Thursday, October 16, 2014

Bishop's Note: Collect for the Week of Pentecost 19 - Proper 24

Bishop Eric Menees

Almighty and everlasting God, who in Christ hast revealed thy glory among the nations: Preserve the works of thy mercy, that thy Church throughout the world may persevere with steadfast faith in the confession of thy Name; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

This week's collect begins by declaring Christ's Glory among the nations! How does that happen? It happens when the Church takes her rightful place among the people of all nations. How powerful it is to witness the people of God, as the Church of God, acting like the adopted children of God in the four corners of the earth.

I think of my experiences at Santa Maria Magdalena in Juliaca, Peru. Juliaca is a town that sits at 12,500 feet above sea level in the Andes. Bishop Godfrey, the Anglican Bishop of Peru, had a vision for a church on the mountaintop and sent different missionaries to meet with and love the people of Juliaca. When I arrived, a priest and deacon were stationed there - both were single and willing to live at poverty level in a place with few creature comforts. Fr. Ruben & Dcn. Luis went out into the community daily to talk with people, pray with them, to share food, clothing, and medicine with them, and, most importantly, to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with them. Slowly but surely the church grew, and the two of them began to be accompanied by more and more laypeople who were empowered to love and serve the Lord. The impact this little church had was, and is, far beyond the number of people or the size of their budget.

The story of Santa Magdalena has been, and will continue to be, retold hundreds of thousands of times, if not millions of times, around the world. Wherever the Church faithfully proclaims the Good News of Jesus Christ and Christians act in love and charity, the Glory of Christ is made evident.

This Lord's Day, as we gather in our churches, homes, and storefronts to worship, I pray that we will seek God's grace and strength to go far and wide in order to make the Name of Jesus known by our words and deeds.

Catechism Questions 28 - 30

28.    What is in the Old Testament?

The Old Testament contains the record of God’s creation of all things, mankind’s original disobedience, God's calling of Israel to be his people, God’s law, God’s wisdom, God’s saving deeds, and the teaching of God’s prophets. The Old Testament points to Christ, revealing God's intention to redeem and reconcile the world through Christ.

29.    What is in the New Testament?

The New Testament contains the record of Jesus Christ's birth, life, ministry, death, resurrection and ascension, the Church's early ministry, the teaching of the Apostles, and the revelation of Christ’s coming eternal Kingdom.

30.    How are the Old and New Testaments related to each other?

The Old Testament is to be read in the light of Christ, incarnate, crucified and risen, and the New Testament is to be read in light of God's revelation to Israel. As Saint Augustine says, “the New is in the Old concealed, the Old is in the New revealed.” (Hebrews 8:1-7; Augustine, Questions in the Heptateuch 2.73)

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