The BCP

Nineteenth Sunday after Trinity

Author: The Revd Dr Peter Toon

Collect

O God, forasmuch as without thee we are not able to please thee: Mercifully grant, that thy Holy Spirit may in all things direct and rule our hearts; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Collect Commentary

We can only genuinely desire to please the Lord our God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, if and when he inspires us so to do. In and of ourselves, because our natures are infected by sin, we cannot produce by our own effort the purity of heart, mind and will that is necessary to worship the Lord God in the beauty of holiness and in spirit and in truth.

To recognize this powerlessness within ourselves is to begin to move into the sphere where we can worship God aright, for the confession before the LORD of our weakness and sin, our impotency and our spiritual sickness, is the beginning of his true worship and praise. And this beginning occurs because of his prevenient grace!

Therefore, we invoke our Father in heaven, by his great mercy and because of his marvellous grace, to send us the assistance that we need in order to be what he calls us to be. We ask for the gift and presence of the Holy Ghost ñ the One who comes in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ, bearing his virtues and graces ñ to indwell our souls that we may be rightly inspired, directed and guided in how we are to please our Creator, Redeemer & Father, in what we think and say and do.

Let us so pray and let us be so directed by the personal presence of the Third Person of the Blessed, Holy and Undivided Trinity.

The Epistle is a vigorous call to holiness of life as we walk with Christ and the Gospel is a proclamation of the power of Christ to save, help and guide us.

 

Epistle Ephesians 4.17-32

THIS I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind; having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart: who, being past feeling, have given themselves over unto lasciviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness. But ye have not so learned Christ; if so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: that ye put off, concerning the former conversation, the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; and be renewed in the spirit of your mind; and that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Wherefore, putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another. Be ye angry and sin not: let not the sun go down upon your wrath: neither give place to the devil. Let him that stole steal no more; but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil-speaking, be put away from you, with all malice. And be ye kind one to another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.

 

Gospel S. Mathew 9:1-8

JESUS entered into a ship, and passed over, and came into his own city. And behold, they brought to him a man sick of the palsy, lying on a bed. And Jesus, seeing their faith, said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, be of good cheer, thy sins be forgiven thee. And behold, certain of the Scribes said within themselves, This man blasphemeth. And Jesus, knowing their thoughts, said, Wherefore think ye evil in your hearts? For whether is easier, to say, Thy sins be forgiven thee? or to say, Arise, and walk? But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (then saith he to the sick of the palsy,) Arise, take up thy bed, and go unto thine house. And he arose, and departed to his house. But when the multitudes saw it, they marvelled, and glorified God, who had given such power unto men.