Thursday, December 31, 2015

Bishop’s Note: New Year’s Eve 2015

Bishop Eric Menees

Bishop Menees is on vacation this week, but prays that God will give you peace as you reflect on this past year and look forward to the next, and that He will guide you and strengthen you in this season of new beginnings: 

Most gracious and merciful God, you have reconciled us to yourself through Jesus Christ your Son, and called us to new life in him: Grant that we, who begin this year in his Name, may complete it to his honor and glory; who lives and reigns now and forever. Amen. 

Almighty and merciful God, through your well beloved Son Jesus Christ, the King of kings and Lord of lords, you have willed to make all things new: Grant that we may be renewed by your Holy Spirit, and may come at last to that heavenly country where your people hunger and thirst no more, and the tears are wiped away from every eye; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (Both prayers taken from the New Year’s Eve service in the Book of Occasional Services, 2003)

Collect for The Holy Name (January 1): Eternal Father, you gave to your incarnate Son the holy name of Jesus to be the sign of our salvation: Plant in every heart, we pray, the love of him who is the Savior of the world, our Lord Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen. (BCP)

Catechism Questions 211 - 215

211.    What are Satan and demons?
Demons, of whom Satan is chief, are fallen angels. Satan rebelled against God and led other angels to follow him. They now cause spiritual and sometimes physical harm to mortals, and they sow lies that lead to confusion, despair, sin and death. (Luke 11:14-26; 8:29; 9:39; John 8:44; 2 Corinthians 2:11; 4:3-4, 11:3; 12:7; Revelation 12:7-12)

212.    How did Satan and his angels turn to evil?
Satan and his angels were overcome by envy and pride and rebelled against God. (Luke 10:18; 1 Timothy 3:6; Jude 6; Revelation 12:7-12)

213.    What are angels?
Angels are spiritual, holy beings created by God. They joyfully serve him in heavenly worship and God appoints them to act as messengers, bringing words of guidance and assurance to the faithful, and assisting and protecting them. (Psalm 148:1-6; Hebrews 1:14; Luke 1:19, 26-33; Acts 8:26-28, 12:7-11, 27:23-24)

214.    How did God address evil in this world?
God, in his love, sent Jesus Christ to gain victory over all the powers of evil by his death, resurrection and ascension. Victory and authority over sin and evil are granted to the faithful in their daily lives through the Holy Spirit by the blood of Jesus shed on the cross. God will finally overcome all evil, including death, at the end of the age. (John 3:16; Colossians 2:13-15; Luke 10:17-20, Philippians 2:10, 1 John 4:4; Romans 8:28, 35-39; Revelation 21:1-4)

215.     Is God responsible for evil?

No. The free choices of his creatures do not implicate God in evil in any way. (Galatians 2:17; James 1:13-15)

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