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Saint Mark the Evangelist.

O ALMIGHTY God, who hast instructed thy holy Church with the heavenly doctrine of thy Evangelist Saint Mark; Give us grace that, being not like children carried away with every blast of vain doctrine, we may be established in the truth of thy holy Gospel; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Readings see below: Ephesians iv. 7. St. John xv. 1.

Abide in Me

The Gospel today has one plain message, those who abide in Jesus Christ will be made fruitful, and will produce good things for the Kingdom of God. Those who do not abide in Christ, shall be cut off and cast away into the fire. As we remember St. Mark the Evangelist this day, and the Gospel he gave us, we can appreciate his fruitful works through his Gospel, a work that was the result of his walk with Jesus, abiding in his love and laboring for his Kingdom. Our salvation is assured in our ABIDING FAITH in Christ, and the outward manifestation of that faith is the good that we produce.

The Greek word translated as ‘abide" is Meno. It means to remain in. In reference to place it means to sojourn or tarry, not to depart from, to be held and kept, and not depart from. In reference to time it means to continue to be, not to perish, to endure. In reference to state or condition, it means to remain as one, not to become another, or different.

In our Epistle, St. Paul tells us that as we abide in Jesus Christ he works a good work in us to develop us for his purposes. Not all will do the same work, but each will be given gifts, abilities, and inspiration to do some work for the good of the Kingdom. Paul cites examples of various vocations such as apostles; prophets; evangelists; pastors, and teachers. Their work is to labor to exhort the saints toward following Jesus our daily life as we grow in grace. Through this effort, the whole Church will be built up for the glory of God, and the saints shall walk together in the unity of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

The image of Jesus as the Vine and the God the Father as the Husbandman is a powerful one. In it, Jesus compares the Church to a vine. Some branches of the Church become dried up. They do not bear fruit, but take from the body so that it suffers as a whole. His Father, the Good Husbandman looks for these branches. He can spot them fairly easily, for it is evident whether or not they produce good fruits – some produce no fruit, others produce corrupt fruit. For the good of the Vine, the Husbandman prunes the bad branches from the Vine. He casts them away and burns them up in the fire. Those branches that actually remain in the Vine benefit from the care of the Husbandman and produce more good fruit. He tends them with love, purging them and dressing them that they might become even better.

I believe our Lord shared this image with his disciples so that they might understand the importance of enduring in the fellowship of the saints. That they might convey to all that it is only by walking with Christ and following him day-by-day that we shall be saved. Only through our daily walk are we to be fed by the True Vine – and apart from him we will become unfruitful and a drain on the body of the faithful. The true meaning to "believe" in Christ is to abide in him. It is not just to acknowledge him to be the Son of God, for even the devils do so. It is to accept him as one’s personal Savior, and to commune with him continually.

One of the rules of the Order of Centurions is to "pray without ceasing" as St. Paul encouraged us in 1 Thessalonians 5:16 "Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." Patrick of Ireland expressed it in this prayer: Christ be with us, Christ before us, Christ behind us, Christ in us, Christ beneath us, Christ above us, Christ on our right, Christ on our left, Christ where we lie, Christ where we sit, Christ where we arise, Christ in the heart of every one who thinks of us, Christ in every eye that sees us, Christ in every ear that hears us. Salvation is of the Lord, Salvation is of the Christ, May your salvation, O Lord, be ever with us.

The continuous interior prayer is a form of communication with God. Central to it is the awareness of God's presence at all times, a prayer which is reflective of the union of heart mind, soul, and will with God. By following this exhortation of Paul, and the example of Patrick, and following his commandments day-by-day, one can be assured that they will Abide in Christ. He in return, through the power of the Holy Spirit, will make them fruitful laborers for the Kingdom.

Ephesians iv. 7.

UNTO every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.? And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: that we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; but speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: from whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

St. John xv. 1.

I AM the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: he that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. If a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast them into the fire, and they are burned. If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you. Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples. As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love. These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full.

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The Second Sunday after Easter

ALMIGHTY God, who hast given thine only Son to be unto us both a sacrifice for sin, and also an ensample of godly life; Give us grace that we may always most thankfully receive that his inestimable benefit, and also daily endeavour ourselves to follow the blessed steps of his most holy life; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

One Flock, One Shepherd

1 St. Peter ii. 19. St. John x. 11.

Both the epistle and the gospel use the image of the Shepherd to convey important truths about our Lord. In the Gospel, Jesus calls himself the Good Shepherd, and goes on to explain how he gives his life for the sheep, while in contrast the hiring will run away if he is threatened. St Peter, in the Epistle, calls Jesus the Shepherd and Bishop (overseer) of our souls.

When we commit ourselves to Christ, he becomes our protector and guardian. As we follow his voice and his leadership, he guides us along a safe pathway. In ancient times the Good Shepherd did not drive his sheep. His sheep knew his voice separate from any other person, and would follow the shepherd. The shepherd slept, ate and lived in the wild with his flock. When danger threatened, he met and guarded his sheep. Do you recall David’s discourse with Saul? In it he told King Saul that he did not fear the Philistine, for he had killed lions and bears with his sling to protect his flock.

The Good Shepherd also tells us something new about his flock. It isn’t like anything in the past. His flock is not limited to the nation of Israel, but is universal. His flock includes the gentiles (non-Jews) who shall hearken to his call and follow his lead. There will not be two flocks, one Jewish one Gentile, but rather the one flock of all his followers.

Some of the creeds of the early church captured this idea of the one flock with the term. "We believe in one catholic and apostolic church. The word catholic here is translated as universal. There is but one Church, one Lord, one Faith, one Good Shepherd. He is the Lord of all.

It is unfortunate that our Lord’s one flock is now so divided. Issues continue to divide the Body. A recent example is the Episcopal Church of the United States. It decided, as a body, to ignore the collective voice of the entire Anglican Communion. Their decisions have created in a rift in the World Wide Anglican Communion – about the "Authority of Scripture". The same types of issues are challenging the unity of the Church everywhere.

However, these issues cannot divide the true Church of God. Trends of the day cannot alter his Word; it is immutable. Each generation must read the Scriptures in terms of what they meant when they were written – and understand them in terms of the circumstances of the times. Then judiciously and carefully apply them to today’s circumstances. In the end times we, the saints, will all be gathered together with the Lord with no distinctions as to form or function of worship or doctrine, and our eyes shall be opened to the truth and unity of the One Flock under the One Shepherd. Remember the words of St. Paul how he said, For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known [1co 13:12].

The Order of the Centurions looks to follow Christ as closely as possible as the saints of the early centuries did. We look to Words of Jesus, and the Apostles’ teachings and understanding of the Lord, as our guide. We declare our Church to be under the Church Militant - the One Church of the Lord of all living saints.


1 St. Peter ii. 19.

THIS is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully. For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.

St. John x. 11.

JESUS said, I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep. The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep. I am the good shepherd; and know my sheep, and am known of mine, even as the Father knoweth me, and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one flock, and one shepherd.

Psalm 23

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The First Sunday after Easter.

ALMIGHTY Father, who hast given thine only Son to die for our sins, and to rise again for our justification; Grant us so to put away the leaven of malice and wickedness, that we may always serve thee in pureness of living and truth; through the merits of the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Readings Below: 1 St. John v. 4. -- John xx19

In Eastertide we read and enjoy the stories of Jesus appearing with his disciples before he ascended. In John’s Gospel, Mary is the first to have seen him at the sepulcher. She does not recognize him, but takes him to be the gardener. He then reveals himself to her, and instructs her to go and tell the disciples that he is risen. After the Resurrection, the Gospels show us that something new is going on. People who knew Jesus intimately do not recognize him unless he chooses to reveal himself.

That same day, Jesus went to the disciples who were hiding themselves behind closed doors. They were afraid, unsure, and leaderless. Jesus appears in their midst. He doesn’t knock at door, or enter through any portal, he just appears. Jesus’ first words put them at rest: "Peace be unto you." His words, his presence, his testimony of the resurrection and his demonstration of his wounds had a very reassuring effect on the ten disciples gathered there. Just as he calmed the seas by his command, he calmed his disciples. Then he gave those gathered there a most wonderful gift, the Holy Spirit. The Gospel says he breathed on them. This was the first time that Jesus had given the Holy Ghost to anyone. He did so by breathing on them. This reminds one of the beginning of creation:

The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters.

The Hebrew word for spirit in this verse is Ruwach (roo’ –akh), and it means breath or wind. The image of creation is of God breathing out his Holy Spirit upon the void to create something new out of nothing.

When he created man it is written

And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.

John the Apostle tell us:

Jesus was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.

Now on this day of the Resurrection, the first day of the week, Jesus is creating a new thing. He did not breathe on only one person, but upon all his disciples who were gathered there collectively, as a group. This new thing he is creating is the Body of Christ – The Church Militant. Those who are called out to follow Jesus. In the coming Feast of Pentecost we will read of a similar episode with the Breath of God rushing in like a great wind upon the Church and then overcoming thousands who heard the Good News.

Jesus gives his Spirit and Peace to those who hear him and follow him. Whenever and wherever two or three are gathered in his name; he is in the midst of them just as he was on that Sunday Resurrection Day. We are assured as we walk with our Lord, that our path is right and true and that the Peace of God is amongst us and remains with us.

Let us conclude by singing the lovely hymn, Breathe on Me Breath of God.

Breathe on me, breath of God,
Fill me with life anew,
That I may love what Thou dost love,
And do what Thou wouldst do.

Breathe on me, breath of God,
Until my heart is pure,
Until with Thee I will one will,
To do and to endure.

Breathe on me, breath of God,
Blend all my soul with Thine,
Until this earthly part of me
Glows with Thy fire divine.

Breathe on me, breath of God,
So shall I never die,
But live with Thee the perfect life
Of Thine eternity.



1 St. John v. 4.
WHATSOEVER is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth. For there are three that bear witness, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one. If we receive the witness of men, the witness of God is greater: for this is the witness of God which he hath testified of his Son. He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son. And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. He that hath the Son hath life; and he that hath not the Son of God hath not life.

St. John xx. 19.

THE same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of the Jews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. And when he had so said, he shewed unto them his hands and his side. Then were the disciples glad when they saw the Lord. Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: whosesoever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whosesoever sins ye retain, they are retained.

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Tuesday in Easter Week

GRANT, we beseech thee, Almighty God, that we who celebrate with reverence the Paschal feast, may be found worthy to attain to everlasting joys; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Readings below: Acts xiii. 26. -- St. Luke xxiv. 36.

by Jesus all that believe are justified

St. Luke's account of Paul's address to the men in the synagogue of Antioch is a synopsis of the Gospel. Note that his message is sent to those who "feareth God." The verses before it summarize the history of Israel. Paul so couched his address to appeal to the Jews and their heritage. The next Sabbath, the account goes on to tell us, Paul addressed the gentiles, almost the entire city of Antioch. His succinct message bears the central theme of the ministry of Jesus, the Good News that Jesus offers forgiveness of sins to all who repent and believe in him, and that they shall be justified of all things.

At the end of these verses, Paul warns that the prophets have foreseen this day, and that many would despise the Good News to their own demise. It is no different today than then. Recently here in America, "Fundamental Christianity" has become a derogatory term. If one truly believes the Scriptures and expounds them and follows them, the American culture despises you. An example of this is the recent film, The Passion. In it director Mel Gibson has attempted to capture the Gospel account of the Passion faithfully, and graphically. He has received much criticism for his effort. The box offices, however, have shown that this story has the power to attract listeners and change lives as it has for 2,000 years.

In the Gospel account, Jesus deals with a similar situation. He makes a demonstration of his resurrection to his disciples so that they might see and believe that he was raised from the dead. He shows them his wounds. He eats food before them. He opens their eyes to the Scriptures. He did this to encourage them and strengthen them so that they might believe and then go forth and preach the Good News to all nations - just as Paul is seen doing in our Epistle. That news is: The Lord Jesus Christ is risen from the dead. Repent, be baptized, and believe on him and your sins will be forgiven.


Acts xiii. 26.

MEN and brethren, children of the stock of Abraham, and whosoever among you feareth God, to you is the word of this salvation sent. For they that dwell at Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they knew him not, nor yet the voices of the prophets which are read every sabbath day, they have fulfilled them in condemning him. And though they found no cause of death in him, yet desired they Pilate that he should be slain. And when they had fulfilled all that was written of him, they took him down from the tree, and laid him in a sepulchre. But God raised him from the dead: and he was seen many days of them which came up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, who are his witnesses unto the people. And we declare unto you glad tidings, how that the promise which was made unto the fathers, God hath fulfilled the same unto us their children, in that he hath raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second psalm, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee. And as concerning that he raised him up from the dead, now no more to return to corruption, he said on this wise, I will give you the sure mercies of David. Wherefore he saith also in another psalm, Thou shalt not suffer thine Holy One to see corruption. For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell on sleep, and was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruption: but he, whom God raised again, saw no corruption. Be it known unto you therefore, men and brethren, that through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: and by him all that believe are justified from all things, from which ye could not be justified by the law of Moses. Beware therefore, lest that come upon you, which is spoken of in the prophets; Behold, ye despisers, and wonder, and perish: for I work a work in your days, a work which ye shall in no wise believe, though a man declare it unto you.

St. Luke xxiv. 36.

JESUS himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you. But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit. And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts? Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have. And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them his hands and his feet. And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat? And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb. And he took it, and did eat before them. And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me. Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, and said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: and that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things.

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Monday in Easter Week
O GOD, whose blessed Son did manifest himself to his disciples in the breaking of bread; Open, we pray thee, the eyes of our faith, that we may behold thee in all thy works; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

He took bread, and brake it, and gave it to them.
And their eyes were opened and they knew him.

Acts x. 34 -- St. Luke xxiv. 13

Today’s epistle begins with Peter’s revelation Concerning Centuio Cornelius of Caesserea, it is the basis of the motto of the order. The good news is that no matter who you are, or where you came from, or what your race, appearance, or heritage, you are welcome if you fear God and do what is right.

The Christian community was and is exclusive. Only those who confessed Jesus as Lord and walked in the way were permitted full participation in the assembly. It gathered in the weekly meetings on the first day of the week, when all the followers of the way of Jesus would gather together in one body to share in fellowship, in the reading and study of the law, prophets, and letters from the apostles, and most importantly, to share in the weekly memorial of his Passion, the thanksgiving meal of his body and blood. In this special way, Jesus was present with the assembly as he was with the disciples at Emmaus. Indeed, early Christianity was often symbolized with the fish. The letters in the Greek word, ichthus, meaning fish, came to stand for the term, Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior, and the paten of the Chapel of Centurions contains the ancient symbol of the Ichthus. It represented the miracles of Jesus and his memorial feast.

The weekly feast of the Lord was conducted with a certain routine according to Justus. The assembly would first come together, and then leaders read the law, prophets, letters of the apostles and the Gospel. Then the minister would exhort the assembly to obey the Word and do good. Following that would be prayers for the whole Church followed by an exchange of the Kiss of Peace between the brotherhood, those who had been initiated. Then followed the offering of bread, wine and food. The one presiding would say a prayer of thanksgiving and memorial, and all would give an Amen at the end. Finally, all of the baptized faithful would receive the bread and wine that had been prayed over. Though their hearing of the Word, the sermons, and the fellowship of the meal, their eyes were also opened to the Lord Jesus, and they knew him in a special way.

Jesus continues to feed his Church today as he did then. He continues to reveal the Good News of salvation through his Gospel read at every Holy Communion, just as he did on the road to Emmaus. And through the exhortations of his ministers, and the power of the Holy Spirit moving amongst the believers, his message is made meaningful to us so that we might follow his command to do right and justly with our fellows. Finally, we know him in that special way promised to us during the Last Supper in the breaking of the bread and feeding on him through the Communion through faith with thanksgiving.



Acts x. 34.
PETER opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: but in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him. The word which God sent unto the children of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ: (he is Lord of all:) that word, I say, ye know, which was published throughout all Judaea, and began from Galilee, after the baptism which John preached; how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him. And we are witnesses of all things which he did both in the land of the Jews, and in Jerusalem; whom they slew and hanged on a tree: him God raised up the third day, and shewed him openly; not to all the people, but unto witnesses chosen before of God, even to us, who did eat and drink with him after he rose from the dead. And he commanded us to preach unto the people, and to testify that it is he which was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead. To him give all the prophets witness, that through his name whosoever believeth in him shall receive remission of sins.

St. Luke xxiv. 13.

BEHOLD, two of his disciples went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs. And they talked together of all these things which had happened. And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them. But their eyes were holden that they should not know him. And he said unto them, What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad? And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said unto him, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days? And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people: and how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him. But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to-day is the third day since these things were done. Yea, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulchre; and when they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, which said that he was alive. And certain of them which were with us went to the sepulchre, and found it even so as the women had said: but him they saw not. Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself. And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they went: and he made as though he would have gone further. But they con-strained him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them. And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them. And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight. And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures? And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them, saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon. And they told what things were done in the way, and how he was known of them in breaking of bread.

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Easter Day

CHRIST our Passover is sacrificed for us: * therefore let us keep the feast, Not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; * but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. 1 Cor. v. 7.

CHRIST being raised from the dead dieth no more; * death hath no more dominion over him. For in that he died, he died unto sin once: * but in that he liveth, he liveth unto God. Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, * but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. Rom. vi. 9.

CHRIST is risen from the dead, * and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, * by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, * even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 1 Cor. xv. 20

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, * and to the Holy Ghost; As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, * world without end. Amen.

ALMIGHTY God, who through thine only-begotten Son Jesus Christ hast overcome death, and opened unto us the gate of everlasting life; We humbly beseech thee that, as by thy special grace preventing us thou dost put into our minds good desires, so by thy continual help we may bring the same to good effect; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost ever, one God, world without end. Amen.

Colossians iii. 1. St. John xx. 1.

He saw and believed

It is the morning of the first day of the week. It is the day after the Sabbath. It is the day the Romans called the Day of the Sun. It is the day that Jesus rose from the dead and changed the world forever.

Our appointed Gospel says that Mary Magdalene was the first to see the empty tomb. She had gone there before dawn to anoint the body with fragrant spices. On Good Friday, the Sabbath Preparation Day, she and others had prepared the body for burial in the customary way with materials brought by Nicodemus. They washed the body and wrapped it in clean linen strips saturated with a glue-like mixture of aloes and myrrh – in the case of Jesus "100 pounds". This mixture adheres to the body making the removal of grave clothes difficult. It forms a cocoon about the body up to the head. The head was not covered, but a linen napkin was placed over it.

Mary looked into the tomb to see that Jesus is gone, and rushes back to the disciples. John and Peter run to the tomb. John arrives first and looks in. Peter enters the tomb and sees, then John and "he saw and believed." The grave linens were lying there and the napkin lying separate. The grave linens, remember, were like a cocoon with 100 pounds of the gummy spices that had saturated the linens.

There are slightly different accounts of the preparation, burial, and discovery of the grave linens. Since John himself entered the tomb and witnessed the empty tomb, his is a first-hand account. Put yourself in the place of John. You enter the tomb hesitantly after the impetuous Peter. There, on the stone slab, is the grave-linens, lying like a cocoon. The napkin that is placed over the face is there too, lying exactly where the head should be. But there is no head, the cocoon is empty. Not unwrapped, not torn asunder, not disturbed, just empty.

The next time you are out and notice the cocoon of a butterfly think of the empty tomb. Think of the miracle of metamorhpis where the lowly catapillar enters the cocoon and emerges a completely new being, think of our Lord Jesus the Risen Christ, on that Sunday morning long ago.



The Epistle. Colossians iii. 1.

IF ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory.

The Gospel. St. John xx. 1.

THE first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre, and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre. Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him. Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre. So they ran both together: and the other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre. And he stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying; yet went he not in. Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie, and the napkin, that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped together in a place by itself. Then went in also that other disciple, which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed. For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead. Then the disciples went away again unto their own home.
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Easter Even

GRANT, O Lord, that as we are baptized into the death of thy blessed Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ, so by continual mortifying our corrupt affections we may be buried with him; and that through the grave, and gate of death, we may pass to our joyful resurrection; for his merits, who died, and was buried, and rose again for us, the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

1 St. Peter iii. 17. St. Matthew xxvii. 57.

In today’s Gospel the Chief Priests ask Pilate to set a guard on the tomb. They were concerned with his words that he would rise again in three days. They claimed that his disciples might remove him and then claim resurrection. This seems like a cover for the real fear that he might rise in truth. It was widely known that he had raised several from the dead.

Pilate’s response was short, but may have been full of meaning. He had become anxious at the words of Jesus during the trial. He had tried to release Jesus repeatedly, but the crowd and religious parties demanded the crucifixion. Pilate had washed his hands earlier that morning, and by so doing declared himself done and separate with the affair. He witnessed the sky turn dark and the earth quake. He called the Centurion to verify that Jesus had indeed expired on the cross in such a short time. (This was likely the same Centurion who had glorified God at Calvary.) Now, when the Chief Priests petitioned him again to intercede, he avoids any involvement saying, "Ye have a watch: go your way, make it as sure as ye can." His words sound like a challenge.

Nothing could stop the course of events that God had initiated with the ministry of His Son – the gates of Hell could not prevail against the Kingdom, what chance did a handful of guards have?


1 St. Peter iii. 17.

IT is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well doing, than for evil doing. For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened by the Spirit: by which also he went and preached unto the spirits in prison; which sometime were disobedient, when once the long-suffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water. The like figure whereunto, even baptism, doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ: who is gone into heaven, and is on the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.

St. Matthew xxvii. 57.

WHEN the even was come, there came a rich man of Arimathaea, named Joseph, who also himself was Jesus' disciple: he went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be delivered. And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed. And there was Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary, sitting over against the sepulchre. Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate, saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again. Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first. Pilate said unto them, Ye have a watch: go your way, make it as sure as ye can. So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch.

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Good Friday

ALMIGHTY God, we beseech thee graciously to behold this thy family, for which our Lord Jesus Christ was contented to be betrayed, and given up into the hands of wicked men, and to suffer death upon the cross; who now liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost ever, one God, world without end. Amen.

ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, by whose Spirit the whole body of the Church is governed and sanctified; Receive our supplications and prayers, which we offer before thee for all estates of men in thy holy Church, that every member of the same, in his vocation and ministry, may truly and godly serve thee; through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

O MERCIFUL God, who hast made all men, and hatest nothing that thou hast made, nor desirest the death of a sinner, but rather that he should be converted and live; Have mercy upon all who know thee not as thou art revealed in the Gospel of thy Son. Take from them all ignorance, hardness of heart, and contempt of thy Word; and so fetch them home, blessed Lord, to thy fold, that they may be made one flock under one shepherd, Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.

Hebrews x. 1. St John xix. 1

King of the Jews

On "Good Friday," our Lord Jesus Christ was crowned and declared, "Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews." Pilate had the inscription placed on the cross above Jesus and printed in three languages, Greek, Latin, and Hebrew. He wanted all civilized nations of the Empire to be able to understand who was being crucified. He did not do it in jest or as a form of ridicule, for the Scriptures say Pilate was afraid. In the Gospel of John, in the chapter proceeding today’s reading, Pilate asks Jesus if he is King. Pilate is anxious with Jesus’ response, Jesus told him he has a Kingdom, but not of this world.

The Chief Priests were offended by Pilate’s inscription. They say to Pilate, "Write not, The King of the Jews; but that he said, I am King of the Jews." Pilate answered them saying, "What I have written I have written." The Centurion who commanded the execution party was directed to place the inscription above Jesus. In the end, when Jesus had given up his spirit, the Centurion glorified God, and confessed Jesus as the Son of God.

In the Order of Centurions, one of the symbols is known as the Gladius-Vitis. It has two Roman short-swords (gladius) and a Centurions staff (vitis) stacked beneath the symbol of Jesus' kingship, his crown and the inscription INRI, which stands for the Latin phrase on the cross: Iesus Nazarenus Rex Iudaeorum. The symbol stands as a memorial to this event. The Roman Centurion accepted this Jewish King, because his kingdom is not limited by nationality, race, gender, land, political realm, or anything except Creed. One must believe on him and accept him as Savior, and as the verse in Hebrews says, "I will put my laws into their hearts and in their mind will I write them… and their sins and iniquities will I remember no more."



Hebrews x. 1.

THE law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices, which they offered year by year continually, make the comers thereunto perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worship-pers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins. But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins. Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me: in burnt-offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure. Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God. Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt-offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein; which are offered by the law; then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God: he taketh away the first, that he may establish the second. By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: but this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; from henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before, This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them; then saith he, And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin. Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh; and having an high priest over the house of God; let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) and let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

St. John xix. 1.

PILATE therefore took Jesus, and scourged him. And the soldiers platted a crown of thorns, and put it on his head, and they put on him a purple robe, and said, Hail, King of the Jews! and they smote him with their hands. Pilate therefore went forth again, and saith unto them, Behold, I bring him forth to you, that ye may know that I find no fault in him. Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate saith unto them, Behold the man! When the chief priests therefore and officers saw him, they cried out, saying, Crucify him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Take ye him, and crucify him: for I find no fault in him. The Jews answered him, We have a law, and by our law he ought to die, because he made himself the Son of God. When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he was the more afraid; and went again into the judgment hall, and saith unto Jesus, Whence art thou? But Jesus gave him no answer. Then saith Pilate unto him, Speakest thou not unto me? knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee? Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin. And from thenceforth Pilate sought to release him: but the Jews cried out, saying, If thou let this man go, thou art not Caesar's friend: whosoever maketh himself a king, speaketh against Caesar. When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus forth, and sat down in the judgment-seat in a place that is called the Pavement, but in the Hebrew, Gabbatha. And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King! But they cried out, Away with him, away with him, crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Caesar. Then delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led him away. And he bearing his cross went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha: where they crucified him, and two other with him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst. And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the writing was, JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS. This title then read many of the Jews: for the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city; and it was written in Hebrew, and Greek, and Latin. Then said the chief priests of the Jews to Pilate, Write not, The King of the Jews; but that he said, I am King of the Jews. Pilate answered, What I have written I have written. Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also his coat: now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout. They said therefore among themselves, Let us not rend it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be: that the scripture might be fulfilled, which saith, They parted my raiment among them, and for my vesture they did cast lots. These things therefore the soldiers did. Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son ! Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home. After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst. Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a spunge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth. When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost. The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. Then came the soldiers, and brake the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with him. But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs: but one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water. And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe. For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken. And again another scripture saith, They shall look on him whom they pierced.

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Maundy Thursday

ALMIGHTY Father, whose dear Son, on the night before he suffered, did institute the Sacrament of his Body and Blood; Mercifully grant that we may thankfully receive the same in remembrance of him, who in these holy mysteries giveth us a pledge of life eternal; the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who now liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit ever, one God, world without end. Amen.

1 Corinthians xi. 23.   St. John 15:12-17

"Greater love has no one than this"

Maudy Thursday means commandment Thursday. The name likely comes from the Latin phrase, mandatum novum which means "new commandment". The new commandment was "love one another as I have loved you". Jesus had just given the disciples signs of his great love for them, including washing their feet and instructing them to serve one another. He then emphasized the love for one another with an example of the ultimate gift one can give - one's own life. For he says, Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends.

In a nearby small town there is a memorial park located next to the county court house. In it there are a series of monuments to those who have served their country under arms. Some indicate where a warrior gave up his life in defense of his country. As one enters the park, they must step through a portal. Nearby is written the inscription, "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends".

Jesus demonstrated that love in his Passion. He knew of the coming events. His actions in Jerusalem immediately before hand antagonized the religious leaders - as he knew they would. He had fully accepted his fate and knew it was his Father's will. He was about to give his life up as a sacrifice for those he calls friends.

His command to love one another is realized in the fullest measure when one lays down their life for another. There is nothing more one can give. Our country has recognized this in its military as a form of the highest valor. However, the reward far exceeds the scraps of parchment and bits of metal that the country gives in recognition. A much greater reward is to feast with the Lord Jesus. The feast as described by St Paul in today's epistle, but with the Lord in his kingdom he will again take of the fruit of the vine. He receives all those he calls friends -- those who have obeyed his commandment - to love one another.


1 Corinthians xi. 23.

I HAVE received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: and when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me. For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come.

This Gospel reading is a substitute for the one in the BCP

John 15:12-17

"This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends. "You are My friends if you do whatever I command you. "No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you. "You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. "These things I command you, that you love one another.

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Wednesday before Easter

ASSIST us mercifully with thy help, O Lord God of our salvation; that we may enter with joy upon the meditation of those mighty acts, whereby thou hast given unto us life and immortality; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Hebrews ix. 16   St. Luke xxii. 1.

He that hath no sword, let him sell his garment and buy one

The Order of Centurions hold in esteem those brave and true people of God who have served their nations under arms. Today's Gospel contains the words of our Lord Jesus at his Last Supper. He tells his disciples to arm themselves after they have completed the Passover. He did this just after he had told them of his upcoming Passion. Very shortly, Jesus will not be with them; they must be able to fend for themselves. He has them take swords as they depart for the Mount of Olives.

A few hours later, the Lord and disciples are accosted by a party sent by the Chief Priests, under the cover of darkness, to arrest Jesus that they might kill him. One of his disciples asks if they should defend themselves, and then strikes a servant of the Chief Priests and cuts off his ear. Jesus does two things: first he command them "Suffer ye thus far" [KJV] The New King James Version renders this passage as, "Permit even this." which I take to mean, allow even these men to arrest me. The second thing he does is to heal the servant's ear. (This was his last act of healing before his resurrection.) Then he is taken away to his trial.

I'm sure that this scripture has been debated for years. It may seem to many to conflict with other teachings of Jesus, but it does not. We cannot know for sure any meaning behind the words. He did order his disciples to arm themselves, even that night as they prepared to leave. He knew that he would soon be arrested. His disciples would not have taken swords had he not ordered them to do so. This order is as clear as his other orders that night: "love one another", "do this in remembrance of me."

Should Christians arm themselves? Indeed they should if they would follow orders of our Lord. His disciples obeyed this command. We should also follow this command to protect ourselves and our families and friends from evil. Likewise, as a people, we should arm and organize ourselves to protect our nation and others from evil. And when we are attacked, we should respond appropriately, with violence when necessary, to subdue the evil.



. Hebrews ix. 16.

WHERE a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth. Whereupon neither the first testament was dedicated without blood. For when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book and all the people, saying, This is the blood of the testament which God hath enjoined unto you. Moreover, he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry. And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission. It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us: nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; for then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: so Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.

The Gospel. St. Luke xxii. 1.

NOW the feast of unleavened bread drew nigh, which is called the Passover. And the chief priests and scribes sought how they might kill him; for they feared the people. Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve. And he went his way, and communed with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray him unto them. And they were glad, and covenanted to give him money. And he promised, and sought opportunity to betray him unto them in the absence of the multitude. Then came the day of unleavened bread, when the passover must be killed. And he sent Peter and John, saying, Go and prepare us the passover, that we may eat. And they said unto him, Where wilt thou that we prepare? And he said unto them, Behold, when ye are entered into the city, there shall a man meet you, bearing a pitcher of water; follow him into the house where he entereth in. And ye shall say unto the goodman of the house, The Master saith unto thee, Where is the guest-chamber, where I shall eat the passover with my disciples? And he shall shew you a large upper room furnished: there make ready. And they went, and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the passover. And when the hour was come, he sat down, and the twelve apostles with him. And he said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer: for I say unto you, I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, Take this, and divide it among yourselves: for I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the kingdom of God shall come. And he took bread, and gave thanks, and brake it, and gave unto them, saying, This is my body which is given for you: this do in remembrance of me. Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you. But, behold, the hand of him that betrayeth me is with me on the table. And truly the Son of man goeth, as it was determined: but woe unto that man by whom he is betrayed! And they began to enquire among themselves, which of them it was that should do this thing. And there was also a strife among them, which of them should be accounted the greatest. And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve. For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? is not he that sitteth at meat? but I am among you as he that serveth. Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations. And I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me; that ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: but I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not; and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren. And he said unto him, Lord, I am ready to go with thee, both into prison, and to death. And he said, I tell thee, Peter, the cock shall not crow this day, before that thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest me. And he said unto them, When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye any thing? And they said, Nothing. Then said he unto them, But now, he that hath a purse, let him take it, and likewise his scrip: and he that hath no sword, let him sell his garment, and buy one. For I say unto you, that this that is written must yet be accomplished in me, And he was reckoned among the transgressors: for the things concerning me have an end. And they said, Lord, behold, here are two swords. And he said unto them, It is enough. And he came out, and went, as he was wont, to the mount of Olives; and his disciples also followed him. And when he was at the place, he said unto them, Pray that ye enter not into temptation. And he was withdrawn from them about a stone's cast, and kneeled down, and prayed, saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground. And when he rose up from prayer, and was come to his disciples, he found them sleeping for sorrow, and said unto them, Why sleep ye? rise and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. And while he yet spake, behold a multitude, and he that was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them, and drew near unto Jesus to kiss him. But Jesus said unto him, Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss? When they which were about him saw what would follow, they said unto him, Lord, shall we smite with the sword? And one of them smote the servant of the high priest, and cut off his right ear. And Jesus answered and said, Suffer ye thus far. And he touched his ear, and healed him. Then Jesus said unto the chief priests, and captains of the temple, and the elders, which were come to him, Be ye come out, as against a thief, with swords and staves? When I was daily with you in the temple, ye stretched forth no hands against me: but this is your hour, and the power of darkness. Then took they him, and led him, and brought him into the high priest's house. And Peter followed afar off. And when they had kindled a fire in the midst of the hall, and were set down together, Peter sat down among them. But a certain maid beheld him as he sat by the fire, and earnestly looked upon him, and said, This man was also with him. And he denied him, saying, Woman, I know him not. And after a little while another saw him, and said, Thou art also of them. And Peter said, Man, I am not. And about the space of one hour after another confidently affirmed, saying, Of a truth this fellow also was with him: for he is a Galilaean. And Peter said, Man, I know not what thou sayest. And immediately, while he yet spake, the cock crew. And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter. And Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And Peter went out, and wept bitterly. And the men that held Jesus mocked him, and smote him. And when they had blindfolded him, they struck him on the face, and asked him, saying, Prophesy, who is it that smote thee? And many other things blasphemously spake they against him. And as soon as it was day, the elders of the people and the chief priests and the scribes came together, and led him into their council, saying, Art thou the Christ? tell us. And he said unto them, If I tell you, ye will not believe: and if I also ask you, ye will not answer me, nor let me go. Hereafter shall the Son of man sit on the right hand of the power of God. Then said they all, Art thou then the Son of God? And he said unto them, Ye say that I am. And they said, What need we any further witness? for we ourselves have heard of his own mouth.

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Tuesday before Easter

O LORD God, whose blessed Son, our Saviour, gave his back to the smiters and hid not his face from shame; Grant us grace to take joyfully the sufferings of the present time, in full assurance of the glory that shall be revealed; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Readings below: Isaiah i:5 Mark xv. 1.

Who among you feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of his servant?

In today's Old Testament reading, Isaiah tells of a servant of the Lord who shall hear God's call, submit to floggings, spitting, and degradation. He will not turn away from these things because he has faced them with solid determination that these things come as the will of God, and God will provide for him hand justify him. Then Isaiah poses this question to his listeners: Who among you feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of his servant?. He describes the one who fears and obeys as one who will go even into the darkness where he is unable to see and walk there confident that God will guide and protect those who fear Him. They shall walk fearing no man, no spirit, but only the Lord. They fear him alone and trust in his love and protection.

That is exactly what Jesus did in the Gospel story today. He trusted in God's plan for Him and the world. He submitted to the ridicule, flogging, striking, cursing and all manner of persecution even unto death. He did this because it was his Father's will that he should suffer these things so that Salvation of the Lord might come. He did it with full confidence that even though he would suffer death, God would raise him up on the third day so that His great plan of salvation might be completed.

Isaiah also issued a warning to the godless, those who have no fear of the Lord, whose way seems right in their own eyes and who depend only on their own devices -- they shall receive their reward from the Lord too, and it shall be to "lie down in sorrow."

When we consider the sufferings of our Lord and how He confronted them, it makes our problems seem very insignificant. There are places where Christians are persecuted and killed still for the sake of Jesus. Whatever troubles we have, we can proceed confidently with our faith in the Lord. Our work is to fear Him and do what is right. Doing what is right is to hear to voice of his Servant, our Savoir Jesus Christ, to follow him, and to know the Peace of God, which passes all understanding. A peace that the world cannot give. Amen


Isaiah i. 5.

THE Lord GOD hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back. I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting. For the Lord GOD will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed. He is near that justifieth me; who will contend with me? let us stand together: who is mine adversary? let him come near to me. Behold, the Lord GOD will help me; who is he that shall condemn me? lo, they all shall wax old as a garment; the moth shall eat them up. Who is among you that feareth the LORD, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the name of the LORD, and stay upon his God. Behold, all ye that kindle a fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks: walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks that ye have kindled. This shall ye have of mine hand; ye shall lie down in sorrow.

St. Mark xv. 1.

AND straightway in the morning the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council, and bound Jesus, and carried him away, and delivered him to Pilate. And Pilate asked him, Art thou the King of the Jews? And he answering said unto him, Thou sayest it. And the chief priests accused him of many things: but he answered nothing. And Pilate asked him again, saying, Answerest thou nothing? behold how many things they witness against thee. But Jesus yet answered nothing; so that Pilate marvelled. Now at that feast he released unto them one prisoner, whomsoever they desired. And there was one named Barabbas, which lay bound with them that had made insurrection with him, who had committed murder in the insurrection. And the multitude crying aloud began to desire him to do as he had ever done unto them. But Pilate answered them, saying, Will ye that I release unto you the King of the Jews? For he knew that the chief priests had delivered him for envy. But the chief priests moved the people, that he should rather release Barabbas unto them. And Pilate answered and said again unto them, What will ye then that I shall do unto him whom ye call the King of the Jews? And they cried out again, Crucify him. Then Pilate said unto them, Why, what evil hath he done? And they cried out the more exceedingly, Crucify him. And so Pilate, willing to content the people, released Barabbas unto them, and delivered Jesus, when he had scourged him, to be crucified. And the soldiers led him away into the hall, called Praetorium; and they call together the whole band. And they clothed him with purple, and platted a crown of thorns, and put it about his head, and began to salute him, Hail, King of the Jews! And they smote him on the head with a reed, and did spit upon him, and bowing their knees worshipped him. And when they had mocked him, they took off the purple from him, and put his own clothes on him, and led him out to crucify him. And they compel one Simon a Cyrenian, who passed by, coming out of the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to bear his cross. And they bring him unto the place Golgotha, which is, being interpreted, The place of a skull. And they gave him to drink wine mingled with myrrh: but he received it not. And when they had crucified him, they parted his garments, casting lots upon them, what every man should take. And it was the third hour, and they crucified him. And the superscription of his accusation was written over, THE KING OF THE JEWS. And with him they crucify two thieves; the one on his right hand, and the other on his left. And the scripture was fulfilled, which saith, And he was numbered with the transgressors. And they that passed by railed on him, wagging their heads, and saying, Ah, thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself, and come down from the cross. Likewise also the chief priests mocking said among themselves with the scribes, He saved others; himself he cannot save. Let Christ the King of Israel descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe. And they that were crucified with him reviled him. And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? And some of them that stood by, when they heard it, said, Behold, he calleth Elias. And one ran and filled a spunge full of vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink, saying, Let alone; let us see whether Elias will come to take him down. And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost. And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom. And when the centurion, which stood over against him, saw that he so cried out, and gave up the ghost, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God.

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He comes in the greatness of his strength

The Monday before Easter

ALMIGHTY God, whose most dear Son went not up to joy but first he suffered pain, and entered not into glory before he was crucified; Mercifully grant that we, walking in the way of the cross, may find it none other than the way of life and peace; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Readings below: Isaiah lxiii. 1. St. Mark xiv. 1.

Isaiah gives us a vision of God coming in strength. He is coming from the world that hates God’s people. His garments are stained crimson from the great grape-producing center in Bozrah in Edom. But this stain is not from grapes, but from the blood of the evil enemy of the LORD. Just before this, in chapter 62, Isaiah says, "See, your Saviour comes they will be called the Holy People, the Redeemed."

Isaiah’s vision is brought to John on Patmos in the 19th Chapter of Revelations. The promise of Jesus Christ coming in power "arrayed in a garment sprinkled with blood". (This sprinkling brings to mind the account from Exodus, where Aaron’s vestments were to be consecrated with the sprinkling of blood from the sacrifice.) Jesus rides upon a white charger, armed, and with a crown upon his head, leading a mighty host, to vanquish the evil in the world. (see Scripture and Image at the Order’s VISION page)

This is our vision as well and our hope. We look for the Day of the Lord when He shall come and all His enemies shall be destroyed in the Last Great Battle. On that day all evil will be vanquished and He shall rule with the martyrs and the host of heaven for a millennium. After that, Satan shall arise again but shall be defeated finally and thrown into the Lake of Fire. Then, and only then, shall all souls resurrected. Those whose names are written in the Book of Life, shall be resurrected to everlasting life, and those whose names are not in the Book of Life, shall be resurrected to everlasting damnation. And there shall be a new Heaven and a new Earth with Living Waters and the Tree of Life.

Blessed are those who wash their robes that they may have the right to the tree of life…. Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexual immoral, the murderers, the idolaters, and liars

Is your name written in the Book of Life? Are you sure? The Scriptures give us that assurance; anyone who calls Jesus Lord and Savior and abides in him shall never taste death. Their names are written forever in the Book of Life. How about your family members, neighbors, co-workers, and associates? Do they have the same confidence and knowledge as you. Or have they rejected or ignored their Savior?

Obtaining the promise of Salvation is not a difficult matter. Our Lord did not set up obstacles to hinder any from coming to Him. His invitation is open to all and it is His will that all should be saved. One need only to call on Jesus; accept Him as their personal Savior in body, mind and soul; ask him to come into them; confess their sins; repent; and abide in Jesus day-by-day while striving to meet the standard established in His Word as they work out their salvation. Finally, obey his New Commandment to Love One Another and observe his ordinances of Baptism and Communion. As the collect says, Jesus suffered pain for our sins, and the crucifixion before coming to His Glory. We ask that we be spared this pain and given a life of peace. There is only one way to have the Peace of God. Jesus says,


and our reply must be

"Come, Lord Jesus"


Isaiah lxiii. 1.

WHO is this that cometh from Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah? this that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength? I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save. Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the winefat? I have trodden the winepress alone; and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment. For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come. And I looked, and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold: therefore mine own arm brought salvation unto me; and my fury, it upheld me. And I will tread down the people in mine anger, and make them drunk in my fury, and I will bring down their strength to the earth. I will mention the lovingkindnesses of the LORD, and the praises of the LORD, according to all that the LORD hath bestowed on us, and the great goodness toward the house of Israel, which he hath bestowed on them according to his mercies, and according to the multitude of his lovingkind-nesses. For he said, Surely they are my people, children that will not lie: so he was their Saviour. In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them: in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old. But they rebelled, and vexed his holy Spirit; therefore he was turned to be their enemy, and he fought against them. Then he remembered the days of old, Moses, and his people, saying, Where is he that brought them up out of the sea with the shepherd of his flock? where is he that put his holy Spirit within him? that led them by the right hand of Moses with his glorious arm, dividing the water before them, to make himself an everlasting name? that led them through the deep, as an horse in the wilderness, that they should not stumble? As a beast goeth down into the valley, the Spirit of the LORD caused him to rest: so didst thou lead thy people, to make thyself a glorious name. Look down from heaven, and behold from the habitation of thy holiness and of thy glory: where is thy zeal and thy strength, the sounding of thy bowels and of thy mercies toward me? are they restrained? Doubtless thou art our father, though Abraham be ignorant of us, and Israel acknowledge us not: thou, O LORD, art our father, our redeemer; thy name is from everlasting. O LORD, why hast thou made us to err from thy ways, and hardened our heart from thy fear? Return for thy servants' sake, the tribes of thine inheritance. The people of thy holiness have possessed it but a little while: our adversaries have trodden down thy sanctuary. We are thine: thou never barest rule over them; they were not called by thy name.

St. Mark xiv. 1.

AFTER two days was the feast of the passover, and of unleavened bread: and the chief priests and the scribes sought how they might take him by craft, and put him to death. But they said, Not on the feast day, lest there be an uproar of the people. And being in Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at meat, there came a woman having an alabaster box of ointment of spikenard very precious; and she brake the box, and poured it on his head. And there were some that had indignation within them-selves, and said, Why was this waste of the ointment made? for it might have been sold for more than three hundred pence, and have been given to the poor. And they murmured against her. And Jesus said, Let her alone; why trouble ye her? she hath wrought a good work on me. For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always. She hath done what she could: she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying. Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of for a memorial of her. And Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, went unto the chief priests, to betray him unto them. And when they heard it, they were glad, and promised to give him money. And he sought how he might conveniently betray him. And the first day of unleavened bread, when they killed the passover, his disciples said unto him, Where wilt thou that we go arid prepare that thou mayest eat the passover? And he sendeth forth two of his disciples, and saith unto them, Go ye into the city, and there shall meet you a man bearing a pitcher of water: follow him. And wheresoever he shall go in, say ye to the goodman of the house, The Master saith, Where is the guest-chamber, where I shall eat the passover with my disciples? And he will shew you a large upper room furnished and prepared: there make ready for us. And his disciples went forth, and came into the city, and found as he had said unto them: and they made ready the passover. And in the evening he cometh with the twelve. And as they sat and did eat, Jesus said, Verily I say unto you, One of you which eateth with me shall betray me. And they began to be sorrowful, and to say unto him one by one, Is it I? and another said, Is it I? And he answered and said unto them, It is one of the twelve, that dippeth with me in the dish. The Son of man indeed goeth, as it is written of him: but woe to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! good were it for that man if he had never been born. And as they did eat, Jesus took bread, and blessed, and brake it, and gave to them, and said, Take, eat: this is my body. And he took the cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them: and they all drank of it. And he said unto them, This is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many. Verily I say unto you, I will drink no more of the fruit of the vine, until that day that I drink it new in the kingdom of God. And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives. And Jesus saith unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered. But after that I am risen, I will go before you into Galilee. But Peter said unto him, Although all shall be offended, yet will not I. And Jesus saith unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this day, even in this night, before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice. But he spake the more vehemently, If I should die with thee, I will not deny thee in any wise. Likewise also said they all. And they came to a place which was named Gethsemane: and he saith to his disciples, Sit ye here, while I shall pray. And he taketh with him Peter and James and John, and began to be sore amazed, and to be very heavy; and saith unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death: tarry ye here, and watch. And he went forward a little, and fell on the ground, and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. And he said. Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt. And he cometh, and findeth them sleeping, and saith unto Peter, Simon, sleepest thou? couldest not thou watch one hour? Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak. And again he went away, and prayed, and spake the same words. And when he returned, he found them asleep again, (for their eyes were heavy,) neither wist they what to answer him. And he cometh the third time, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: it is enough, the hour is come; behold, the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise up, let us go; lo, he that betrayeth me is at hand. And immediately, while he yet spake, cometh Judas, one of the twelve, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders. And he that betrayed him had given them a token, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he; take him, and lead him away safely. And as soon as he was come, he goeth straightway to him, and saith, Master, master; and kissed him. And they laid their hands on him, and took him. And one of them that stood by drew a sword, and smote a servant of the high priest, and cut off his ear. And Jesus answered and said unto them, Are ye come out, as against a thief, with swords and with staves, to take me? I was daily with you in the temple teaching, and ye took me not: but the scriptures must be fulfilled. And they all forsook him, and fled. And there followed him a certain young man, having a linen cloth cast about his naked body; and the young men laid hold on him: and he left the linen cloth, and fled from them naked. And they led Jesus away to the high priest: and with him were assembled all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes. And Peter followed him afar off, even into the palace of the high priest: and he sat with the servants, and warmed himself at the fire. And the chief priests and all the council sought for witness against Jesus to put him to death; and found none. For many bare false witness against him, but their witness agreed not together. And there arose certain, and bare false witness against him, saying, We heard him say, I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and within three days I will build another made without hands. But neither so did their witness agree together. And the high priest stood up in the midst, and asked Jesus, saying, Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness against thee? But he held his peace, and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked him, and said unto him, Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed? And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven. Then the high priest rent his clothes, and saith, What need we any further witnesses? ye have heard the blasphemy: what think ye? And they all condemned him to be guilty of death. And some began to spit on him, and to cover his face, and to buffet him, and to say unto him, Prophesy: and the servants did strike him with the palms of their hands. And as Peter was beneath in the palace, there cometh one of the maids of the high priest: and when she saw Peter warming himself, she looked upon him, and said, And thou also wast with Jesus of Nazareth. But he denied, saying, I know not, neither understand I what thou sayest. And he went out into the porch; and the cock crew. And a maid saw him again, and began to say to them that stood by, This is one of them. And he denied it again. And a little after, they that stood by said again to Peter, Surely thou art one of them: for thou art a Galilaean, and thy speech agreeth thereto. But he began to curse and to swear, saying, I know not this man of whom ye speak. And the second time the cock crew. And Peter called to mind the word that Jesus said unto him, Before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice. And when he thought thereon, he wept.

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Palm Sunday

ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, who, of thy tender love towards mankind, hast sent thy Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ, to take upon him our flesh, and to suffer death upon the cross, that all mankind should follow the example of his great humility; Mercifully grant, that we may both follow the example of his patience, and also be made partakers of his resurrection; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

see scriptures below: Philippians ii. 5. St. Matthew xxvii. 1.

Truly this was the Son of God.

The Passion story as told in today’s Gospel concludes with the Centurion who was responsible for supervising the crucifixions that day on Calvary confessing Jesus as the Son of God. In the Gospel of St. Luke the story is told a bit differently, ".. when the centurion saw what was done, he glorified God, saying, Certainly this was a righteous man."

The Centurion that day made the same confession that Peter did, that Jesus was the Son of God, but without the prompting of the Lord. When Peter had confessed Jesus as the Christ, the Son of the Living God, "Jesus answered [Peter] and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jonah: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father who is in heaven." [Mt 16:16]. Although the Scripture does not say so, one must wonder if the Father had also revealed the nature of Jesus to the Centurion, after all, the Centurion did not know Jesus personally. He may have heard of him as a Jewish teacher and prophet, but we have no indication of prior knowledge or contact before the events of the Passion.

The Centurion at Calvary was the first Gentile to confess Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God. Unlike the Centurion of Capernaum and Cornelius, there is no indication in the Scriptures that the Centurion of Calvary had any prior intimate contact with the Jewish community or support of its religion. The other two centurions are credited as being men who supported the synagogues and Jewish population. All we know of this Centurion was that he was a part of the Cohort that was in Jerusalem at the time of the feast of the Passover. It is possible that he was part of the regular occupation forces of the city, or perhaps had been called up from the surrounding area to come up to the city at the time of the Passover when so many pilgrims would have been in the city. His job at this time would have been to watch for disorder, large gatherings, and to quickly disperse crowds that might pose a threat to Pax Romana {Peace of Rome}. There were zealots who would have liked to have seen an uprising that would have resulted in Jewish independence. This in combination with a High Holy Day of the Temple celebrating the liberation of Israel from their Egyptian taskmasters made for a very volatile situation.

In the midst of this is Jesus, a man who has been performing miracles, who has preached about the coming of a new Kingdom, has spoken of a new freedom, has gathered a group of dedicated disciples and has thousands of followers who look to him as the Messiah who by prophesy would deliver Israel from her oppressors. However, his ministry does not threaten Rome directly, but does threaten the established and corrupt leaders of Israel: namely Herod, who feared Jesus as another John the Baptist who he beheaded, the Priests who would have their authority challenged by this Christ as he flaunted their religious rules. The Pharisees and Sadducees who were losing power over the people due to this rabbi who did not teach according to tradition.

The Centurion may have been in the presence of Pilate when Jesus was delivered that early Friday morning. If so he would have witnessed Pilate’s and Herod’s examinations. He certainly witnessed the public trial, the demands of the crowd to release Barabbas, the sentencing, flogging, mockery, and the long walk to the cross -- for we know that the Scriptures tell us that Pilate had the entire Cohort, some 600 men, to assemble on the pavement that morning.

One can but wonder if the Centurion experienced a rising sense of injustice in the whole affair. As a Roman citizen and experienced professional soldier he undoubtedly exercised justice within his command. Seeing such injustice must have caused him concern. At what point this concern became a conviction that Jesus was more than a man, indeed being who it was said that he was, is uncertain. He undoubtedly heard the words of Jesus from the cross, and witnessed his passion as no other human being had that day. What would touch the heart and soul of this Centurion to confess Jesus as Lord, even at his own peril? How did the Holy Spirit affect him that day?

Perhaps the answer lies in today’s Collect – "all mankind should follow his great humility." Could it have been the words of Christ from the cross? Perhaps it was the Grace of our Lord, when he forgave all those assembled before him even as he suffered death. Whatever it was, whether a single event, the culmination of all that had occurred that day, or a flash of inspiration from the Holy Spirit, the Centurion boldly proclaimed Christ’s divinity and righteousness. I look forward to the day when I shall meet this Centurion and hear his story first hand.

Let us pray:

Almighty God, who inspired the Centurion on Calvary to confess Jesus as the Son of God, so inspire your Church to witness your love and mercy to the world; through Jesus Christ who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen


Philippians ii. 5.

LET this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

St. Matthew xxvii. 1.

WHEN the morning was come, all the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death: and when they had bound him, they led him away, and delivered him to Pontius Pilate the governor. Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that. And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself. And the chief priests took the silver pieces, and said, It is not lawful for to put them into the treasury, because it is the price of blood. And they took counsel, and bought with them the potter's field, to bury strangers in. Wherefore that field was called, The field of blood, unto this day. Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him that was valued, whom they of the children of Israel did value; and gave them for the potter's field, as the Lord appointed me. And Jesus stood before the governor: and the governor asked him, saying, Art thou the King of the Jews? And Jesus said unto him, Thou sayest. And when he was accused of the chief priests and elders, he answered nothing. Then said Pilate unto him, Hearest thou not how many things they witness against thee? And he answered him to never a word; insomuch that the governor marvelled greatly. Now at that feast the governor was wont to release unto the people a prisoner, whom they would. And they had then a notable prisoner, called Barabbas. Therefore when they were gathered together, Pilate said unto them, Whom will ye that I release unto you? Barabbas, or Jesus which is called Christ? For he knew that for envy they had delivered him. When he was set down on the judgment-seat, his wife sent unto him, saying, Have thou nothing to do with that just man: for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him. But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitude that they should ask Barabbas, and destroy Jesus. The governor answered and said unto them, Whether of the twain will ye that I release unto you? They said, Barabbas. Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ? They all say unto him, Let him be crucified. And the governor said, Why, what evil hath he done? But they cried out the more, saying, Let him be crucified. When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it. Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children. Then released he Barabbas unto them: and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified. Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the common hall, and gathered unto him the whole band of soldiers. And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe. And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews! And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head. And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him. And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they compelled to bear his cross. And when they were come unto a place called Golgotha, that is to say, a place of a skull, they gave him vinegar to drink mingled with gall: and when he had tasted thereof, he would not drink. And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots. And sitting down they watched him there; and set up over his head his accusation written, THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS. Then were there two thieves crucified with him, one on the right hand, and another on the left. And they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads, and saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross. Likewise also the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said, He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him. He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God. The thieves also, which were crucified with him, cast the same in his teeth. Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Some of them that stood there, when they heard that, said, This man calleth for Elias. And straightway one of them ran, and took a spunge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink. The rest said, Let be, let us see whether Elias will come to save him. Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, and came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many. Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God.

Scripture from 1928 BCP

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