Author Archives: trevor

It bears thinking about, doesn’t it?

Christ Church Anglican Church Woodburn

1307 Woodburn Rd.,

Hannon, On.

L0R 1P0

Phone 905 692 3781

Reverend Trev Jones 289 649 0309

revtrev.jones@gmail.com

Greetings in the Name of Christ our Saviour and Redeemer on this

12th  Sunday of Pentecost

 Please use the following for personal worship, as desired.

It has been suggested that we all try to begin our reading and consideration of this abbreviated form of service, Sunday at 10.00 am. We will then be Christ Church together in prayer.

If you are not too far away, you may hear our bell rung at 10.00 am.

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Opening Sentence

I wait for the Lord; in his word is my hope. Psalm 130.4

Collect of the Day

Almighty God,

you sent your Holy Spirit

to be the life and light of your Church.

Open our hearts to the riches of your grace,

that we may bring forth the fruit of the Spirit

in love, joy, and peace;

through Jesus Christ our Lord,

who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and for ever. Amen

Psalm 106

Remember me, O Lord, with the favour you have

for your people, *and visit me with your saving help;

That I may see the prosperity of your elect

and be glad with the gladness of your people, *

that I may glory with your inheritance.

We have sinned as our forebears did; *

we have done wrong and dealt wickedly.

In Egypt they did not consider your marvellous works,

nor remember the abundance of your love; *

they defied the Most High at the Red Sea.

But he saved them for his name’s sake, *

to make his power known.

 He rebuked the Red Sea, and it dried up, *

And he led them through the deep as through a desert..

He saved them from the hand of those who hated them *

and redeemed them from the hand of the enemy.

The waters covered their oppressors; *

not one of them was left.

Then they believed his words *

and sang him songs of praise.

God our Father, remembering your covenant you graciously

pardoned those who rebelled against you. Grant that where

sin abounds, grace may abound more, through Jesus Christ

our Lord. Amen. 

The Gospel of Our Lord Jesus Christ According to Matthew

(Matthew 14:22-33)


Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds.

And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone, but by this time the boat, battered by the waves, was far from the land, for the wind was against them.

And early in the morning he came walking toward them on the sea.

But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, saying, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out in fear.

But immediately Jesus spoke to them and said, “Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.”

Peter answered him, “Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.”

He said, “Come.” So Peter got out of the boat, started walking on the water, and came toward Jesus.

But when he noticed the strong wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, “Lord, save me!”

Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, “You of little faith, why did you doubt?”

When they got into the boat, the wind ceased.

And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.”

This is the Gospel of Christ.

Meditation:

Does anyone remember Michael Landon, star of Little House on the Prairie?  And does anyone remember Johnny Carson when he was star of The Tonight Show?

Well, I once saw Michael Landon of Little House on the Prairie fame being interviewed by Johnny Carson. He was telling Johnny about one of jobs he had in Hollywood, while waiting to get a role. One of his jobs was working as a lifeguard.

The only thing was, he couldn’t swim.

I mean, how often does a lifeguard have to save someone in a swimming pool? Never. Or so he reasoned.

Well, wouldn’t you know it, a kid got into difficulty in the deep-end.

Michael saw this, and jumped in to rescue the youngster. And since he was just over six feet tall, Michael could make it to the side by taking little jumps in the water and taking a breath when his head was out of the water. This he did while holding the youngster above his head.

He put the child onto the poolside and as he climbed out, the boy’s mother came over. “Thank you so much for saving my son,”  she said, “ And I particularly liked how you kept throwing him into the air to amuse him so he wouldn’t be frightened.”

I told this story to a couple of people I was sailing with, and who were getting worried that the water was a bit rough and the boat was pitching a bit. “ We are near enough to the shore,” I said, “ You could probably do the same thing if we have difficulty. Just jump up and down, grabbing a breath on the ‘up’, and walk toward the shore. ”

Since the depth gauge was showing fifteen feet, no-one was reassured.

At times like that, it would be nice to be able to walk on the water, wouldn’t it?

But if you think about it, if you couldn’t sink in water, then you could never take a bath, could you? You wouldn’t be able to get into the tub. You would be stuck on the surface of the water.  You wouldn’t be able to swim, or even paddle.

The vision of Jesus walking on the water is one that has been featured by artists in paintings, and in stained glass, and has  something special about it. It’s much more impressive than turning water into wine.  What a wonderful thing to be able to do.

Now the original Greek allows for two interpretations of this story. One is the obvious miracle that we were brought up with, and which is commemorated  in so many works of art.

And then there is a more rational explanation.

Some suggest, that in the storm that had suddenly arisen, the disciples’  boat may have been driven close to the northern shore of the lake. Jesus had gone up the mountain there to pray, and he would see the boat as he came down from the mountain.  He  waded into the surf and waves, towards the boat, to help them, and he startled them with his sudden appearance,

Take which version you like, It doesn’t matter.  What does matter is that in the hour of the disciples’ need, he came to them.

When the wind and the waves made them sore afraid, he was there to help them.

That’s the assurance we ourselves have as followers of Jesus. That when we are up against it, struggling with what’s gone wrong in our lives, whether it be from circumstance, or temptation, or bad decisions, or just plain despair, we need not struggle alone.

We aren’t expected to manage by ourselves.

We don’t have to depend on ourselves, alone.

Paul, in his letter to the Romans is attacking the attitude of the Jews of the time because they insist they can save themselves by living a perfect  life.

He agreed with them. He said it was right that a person could be saved if they could do no wrong……….. but nobody had ever succeeded in doing no wrong.

Paul says it is not by our effort that Christ was brought  into the world, or raised  from the dead. Similarly, it is not our effort which wins us goodness. The thing is done for us and we have only to accept it..

For some people, though, acceptance doesn’t come easily.

Keith Hernandez was one of baseball’s top players. He was a lifetime 300 hitter who had won numerous Golden Glove awards for excellence in fielding. He won a batting championship for having the highest average, the Most Valuable Player award in his league, and even the World Series.

Yet with all his accomplishments, he has missed out on something crucially important to him — his father’s acceptance and recognition of what he had accomplished.

Listen to what he had to say in a very candid interview about his relationship with his father:

When Keith asked his father, “Dad, I have a lifetime 300 batting average. What more do you want?” his father replied, “ Someday you’re going to look back and say, “I could have done more.”[1]

That ball player’s success ironically, may have come from the fact that he had never been good enough for his dad.  Never done enough. Could always do more, and when he did more, that still wasn’t enough. And that attitude of his father, that the son could never be good enough, became his own attitude. No matter how he tried he would never find satisfaction.  

The Jews in Paul’s time tried to live the perfect life. But they could never succeed. Who could?  They tried and tried, and the more they tried the more they felt unworthy.

Paul, as a Pharisee had been on that treadmill himself, but had come to realise  (and it broke his heart that his own people couldn’t come to the same realisation) that we are not made acceptable by what we do, but because of what God did in Jesus. His sacrifice is what makes us acceptable. It’s marvellous, isn’t it?

Makes us good! 

All we have to do is have a sense of, and belief in, the lordship of Jesus.

We must believe that God raised Jesus from the dead. The essence of this is that Jesus lives. Today.  In us!.

And we must believe, not only in our heart but in our lips – we have to profess our faith – live our faith – show our faith to the world.

It isn’t about struggling daily to be good, it’s about having faith that we have been  made good. 

Paul quotes Isaiah to his Jewish readers. Isaiah 28:16: Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.

He quotes Joel, 2:32: All who call upon the name of the Lord will be delivered.

There is nothing in those two quotes about being perfect, nor of anyone being excluded.  God’s love and peace are extended to everyone.  And yet, people still don’t see it.  People are still driven, and searching in this world for the happiness, and peace that eludes them.

One of the most successful women of our time, and one of the wealthiest, is Oprah Winfrey. She has said, “ I discovered I didn’t feel worth a damn, and certainly not worthy of love, unless I was accomplishing something. I suddenly realized I have never felt I could be loved, just for… being.” [2]

Another celebrity, Madonna, said, “ My drive in life is from this horrible fear of being mediocre. That is what has always been pushing me, pushing me. Because even though I’ve become somebody, I still have to prove that I’m SOMEBODY. My struggle has never ended, and it probably never will.[3]

Those two women have what many other women would envy. They have power, fame, wealth, admiration of their peers, and all sorts of material things, but still don’t feel they are acceptable.  They can’t even accept themselves .

How sad, to be always struggling. Never satisfied. Never at peace.

Just as a Jew would find it hard to believe that the way to God was not to be found in obeying the law perfectly, people today find it hard to believe that happiness and peace of mind can’t be found in success, and wealth, or on the hockey rink.

And yet every day we see proof that it isn’t so.

When the disciples were in that storm, and frightened for their lives, Jesus came to them and saved them.

When we are fighting our way through storms, and worried for our life, Jesus will save us.

It’s coming to know that. Isn’t it?

It’s accepting that he is Lord of our lives, not us  –  or that’s how it should be. It is accepting that Jesus lives,  and will live in us, and that we will show it to the world.

Surely that’s easier than becoming a star.

Only one in every hundred thousand ballet dancers will ever dance a leading role.

Only one in every three hundred thousand kids in hockey will have a chance at playing professionally.

Only one in every hundred and fifty thousand  chartered accountants will make partner.

Only one in every twenty million lottery ticket buyers will win the big one.

But every single, solitary, individual  one who comes to Jesus will be saved.

It bears thinking about, doesn’t it?  

Amen.

Let us Pray  (Our continued prayer during this crisis)

Dear God, 

At this moment of our fear and anguish, come upon us.

May the body of humanity be filled with light

May the mind of humanity be filled with love.

May every cell of both body and consciousness 

be flooded with the divine.

May those who are sick be healed.

May those who fear and grieve and panic 

be comforted.

And may all humanity be purified 

of the selfishness, greed and irresponsibility that in so many ways led to this.

Bless the doctors, nurses,

the scientists, the grocers, sanitation workers, the political leaders, manufacturers,

and all those who are working so hard

to save us. Please work a miracle in our minds and hearts And take the virus from our midst.

 Amen

Announcements

Worship in church will resume under certain conditions, on Sunday September 13th at 10.00 am. We are living in a ‘new normal’ as they say, a condition which  will entail changes to how we worship, and for some time to come.  Parish Council met to consider such changes, details of which remain to be worked out, and will be provided in future emails. It is anticipated that not everyone will wish to return to church just yet, so our weekly Email Worship will continue. Pray that God will guide us in our endeavor to acknowledge Him and the Lordship of Jesus, in our lives, personal  and corporate.

Bishop’s Homily and a weekly service can be watched  on the diocesan Facebook page or the diocesan You Tube page.

Prayer Requests. Please forward requests for prayer to

the Prayer Chain, c/o Tricia Puttock, at 905 692 0828 or by email: dpputtock@rogers.com )

To continue your support of your church, and its ministry:- 

Under Interac E transfer  (on line banking) :  as follows

            Send Money to:  Christ Church Woodburn

            Notify by email

            Contact email:  slaustin@rogers.com

            Message:  Parishioners should include their envelope number here. 

            Offerings can also be mailed to the church – using offering envelope inside            a normal mail envelope.

Children’s story.

If you go to a certain place in Africa, and into the wilderness area, you will see large mounds, which look as if they are made of cement, and in which a particular type of ants live. These mounds are what are called ‘ant colonies. ‘

The mounds  are quite big, some three feet in height , and three of four feet around at the base, and inside live hundreds, maybe thousands of ants.

They keep busy taking care of their queen, collecting food to store in their pantries, and also, some of them, are soldier ants, with large sharp mandibles, whose job it is to keep guard of the ant hill nest, watching out for intruders, and attacking any other insects that may wonder into the ants’ home.

One day in one such anthill colony as all the worker ants were busy doing their work, the queen ant producing eggs for future babies, the soldier ants patrolling the edges of the colony, some of the worker ants sounded the alarm, ” “Our home is being attacked.”

A large animal, an anteater had found the anthill and with its sharp claws had made a hole in the wall of the colony, and was poking around inside, searching for ants to eat.

Worker ants scurried about, moving any eggs that might be in danger from the intruder, and  soldier ants rushed outside, swarming the anteater, biting and pinching it with their mandibles, while other worker ants set frantically about repairing the hole which the anteater had made with his claws.

The anteater swiped at the soldier ants on his head, and body,  brushing some away, but there were too many for him, so he stopped groping inside the colony to protect himself, and meanwhile a bunch of worker ants had swarmed to the opening and begun to repair it.

Some of the repair work could be done inside the colony, but some had to be done outside, so other ants, scurried about outside, collecting animal manure, and twigs and leafs from close by and worked to close the hole in the wall.

It was dangerous for any ants to be out there with the anteater close by, but the hole had to be fixed, and the worker ants worked hard to make the repair. Some of them were working so hard, and were still busy when those inside began to close the hole – from the inside – so it was obvious that some of the worker ants and some of the soldier ants would be left outside, and in danger.

But those on the outside kept working, knowing they could be attacked, and finally the hole was closed, with some soldier ants and some worker ants still busy out there. And in danger.

They were going to die, but still they worked on the anthill from outside, working to save the lives of their friends inside.

They would sacrifice their own lives to save others.

What ants do, is something that humans have sometimes done – sacrifice their own lives to save their friends, and today, Sunday, we especially remember that Jesus Himself  gave His life so that we could be saved from the bad things in this world.

 Sunday is the time when we go to church and remember Jesus especially, and try to be like him.

The End.

Closing Blessing:

The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make his face to shine upon you and  be gracious unto you; The Lord lift up His countenance upon you and grant you His peace. Amen.


[1] The Gift of Honor, Gary Smalley & John Trent, Ph.D. p. 116

[2] – Oprah Winfrey, talk-show host, Good Housekeeping, September, 1991, p. 63

[3] – Madonna, Quoted from Vogue, in What Jesus Would Say, by Lee Strobel