Excerpted from A Sermon by The Most Rev. John T. Cahoon, Jr.
(then Metropolitan, Anglican Catholic Church & Rector, St. Andrew & St. Margaret of Scotland) on Sunday Next Before Advent, sometimes called "Stir up Sunday"
We know God through the actual things he allows to happen in the world. We find out what our relationship to God is about by looking at everything that happens to us and trying to see patterns, threads, webs of meaning.
We are trying to figure out the plot line of a drama God is both writing and directing. The drama is the series of events through which God tries to let us know that he loves us and that he wants to save us and make us grow up and finally take us to heaven.
The idea that we know God through what happens is the basic theological insight of the Hebrew Bible. Other religions might look for God in mystical experiences or in beautiful explanations of the universe, but the down-to-earth Hebrew people looked for God in history -- in what happened -- both in their history as a nation and in their own individual lives. The pattern of God's activity at both the private and the public levels of history is exactly the same.
God did not reveal himself to the Jews as an abstract philosophical principle like goodness, or justice or love. God revealed himself as the person who dominates the flow of what happens. After the time of Moses, when the Hebrews talked about God they identified him as "the one who led us out of Israel." They believed they saw God and his purposes most clearly in the Exodus -- their miraculous escape from slavery in Egypt.
The prophet Jeremiah wrote in the seventh century B.C. -- six or seven hundred years after the Exodus -- about as far away in time from Moses as we are from the High Middle Ages. In the intervening centuries Israel had made it to the Promised Land; engaged in wars; demanded that God give them a king; split the kingdom in two; and then seen the northern kingdom overrun by pagans and the southern kingdom in immediate danger of being conquered by Babylon.
God had remained faithful, but the people and their kings had disobeyed him, and the ugly realities of the previous seven centuries of their national history were the result.
Like most of the Old Testament prophets, Jeremiah alternately scolds and offers hope. He is, in the proper Biblical way, pessimistic about human beings but hopeful about God. What he writes in today's lesson holds out the promise that God will provide a cure for the ills of Israel's past history within their future history.
First he promises Israel a good king. Israel had had to put up with century after century of bad kings. That was God's way of reminding them that they should never have asked for a king in the first place. The good king would have a proper pedigree -- he was going to be a descendant of King David -- a righteous branch of David's own family tree.
The king would be righteous toward God in his own life, and his personal qualities would let him rule with justice and proper judgment in the public sphere. And Jeremiah goes on to make the astounding promise that what God will accomplish through this king will be so great and so powerful that it will make the Hebrew people forget about the Exodus.
What he will do is to reconcile and reconstitute all of Israel -- bring back together all of the chosen people who had been scattered to the four winds. So they won't any longer say, "The living God brought us out of Egypt." They will say, instead, "The living God brought us all back together so we could live with him in our own country."
As Christians -- inheritors of the promises God made in the Hebrew Bible -- we know that God made Jeremiah's prophecy come true in Jesus. He is the descendant of David; he is the good king; he has led us out of bondage to sin and death; and he has brought all of his chosen people -- Jews and Gentiles alike -- from all times and all places together into one body which is the church. We will live together forever in our own true country which is heaven.
REMEMBER THE WORDS OF THE LORD JESUS, HOW HE SAID, IT IS MORE BLESSED TO GIVE THAN TO RECEIVE
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Saturday, November 19, 11:00 AM, Ordination of Deacon Anton Yoe to the Priesthood. A reception will follow the ordination service.
Sunday, November 20, Annual Visitation of Bishop Lerow of the DMAS, Confirmations & Receptions at 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, 10:30 AM, Sunday School
Wednesday at Noon – Holy Communion and anointing for healing
Wednesday, November 23, 7:00 PM, Thanksgiving Eve Service
Monday, November 28, 7:30 PM, Vestry Meeting
Wednesday, November 30, 7:00 PM, St. Andrew's Day -- Kirkin of the Tartans with bagpiper and Scottish music followed by festive reception with Scottish foods and beverages. Please invite relatives, friends, and neighbors
Donations to the Food Bank and Marih Center are greatly needed. Across the country, crisis pregnancy centers have been attacked or vandalized. The needs are great. Please help with either a goods donation or a monetary donation. You can give through the donation button in this newsletter and use the drop down menu to choose "Charity & Mercy." Thank you.
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
• 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
Updated List of Needs for MaRIH Center (crisis pregnancy center)
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.)
Baby wipes (an ongoing great need)
Diapers (sizes 1, 4, 5, & 6)
Diaper rash ointment
Clothing for boys and girls (0-6 months)
Sleep Sacks: Girls 0-6 mos.
Socks: Boy/Girl 2T
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