All posts by audremyers

St. Luke 4: 14 – 30

June 24, 2022

14 And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about.

15 And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified of all.

16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.

17 And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,

18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,

19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.

20 And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.

21 And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.

22 And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth. And they said, Is not this Joseph’s son?

23 And he said unto them, Ye will surely say unto me this proverb, Physician, heal thyself: whatsoever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in thy country.

24 And he said, Verily I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country.

25 But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land;

26 But unto none of them was Elias sent, save unto Sarepta, a city of Sidon, unto a woman that was a widow.

27 And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Eliseus the prophet; and none of them was cleansed, saving Naaman the Syrian.

28 And all they in the synagogue, when they heard these things, were filled with wrath,

29 And rose up, and thrust him out of the city, and led him unto the brow of the hill whereon their city was built, that they might cast him down headlong.

30 But he passing through the midst of them went his way,

Remember St. Stephen and the little discussion he had with the Sanhedrin – just before they stoned him to death? Here is Jesus teaching and revealing and convicting; as we’ve already discussed, folks don’t like hearing about how bad they are. So they chase Jesus out of the synagogue and by pressing around Him, they lead Him to a precipice.

I have been told, by an Archbishop, no less! that I am not the only one who notices these instances in the New Testament when Jesus is surrounded by folks who want to harm (or kill!) Him and ‘suddenly’, He’s in some other place. Yes; Jesus is fully human. Yes; Jesus is fully divine. So … don’t you think He was able to ‘access’ His divinity to put Himself elsewhere at a time of need? Doesn’t He say in St. Matthew 26:53 “thinkest thou that I cannot beseech my Father, and he shall even now send me more than twelve legions of angels?” I can’t help but laugh; these poor folks had absolutely no idea Who they were dealing with.

But these verses also make the Cross that much more heart-rending. He could, of course, have escaped when the soldiers came for Him in Gethsemane, but He GAVE HIMSELF UP. For us. In obedience to His Father. And I am overcome; what love is this?

St. Luke 4: 1 – 13

June 23, 2022

And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,

2 Being forty days tempted of the devil. And in those days he did eat nothing: and when they were ended, he afterward hungered.

3 And the devil said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread.

4 And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.

5 And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.

6 And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it.

7 If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine.

8 And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.

9 And he brought him to Jerusalem, and set him on a pinnacle of the temple, and said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down from hence:

10 For it is written, He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee:

11 And in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.

12 And Jesus answering said unto him, It is said, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.

13 And when the devil had ended all the temptation, he departed from him for a season.

I am a child of the 50s – television and movies have always been a big deal in my life. Fortunately, for me and others like me, we had some of the best ‘Jesus movies’ Hollywood ever produced. To this day, I cannot read these verses without seeing in my mind’s eye, this scene from the 1965 movie The Greatest Story Ever Told.

It is done so subtly – notice, Satan speaks to Jesus quietly, intimately – whoever the director was (I think it was it George Stevens) knew his Bible; or perhaps the writers did. The quiet voice of the enemy that whispers evil in our ears to bring sadness, doubt, worry, fear. Jesus walks away. He wins. And we win because of Jesus. Because Jesus overcame the world, we Christians are overcomers. We do not have to give place to the whispers of sadness, doubt, worry, or fear from the enemy. He has no hold on us – we rid ourselves of those troublesome things with the flick of our hands. It has no place in our lives. Because Jesus lives – we live, in Him.

Amen.

St. Luke 3: 1 – 22

June 22, 2022

Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar, Pontius Pilate being governor of Judaea, and Herod being tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of Ituraea and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias the tetrarch of Abilene,

2 Annas and Caiaphas being the high priests, the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness.

3 And he came into all the country about Jordan, preaching the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins;

4 As it is written in the book of the words of Esaias the prophet, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.

5 Every valley shall be filled, and every mountain and hill shall be brought low; and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough ways shall be made smooth;

6 And all flesh shall see the salvation of God.

7 Then said he to the multitude that came forth to be baptized of him, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come?

8 Bring forth therefore fruits worthy of repentance, and begin not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, That God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.

9 And now also the axe is laid unto the root of the trees: every tree therefore which bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.

10 And the people asked him, saying, What shall we do then?

11 He answereth and saith unto them, He that hath two coats, let him impart to him that hath none; and he that hath meat, let him do likewise.

12 Then came also publicans to be baptized, and said unto him, Master, what shall we do?

13 And he said unto them, Exact no more than that which is appointed you.

14 And the soldiers likewise demanded of him, saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages.

15 And as the people were in expectation, and all men mused in their hearts of John, whether he were the Christ, or not;

16 John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire:

17 Whose fan is in his hand, and he will throughly purge his floor, and will gather the wheat into his garner; but the chaff he will burn with fire unquenchable.

18 And many other things in his exhortation preached he unto the people.

19 But Herod the tetrarch, being reproved by him for Herodias his brother Philip’s wife, and for all the evils which Herod had done,

20 Added yet this above all, that he shut up John in prison.

21 Now when all the people were baptized, it came to pass, that Jesus also being baptized, and praying, the heaven was opened,

22 And the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape like a dove upon him, and a voice came from heaven, which said, Thou art my beloved Son; in thee I am well pleased.

And this is the whole story, isn’t it? 6 And all flesh shall see the salvation of God. I would hazard to say that there is not a place on earth so distant and cut off that it has not heard, at least, the name of Jesus. I would go so far as to say that even that distant and cut off place will know some of all that Jesus has done and what He will do.

Verse 6, to my mind, fits very nicely with “10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2) Jesus is our salvation from God.

St. Luke 2: 41 – 52

June 21, 2022

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.

I love verses 48 and 49. If you’ve had children or raised children, you’re familiar that there comes a time when they get a little big for their boots and think they’re grown up. There are no verses that say ‘Jesus laughed’, but these verses tell me Jesus was a human kid – as well as being Savior of the World, of course.

Mary says, ‘We looked for you and couldn’t find you and we were so worried about you – why didn’t you tell us you were going to stay here?’ This 12/13 year old Jesus says, ‘You know I have to be about my Father’s business’ – that’s His ‘get out of jail free card (I’m laughing). He’s deflecting; how many times have your children said, all wide -eyed innocence, “I thought you knew!” C’mon, now.

We spend so much time – rightfully so, certainly – studying His ministry and His miracles and of course, His work on the Cross; it’s just comical – and reassuring – that He was human as well. Teenagers; gotta love ’em. And especially this One.

This morning …

June 20, 2022

I made the mistake of looking at some news videos before posting on the blog. Mistake. Big. Evidently there are no happy people in America – or Canada, or the UK, or in any of the Western countries. I had already done the Morning Office and that generally sets me up for the rest of the day but looking at the news saddened and worried me and that’s not a good way to start any day. We, as Christians, are not to be depressed because we have God, Who is always with us and will never leave us nor forsake us. But we are human and the onslaught of ‘bad news’ begins to wear on a person and color not only our days but our thoughts as well.

So, to get my head and heart right again, I went to two other videos. They lift me up on angel’s wings. They transport me to that place where there is no pain and no tears. Where the light of it is Jesus. The voice you will hear in these videos is just a well-trained male voice that belonged to a man as human and broken as everyone else in the world. But something happens when he sings. I am elevated. We are taught, as Christians, that we should have no ups and downs in our faith and belief – that we should be at a steady level of feeling toward the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Yes – we should. But fallen and broken humans are just that – fallen and broken. Quite frankly, I don’t think God minds when we listen to these things and experience a thrill, a tear, a sigh of joy and contentment. I hope that these two videos will elevate you, as well.

I pray these videos give you the same peace they give me.

St. James 5

June 19, 2022

Go to now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.

2 Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten.

3 Your gold and silver is cankered; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were fire. Ye have heaped treasure together for the last days.

4 Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth.

5 Ye have lived in pleasure on the earth, and been wanton; ye have nourished your hearts, as in a day of slaughter.

6 Ye have condemned and killed the just; and he doth not resist you.

7 Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.

8 Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.

9 Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door.

10 Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience.

11 Behold, we count them happy which endure. Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy.

12 But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation.

13 Is any among you afflicted? let him pray. Is any merry? let him sing psalms.

14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:

15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him.

16 Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

17 Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.

18 And he prayed again, and the heaven gave rain, and the earth brought forth her fruit.

19 Brethren, if any of you do err from the truth, and one convert him;

20 Let him know, that he which converteth the sinner from the error of his way shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins.

It seems to me that St. James rarely gets covered in Bible study groups. There are three readings for today, Matt 7:13-14, 21-29; James 5; Romans 5 and I’ve decided to look at the verses in St. James.

As I’ve mentioned, I use the King James Version Online for the verses. Today, just because it caught my eye, I clicked on the ‘Commentary’ button at the bottom of the verses. Here is the ‘overview’ of the chapter:

The judgments of God denounced against rich unbelievers. (1-6) Exhortation to patience and meekness under tribulations. (7-11) Cautions against rash swearing Prayer recommended in afflictive and prosperous circumstances, Christians to confess their faults to each other. (12-18) The happiness of being the means of the conversion of a sinner. (19,20)1-6 Public troubles are most grievous to those who live in pleasure, and are secure and sensual, though all ranks suffer deeply at such times. All idolized treasures will soon perish, except as they will rise up in judgment against their possessors. Take heed of defrauding and oppressing; and avoid the very appearance of it. God does not forbid us to use lawful pleasures; but to live in pleasure, especially sinful pleasure, is a provoking sin. Is it no harm for people to unfit themselves for minding the concerns of their souls, by indulging bodily appetites? The just may be condemned and killed; but when such suffer by oppressors, this is marked by God. Above all their other crimes, the Jews had condemned and crucified that Just One who had come among them, even Jesus Christ the righteous.

You can read the whole of the chapter five commentary here: https://www.kingjamesbibleonline.org/James-Chapter-5/

Joy

June 17, 2022

“For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” (Psalm 30″5)

My desk is oriented in such a way that the windows in this room are behind me. I have my face in this monitor from the time my eyes open (very often before 5 a.m.) til I can’t keep them open any longer (generally 11 p.m.). The day passes behind me. Until I have to get up from the desk and get something or do something. Just this morning …

As I turned in my desk chair to toddle off to the kitchen, of course I noticed the sun is up (it’s about time, too … I think I’m the only one who knows when the sun is late to work. Wink!) and say, Good morning, sun! Aren’t you beautiful? ! And as I meander into the kitchen, I think to myself, The sun is as beautiful as the Father’s Son and gives a hint of what His brightness is. “

23 And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. (Rev 21:23).

That light, that sun, that Son shines and never burns the skin, never causes thirst (‘give to me this living water’ – woman at the well), never hurts the eyes or causes the body to perspire in discomfort.

The Son lights my days, let’s me sleep in dreamless comfort, and helps me to appreciate all that I have and all that He’s given me.

Joy cometh in the morning. Every morning.

Praying

June 16, 2022

(chuckling to myself as I type …) While awaiting a response on the possible reasons for St. Luke’s verses one will find in Advent being read in Trinity-tide, I thought we might chat about praying.

I used to only pray before falling asleep at night – the Lord’s Prayer and then intercessional requests for folks I knew who needed or asked for prayer. Then, several years ago, I took some theological training and started using the Offices of Morning and Evening Prayer and tried to be consistent about it but often ‘late for work’ or ‘falling sleep’ issues interrupted my attempts to be faithful to the Offices.

I slipped into a habit of using the abbreviated prayers found on pages 592 and 593 in the 1928 Book of Common Prayer. Which are fine – I’m not saying they aren’t – but today it sort of makes me think of ‘cheap grace’. But they served their purpose, minimally, and I became constant in my performance each day. So that was a good thing.

It’s three years since my retirement and prayer is easier. I do the Offices each day now and have included prayers that I read at other times of the day; right now they are for strength for good, solid, orthodox priests and all that they do and give to their congregations. The prayers could, at some time, become directed to some other purpose as things occur to me.

The ‘problem’, so to speak, with doing the same prayers night and day, is that at some point they become a little ‘iffy’ as the mind tends to wander. If our mind wanders, is the quality of the prayer, and our intention, the same? Hmmm – one wonders. In any event, one Sunday morning not long ago, I asked at Adult Sunday study what to do about a wandering mind. I laugh about the response now – I’m blessed to belong to a church that has the priest, a military Chaplain, a retired priest, and a gentleman in seminary, all serving the altar each week. They all said the same thing – read them out loud! One suggested, at the very least, move your lips while you read to yourself even though we are taught from a young age not to move our lips when reading silently, lol. You always want to listen to the ‘professionals’ – they have great insight.

Now the Offices have become an amalgamation of silent and oral reading. It’s all good. (being silly …) At least I am assured that Jesus will not say to me, “I never knew you”, because I’m knocking on heaven’s door three times a day!

St. Luke 1: 26 – 38

June 14, 2022

26 And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth,

27 To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary.

28 And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.

29 And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be.

30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.

31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS.

32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:

33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.

34 Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?

35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.

36 And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren.

37 For with God nothing shall be impossible.

38 And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her.

I’m a big fan of transparency so let me advise you of this: We just celebrated Trinity Sunday; yesterday’s and today’s verses reflect those we might encounter at Advent. I admit – I’m confused. Because I am confused, lol, I’ve sent an email to my priest asking him to explain this to me. I’m sure there’s a perfectly logical reason for this but gosh – I can’t figure it out.

What I will do is come back to this post after I hear from Fr. Harlow.

*** As you can see by the date above, I haven’t heard from Fr. Harlow – he’s just returned this past weekend from being in charge of our Anglican Youth camp. He made a light hearted mention of his stay with the kids by highlighting his new limp and sore back, lol, trying to keep up with the teens! He also returned to wife, family, and church duties and I don’t think he had a chance to sit and look at his emails.

St. Luke 1: 1 – 25

June 13, 2022

Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us,

2 Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word;

3 It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus,

4 That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed.

5 There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth.

6 And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless.

7 And they had no child, because that Elisabeth was barren, and they both were now well stricken in years.

8 And it came to pass, that while he executed the priest’s office before God in the order of his course,

9 According to the custom of the priest’s office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord.

10 And the whole multitude of the people were praying without at the time of incense.

11 And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense.

12 And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him.

13 But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John.

14 And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth.

15 For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb.

16 And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God.

17 And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias, to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.

18 And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years.

19 And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to shew thee these glad tidings.

20 And, behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season.

21 And the people waited for Zacharias, and marvelled that he tarried so long in the temple.

22 And when he came out, he could not speak unto them: and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple: for he beckoned unto them, and remained speechless.

23 And it came to pass, that, as soon as the days of his ministration were accomplished, he departed to his own house.

24 And after those days his wife Elisabeth conceived, and hid herself five months, saying,

25 Thus hath the Lord dealt with me in the days wherein he looked on me, to take away my reproach among men.

And so begins the story of John the Baptist.

There is quite a bit of talk among people that Wikipedia is not to be trusted, that the information on any given Wiki page can be changed by anyone for any (or no) reason. This is not so and I know this because I tried to add information to the page about the 1928 Book of Common Prayer. There is hoop after hoop requiring documentation to add, delete, or change existing information in Wikipedia that is extraordinarily detailed. It was so detailed that, weighing the minor change I would have liked to have seen on their BCP page and the amount of research and citation I’d have to do, it was simply not worth the effort. Let me also say that, after 15-20 years of using Wikipedia – their ‘Christianity Portal’ – I have never found error or bias – where there are opposing schools of thought on a topic, both sides are represented; where there may be uncertainty of an issue, various references are given for the reader to do their own research.

All that being said, I highly recommend the John the Baptist page found here https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_the_Baptist