Grace Episcopal Church


RECTOR’S NOTES

 

NOVEMBER 11, 2018
A WOMAN CALLED RUTH
Old Testament-The Book of Ruth Chapters 1-4

 

The Book of Ruth is a story or redemption, recovery and renewal. If you carry nothing else away from the Story of Ruth, know that the beginning of life or any circumstance, no matter how difficult, does not necessarily foretell the ending or final outcome.

 

Refugees: we can understand what it means to be an immigrant if we understand this story.  There is a famine in the land.  Something that was

very common in this time period of history. Remember there was no refrigeration and long term storage was not common.  There was no

crop insurance and it was a world that was really every person for themselves.  Sophisticated farming with irrigation, fertilizer, pest control and all the other  real agricultural advances were yet to come. You never knew how long a famine would last.

 

1. Naomi, her husband Elimelech and their two sons Mahlon and Chilion

       were  Ephrathties from Bethelhem of Judah. They were in the Land

       of Moab when the famine came.

Ruth 1:3-5:   “But Elimelech the husband of Naomi died, and she was left with her two sons. These took Moabite wives; the name of the one was Orpah and the name of the other Ruth. When they had lived there about ten years, both Mahlon and Chilion also died, so that the woman was left without two sons and her husband.

 

2. Naomi tells the two daughter-in-laws to leave. Ruth refuses and commits to Naomi.

Ruth 1:16b:  “ Where you go, I will go; where you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God my God."

 

 Ruth was committed to Naomi, and also was impressed by Naomi. They would be both a comfort, counsel and companion to one another. In the end Naomi would nurse the child Obed, born to Ruth and her new husband Boaz.  Obed was the father of Jesse. Jesse was the father of David, who is still called the Greatest King of Israel. Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is born: “from the root of Jesse, the Lineage of David.” Hang On God is not through with your situation!



         NOVEMBER 4, 2018

         ALL SAINTS DAY


Isaiah 25: 6-9                     Revelation 21:1-6a                      Gospel of John 11:32-44

 

The Scripture readings today all focus on the loss of loved ones that now are

a part of the company of heaven. Each passage at some point mentions

tears or crying, an emotion that often naturally presents itself when a death

happens. God will wipe away every tear from our eyes. Jesus is the strength

of our lives. The source of all we need. The completion of all that is unfinished. Jesus Christ is still in the miracle working business. Put your trust in God and never be disappointed. God is always available, even right now. We believe as Christians in an afterlife with God. The Saints of God when they depart this mortal life are all with God. This mortality puts on immortality. This corruptible

puts on the incorruptible. Death, where is thy sting?

 

If you have ever flown on a plane you are listed on something called a

manifest. A manifest is a list of passengers or an invoice for cargo. When

your boarding pass is scanned at check in, you are electronically added to

the manifest.  When you are a believer in God, you are also on a manifest.

That is a manifest that God has prepared, often called The Lambs Book of Life.

Jesus promised that those who believe, would see the Glory of God.

Jesus Christ is the Resurrection, the way and the life. That Power of

Resurrection raised Lazarus from the dead, because Jesus is life. There is

nothing too hard for God. Nothing too far gone. Nothing that God cannot fix, heal, restore or reconcile. God is able. God is more than enough!

 

 


         OCTOBER 28, 2018         

          PART 4 OF 4:  OCTOBER 7th, 14th, 21st & 28th

 

UNDERSTANDING JOB, UNDERSTANDING CRISIS, UNDERSTANDING GOD
   JOB 42:1-6, 10-17
RESTORATION AND RECONCILIATION

 

JOB’S Greatest Lesson: When Job No longer possesses any earthly thing,

   JOB knows that with God he really still has everything.

 

1. “You see my glory, but you don’t fully know my story.”

JOB gets it DAY ONE, the late Maya Angelou, extraordinary poet,

author and play write says in one of her great quotes:

“When someone shows you who they are believe them the first time.”

 

2.  JOB shows what he is made of in the very first chapter when he has lost

everything. Remember if JOB is the richest man in the EAST, he was

a Billionaire in today’s conversion. JOB 1:21-“ Naked I came from my

my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there; the Lord gave,

and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”

 

3. When you have been through a storm, in the midst of the storm you are not thinking about anything else.

 

4. Reconciliation means to restore to friendship or harmony. When the storm is over you have to restore, settle, bring back into order that which was lost, it can be even better than what was lost!

 

5. God makes JOB more than whole. JOB is given twice what he lost, so again  JOB is the richest, greatest person in the EAST. That is the eastern

portion of the known world of that day. God lets JOB live another 140 years. God gives JOB a new family. Most important: it is not what God

did to JOB, it is what God did for JOB. JOB is even better than before!

You  will be too.




 

                  OCTOBER 21, 2018     
               PART 3 OF 4: OCTOBER 7th, 14th, 21st & 28th

 

         UNDERSTANDING JOB, UNDERSTANDING CRISIS, UNDERSTANDING GOD

 

                                      JOB NEVER ASKS GOD WHY?                 

 

                    GOD’S ANSWER TO THE QUESTION JOB NEVER ASKED:

                      “Do you see what I  see, do you hear what I hear.”

 

1.Health and Wealth: when you acknowledge and understand that Job is the

wealthiest person in the East, you realize that Job was a Billionaire.

     2. It is easier for some persons to accept the fact that Job lost his health, but when confronted with the idea that Job lost that much money in

 today’s equivalency, is difficult to fathom.

 

3.  There are persons who find it difficult to live without one’s wealth.

People become so oriented to class and ownership that to imagine

losing as much as Job is challenging. (The Rich Young Ruler)

 

 

 4. Persons that have lost their jobs through downsizing or even the

relocation of the company are often seen as doing something bad

to deserve such a circumstance and that is not true.

 

5. God answers Job out of the whirlwind:Job 38:1-7,34-41

 
“Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?

 Gird up your loins like a man, I will question you and you shall

  declare to me. Where were you when I laid the foundation of the

   earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. Who determines its

        measurements—surely you know.
God did not NEED to answer Job, rather God explained to Job who God is!

 Like Job we need to learn to accept and contemplate the mystery of God!

 


OCTOBER 14, 2018    
PART 2 OF 4: OCTOBER 7th, 14th, 21st & 28th

 

UNDERSTANDING JOB, UNDERSTANDING CRISIS, UNDERSTANDING GOD

 

 

PSALM 22:1- “ My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

and are so far from my cry and from the words of my distress?

 

JOB 2:11-13” Now when Job’s three friends heard of all these troubles that had
come upon him, each of them set out from his home---Eliphaz the

Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite, and Zophar the Naamathite. They
met together to go and console him. When they saw him from a

distance, they did not recognize him, and they raised their voices
and wept aloud; they tore their robes and through dust in the air

 upon their heads. They sat with him on the ground seven days and
seven nights, and no one spoke a word to him, for they saw that

          his suffering was very great.”

 

James Glenthworth Butler’s: The Bible Work: Old Testament Volume 4  :

“Job suffered approximately 60-80 years, the equivalent of our contemporary

life span. Subsequently, that time added to 140 years referenced in scripture

excluding his tribulation years, would mean that Job lived to be around 200 years old.”

 

1. There is something you can tell just from the second chapter of Job:

the friends of Job were multi-ethnic. They were also deeply religious,

caring and select. Scripture specifically identifies that they were

Job’s three friends. Job did not hang out with, did not have time for,

or desire to be with any and everybody all the time.

 

2.  I shared the recent finding that: you become like the top five persons

with whom you spend the most significant amounts of time and experiences.

 

3. It is not what God is doing to Job, it is what God is doing for Job.

Remember that this is God’s watchful and permissive will that allows

these events to occur in the life of Job.

    

4. No one deserves to be hurt, abused, neglected, bullied or experience

violence from another person.

 

5. Job 3:17-“Where the wicked cease from troubling and the  weary shall

                           be at rest.”  Job knew there was a better world with God

                           beyond this mere earth.               
 


 

         OCTOBER 7, 2018     
               PART I OF 4: OCTOBER 7th, 14th, 21st & 28th

 

 

        UNDERSTANDING JOB, UNDERSTANDING CRISIS, UNDERSTANDING GOD

                        THE BOOK OF JOB CHAPTERS 1 AND 2

 

     ***REMEMBER WE ARE READING THE BOOK OF JOB TOGETHER 2 CHAPTERS

       PER DAY FOR THE NEXT 21 DAYS, JOB IS 42 CHAPTERS***

 

     Job 1:20-21: “Then Job arose, tore his robe, shaved his head and fell on the

     ground and worshipped. Job said, Naked I came from my

      mother’s womb,and naked shall I return there; the Lord gave,

      and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.”

 

Job has an eternal outlook and perspective, he realizes that all he has came

from God and that God who gave can restore, reproduce, reconcile, multiply.

Job was not just the richest man in the East, he was the greatest man in the East. Job was a benefactor, philanthropist, influencer, advisor, financier, diplomat and sought out wise man.

 

Job was:  1. Righteous and Godly

                   2. Integrity=Wholeness

                                          3. Highly Regarded and Respected

 

 

Job prayed for his children and family.

 

Job’s initial destruction happened in one day, followed by multiple days and

years of turmoil, an estimated 60 years.

 

Job worshipped God before, during, in the midst of and after his turmoil.

 

Job never gave up on God, God never gave up on Job!