Saturday, January 06, 2007

1st Sunday after the Epiphany

Epistle 1928 BCP Mass

Romans 12:1-5 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.
And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:
So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.

What better time is there for us to make a move toward repentance and amendment of life, than the Sunday following the Feast of the Epiphany – that time when God through Christ, the Light of the world, came to us to illumine our pathways and to reveal our shortcomings and sins.

Yes, we have sin in our lives; all of us, every day, transgress against the Word of God. However, we have in His Word, the means through His Grace, to lay aside that awful weight of sin, because that Word tells us in verse 2, to be transformed to that perfected will of God, and not to conform to the ways of the world.

Verse 4 tells us that we, who believe, are members of His body, the Church; yet not all are the same in the body. We each have our own unique gifts to bring, our own service to offer, our own niche to fill in His kingdom.

But yet, not all whom we know will have a place, only those who have purposed in their heart to submit to His will, to obey His Word, to receive Him into their lives as Lord and Master.

O God, who by the leading of a star didst manifest thy only-begotten Son to the Gentiles; Mercifully grant that we, who know thee now by faith, may after this life have the fruition of thy glorious Godhead; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
-collect for Epiphany Octave, 1928 BCP

O Lord, we beseech thee mercifully to receive the prayers of thy people who call upon thee; and grant that they may both perceive and know what things they ought to do, and also may have grace and power faithfully to fulfill the same; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
-collect for the First Sunday after the Epiphany, 1928 BCP

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