Monday, March 25, 2019

Quiz of the Day, March 2019

Quiz of the Day, March 25, 2019

What was the context for the Magnificat of Mary?

a. She sang it to Gabriel at the Annunciation
b. She composed it after the birth of Jesus
c. Elizabeth composed it
d. She sang it when she told Elizabeth her news

Quiz of the Day, March 24, 2019

Which of the following does not fit?

a. Adonai
b. The Name
c. Tetragrammaton
d. The Holy One, Blessed be He
e. Melchizedek

Quiz of the Day, March 23, 2019

What ancient Persian dynasty did Gregory the Illuminator come from?

a. Armenian
b. Parthian
c. Medes
d. Achaemenian

Quiz of the Day, March 22, 2019

Of the following, which could be said to have prevented the election twice of James DeKoven as bishop?

a. his view on the Bible
b. his pacifist views
c. smells and bells
d. his view on the Trinity

Quiz of the Day, March 21, 2019

Which is no true regarding Archbishop Thomas Cranmer?

a. he was archbishop who give Henry VIII a marriage annulment
b. he was editor of the first Book of Common Prayer
c. he was a celibate like the Catholic clergy of his time
d. he was martyred 

Quiz of the Day, March 20, 2019

Who is the author of the words of the Doxology used in many parishes at the presentation of the offering and oblations?

a. Thomas Tallis
b. George Herbert
c. Isaac Watt
d. Fanny Crosby
e. Thomas Ken

Quiz of the Day, March 19, 2019

The lineage of Jesus is traced through his "guardian" Joseph in which Gospel?

a. Matthew
b. Mark
c. Luke
d. John

Quiz of the Day, March 18, 2019

Which of the following is not true regarding Cyril of Jerusalem?

a. attended Council of Nicaea
b. attended First Council of Constantinople
c. Developed the Cyrillic script
d. Wrote on Christian Catechesis
e. a and c
f. b and d

 Quiz of the Day, March 17, 2019

Which prophet claimed that he could not speak because he was only a boy?

a. Amos
b. Moses
c. Jeremiah
d. Hosea

Quiz of the Day, March 16, 2019

Whom did Jesus engage in dialogue in the city of Sychar?

a. Mary of Magdala
b. Nicodemus
c. an unnamed blind man
d. a Samaritan woman

Quiz of the Day, March 15, 2019

Which of the following Irish saints was not "Irish?"

a. Brigit
b. Brandan
c. Aidan
d. Patrick

Quiz of the Day, March 14, 2019

According to the Hebrew Scriptures, the giving of the Law to Moses happened on which mountain?

a. Sinai
b. Tabor
c. Gerizim
d. Horeb
e. a and d

Quiz of the Day, March 13, 2019

Who was Eliezer?

a. Aaron's son, a priest
b. Isaac's brother
c. Abraham's servant
d. Sarah's brother

Quiz of the Day, March 12, 2019

Which Pope said about Anglicans seen in Rome, "non Angli sed angeli," Not Anglican but angels?

a. Leo the Great
b. Pius I
c. Gregory the Great
d. Sabinian

Quiz of the Day, March 11, 2019

To whom did Jesus refer to as "that fox?"

a. Judas Iscariot
b. Pontius Pilate
c. Herod
d. Caesar

Quiz of the Day, March 10, 2019

Which of the following biblical metaphor is used for Christ and Lucifer?

a. sun
b. dawn
c. morning star
d. river

Quiz of the Day, March 9, 2019

Which Eastern Orthodox saint is a patron saint for an Episcopal parish in San Francisco, CA?

a. Basil the Great
b. Gregory of Nazianus
c. Gregory of Nyssa
d. John Chrysostom

Quiz of the Day, March 8, 2019

Who was Woodbine Willie?

a. a heroic chaplain in World War I
b. a man with a nickname after his favorite brand of cigarettes
c. a Kennedy
d. a poet
e. all of the above

Quiz of the Day, March 7, 2019

Which biblical writer is attributed to having reinforced a rather biased view against "Cretans?"

a. Peter
b. Timothy
c. Paul
d. Titus

Quiz of the Day, March 6, 2019

"Remember that you are dust and to dust you shall return."  Where can this be found in the Bible?

a. Genesis
b. Isaiah
c. Revelations
d. Romans

Quiz of the Day, March 5, 2019

Why did pancakes become the meal of choice for Shrove Tuesday?

a. a papal order
b. last effort to get rid of animal fat before Lent
c. to shrive is the old English for "eating pancakes"
d. one is supposed to "get fat" on Fat Tuesday before the "slimming" days of Lent

Quiz of the Day, March 4, 2019

Which of the following is not true about John Wesley and the "Methodists?"

a. John Wesley remained an Anglican in his lifetime
b. Wesley viewed "Methodism" as a Movement with Anglicanism
c. Wesley's never ministered in America
d. The Wesley brothers were prolific hymnodists

Quiz of the Day, March 3, 2019

Mount Tabor is a place associated with what event?

a. Sermon on the Mount
b. Elijah hearing the still small voice
c. The Transfiguration
d. The place of the future return of Christ

Quiz of the Day, March 2, 2019

When Ruth became a widow which of following was a requirement for the sale of her late husband's land?

a. a tithe had to be paid on the purchase price
b. the purchase of Ruth was included in the property deal
c. all of the livestock came with the land
d. the land was exempt from the gleaning requirement

Quiz of the Day, March 1, 2019

St. Dewi is the patron saint of what country?

a. Gibraltar
b. The Falkland Islands
c. Crete
d. Wales

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Repentance As Our Future

3 Lent      Cycle C     March 24, 2019
Ex.3:1-17          Ps. 103:1-11           
1 Cor. 10:1-13     Luke 13:1-9       
Lectionary Link
The life of Moses can be divided into three trimesters of 40 years.  He lived to the age of 120; the biblical writers liked numbers and their symbolic values and the number 40 is the symbol of the time of test and trial and ordeal and practice and preparation.  Moses had successes and failures in all three of his trimesters.  In his first 40 years, he had a miraculous infancy narrative; he was supposed to be killed with all the Hebrew male children in Egypt, but he was spared in his ark of bulrushes and rescued and adopted by an Egyptian princess and raised as a prince of Egypt.  He did not forget his people and as he neared the age of 40 he felt it was his duty to unify the Hebrew people and help them fight their oppression.  He failed and murdered two Egyptians and ran into the wilderness to escape for his life and give up his call.  He attached himself to the family of his bride and became a shepherd for Jethro his father-in-law.  And at the age of 80, he had his great theophany, a great encounter with God who appeared in the burning bush which was not consumed.  

This encounter of Moses as it is recorded in the book of Exodus evokes a study of God, the name of God and how God has come to be regarded.  Through textual analysis of Hebrew Scriptures, some scholars find at least four editions of Hebrew Scriptures.  This is called the source theory, and the sources are abbreviated as JEDP.  Two of these sources derive from the Hebrew words to designate God.  The J stands for "Jehovah" but is called by scholars the Yahwists.  The E, stands for the Elohists.  The Yahwists were the editors who used "Yahweh" for the name of God.  The Elohists were the editors who used Elohim as the name of God.  So how do we know in English translations which Hebrew name of God is being used?  The English word "Lord" is used for Yahweh or some translators use Yahweh.  Yahweh entered our vocabulary because some biblical scholar believed it to be a better English transliteration and the God formerly known as "Jehovah."   The extra vowel has to do with some textual version of the vowel pointing of the four consonants.  So the Hebrew Scriptures result in both versions of God's name being used, as in Lord God or Yahweh Elohim.  What developed in Judaism after the destruction of Solomon's Temple to begin the exile, was the reverence for the name of God.  The four consonants which represent the name of God were regarded to be so holy that they could be written but not pronounced.  These four letters are called the tetragrammaton, and observant Jews read the four consonants with alternate pronunciations, like HaShem, meaning "the Name," or "Adonai"  meaning my Lord, or hakadosh baruch hu ("The Holy One, Blessed Be He").     In his great encounter with God, Moses was afraid about returning to Egypt where he had failed to gain the respect of his fellow Hebrew people.  Moses was given the name of God to use as proof of his call to lead the people of Israel.  God's name is rendered in English as "I am that I am."  But scholars say that the Hebrew language did not have a present tense for the verb "to be."  So some think that it should be rendered as "I will be who I will be."  Moses returned to Egypt to lead a stubborn and skeptical people and he used the revealed name of God and using the name resulted in the plagues and the feats of wondered which enabled the Israelites to eventually arrive in the Promised Land.

Why is all of this relevant to the Christian tradition?  St. Paul and the apostles, understood Jesus Christ to be the one who assumed and made known God as the "I am" or the "I will be who I will be."  St. John's Gospel is the "I am" Gospel.  Jesus said, "Before Abraham was, I am."  This means that Christians regarded Christ to assume identity with "The Name."  St. Paul acted in the name of Christ in assuming it as a manifestation of the name of God.  He wrote that the Red Sea event baptized the children into Moses and many of them did not honor the name and they failed in their temptation and testing in the forty years in the wilderness.  St. Paul warned the Corinthian church not to fail the time of testing.  He said that God, who delivered Jesus in his time of temptation, will also provide a way of escape in our time of temptation if we will commit to speak and act in the name of Christ, into whom we have been baptized.

Our Gospel for today, indicates to us that we always already can be subject to the conditions of freedom where good things can happen to bad people; bad things happen to good people.  Bad things happen to bad people. Good things can happen to good people.  Freedom means that tyrants can prevail and do horrendous thing.  Freedom means that a tower can be structurally unsafe and fall on and kill people.  Such event may leave us speculating about why things happen.  Such speculation cannot change the fact that they did happen.  What response did Jesus give to the conditions of freedom?

Jesus said that we should always live in the state of repentance.  What does repentance mean?  It means we live in order to be better in the future.  How does one become better in the future?

How does a gardener make a better future yield?  A gardener composts the present ground around the plant in order for a better outcome?  What is compost?  In human experience, compost is our dead past.  The past is dead and gone.  The past can be a liability seen as an albatross to determine a bad future, or using the recycling and compost metaphor, we need to learn how to use the dead past to engender a better future.  Repentance is the education dynamic to learn from our past successes and failures to make a better future.

This Lent, we as a parish need to repent into our future.  We need to act in faith toward hopeful outcomes.  We need to apply success and failure in our past to a better future.  If the name of God in Christ is, "I will be who I will be," we can act in the name of Christ into our future with the great expectancy of better outcomes and future renewal.  Let us adopt repentance as a our Lenten habit toward a better personal and parish future.  Amen. 

Aphorism of the Day, March 2019

Aphorism of the Day, March 25, 2019

We might be tempted to interpret the parables of Jesus as being applicable to the apparent conflict between Jesus and religious figures of his time.  In so doing we may miss the archetypical features of the parables as models of life.  Prodigal Son, unforgiving brother and generous forgiving father: these are models of behaviors which everyone can participate in even as we assume the loving father bespeaks the definition of God is love.

Aphorism of the Day, March 24, 2019

God as always already future can be note in the divine name of "I am that I am," since "to be" does not have a present tense in Hebrew, it might be better translated as "I will be who I will be."  God as omni-becoming or pure creativity who shares a degree of creative freedom with all that is not God but contained in God, means future total surpassability in occasions of everything and thus would honor the genuine freedom to account to weal and woe and also never assume to knowing the possible as actual.

Aphorism of the Day, March 23, 2019

Burning bush theophanies and speaking to a Rock for it to be a source of water?  Modern people of faith with schizoidal discursive practice entertain themselves with D.C. Comic superheroes because entertainment the place where imagination can allow one's life not to be ruled by empirical verification.  Do these things happen in real life?  No, and we know how to separate the art forms from actuarial behaviors governed by following the rather uniformity of natural causes.  Somehow we will not let the Bible stories be the art of ancient people who did not have so many forms of divided discursive practices as we have in our modern world.  Give them a break, a charitable break.  More identity is formed in our cultural myths than from our "real" histories.

Aphorism of the Day, March 22, 2019

The life of Moses is presented in three trimesters, each lasting forty years.  At the end of his second trimester, he was confronted by the divine presence and voice.  He was convinced that his own adequacy would not make him successful in leadership; rather it was the all-sufficiency of the One who was the Plenitude to fill in all human lack.

Aphorism of the Day, March 21, 2019

Moses encounter with God at the burning bush might be called "Of tetragrammatonology," a pun on the Algerian born Jewish French philosopher Jacque Derrida who wrote a revolutionary book entitled in English, "Of Grammatology."   As I see the account of the presentation of the tetragrammaton, it is a written name of God to represent the phonetic event of Moses hearing the name of God.  After the purported hearing of the name of God, it became represented by four letters and yet those four letters are not to be pronounced because they only represent a great Mystery which cannot be represented in vocal form.  Derrida is famous for generating the notion of "deconstruction," a further development of Heidegger's notion of "destruction."  The tetragrammaton may represent the abnegation of omni-textuality in that deconstruction is the erasure of every linguistic "idol" which becomes such by appearing and seeming to last too long in duration.  The idol can only disappear or be deconstructed when the the foreground and background of text merge to one flat plain where nothing is distinguished so everything disappears and is deconstructed until further articulation events creates the separation of foreground from background in the entire discursive universe.

Aphorism of the Day, March 20, 2019

Moses' life in the number forty.  Leaves Egypt alone in disgrace at 40.  At 80 returns to Egypt to lead the people out of Egypt.  Spent 40 years leading the people of Israel to the Promised into which he was not permitted to go.  40 days and nights on Mt. Sinai/Horeb to receive the law.  And at the end of his second forty years he had the revelation of The Name, Adoni=The Lord, The Holy One, Blessed is He or in the Greek, the four letters, the tetragrammaton, the unpronounceable יהוה which English translators dared to translate and pronounce as Jehovah or Yahweh.  It may seem as though the unpronounceable name of God due to its holiness is what theologian call the apophatic or the via negativa, the negative way as the starting place with God.  God is so different that whatever one says about God, God is not that, or God cannot be contained by any human utterance on which human understanding is understood.  However when it comes to the default position of humanity, namely, having language, one is saying something positive in and with language when one says that God's name is unpronounceable or God as God is unknowable by human being.  Thinking that we can escape language by positing something outside of language is falsified by saying with language, "something outside of language."

Aphorism of the Day, March 19, 2019

"I am that I am," is the translation of the unspeakable name of God, and one can see how theologians could adopt through Heidegger the notion of God as HOLY BEING.  In deconstructive post-modernism one might want to say that such Being co-inheres with the Word which signifies it since lingualocentricism is the default position of humanity.  To even refer to what is not human, one uses words to do so.

Aphorism of the Day, March 18, 2019

People confronted Jesus with the horrific deaths of persons whose blood after they died was desecrated by Pilate.  Also, some opined about the people who died when a tower fell upon them.  In the free conditions of the world, people have power to injure and kill, but also gravitation can cause heavy items to fall on people who are in the wrong place at the wrong time.  And when death happens people speculate about why they happened to specific people as if there might be some comfort in knowing why the free condition result in sudden death of some people and not others.  And if people are going to speculate about why we die when we do, what state of being does Jesus recommend for us?  The state of repentance.  We should go to our deaths in the state of repentance, which is essentially, holy education of the continual renewing of our minds in getting better.  Freedom is the energy of continuous creativity but in that freedom there can be the actions of getting worse or getting better.  Repentance means that we complement the state of creative freedom best by always getting better.

Aphorism of the Day, March 17, 2019

For empiricists who are troubled by visions of the afterlife, they should note that hope itself is an empirical experience even though it is so protean that it cannot consistently conform or be replicated in "test tube" experiments.  Hope creates visions of afterlife and para-life.  We always already life in hope's creation of a para-life, the day dream life which accompanies whatever is going on in our "external" world.  The para-life of hope is both escape from what life is not yet for us now to an alternative and if it is only escape, it might cause atrophy of action.  But if it is the presentation of an abstract difference of what is, it can inspire alternate creative and new response.

Aphorism of the Day, March 16, 2019

Hope is the powerful proclivity of always having a future even though the empirical verification bookend of human mortality contradicts this.  The Bible is a book inspired by hope and the promise of what a future might be.  One of the results of having closed canons of Scripture is the assumption that only Bible stories of hope have the final authority and so we can be tempted to "worship" events of the past without embracing the freedom to endlessly hope and tell our new stories of hope in our time and in new ways.  The Bible as a paradigm of the fact that stories of hope must be told should be seen as a permissive literature for us to embrace telling stories of hope in our lives now.

Aphorism of the Day, March 15, 2019

Having offspring and a promised land is how objective immortality was present to Abraham.  When oppression threatens both life and land, then objective immortality in heirs and land becomes spiritualized to a resurrection in order to judge the oppressor who took life and land as the very symbols of objective immortality.  The situation during the time of Jesus was that land had been taken and so the offering of a new heavenly country and Jerusalem was promised.  Further, Abraham attained immortality in having many heirs of faith; a spiritual posterity as an indication of his immortality in his covenant with God.

Aphorism of the Day, March 14, 2019

Before we "Christianize" Abraham in the Hebrew Scriptures, one should probably acknowledge that Abraham feared in not having an heir, since his future objective immortality resided in his actual offspring.  He received the promise of many future people who would be proof of his objectivity immortality.

Aphorism of the Day, March 13, 2019

Ironic speak of Jesus: "It is impossible for a prophet to be killed outside of Jerusalem."  Could be reference to the fact that only in places where power elites dwell that prophets who stand against the order of power become particularly vulnerable to becoming punished to death for their public criticism of the power elites.

Aphorism of the Day, March 12, 2019

In a thesaurus of metaphors for Jesus, Good Shepherd and Mother Hen would be Gospel synonyms.

Aphorism of the Day, March 11, 2019

The fox and the hen.  Jesus referred to Herod as that "fox" and uses the metaphor of a hen protecting her chicks under her wings to refer to how he wanted to be toward the city of Jerusalem.  Apparently the "fox" won; Jesus as the hen was not able to protect himself or Jerusalem but it is also true that the little chickens fled and grew to memorialize Jesus as the "Great Hen" forever.

Aphorism of the Day, March 10, 2019

Fasting is a discipline in self-control whereby one is learning to take control of one's life by conscious practice of delayed gratification.   Such delaying of gratification is a defining characteristic of mature adulthood as one controls the flows of one's life in order to practice maximally beneficial stewardship for one's life and the life of others.

Aphorism of the Day, March 9, 2019

In his baptism Jesus received a favored designation from a heavenly voice, "Beloved Son."  In the Vision Quest temptation that followed, in the fasting state, Jesus had access to the diabolical voice which taunted his identity, "If you are the Son of God,....."  In temptation, our being children of God is always challenged by being presented with options of disobeying God and image of God that is upon our lives through our birth and its further actualization in baptism.

Aphorism of the Day, March 8, 2019

Propitious and favorable, but unplanned time is called serendipity, and we can hope for the good luck of serendipity all of the time.  The good favor of serendipity does not seem to be the general laws which govern statistical probability in what can happen to anyone in life.  Actuarial wisdom means that from observance wisdom we try to time our behaviors for the best possible outcomes for the greatest number of people.  The wisdom of good laws of justice follow the actuarial wisdom of anticipating probable outcome.  Temptation is mainly about mistiming and being drawn to disobey the highest insights of one's life.

Aphorism of the Day, March 7, 2019

In the temptation of Jesus, Satan tries to get Jesus to treat poetry as science.  Jesus passed the test.  Sadly the people who are often called fundamentalists, don't pass this temptation.

Aphorism of the Day, March 6, 2019

Hypocrisy is trying to prove to the public that one is loving God with religious and churchy behaviors and ignoring the second commandment to love one's neighbor as oneself.

Aphorism of the Day, March 5, 2019

What was Jesus accused of in his lifetime?  Being a glutton and winebibber.  Being mad.  Being in league with the devil.  Hanging out with sinners.  Interesting to note the corresponding temptation regarding food/bread, worshiping the devil, committing megalomania, and suicidal madness to throw himself from a high place to be caught by the angels.  Ironically, the devil tempted Jesus to be the "Anti-Christ" or to be lying false presentation of who God's Christ was to be.

Aphorism of the Day, March 4, 2019

The temptation of Jesus presented to Gospel reader the interior struggle of Jesus of Nazareth.  The constitution of the inner self is a constitution of the words as spirit of our interior lives.  We have in how we take on language an inner symbolic network of meanings and some of these meanings become more made flesh than others in how and when they are actualized in body language acts and deeds of our lives.  The temptation scenario presents to us the reality of freedom within each persons interior life.  With interior words each of us hopes to be constituted as a semi-free agent who can control the timing of our lives regarding our bodily habits, our public recognition and our practical submission to our limitations in our bodily lives, i.e., we believe in gravity so we don't throw our bodies off buildings in hopes that angels will catch us.

Aphorism of the Day, March 3, 2019

The transfiguration event was written about after the post-resurrection appearances of Christ and the many experiences of the Risen Christ of who was much better known than Jesus of Nazareth during his lifetime.  How were the seeds of the post-resurrection Christ to be found in retelling the life of Jesus of Nazareth.  In the transfiguration event, the spiritual essence of Jesus lit up his physical body to make his face shine, indicating that he had a resurrection aspect of himself before it happened.

Aphorism of the Day, March 2, 2019

Jesus did not appear in a "cultural vacuum" as an alien; he appeared within the inherited story traditions of the people with whom he resided.  When the story of Jesus was told it had to be told within the story of the heroes of Jewish culture, namely Moses and Elijah.  G.O.A.T. has become the acronym for Greatest of All Time.  Greatness is based upon comparison and the transfiguration event presents two great ones in their own time conferring a surpassing greatness upon Jesus.  Their presence in the visionary event was to agree with the heavenly voice which declared Jesus as God's chosen one.

Aphorism of the Day, March 1, 2019

In the interaction of language about language we use words to name interior geography or what some might call "inscape" and in naming the inside places we use words that come from the language naming experience of the exterior or landscape.  The features of landscape such as light, clouds, elevation, mountain and valley are used as metaphor for how values are generated and formed.  The transfiguration is presented as a landscape event but in the spiritual symbology of the Bible it is chock full of the language of landscape having corresponding inscape events to celebrate the coming to value of what has come to have value, and in the event of the transfiguration, the coming to supreme value of Jesus.

Friday, March 22, 2019

Sunday School, March 24, 2019 3 Lent C

Sunday School, March 24, 2019   3 Lent C

Sunday school themes

What happened to Moses after his disappointment and failure?

The Story of Moses

The life of Moses was spared as a newborn baby when an Egyptian princess adopted him and raised him in a palace.  But Moses was a Hebrew man and when he saw that the other Hebrew people were treated like slaves by the Pharaoh of Egypt, he knew that God wanted him to help to make the lives of the Hebrews better.  He tried to help but in his first attempt he was opposed by both the Egyptians and also his fellow Hebrew.  He felt like a failure so he ran for his life to a faraway place.  He became a shepherd and got married and he worked for his father-in-law.  When he was tending the flock, Moses saw a bright burning bush and he heard God call him.  God wanted him to go back to Egypt to help the Hebrew people.  Moses told God that he could not do it and that he had failed.  But God told him that God is greatest of all and that God would help him.  God said that Moses would be given another chance to go and help the Hebrew people be freed from slavery in Egypt.

We can learn from our failures.  Sometimes when we fail we want to give up and quit and run away.  We may want to say, “I can’t do that.”  But our teachers and parents come to us and say, “Keep trying and you will be successful.”  Our teachers and parents forgive us and accept us and they help us because they understand that we learn through our failures.  When we are not yet perfect, God does not forget us.  God keeps coming to us and inviting us to keep trying.  When we fail to love or be kind, God keeps inviting us to learn how to be better.  The lesson that we can learn from Moses is that God does not give up on us.  God keeps coming to us and asks us to do the good work that we know that we’re supposed to do.

The Gospel Riddle of Jesus

Jesus told a riddle about the patience of God.  When a fig tree did not have any fruit, the orchard owner wanted to cut it down.  What good is a fig tree if we can’t get figs?  The gardener of the orchard said, “Don’t cut it down; let me fertilize the soil around the tree; give the tree another chance to bear fruit.”

God is love because God always gives us more chances.  God tells us to use all of the things of our past, things that are dead and gone, but things like the memories of our failures can be used to help us grow new Christian fruit in our lives, like the fruits of love, joy, peace, patience, faith, self control and gentleness.  Compost is dead plant and animal remains which are used to fertilize new plants.  God is always using the human compost of our past life experience to help us produce new and wonderful fruits in our lives, the fruits of love and kindness.

Remember God did not give up on Moses when he failed.  God does not give up on us when we fail.  So we should not give up on ourselves or on each other when we have failure and some difficult times.  Let us remember that God is patient with us.  God will allow our lives to be fertilized with all that has happened to us to make us better in the future.

Children’s Sermon: Growing Christian Fruit

  If you are a fruit grower, and you plant an apple tree, what do you want to get from the tree?
  When it is time to harvest, you want to be able to pick some fruit don’t you.  You want some nice big red apples, don’t you?
  But what if harvest time comes and you go to your apple tree and you don’t find any apples to pick?  You have a lot of questions don’t you?  If the tree looks healthy and has lots of pretty green leaves, you ask why doesn’t this tree have any apples.  It looks good and it looks healthy; why doesn’t it have good apples.  Did I make a mistake?  Did I plant the wrong seed?  Did it have some hidden plant disease?  Did the bugs get under its bark?   Did it get enough water?
  What should I do with an apple tree if it doesn’t have any apples?  It looks like a good tree but I have to sell apples to make money.  What should I do?
  I will wait until next year.  I will water it better.  I will dig around it and puts some special fertilizer around the tree, some special tree food to make it grow some good apples.
  Jesus told a story about a tree farmer who grew a fig tree, but the fig tree did not have any figs on it.  So the tree farmer decided to keep the tree and put some fertilizer, some tree food around the tree in the soil and wait until next year to see if it would grow some figs.
  The story about Jesus is a story about God.  You and I are like trees that God plants in this life.  And God does not just want us to look pretty, God also wants us to be like trees that produce lots of good fruit.
  Now you and I cannot grow apples and figs can we?  What can we produce and grow?  What kind of fruit can we grow?  We can make deeds of love, joy, faith, patience, gentleness, goodness, self-control and kindness.
  Those are the kinds of fruit that God wants us to grow.  And God is always giving us more time to produce these wonderful fruits.
  Just as the tree farmer gives fertilizer to help grow good fruit, so God gives us things to help us learn how to love.  We have the Bible, we have God’s word and God’s law to teach us how we should live.  We have parents and teachers who teach us how we should live good lives.  And sometimes we have some difficult tests that we have to pass to help us get strong and get better.  Some times we don’t know how to help others until we have had a hard time and learned to get help from God and other people.  And when we learn to help other people, then God is happy because then God says, I have planted a good tree and it is producing good fruit.  I have made a good person and that person is kind and loving, so I have been a very successful God.  We can help make God a very successful God by learning to grow good human fruit.  And the fruit that you and I are supposed to make are the fruits of love and kindness.

A Family Eucharistic Liturgy

St. John the Divine Episcopal Church
17740 Peak Avenue, Morgan Hill, CA 95037
Family Service with Holy Eucharist
March 24, 2019: The Third Sunday in Lent

Gathering Songs: Simple Gifts, The Butterfly Song, Jesus Stand Among Us, My Tribute

Song: Simple Gifts (Christian Children’s Songbook # 206)
‘Tis a gift to be simple, ‘tis a gift to free, ‘tis a gift to come down where you ought to be, and when we find ourselves in the place just right, ‘twill be in the valley of love and delight.  When true simplicity is gained, to bow and to bend we won’t be ashamed.  To turn, turn will be our delight till by turning and turning we come out right.
Liturgist: Bless the Lord who forgives all of our sins.
People: God’s mercy endures forever.  Amen.

Liturgist:  Oh God, Our hearts are open to you.
And you know us and we can hide nothing from you.
Prepare our hearts and our minds to love you and worship you.
Through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Liturgist:         The Lord be with you.
People:            And also with you.

Liturgist:  Let us pray
Almighty God, you know that we have no power in ourselves to help ourselves: Keep us both outwardly in our bodies and inwardly in our souls, that we may be defended from all adversities which may happen to the body, and from all evil thoughts which may assault and hurt the soul; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Litany of Praise: Chant: Praise be to God!
O God, you are Great!  Praise be to God!
O God, you have made us! Praise be to God!
O God, you have made yourself known to us!  Praise be to God!
O God, you have provided us with us a Savior!  Praise be to God!
O God, you have given us a Christian family!  Praise be to God!
O God, you have forgiven our sins!  Praise be to God!
O God, you brought your Son Jesus back from the dead!  Praise be to God!

Liturgist: A reading from the Book of Exodus

Moses was keeping the flock of his father-in-law Jethro, the priest of Midian; he led his flock beyond the wilderness, and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. There the angel of the LORD appeared to him in a flame of fire out of a bush; he looked, and the bush was blazing, yet it was not consumed. Then Moses said, "I must turn aside and look at this great sight, and see why the bush is not burned up." When the LORD saw that he had turned aside to see, God called to him out of the bush, "Moses, Moses!" And he said, "Here I am." Then he said, "Come no closer! Remove the sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground." He said further, "I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob." And Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God.

Liturgist: The Word of the Lord
People: Thanks be to God

Liturgist: Let us read together from Psalm 63
For your loving-kindness is better than life itself; * my lips shall give you praise.
So will I bless you as long as I live * and lift up my hands in your Name.
My soul is content, as with marrow and fatness, * and my mouth praises you with joyful lips,

Litany Phrase: Thanks be to God! (chanted)

For the good earth, for our food and clothing. Thanks be to God!
For our families and friends. Thanks be to God!
For the talents and gifts that you have given to us. Thanks be to God!
For this day of worship. Thanks be to God!
For health and for a good night’s sleep. Thanks be to God!
For work and for play. Thanks be to God!
For teaching and for learning. Thanks be to God!
For the happy events of our lives. Thanks be to God!
For the celebration of the birthdays and anniversaries of our friends and parish family.
   Thanks be to God!

Liturgist:         The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Luke
People:            Glory to you, Lord Christ.

Then Jesus told this parable: "A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came looking for fruit on it and found none. So he said to the gardener, 'See here! For three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree, and still I find none. Cut it down! Why should it be wasting the soil?' He replied, 'Sir, let it alone for one more year, until I dig around it and put fertilizer on it. If it bears fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.'"

Liturgist:         The Gospel of the Lord.
People:            Praise to you, Lord Christ.

Sermon – Father Phil
Children’s Creed

We did not make ourselves, so we believe that God the Father is the maker of the world.
Since God is so great and we are so small,
We believe God came into our world and was born as Jesus, son of the Virgin Mary.
We need God’s help and we believe that God saved us by the life, death and
     resurrection of Jesus Christ.
We believe that God is present with us now as the Holy Spirit.
We believe that we are baptized into God’s family the Church where everyone is
We believe that Christ is kind and fair.
We believe that we have a future in knowing Jesus Christ.
And since we all must die, we believe that God will preserve us forever.  Amen.

Litany Phrase: Christ, have mercy.

For fighting and war to cease in our world. Christ, have mercy.
For peace on earth and good will towards all. Christ, have mercy.
For the safety of all who travel. Christ, have mercy.
For jobs for all who need them. Christ, have mercy.
For care of those who are growing old. Christ, have mercy.
For the safety, health and nutrition of all the children in our world. Christ, have mercy.
For the well-being of our families and friends. Christ, have mercy.
For the good health of those we know to be ill. Christ, have mercy.
For the remembrance of those who have died. Christ, have mercy.
For the forgiveness of all of our sins. Christ, have mercy.

Youth Liturgist:          The Peace of the Lord be always with you.
People:                        And also with you.

Song during the preparation of the Altar and the receiving of an offering

Offertory Hymn: If I Were a Butterfly (Christian Children’s Songbook, # 9)
1-If I were a butterfly, I’d thank you Lord for giving me wings.  If I were a robin in the tree, I’d thank you Lord that I could sing.  If I were a fish in the sea, I wiggle my tail and I’d giggle with glee, but I just thank you Father for making me, me. 
Refrain:  For you gave me a heart and you gave me a smile.  You gave me Jesus and you made me your child.  And I just thank you Father for making me, me.

2-If I were an elephant, I’d thank you Lord by raising my trunk.  If I were a kangaroo, you know I’d hop right up to you.  If I were an octopus, I thank you Lord for my fine looks.  But I just thank you Father, for making me, me.  Refrain

3-If I were a wiggly worm, I’d thank you Lord that I could squirm.  If I were a billy goat, I’d thank you Lord for my strong throat.  If I were a fuzzy-wuzzy bear, I’d thank you Lord for my fuzzy-wuzzy hair.  And I just thank you Father for making me, me.  Refrain

Praise God from whom all blessings flow. Praise Him, all creatures here below.
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host. Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

Prologue to the Eucharist
Jesus said, “Let the children come to me, for to them belong the kingdom of heaven.”
All become members of a family by birth or adoption.
Baptism is a celebration of birth into the family of God.
A family meal gathers and sustains each human family.
The Holy Eucharist is the special meal that Jesus gave to his friends to keep us together as the family of Christ.

The Lord be with you
And also with you.

Lift up your hearts
We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to God.
It is right to give God thanks and praise.

It is very good and right to give thanks, because God made us, Jesus redeemed us and the Holy Spirit dwells in our hearts.  Therefore with Angels and Archangels and all of the world that we see and don’t see, we forever sing this hymn of praise:

Holy, Holy, Holy (Intoned)
Holy, Holy, Holy Lord, God of Power and Might.  Heav’n and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.  Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. 
Hosanna in the highest. Hosanna in the Highest.

All may gather around the altar

Our grateful praise we offer to you God, our Creator;
You have made us in your image
And you gave us many men and women of faith to help us to live by faith:
Adam and Eve, Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah, Jacob and Rachael.
And then you gave us your Son, Jesus, born of Mary, nurtured by Joseph
And he called us to be sons and daughters of God.
Your Son called us to live better lives and he gave us this Holy Meal so that when we eat
  the bread and drink the wine, we can  know that the Presence of Christ is as near to us as  
  this food and drink  that becomes a part of us.

And so, Father, we bring you these gifts of bread and wine. Bless and sanctify them by your Holy Spirit to be for your people the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ our Lord.  Sanctify us by your Holy Spirit so that we may love God and our neighbor

On the night when Jesus was betrayed he took bread, said the blessing, broke the bread, and gave it to his friends, and said, "Take, eat: This is my Body, which is given for you. Do this for the remembrance of me."

After supper, Jesus took the cup of wine, gave thanks, and said, "Drink this, all of you. This is my Blood of the new Covenant, which is shed for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins. Whenever you drink it, do this for the remembrance of me."

Father, we now celebrate the memorial of your Son. When we eat this holy Meal of Bread and Wine, we are telling the entire world about the life, death and resurrection of Christ and that his presence will be with us in our future.

Let this holy meal keep us together as friends who share a special relationship because of your Son Jesus Christ.  May we forever live with praise to God to whom we belong as sons and daughters.

By Christ, and with Christ, and in Christ, in the unity of the Holy Spirit all honor and glory
 is yours, Almighty Father, now and for ever. AMEN.

And now as our Savior Christ has taught us, we now sing,

Our Father: (Renew # 180, West Indian Lord’s Prayer)
Our Father who art in heaven:  Hallowed be thy name.
Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done: Hallowed be thy name.

Done on earth as it is in heaven: Hallowed be thy name.
Give us this day our daily bread: Hallowed be thy name.

And forgive us all our debts: Hallowed be thy name.
As we forgive our debtors: Hallowed be thy name.

Lead us not into temptation: Hallowed be thy name.
But deliver us from evil: Hallowed be thy name.

Thine is the kingdom, power, and glory: Hallowed be thy name.
Forever and ever: Hallowed be thy name.

Amen, amen, amen: Hallowed be thy name.
Amen, amen, amen: Hallowed be thy name.

Breaking of the Bread
Celebrant:       Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.
People:            Therefore let us keep the feast. 

Words of Administration

Communion Song: Jesus, Stand Among Us (Renew! # 17)
1-Jesus, stand among us at the meeting of our lives, be our sweet agreement at the meeting of our eyes; O, Jesus, we love you, so we gather here, join our hearts in unity and take away our fear.
2-So to you we’re gathering out of each and every land, Christ the love between us at the joining of our hands; O, Jesus, we love you, so we gather here, join our hearts in unity and take away our fear.
3-Jesus, stand among us at the breaking of the break, join us as one body as we worship you our head.  O, Jesus, we love you, so we gather here, join our hearts in unity and take away our fear.

Post-Communion Prayer. 

Everlasting God, we have gathered for the meal that Jesus asked us to keep;
We have remembered his words of blessing on the bread and the wine.
And His Presence has been known to us.
We have remembered that we are sons and daughters of God and brothers
    and sisters in Christ.
Send us forth now into our everyday lives remembering that the blessing in the
     bread and wine spreads into each time, place and person in our lives,
As we are ever blessed by you, O Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  Amen.

Closing Song:   To God Be the Glory (Renew!  # 68)

To God be the glory, to God be the glory, to God be the glory for the things he has done.  With his blood he has saved me; with his power he has raised me; to god be the glory for the things he has done.

Liturgist: Let us go forth in the Name of Christ. 
People: Thanks be to God! 

Quiz of the Day, March 2019

Quiz of the Day, March 25, 2019 What was the context for the Magnificat of Mary? a. She sang it to Gabriel at the Annunciation b. She ...