Sermons

Anglican Orthodox Church
Worldwide Communion

  • Register

Sermon Notes for 1st Sunday after Ascension 28 May 2017 Anno Domini

Sermon Notes for 1st Sunday after Ascension 28 May 2017 Anno Domini

 

1 These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: 2 As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. 3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. 4 I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do. 5 And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was. 6 I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word. 7 Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee. 8 For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me. 9 I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. 10 And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them. 11 And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are. 12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled. 13 And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves. 14 I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. 15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.  17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. 18 As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. 19 And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.  20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; 21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. 22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: 23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.  24 Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world. 25  O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me. 26 And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them. (John 17:1-26)  (Second Lesson, First Propers – same for Maundy Thursday)

The Collect

Sunday After Ascension

O GOD, the King of glory, who hast exalted thine only Son Jesus Christ with great triumph unto thy kingdom in heaven; We beseech thee, leave us not comfortless; but send to us thine Holy Ghost to comfort us, and exalt us unto the same place whither our Saviour Christ is gone before, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the same Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen.

Ascension Day

GRANT, we beseech thee, Almighty God, that like as we do believe thy only-begotten Son our Lord Jesus Christ to have ascended into the heavens; so we may also in heart and mind thither ascend, and with him continually dwell, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end. Amen.

 

How can we adequately contemplate the great events of this day, and the greater events of tomorrow, without a deep sense of remorse, sorrow, and serious penitence? This text today contains some of the most beautiful words and pleas that can be found in scripture. There are, too, mysteries that escape the competence of man to define or explain. How is that we came to Christ – by our own volition and goodness, or by the foreordination and predestination of God? Was it one or the other, or was it both? Many learned men have addressed the issue and the results are a torn and divided church. The Calvinists believe that they have discovered the rock bottom of truth. The Arminians, as well, believe that they have the exclusive knowledge of truth as regards the matter. Each condemns members of the other party to damnation. But, of course, that is not our role as Christians. We may differ fundamentally on the meaning of passages of scripture, but we can condemn no man for his having another interpretation as long as he is using scripture and a modicum of reason and logic to arrive at that interpretation. The traditional Anglican view is to accept that there are mysteries of which we may have little comprehension. The Thirty Nine Articles of Religion define our doctrine on these matters, and they are authoritative – but they are authoritative only insofar as they are drawn from Biblical Truth. I have studied ten different commentaries on these Articles and have found not a single flaw in their Biblical truth and expression. So let us arm ourselves to do battle with Satan and his legions, and not do internecine battle with each other on matters that we may not have mastered or which may not affect our security in Christ. If we are redeemed of the Lord, we shall know it at any rate!

        1 These words spake Jesus, and lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son, that thy Son also may glorify thee: 2 As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. 3 And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. This entire chapter is a prayer – the longest in the New Testament – given at a moment of great grief for our Lord. The disciples are walking with Christ on the way to Gethsemane. The prayer takes on a more meaningful ambience when uttered beneath the starlit sky. When the only source of light and comfort can be found from Heaven, it is appropriate to lift one’s eyes to that source.  I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. 2 My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.(Psalms 121:1-2) The desire of the ages is coming due in its season. Eternity has suffered and labored to bring about the redemption of the race of man from the curse of Eden. It is now the time of Christ to fulfill all things – to suffer, redeem, and save us from our sins. If we are Christian, we must accept the authority of Scripture in all things. We are told that there can be no separation between God the Father and God the Son. To reject the Son is to reject the Father. This being a given of scripture, how is it possible for evangelicals and reformed ministers to declare that we Christians worship the same God as Allah? Does Allah know Christ? Does Allah have a Holy Ghost? Does Allah have redeeming mercy? The questions are rhetorical for it is obvious on the face of the matter that Allah does not resemble the goodness of God even by the most charitable standards. Allah brings, as did Hagar, bondage to sin and a continual judgment. God offers liberty through the merits of His Son and the efficacious testimony of the Holy Ghost.

        4 I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.And now, O Father, glorify thou me with thine own self with the glory which I had with thee before the world was. 6 I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word. Notice that Christ speaks in the past perfect tense regarding His finishing the work His Father had given – sinless and holy life, His miracles, His death and resurrection, and salvation for men who responded to the faith. To be sure, the work was accomplished in Christ before the worlds were made when it was decided that a Savior must come. When the Lord gives His Word, the matter is as good as accomplished. Those who came to Christ were given by the Father. These, too, have kept the Word for such is the nature of the people of God.

        7 Now they have known that all things whatsoever thou hast given me are of thee. 8 For I have given unto them the words which thou gavest me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from thee, and they have believed that thou didst send me. Christ is earnest to give glory of the Word to His father, but, in fact, Christ is the incarnation of that Word. The Father has given the Son, and the son has given Himself from the Father. The circle of Love is complete. The disciples, except for the son of perdition, have all alike received the Word, have understood the Word in things necessary, and know that the Father and the son are One.

        9 I pray for them: I pray not for the world, but for them which thou hast given me; for they are thine. 10 And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them. As an inquiring young boy growing up, I often heard sermons from the pulpit that seemed to suggest that God looked upon all – both the lost and the saved of Christ – with the same devotion and care. This was long a puzzle to me. Why should those who rejected His only Begotten Son be viewed by God with the same attentive compassion? I have learned since that this notion was never true. There are only two families upon the face of the earth – those who are the Elect of God, and those who have rejected Him. These latter ones belong to their father the devil as Christ charged the Pharisees. Christ here does not pray for the world, but for the chosen from out of the world.

        11 And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are. 12 While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled. 13 And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves. 14 I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world. Does it not warm your heart to know that such depth of compassion springs from the heart of Christ on the eve of His Passion? Christ will be leaving the world since His work is finished here, but we will be left to fend alone among the wolves and carnivores of the world. He prays that God will keep us together in the Spirit of One family. Important to note is the fact that Christ loses none who have come into His hands. If you have come into the estate of the blessed, neither shall you be lost for He shall keep you in security. Because of the Word (truth) the world hates Christ, but also the followers of Christ. The world will receive us better if we compromise that Word, and far too many have done so; but God’s grip on our souls is solid in our faithfulness to Him.

        15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the world, but that thou shouldest keep them from the evil. 16 They are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.  17 Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth. 18 As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world. 19 And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.  Remember the illustration of the ship made for the sea, to navigate the sea and to carry burdens of blessing across it? That is what the Christian is in the world. He navigates through the world. He bears burdens of blessing for the world, but when there is a breach and the sea gets into the ship, or the world gets into the Christian, both will founder. Christ sends us out into the world for the benefit of the world, but not so that we will become part of it. Christ separated Himself from the world, not only because of His own choosing, but also for our benefit. If He remains pure and sanctified, so should we be inspired to be.

        20 Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word; 21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. 22 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one: 23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. Do you realize that Christ prayed for YOU the night preceding His Passion? He has done so if you have believed through the words of the Apostles and Gospel writers. He did not only have a following that was One with the Father 2,000 years ago, He has ones called out from the four corners of the world today who are One with Christ, One with the Father, and One with every other believer – past, present, or future. What a privilege and a blessing to know that the Father loves us in the same way that He loves His dear Son. The amazing quality of love is that it never diminishes when shared, but grows more abundant in volume.

        24 Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world. 25  O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me. 26 And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.  If you harbor any false belief that Jesus became the son of God 2,000 years ago in Bethlehem, perish that thought! He has ever been with the Father from Eternity Past to Eternity Future. Our ultimate responsibility is to engender that same divine love in our hearts that sill most resemble that unconditional kind of love that exists in the heart of the Father and His dear Son our Lord. Is our love today a detached kind of love for others, or is it a vibrant, living, sacrificial love that is like that of Christ? The chains of bondage shall be severed on the morrow!

 

     

       

 

 

Recent

Donate

Amount: 

Contact Us

Email:

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Those interested in joining our church may do so by either letter or baptism. If you are interested in visiting our church, please contact Bishop Ogles for more information and directions.

St. Andrews Church
Enterprise, AL
(334) 498-7181

If you would like more information regarding the Anglican Orthodox faith, our churches, or worship, please feel free to contact our National Headquarters in Statesville, N.C. Our National Headquarters can be contacted via mail, phone, or e-mail.

Anglican Orthodox Church
National Headquarters
P.O. Box 128
Statesville, N.C. 28687
704-873-8365

Head Office Email:

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.