Reflections for the Week of Sunday May 29, 2016 Second after Pentecost

The Gospel: Luke 7.1-10.

St Clement has been trying for some time to discern what the Lord’s vision for our church is. A vision committee has been appointed and has met, meditated, studied, prayed and sought the input of the parish. One of the main elements of the vision that has emerged is “discipleship”– that every member of the church should be engaged in discipleship. To be a disciple means to be a learner. Jesus, as He was about to depart from the earth to return to the Father, said, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always even to the end of the ages.” (Mt 28.18-20). Discipleship is learning the teachings of Jesus. As we enter the long ;season of Pentecost, I am going to focus on the teachings of Jesus in the gospel selections in the Lectionary rather than the Old Testament, Psalm, and Epistle, and trust to the Holy Spirit to reveal what Jesus wants us to learn. We may look from time to time at the Epistle also, but mainly we will focus on the gospel. At present we are in year C of the Lectionary which is in the gospel of Luke chapter 7, verses 1-10 for this coming Sunday in which Jesus, entering Capernaum, is asked by some friends of a centurion to heal has slave who is very ill. Jesus sets out to go to the centurion’s house, but the centurion said he did not need to come; all He needed to do was give the order and he knew it would done. Jesus marveled at the faith of this Gentile. When the centurion’s people returned home, they found the slave healed. This is one of many examples of Jesus’ sovereign and divine power. It is one of many actions Jesus took to help Gentiles, foretelling the coming of the gospel to the Gentiles through Paul. As disciples we need to see the power Jesus had (and has). We need to reflect deeply on who Jesus was (and is). He was the second Person of the three-Personed Godhead who at the command of the Father became incarnate, i.e., took on the flesh of a human being, and lived as fully God and fully Man to reveal God to mankind. His mission was to restore the loving relationship between God and man, and as we meditate prayerfully on His life and come to know Him as our Lord and Savior, we can receive the Holy Spirit to dwell in us to give us faith and justify us before God. Do we recognize Jesus for who He is? Do we think of Him as the wisest, smartest, most knowledgeable Person in the whole world? Do we trust Him and want to follow Him and obey His teachings? Do we want to set aside time daily to be with Him in prayer to allow Him to shape us and transform us to be like Him? This is what Christianity is all about, and it is what discipleship is all about. It may be that our understanding of God–Father, Son, and Holy Spirit–is too small. God is Spirit and is everywhere, among us and within us and is the Sovereign Lord who is omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent, and “who works all things according to the counsel of His will” (Eph 1.11). Our purpose is to glorify Him, and His purpose is to restore us to a loving relationship with Him. This was His whole purpose in calling Abram out of Ur and choosing a family from the Patriarchs, culminating at last in Jesus to fulfill all the prophecies of the Hebrew Scriptures.

Memory Verse: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only Son of the Father, full of grace and truth (John 1.1, 14).

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