St. James the Less Church in the Parish of Renforth
September 4, 2016 Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost
Collect: Stir up, O Lord, the wills of your faithful people, that richly bearing the fruit of good works, we may by you be richly rewarded; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
FIRST READING: Deuteronomy 30:15-20
15Today I am giving you a choice. You can choose life and success or death and disaster. 16-18I am commanding you to be loyal to the LORD, to live the way he has told you, and to obey his laws and teachings. You are about to cross the Jordan River and take the land that he is giving you. If you obey him, you will live and become successful and powerful.
On the other hand, you might choose to disobey the LORD and reject him. So I’m warning you that if you bow down and worship other gods, you won’t have long to live.
19Right now I call the sky and the earth to be witnesses that I am offering you this choice. Will you choose for the LORD to make you prosperous and give you a long life? Or will he put you under a curse and kill you? Choose life! 20Be completely faithful to the LORD your God, love him, and do whatever he tells you. The LORD is the only one who can give life, and he will let you live a long time in the land that he promised to your ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
PSALMODY: Psalm 1 (Said Responsively)
1God blesses those people who refuse evil advice
and won’t follow sinners
or join in sneering at God.
2Instead, the Law of the LORD makes them happy,
and they think about it day and night.
3They are like trees growing beside a stream,
trees that produce fruit in season
and always have leaves.
Those people succeed in everything they do.
4That isn’t true of those who are evil,
because they are like straw blown by the wind.
5Sinners won’t have an excuse on the day of judgment,
and they won’t have a place with the people of God.
6The LORD protects everyone who follows him,
but the wicked follow a road that leads to ruin.
Giver of life, save us from the desert of faithlessness and nourish us with the living water of your word, that we may bring forth fruit that will last, in the name of Jesus Christ our Saviour.
SECOND READING: Philemon 1-21
1From Paul, who is in jail for serving Christ Jesus, and from Timothy, who is like a brother because of our faith.
Philemon, you work with us and are very dear to us. This letter is to you 2and to the church that meets in your home. It is also to our dear friend Apphia and to Archippus, who serves the Lord as we do.
3I pray that God our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ will be kind to you and will bless you with peace!
4Philemon, each time I mention you in my prayers, I thank God. 5I hear about your faith in our Lord Jesus and about your love for all of God’s people. 6As you share your faith with others, I pray that they may come to know all the blessings Christ has given us. 7My friend, your love has made me happy and has greatly encouraged me. It has also cheered the hearts of God’s people.
8Christ gives me the courage to tell you what to do. 9But I would rather ask you to do it simply because of love. Yes, as someone in jail for Christ, 10I beg you to help Onesimus! He is like a son to me because I led him to Christ here in jail. 11Before this, he was useless to you, but now he is useful both to you and to me.
12Sending Onesimus back to you makes me very sad. 13I would like to keep him here with me, where he could take your place in helping me while I am here in prison for preaching the good news. 14But I won’t do anything unless you agree to it first. I want your act of kindness to come from your heart, and not be something you feel forced to do.
15Perhaps Onesimus was taken from you for a little while so that you could have him back for good, 16but not as a slave. Onesimus is much more than a slave. To me he is a dear friend, but to you he is even more, both as a person and as a follower of the Lord.
17If you consider me a friend because of Christ, then welcome Onesimus as you would welcome me. 18If he has cheated you or owes you anything, charge it to my account. 19With my own hand I write: I, PAUL, WILL PAY YOU BACK. But don’t forget that you owe me your life. 20My dear friend and follower of Christ our Lord, please cheer me up by doing this for me.
21I am sure you will do all I have asked, and even more.
GOSPEL: Luke 14:25-33
25Large crowds were walking along with Jesus, when he turned and said:
26You cannot be my disciple, unless you love me more than you love your father and mother, your wife and children, and your brothers and sisters. You cannot come with me unless you love me more than you love your own life.
27You cannot be my disciple unless you carry your own cross and come with me.
28Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. What is the first thing you will do? Won’t you sit down and figure out how much it will cost and if you have enough money to pay for it? 29Otherwise, you will start building the tower, but not be able to finish. Then everyone who sees what is happening will laugh at you. 30They will say, “You started building, but could not finish the job.”
31What will a king do if he has only ten thousand soldiers to defend himself against a king who is about to attack him with twenty thousand soldiers? Before he goes out to battle, won’t he first sit down and decide if he can win? 32If he thinks he won’t be able to defend himself, he will send messengers and ask for peace while the other king is still a long way off. 33So then, you cannot be my disciple unless you give away everything you own.
Sentence: Let your countenance shine upon your servant and teach me your statutes. Psalm 119:135
Notices and other Important things.
Time with Bishop David this Thursday evening at 7 in the Church. If you are concerned at all with the decision of the Anglican Church of Canada to begin the process of changing the Definition of Marriage from “one man and one woman” to “one person to another person” Than you really need to be here to help us all process the way forward. There are some resources on the Narthex table that may help. I was with the clergy of the diocese and Bp David for most of this past week. It was an encouraging time.
Annual Parish Prayer walk Sept 25th (Bridgetown service at 9:30) and Corn boil on the Rectory Lawn. We have done this several times now and always with real results (Renforth Wharf Days, Health Wellness and Safety ministry to Seniors) We will combine this with Bridgetown at 9:30 and follow it up with a Corn-boil on the lawn to discuss our impressions from God after our time of prayer. We will have a short service at 10:30 and then be sent out to pray.
The Blessing of the Animals at the zoo will take place on October 9th That is also Thanksgiving Sunday but it will be a fun afternoon to bring kids to. 2:00
Alpha will begin the following week Oct 16th on Sunday Evenings Sign up in the Narthex for yourself and friends. Val and I will host the first group, if there are more then 10 we will look for another host family. We will come together for the weekend on the Holy Spirit. The new Alpha Film series will be used. “Alpha as you have never seen it before”