3rd Sunday After Pentecost

There will be those people who say to God, “Thy will be done,” and there will be those people to whom God says, “Thy will be done.”

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

Just as one man’s trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one man’s act of righteousness leads to acquittal and life for all men.

Here in this passage from Romans, Paul’s premier work on how it is man is justified, St. Paul shines like nowhere else in Sacred Scripture. Romans inspired great Saints like Augustine of Hippo, and more troubled souls such as Luther and Calvin. They all got it. But this idea of justification is a tricky one for sure, and one can get it wrong as well.

The thing about sin is that it has very little to do with you personally, other than the fact you are the moral agent who conducted the act. By definition you knew full well what you were doing, knew it was a sin, and chose to plow straight into it anyway.

The thing that makes Sin such a big deal is not so much the sinner, but who the sinner has offended. Sin is an offense against God, that is what makes it such a big deal. In the days of feudal societies this would have been much easier for people to grasp. There were classes of people, royal, nobles, peasants etc. If a peasant offended a royal the consequences were going to be serious, and may cost the peasant all he had, and maybe things he did not have.

The ontological difference between man and God is far greater than that between a king and peasant, it is actually infinitely greater of a chasm. If man were not a moral agent, he would not be capable of sin at all. Nobody imputes sin to any other kind of living being, except man. No matter how smart dolphins and monkeys may be, they are not moral agents. Does any other creature erect an altar, recognize God, and worship him? No. Evidence they are not moral creatures.

St. Paul is pulling out all the stops in Romans to get people to see how exactly the economy of salvation works. Sin was a problem man could by definition do nothing much about. In spite of what Pelagius thought, you cannot work your way to heaven, and if you do any good work at all is only because God’s grace moved in you before you even began the work you undertake.

So why do any good works? Salvation was a free gift of God in Christ. Why not just get baptized, affirm a faith in Christ and go on your marry way. One and done as we call it. Are you saved? Yes, washed in the same blood as you brother.

This has never been the Church’s take on salvation. Yes it is a free gift of God in and through Christ, but this gift should inspire in us the desire to be imitations of Christ in the world, and to share the truth of this profound gift with others via act of faith and virtue. Christians ought to look like Christians because in fact they are Christians.

Throughout all 20 centuries of our Christian faith the Church has carried on the commission of transmittal of the faith in Word, and Sacrament to every generation that comes along. So who is this Church? You, I , the structure of Diocese, the Lay people, the Ordained, our buildings, our traditions, rites, our shared memory that comes from an ancient history. Christ tells us we will be like sheep in the middle of wolves. This is so true. If you become imitations of Christ in the world you will quite literally be a sheep in worse than wolves. Who is Christ? Is he not the Lamb of God?

A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master; it is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. This type of language does not work well in a 21st century America. That is part of the reason we do not get the nature of sin, nor the nature of being a disciple of Christ. Everybody is equal, you can be anything you want to be, who are you to say? Who cares what the case actually is, it is how I feel about it that really matters. Different strokes for different folks.

This type of thinking would have found absolutely no traction in the 1st century Roman empire, or the Jewish heritage in which Christ was raised. The Apostles would have clearly realized that this sort of volunteerism was complete nonsense, and made the person and work of Christ Jesus unintelligible in any terms at all.

One of the biggest reasons we cannot have a “one and done” mentality regarding our salvation is the fact of human free will. You are a moral agent, and you can choose not God. It would be a terrible tragedy for you to make that choice, but in fact you can. I suppose many have, though I cannot prove that.

We have no more of an appreciation of God’s grace that completely surrounds our entire being than we have of air. Nobody even much notices air, until they do not have enough of it. If at some critical point along life’s journey you choose “not God” I suppose the pain would be something like choosing “not air” One will lead to physical death, the other to spiritual death. Neither a thing to be sought out.

We used to talk about “mortal sin” It means lethal! Think about it. All sin is equal in the respect of being an offense against God, and therefore were it not for Christ any little sin would be lethal. As a Christian the Mortal part comes when the sin is such that it causes you to choose “not God.”

Christ is absolutely sufficient for all human sin past present and future. That is not an invitation to sin, but a fact.

so everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven; but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father in Heaven.”

If we were put on trial for being Christian, I hope there would be enough evidence to get everyone of us clearly convicted. It’s a choice. Make a good one.

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

Amen.

Our Mission

Faithfully ministering the Word and Sacraments – through  worship, prayer and community outreach.

WORSHIP

SUNDAY
– Christian Education 9:30AM
– Holy Eucharist 10:30AM

WEDNESDAY NIGHT
– Bible Study 6:00PM

The Holy Mass

The Holy Mass – Live

Online Bible Study with Fr. Rogers

Upcoming Events

  • July 14, 2020
    • Divine StitchesDivine StitchesTime: 6:00 pm
      Divine Stitches is a sewing ministry. We provide simple blankets for the First Responders in the Burkburnett area as well as work on our own personal projects.
  • July 15, 2020
    • Bible StudyBible StudyTime: 6:00 pm
      Grow your knowledge of the Bible and theology with Fr. John every Wednesday night.
  • July 19, 2020
    • Christian Ed. & Holy EucharistChristian Ed. & Holy EucharistTime: 9:30 am
      Christian Education @ 9:30AM
      Holy Eucharist @ 10:30AM
  • July 21, 2020
    • Divine StitchesDivine StitchesTime: 6:00 pm
      Divine Stitches is a sewing ministry. We provide simple blankets for the First Responders in the Burkburnett area as well as work on our own personal projects.
  • July 22, 2020
    • Bible StudyBible StudyTime: 6:00 pm
      Grow your knowledge of the Bible and theology with Fr. John every Wednesday night.
Newsletter

Letter from Bishop Reed

Camp Crucis

Archives

TrustedSite Secure

1000 South Berry Street
Burkburnett, Texas 76354
(940) 569-3558