"Lo, these many years do I serve thee, neither transgressed I at any time thy commandment: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends"
Fr. Scott led our Holy Communion Service this Sunday, the Ninth Sunday after Trinity. His sermon focused on the Gospel lesson about the Prodigal Son and his older brother. This parable beautifully lays out the grace and mercy that God the Father shows toward those who sin greatly and that He is waiting for us to return home. However, Fr. Scott pointed out that our Lord gives us a better picture of ourselves in the second half of the parable as the elder son has just as much to teach us as the younger son. His first reaction to the return of his younger brother and the resulting celebration is anger. He refuses to join the party, disgracing his father. The eldest son is just going through the motions and doesn't have love for his brother or his father - he is bitter and angry. He would rather be miserable and alone outside the party then choose restoration and reconciliation by greeting his brother.
Does your goodness flow from a love of God or merely from a lack of opportunity to sin? This parable highlights external faith verses internal faith - religion of works or relationship of faith. The key is to have both a love for God in our hearts and an amended life of service to him. May both the Prodigal son and the Elder son be examples to us. Please find Fr. Scott's complete, beautiful sermon at 24:24 minute mark at the following link:
Ming on the piano provided beautiful music for us during services!
Thank you both so much - we are so blessed with wonderful musical talent. Their music is included on the Facebook link above.
In Christian Education this morning Fr. Scott continued his series on The Creeds, discussing the Nicene Creed. With the rise of Constantine the Great, Christianity was given an official status in the Roman Empire, ending centuries of persecution. As the Emperor was now interested in Christianity, theological disputes became political disputes. At this time Arius, an Alexandrian clergyman, taught that Christ was not co-equal with the Father though He was much greater than everything else. The Council of Nicaea in 325 AD was called by Constantine to address this controversy. The Council of Constantinople was called 56 years later to further address the heresy of Arianism and outline the Trinity regarding the Holy Spirit among other important points of faith. Fr. Scott reviewed the Filioque Controversy and some of the famous Nicaea attendees (Athanasius and Nicholas of Myra aka Santa Claus). The significance of the Nicene Creed includes:
- Symbol/Creed/Profession of Faith
-Approved by the whole council of the Church
-gives it an extraordinary amount of "weight"
-this creed was approved before the canon of the Bible
-Sets the Boundaries of Christian Theology
-It is the summation of the Christian Faith acceptable for salvation
Thank you Fr. Scott for that very interesting lesson!
After services Sue and I brought dips, pesto, guacamole, & hummus along with chips, crackers, veggies, and deviled eggs!
Good food, good conversation, and . . .
and great company!!!
While Sue and I were cleaning this week, we found this beautiful new staircase from the lower lot to front of the church!
Mike, our wonderful and talented Jr. Warden, sent this picture of the completed staircase!
Thank you, Mike for all your hard work!!
Several of us met Teresa at Chop House to remember and celebrate the life of Lanny, her beloved husband who passed away one year ago.
We had a wonderful time remembering and reminiscing about Lanny - he had such a big personality! And we heard at least one new story!!
Almighty God, we remember this day before thee thy faithful servant Lanny, and we pray thee that, having opened to him the gates of larger life, thou wilt receive him more and more into thy joyful service; that he may win, with thee and thy servants everywhere, the eternal victory; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Diane has graciously stepped up to lead our prayer group this Tuesday at 11:30 as Sue will be out of town. Thank you so much for taking the time to lead our prayers this week! If you have a special prayer request but cannot join us, please send your request to Diane. Please contact me (Rosalind) if you would like to join us on Discord.
Ming is returning to Duke in two weeks to continue his education. We are having a pot luck luncheon after services on Sunday, August 15 as a big 'Thank You' to him.