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The First Sunday after Easter - 2014

The First Sunday after Easter.

Psalm 112
Beatus vir
BLESSED is the man that feareth the Lord : he hath great delight in his commandments.
2. His seed shall be mighty upon earth : the generation of the faithful shall be blessed.
3. Riches and plenteousness shall be in his house : and his righteousness endureth for ever.
4. Unto the godly there ariseth up light in the darkness : he is merciful, loving, and righteous.
5. A good man is merciful, and lendeth : and will guide his words with discretion.
6. For he shall never be moved : and the righteous shall be had in everlasting remembrance.
7. He will not be afraid of any evil tidings : for his heart standeth fast, and believeth in the Lord.
8. His heart is established, and will not shrink : until he see his desire upon his enemies.
9. He hath dispersed abroad, and given to the poor : and his righteousness remaineth for ever; his horn shall be exalted with honour.
10. The ungodly shall see it, and it shall grieve him : he shall gnash with his teeth, and consume away; the desire of the ungodly shall perish.

The Collect.
ALMIGHTY Father, who has 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.

Old Testament Reading: Isaiah 43.1-12
Psalter: Psalm 110, 111 | 2, 57
Epistle Reading: 1 John 5.4-12
Gospel Reading: St. John 20.19-23

Toon: “This one sentence Prayer is an excellent example of how to express reverence, doctrine and petition in a concise way.

Only in this Collect in The Book of Common Prayer is the specific invocation, "Almighty Father" actually used to begin a prayer. And in Eastertide this is most apt for, by the almighty power of God, the Father, Jesus was raised from the dead and by his resurrection his disciples are given the privilege of calling God, "Father", since they are adopted as his children, to be the brethren of Jesus Christ, the true Son.

The recital of what the Son of God has done for us is based upon Romans 4:24-25. "Jesus was delivered for our offences and raised for our justification." Jesus died as the Substitute for our sins, bearing them in his own body on the Tree (1 Peter 2:24). He was raised for our acquittal and justification. That is, God the Father raised him from the dead and by this glorious act proclaimed his acceptance of Christ's Atonement for the sins of the world and the basis of the receiving by him of repentant, believing sinners. Thus in the Gospel for this day (John 20:19-23) the Resurrected Jesus comes on the day of his Resurrection to his disciples in the upper room with the word of peace, grace and forgiveness.

The petition ("Grant us so to put away...") is based upon what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 5:7,13: "Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us: therefore, let us keep the feast, not with the old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness." It is a firm prayer that we shall put away all forms of spiritual and moral evil and serve God both in moral soundness and doctrinal soundness. Both immorality and heresy can cause great harm to souls, individually and corporately. (The reference to leaven makes sense when we remember that for seven days after the Feast of the Passover the Jews sought to keep themselves clear from every kind of leaven.)

The Collect ends with a recalling that our salvation is not earned by us or deserved by us or won by us; but, it is only given to us by the grace and mercy of God the Father through the merits of his Son, Jesus Christ. He died as our Substitute and Representative and rose again for us to bring us acquittal before God the Judge and salvation from sin into the family and kingdom of God the Father almighty” (

If you have time, here is my sermon last Sunday, which goes along with Toon’s comments and the Epistle reading:

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