Dear followers of Saint John’s,
your scribe has missed several days of writing in the blog. the 9th of October this year is the 21st Sunday after Pentecost. Last Sunday was the Episcopal Church’s ‘Social Media Sunday’ encouraging us to share our church with others via social media. Twitter users are encouraged to use #episcopalian to find out what the greater church is doing. This week we are placing an abbreviated version of the Daily Lectionary in the blog today and attempt to reflect our priest Rev. Dr. John Day’s Homily or Sermon in relation to the Gospel and the Scriptural lessons read by our congregation.
Lord, we pray that your grace may always precede and follow us, that we may continually be given to good works; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
[Alternate: 2 Kings 5:1-3, 7-15c]
1Naaman, commander of the army of the king of Aram, was a great man and in high favour with his master, because by him the Lord had given victory to Aram. The man, though a mighty warrior, suffered from leprosy. 2Now the Arameans on one of their raids had taken a young girl captive from the land of Israel, and she served Naaman’s wife. 3She said to her mistress, ‘If only my lord were with the prophet who is in Samaria! He would cure him of his leprosy.’ 7When the king of Israel read the letter, he tore his clothes and said, ‘Am I God, to give death or life, that this man sends word to me to cure a man of his leprosy? Just look and see how he is trying to pick a quarrel with me.’
8 But when Elisha the man of God heard that the king of Israel had torn his clothes, he sent a message to the king, ‘Why have you torn your clothes? Let him come to me, that he may learn that there is a prophet in Israel.’ 9So Naaman came with his horses and chariots, and halted at the entrance of Elisha’s house. 10Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, ‘Go, wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored and you shall be clean.’ 11But Naaman became angry and went away, saying, ‘I thought that for me he would surely come out, and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, and would wave his hand over the spot, and cure the leprosy! 12Are not Abana and Pharpar, the rivers of Damascus, better than all the waters of Israel? Could I not wash in them, and be clean?’ He turned and went away in a rage. 13But his servants approached and said to him, ‘Father, if the prophet had commanded you to do something difficult, would you not have done it? How much more, when all he said to you was, “Wash, and be clean”?’ 14So he went down and immersed himself seven times in the Jordan, according to the word of the man of God; his flesh was restored like the flesh of a young boy, and he was clean.
15 Then he returned to the man of God, he and all his company; he came and stood before him and said, ‘Now I know that there is no God in all the earth except in Israel.”
[Alternate: Psalm 111]
I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart, *
in the assembly of the upright, in the congregation.
2 Great are the deeds of the Lord! *
they are studied by all who delight in them.
3 His work is full of majesty and splendor, *
and his righteousness endures for ever.
4 He makes his marvelous works to be remembered; *
the Lord is gracious and full of compassion.
5 He gives food to those who fear him; *
he is ever mindful of his covenant.
6 He has shown his people the power of his works *
in giving them the lands of the nations.
7 The works of his hands are faithfulness and justice; *
all his commandments are sure.
8 They stand fast for ever and ever, *
because they are done in truth and equity.
9 He sent redemption to his people;
he commanded his covenant for ever; *
holy and awesome is his Name.
10 The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom; *
those who act accordingly have a good understanding;
his praise endures for ever.
2 Timothy 2:8-15
8 Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, a descendant of David—that is my gospel, 9for which I suffer hardship, even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But the word of God is not chained. 10Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, so that they may also obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory. 11The saying is sure:
If we have died with him, we will also live with him;
12 if we endure, we will also reign with him;
if we deny him, he will also deny us;
13 if we are faithless, he remains faithful—
for he cannot deny himself.
14 Remind them of this, and warn them before God that they are to avoid wrangling over words, which does no good but only ruins those who are listening. 15Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved by him, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly explaining the word of truth.
11 On the way to Jerusalem Jesus was going through the region between Samaria and Galilee. 12As he entered a village, ten lepers approached him. Keeping their distance, 13they called out, saying, ‘Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!’ 14When he saw them, he said to them, ‘Go and show yourselves to the priests.’ And as they went, they were made clean. 15Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice. 16He prostrated himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him. And he was a Samaritan. 17Then Jesus asked, ‘Were not ten made clean? But the other nine, where are they? 18Was none of them found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?’ 19Then he said to him, ‘Get up and go on your way; your faith has made you well.’
The Rev. Dr. John Day led us in opening his sermon with the following:
“May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be always acceptable in your sight, Oh Lord my Strength and Redeemer”.
He discussed the Gospel reading concerning the ten lepers, how 9 followed The Law, and how only one came back to thank Jesus ( yet broke all the rules of Law). Fr. John also asked us in the congregation about what the story might really be about. Words such as Faith, Hope, Gratitude came up in the ensuing discussion. The scribe noticed the Samarians in the Old Testament and Samaritans in the New Testament are similar and both were considered outcasts and below The People of the Law, yet God answered and met their needs ( New Testament) and used the Samarians to put the Prophet in an unlikely place ( What! not at the King’s side?) and the leper in the Old Testament story was a great warrior, but was ‘put out’ when he was told to visit The Prophet in Samaria. The King was so upset he rent his clothes ( tore them) . Fr. John then related stories about a homeless prostitute who visits his other parish ( Church of the Saviour, Hanford, CA) ( http://www.saviourweb.com ) regularly; talking about her hand written envelope with her offering of thirty seven cents. Relating the Gospel to those of us who feel as if we are outside the box or outside the Love of Christ is a direct link to the Gospel story. So, do we feel as if we are outcast as the Samaritans were made to feel by The People of The Law? or are we The People of The Law ignoring the needs of the outcast?
The Church of the Saviour runs an interdenominational soup kitchen that operates 6 days a week located at 519 North Douty Street, Hanford, California.
Our church, Saint John’s Episcopal Church, missions to preschoolers in Tulare, with some students from Visalia and Hanford.
The Learning Center’s on the web at the following :
The Episcopal Church education tradition is deep and ancient in the tradition of the greater Anglican tradition, Our Learning Center encourages youngsters to develop responsibility and care and concern for others and themselves. The youngsters meet weekly for chapel services to learn more about Jesus and the greater Body of Christ.
Yours in Christ!,
Brewster Bird, Jr. Warden,
Saint John’s Episcopal Church