime. Third, we are to let alone the tares with the wheat because the reapers will separate them later - during harvest. And lastly, who is who in this field? The good seed is the Word of God. The men are the Christians. The enemy is Satan. The tares are the false Christians. The wheat is the real Christian. The reapers are the angels. The harvest is the end times. And the burning is hell. In other words, Christians live with fake Christians. But in the end, the real Christians will be separated from the imitators and sent to Heaven. The false Christians will be sent to hell.

In conclusion, what is the good news today? First, there are false and real Christians in the church and in the world today. But they will be separated in the end times – one to Heaven and one to hell. Each will get its due. Second, Paul tells us that we are chosen by God; set apart by God from the world; loved by God always; and forgiven by God all through Grace for the present and in the end times. This is very comforting in times of trial and tribulation. And finally, both in the church and in the household, we are defended by God through his mighty power during the church age from the false teachers, the false Christians, and the persecutions within and outside the Church. So my brothers and sisters, before the end times, we will face many spiritual struggles. But in the end, we will stand strong with our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ our Lord, and will be rewarded with a place in Heaven with the believers.

In the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost
-- Fr. Deacon Anton Yoe


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Upcoming Events

Sunday Services, 7:45, 9:00 & 11:15 AM nursery care provided during 9 & 11:15 AM services  (for online participation for the services go to: https://www.facebook.com/saintsofscotland/  

Sunday school, 10:30 AM
No Wednesday morning Bible study

Wednesday Service 12 noon (can be seen also at https://www.facebook.com/saintsofscotland/)

Men's Group, Saturday February 19, 8:30 AM, undercroft ; great food and fellowship, excellent Bible study

Please remember to pray for everyone on the parish's prayer list that is in the attached bulletins.  Also your prayers are requested for Don & Jody Baldwin whose son Clayton has passed on to larger life.

Please Help Feed the Hungry
Food donations are much needed. Please help this month with a food donation if you are able. Christ House is very thankful for the food we provide to them each month. Please also buy low sugar cereals (and not the kid's types that have lots of sugar).  Current needs include the following:
• canned meats (chicken, corned beef, spam)
• peanut butter
• jelly
• tuna
• canned vegetables (corn, green beans - (regular and low sodium)
• individual fruit cups (low sugar)
• canned fruit (low sugar)
• cereal (low sugar)
• pasta (regular and gluten-free)
• instant potatoes
• Macaroni & cheese kits
• Coffee, cooking oil, flour, sugar 

MaRIH Center  (crisis pregnancy center) Needs
MaRIH Center with its all volunteer staff has been providing help to mothers-to-be and mothers in need.  If you can provide some of the items that are needed, please do so. (You can leave the donations where the food for the food bank is collected on the pew in the undercorft.)

Especially Needed
Baby wipes (an ongoing great need)
Diapers (sizes 1, 4, 5, & 6)
Similac Advanced Formula
Batteries (all sizes)

Winter Clothing  Boy/Girl (new only please)
Clothing (0-6 months, boys and girls)
Winter jackets(24 months to 2T, boys and girls)
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