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Eleventh Sunday after Trinity -2014

The Eleventh Sunday after Trinity.
Psalm 119.81-88
Defecit anima mea
MY SOUL hath longed for thy salvation : and I have a good hope because of thy word.
82. Mine eyes long sore for thy word : saying, O when wilt thou comfort me?
83. For I am become like a bottle in the smoke : yet do I not forget thy statutes.
84. How many are the days of thy servant : when wilt thou be avenged of them that persecute me?
85. The proud have digged pits for me : which are not after thy law.
86. All thy commandments are true : they persecute me falsely; O be thou my help.
87. They had almost made an end of me upon earth : but I forsook not thy commandments.
88. O quicken me after thy loving-kindness : and so shall I keep the testimonies of thy mouth.

The Collect.
O GOD, who declarest thy almighty power most chiefly in shewing mercy and pity; Mercifully grant unto us abundantly  thy grace, that we, running to thy promises, may be made partakers of thy heavenly treasure; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen (1549 BCP).

O GOD, who declarest thy almighty power most chiefly in shewing mercy and pity; Mercifully grant unto us such a measure of thy grace, that we, running the way of thy commandments, may obtain thy gracious promises, and be made partakers of thy heavenly treasure; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen (1928 BCP).

Old Testament Reading: Isaiah 26.12-19
Psalter: Psalm 63, 64 | 54, 55
Epistle Reading: 1 Corinthians 15.1-11
Gospel Reading: St. Luke 18.9-14

Toon: “The petition we offer to God the Father here is firmly based upon the doctrine that we remember in his presence from his Revelation as we make use of the relative clause (who declarest). This doctrine is the amazing teaching that God the Father manifests and reveals his omnipotence primarily when he makes known and shows his mercy and pity to undeserving sinners. And to state this is to speak of the great Event of propitiation and expiation at the Cross of Calvary where the Incarnate Son of God shed his blood as a sacrifice for sin, in order to reconcile us to God, his Father. Here the almighty power and generosity of God, that created the universe and keeps it in motion, dealt with the enormity of human sin and cosmic evil and by overcoming them brought in for the world salvation, redemption, reconciliation, pardon, justification and sanctification.

On the basis of the meritorious death of the Lord Jesus Christ, we ask God in his great mercy to grant us so large a measure of his abundant grace that we may live in such a way as to please him and arrive at our heavenly home. Without grace [the personal presence of the Holy Ghost representing the Lord Jesus with us] we cannot begin to please him! The way to please the Lord is to live faithfully in the way of his holy law, his commandments, for in such obedience we actually obtain, by his design, his promises concerning his abiding presence and the gift of everlasting life and heavenly reward. In fact, by his grace we shall become joint and fellow partakers of the heavenly reward with all the saints as we not merely walk but run in obedience to his Law. Thus we shall lay up for ourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through and steal.

In the Epistle we read of the Saving Events of the Cross and Resurrection that assured the victory over evil, sin, death, Satan and hell. In the Gospel we read of the right relation we ought to seek and have before God our Father [repentant sinners]” (


The Tenth Sunday after Trinity

The Tenth Sunday after Trinity.
Psalm 119.73-80
Manus tuae fecerunt me
THY hands have made me and fashioned me: O give me understanding, that I may learn thy commandments.
74. They that fear thee will be glad when they see me : because I have put my trust in thy word.
75. I know, O Lord, that thy judgements are right : and that thou of very faithfulness hast caused me to be troubled.
76. O let thy merciful kindness be my comfort : according to thy word unto thy servant.
77. O let thy loving mercies come unto me, that I may live : for thy law is my delight.
78. Let the proud be confounded, for they go wickedly about to destroy me : but I will be occupied in thy commandments.
79. Let such as fear thee, and have known thy testimonies : be turned unto me.
80. O let my heart be sound in thy statutes : that I be not ashamed.

The Collect.
LET thy merciful ears, O Lord, be open to the prayers of thy humble servants; and that they may obtain their petitions make them to ask such things as shall please thee; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Old Testament Reading: Lamentations 1.1-12
Psalter: Psalm 61, 62 | 48, 49
Epistle Reading: 1 Corinthians 12.1-11
Gospel Reading: St. Luke 19.41-46

Toon: “We know that God, the LORD, is pure SPIRIT and does not have a body. However, in our thinking about him, and in our addressing of him, we use familiar language as though he has a body, but we do so realising that we use language in a special way. God the Father has no human ears but he can hear! And since God the Father is the God of mercy and grace he hears our prayers from within that mercy. Thus he has merciful ears!

In this prayer we petition our Father in heaven that his merciful ears will be open to the supplications we bring. We have been taught that God delights in hearing our prayers and, in terms of our requests, we know that he delights in those which are for the glorifying of his name, the extension of his kingdom, the doing of his will, the conversion of sinners, the edification of the people of God, the sanctification of individual believers and such-like themes.

We have also been taught that God’s ears are closed - or not readily opened - when the prayers are from the proud and the arrogant, the unrepentant and the hard-hearted. He listens to the prayers of the humble and meek, the repentant and the obedient. Yet he does not necessarily grant all the requests even of thy humble servants.

Even the humble and meek have to learn from the Word of God written, the Holy Scriptures, from the experience and teaching of saints, and from their own knowledge of God, what petitions and intercessions actually are pleasing to God. Not everything that seems good and right to the sincere pastor or believer is so according to the will and purposes of God. As the children of God grow in discernment and mature in faith, hope and charity, they come to see what delights God’s heart and thus what are the proper themes of intercessory and petitionary prayer. And, of course, such prayers are only a part of prayer for there are also the large themes of adoration, praise and thanksgiving to consider and engage in.

Finally, all prayer to the Father is addressed to him through his Son, the Mediator, our Lord Jesus Christ through the presence and power of the Holy Ghost, our Advocate.

From the Epistle, we learn that while spiritual gifts are important and are to be desired in order to serve the Lord more faithfully, it is also possible to be led astray in the search for and the manifestation of such gifts. In and of themselves these gifts do not produce holiness of heart or a fervent desire to prayer for they can become an end in themselves!

In the Gospel, we see the heart of Jesus expressed in his compassion for his own people and also his commitment to prayer as the primary means of the expression of spiritual union between man and God. He is our model for prayer” (


Ninth Sunday after Trinity - 2014

The Ninth Sunday after Trinity.
Psalm 119.65-72
Bonitatem fecisti
O LORD, thou hast dealt graciously with thy servant : according unto thy word.
66. O learn me true understanding and knowledge : for I have believed thy commandments.
67. Before I was troubled, I went wrong : but now I have kept thy word.
68. Thou art good and gracious : O teach me thy statutes.
69. The proud have imagined a lie against me : but I will keep thy commandments with my whole heart.
70. Their heart is as fat as brawn : but my delight hath been in thy law.
71. It is good for me that I have been in trouble : that I may learn thy statutes.
72. The law of thy mouth is dearer unto me : than thousands of gold and silver.

The Collect.
GRANT to us, Lord, we beseech thee, the spirit to think and do always such things as be rightful; that we, who cannot do any thing that is good without thee, may by thee be enabled to live according to thy will; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Old Testament Reading: 1 Kings 10.1-25
Psalter: Psalm 46, 47 | 44, 45
Epistle Reading: 1 Corinthians 10.1-13
Gospel Reading: St. Luke 16.1-9

Toon: “This is a powerful petition in which we ask God to conform us, both internally and externally, to his righteousness (to what is rightful). Further, there is the honest admission that, in and of ourselves, that is in our wisdom and strength, we cannot please God by seeking to live what we consider to be the righteous and good life. (Note that this Collect is true to the meaning of the original Latin prayer, which is so terse that a literal translation of the second part would be, that we, who cannot even exist without thee, may have strength to live according to thee.)

Today we learn from our society and in our education and culture that each of us is an autonomous being. That is, I am in charge of my life and destiny and so are you! We think of the human being as being the centre of the universe and if we think of God at all in relation to the world it is as an Extra.

In contrast, genuine Christian thinking sees a person in total dependence upon God for his creation, his existence, his sustenance, his salvation and his eternal destiny. Whatever measure of free will and free determination a person possesses is itself from God and is only beneficial if conformed to the known will of God.

True freedom is not known in the exercise of personal autonomy and pursuing one’s own selfish will, but rather in thinking according to God’s ways and purposes and in doing his will, assisted and guided by his revelation and his Spirit. That is, the genuine life of righteousness and goodness is following the Way of Jesus Christ as his Spirit indwells the heart and mind and directs the will.
This Collect helps us to move from the mindset and spirit of the fallen world and evil age into the mindset and spirit of the kingdom of heaven and of God’s righteousness. And it presupposes that we are diligent readers of the sacred Scriptures where the mind and will of God is revealed to the Church.

The Epistle recalls the history of the Israelites in the wilderness in order to provide for us instruction in the moral and spiritual dangers we face and how they are to be overcome. The Gospel provides the Parable of the Unjust Steward in order to impress upon us the need and duty to make wise use of the present in providing for the life of the age to come” (


Eighth Sunday after Trinity - 2014

The Eighth Sunday after Trinity.
Psalm 119.57-64
Portio mea, Domine
THOU art my portion, O Lord : I have promised to keep thy law.
58. I made my humble petition in thy presence with my whole heart : O be merciful unto me, according to thy word.
59. I called mine own ways to remembrance : and turned my feet unto thy testimonies.
60. I made haste, and prolonged not the time : to keep thy commandments.
61. The congregations of the ungodly have robbed me : but I have not forgotten thy law.
62. At midnight I will rise to give thanks unto thee : because of thy righteous judgements.
63. I am a companion of all them that fear thee : and keep thy commandments.
64. The earth, O Lord, is full of thy mercy : O teach me thy statutes.

The Collect.
O GOD, whose never-failing providence ordereth all things both in heaven and earth; We humbly beseech thee to put away from us all hurtful things, and to give us those things which be profitable for us; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Old Testament Reading: Zechariah 4.1-10
Psalter: Psalm 39, 41 | 37
Epistle Reading: Romans 8.12-17
Gospel Reading: St. Matthew 7.15-21

Toon: “Christians believe, teach and confess that God is in final and ultimate control of everything that occurs in the cosmos and in the heaven of heavens, where are the angels. There is no space or time which is not governed by his will. He’s got the whole wide world in His hand.

Since God is the sole Creator of the universe, of things visible and invisible, it follows that he is the Sustainer and Governor of the same. This is not to say that the world we know is without problems and pain. God governs it together with its sin and shame and does so according to his own pure and wise purposes and plans. In the End the whole cosmos will freely submit to his Authority, after which his providence will not need to take into account human and angelic rebellion, evil and sin. Then the whole created sphere will be filled with his glory.

God is the God of Order. There is holy Order within the Holy Trinity of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost, and so God looks to bring order to his world, our home which is disordered by our sin.

If God the Father by the working of his Spirit is truly governing all things and working events for the long-term spiritual good and salvation of his elect people, then it is appropriate that these same people should cooperate with him as far as in them lies. They should ask of him what they know is pleasing to him. So they ask that he prevents from harming them all hurtful things - including everything from evil spirits through bad friends to harsh employers; and at the same time that he gives them those things which will profit them as disciples of Christ and sojourners and pilgrims on earth - good Christian worship, teaching and fellowship, fine opportunities for meditation and prayer, open doors for Christian service and so on.

God’s providence brings good out of evil for his adopted children and so what may seem at first sight and on the surface to be hurtful things may prove to be profitable because what begins as apparently evil finally comes out as good! In fact, when God’s adopted children are submitted to him in faith, hope and love, then they find that all things that come their way turn out to be for their true good and everlasting salvation.

God not only guides his people by his providence but he also ministers to then within their souls through the indwelling Spirit (see the Epistle, Romans 8:12ff.). His desire is that his people shall enter the kingdom of heaven because they do his well on earth (see the Gospel, Matthew 7:15ff.)” (


The Transfiguration of Christ - 6 August 2014

The Transfiguration of Christ
August 6
Psalm 16
Conserva me, Domine
( . . . )
10. Wherefore my heart was glad, and my glory rejoiced : my flesh also shall rest in hope.
11. For why? thou shalt not leave my soul in hell : neither shalt thou suffer thy Holy One to see corruption.
12. Thou shalt shew me the path of life; in thy presence is the fulness of joy : and at thy right hand there is pleasure for evermore.
( . . . )

The Collect
O GOD, who on the mount didst reveal to chosen witnesses thine only-begotten Son wonderfully transfigured, in raiment white and glistering; Mercifully grant that we, being delivered from the disquietude of this world, may be permitted to behold the King in his beauty, who with thee, O Father, and thee, O Holy Ghost, liveth and reigneth, one God, world without end. Amen.

Epistle Reading: 2 Peter 1.13-18
Gospel Reading: St. Luke 9.28-36

Philippians 3.20-21: “For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ: Who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.”

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Seventh Sunday after Trinity - 2014

The Seventh Sunday after Trinity.
Psalm 119.49-56
Memor esto servi tui
O THINK upon thy servant, as concerning thy world : wherein thou hast caused me to put my trust.
50. The same is my comfort in my trouble : for thy word hath quickened me.
51. The proud have had me exceedingly in derision : yet have I not shrinked from thy law.
52. For I remembered thine everlasting judgements, O Lord : and received comfort.
53. I am horribly afraid : for the ungodly that forsake thy law.
54. Thy statutes have been my songs : in the house of my pilgrimage.
55. I have thought upon thy Name, O Lord, in the night-season : and have kept thy law.
56. This I had : because I kept thy commandments.

The Collect.
LORD of all power and might, who art the author and giver of all good things; Graft in our hearts the love of thy Name, increase in us true religion, nourish us with all goodness, and of thy great mercy keep us in the same; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Old Testament Reading: Hosea 14.1-9
Psalter: Psalm 32, 36 | 33, 34
Epistle Reading: Romans 6.19-23
Gospel Reading: St. Mark 8.1-9

Toon: “God the Father is addressed as the LORD, the One who has Authority and Strength/Force, not merely authority but authority with power. He is well able to do what in his infinite wisdom and love he chooses to do. And such is what we would expect to be so of the Creator and Sustainer of the universe.

The Father is also remembered and recalled as the Almighty Lord who is both the maker and the giver of all good things, the One to whom belongs everything that is most excellent. By these words we recall James 1:17, Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.

The petition in this Collect is all about the increase of genuine religion in our hearts, which is only brought about by two divine processes. These are (a) God’s nurturing of what he has planted in our hearts; and (b) his guarding and keeping what he has nurtured.

Our human nature, even when highly educated and formed into good habits, does not love the Name of God, even as a garden does not grow rose trees naturally. God the Gardener has to plant the love of his Name in our hearts, He has to nurture that seed of love as he also has to feed it. It is important to recognise that for the biblical writers, the Name of God reflects his revealed character and thus in loving the hallowed Name we love God and what is made known to us from him.

One obvious duty arising from this petition is that of reading in the Bible of the character of God, of thinking about and meditating upon that character, and even rising to the heights of contemplating God as he is known through his revealed character.

Therefore we ask that God will graft, increase & nourish the seed he sows and will through his Fatherly mercy and affection keep that seed growing until it blossoms and magnifies his Name.

We ask through our Lord Jesus Christ the One Mediator between God and man and the one, as the Gospel for this week declares, feeds the hungry with good things. Further, we ask through the same Jesus Christ from whom comes to believers the gift of eternal life as the Epistle declares” (