First Thoughts From The Rev. Canon David Smith: 

Most weeks Fr. David sends out an e-mail with his first thoughts on the upcoming Sunday readings. These reflections are designed to encourage people to consider the readings before they come to worship which we hope will enrich Sunday worship. People are invited to respond to David with their own thoughts and sometimes interesting ideas and conversations occur that end up in the sermon. If you would like to receive these weekly e-mails e-mail David at dsmith@ontario.anglican.ca  . 

Love in Action!

Posted by Emily Sanderson on Friday, May 2, 2014

Hi everyone,

My first thoughts on this Sundays readings will be a bit different than usual. This coming Sunday in our diocese is Love in Action Sunday. The Diocese of Ontario for several years now has been having an annual mail appeal in support of the National Churches Annual Appeal which supports important ministries such as the Council of The North, and in support of our own diocesan foundation which will be used to promote ministry in our diocese. For example the Anglican Diocese of Ontario Foundation has gifted Camp Hyanto with money and gave the refugee committee in Napanee money to help them sponsor our own Jonathan and Elisha and their family.

 

At St. John’s we will mark Love in Action with Bishop Michael. At St. Philip’s we are marking the Feast of St. James and St. Philip’s but I am sure Bishop Michael might also make mention of Love in Action. There have been liturgical resources prepared for this Sunday including comments on the readings. So that is what I am using for my first thoughts on the readings.

 

For more information on Love in Action and to hear a video from Bishop Michael you can link to  http://ontario.anglican.ca/wp/love-in-action/

 

REVISED COMMON LECTIONARY READINGS FOR THE DAY:

In the middle of Eastertide, we continue to rejoice in the Resurrection, with Scripture reminding us

that God’s loving action in raising our Lord calls us to participate in His mission – welcoming others

into His body, the Church; living thankfully in response to His goodness to us; truly loving one

another; ensuring that our journeys and our gatherings are always open to His presence, however

He may make that presence known to us.

Acts 2:14a, 36-41

It is far too easy for those of us ‘in’ the Church to focus our attention, energy and resources on

ourselves and especially on our present situation. As Peter welcomes this multitude of new disciples,

he reminds all those gathered that God’s promise is not just for a select few now, but for the whole

world and all future generations. Love in Action supports initiatives that reach out beyond our local

parish communities to bless the lives of people far away and to ensure that our parishes and diocese

remain vibrant communities of faith for our children and many generations to come.

‘Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them.

Let the entire house of Israel know with certainty that God has made him both Lord and Messiah, this Jesus

whom you crucified.”

Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and to the other apostles, “Brothers,

what should we do?” Peter said to them, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus

Christ so that your sins may be forgiven; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for

you, for your children, and for all who are far away, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to him.” And he

testified with many other arguments and exhorted them, saying, “Save yourselves from this corrupt

generation.” So those who welcomed his message were baptized, and that day about three thousand persons

were added.’ (NRSV)

Psalm 116:1-3,10-17

The psalmist reflects on “all the good things” God has done for him and contemplates how to

respond. Love in Action is an opportunity to offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving in service to the Lord.

Following the psalmists example, let’s share with others about why we support this initiative!

1 I love the Lord, because he has heard the voice of

my supplication, *

because he has inclined his ear to me whenever

I called upon him.

2 The cords of death entangled me;

the grip of the grave took hold of me; *

I came to grief and sorrow.

3 Then I called upon the name of the Lord: *

“O Lord, I pray you, save my life.”

10 How shall I repay the Lord *

for all the good things he has done for me?

11 I will lift up the cup of salvation *

and call upon the name of the Lord.

As we worship on Sunday, May 4th, let us

give thanks to God for all that He, in Love,

has given us, and uphold how we may best

respond through LOVE IN ACTION!

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12 I will fulfil my vows to the Lord *

in the presence of all his people.

13 Precious in the sight of the Lord *

is the death of his servants.

14 O Lord, I am your servant; *

I am your servant and the child of your handmaid;

you have freed me from my bonds.

15 I will offer you the sacrifice of thanksgiving *

and call upon the name of the Lord.

16 I will fulfil my vows to the Lord *

in the presence of all his people.

17 In the courts of the Lord’s house, *

in the midst of you, O Jerusalem. Hallelujah!

(BAS)

1st Peter 1:17-23

Loving one another is at the heart of our faith. This “genuine mutual love” speaks of caring interdependence.

Funding of training in the Council of the North region allows future leaders to study

without having to become disconnected from their own families and communities; Volunteers in

Mission forms lasting relationships with church communities around the world; support for local

refugees enriches our Diocesan life while offering these brothers and sisters in Christ a new

beginning; while events like the ‘Hope is Here’ Conference inspire us to news ways of sharing our

faith and hope in God.

If you invoke as Father the one who judges all people impartially according to their deeds, live in reverent fear

during the time of your exile. You know that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your

ancestors, not with perishable things like silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb

without defect or blemish. He was destined before the foundation of the world, but was revealed at the end of

the ages for your sake. Through him you have come to trust in God, who raised him from the dead and gave

him glory, so that your faith and hope are set on God. Now that you have purified your souls by your

obedience to the truth so that you have genuine mutual love, love one another deeply from the heart. You

have been born anew, not of perishable but of imperishable seed, through the living and enduring word of

God. (NRSV)

Luke 24:13-35

This Easter story from Luke’s Gospel is often seen as a model for our Eucharistic liturgy. We meet,

hear the Word, seek to interpret that Word, gather at table with our Lord and then go out into the

world to share the Good News we’ve experienced. Love in Action can help ensure that our Diocese

and wider Anglican Communion continue to have the resources to celebrate this great mystery. This

passage also invites us to ponder the reality that we can encounter the risen Lord in unexpected

places, and that there are so many people journeying through life who desperately need an

opportunity for the encounter that will make their “hearts burn” and open them to know the Lord in the

breaking of bread. It is so important that we equip ourselves for ministry in the unfolding future, to

strengthen ourselves and reach out to our mission fields.

Now on that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem,

and talking with each other about all these things that had happened. While they were talking and discussing,

Jesus himself came near and went with them, but their eyes were kept from recognizing him. And he said to

them, “What are you discussing with each other while you walk along?” They stood still, looking sad. Then

one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem who does not

know the things that have taken place there in these days?” He asked them, “What things?” They replied,

“The things about Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the

people, and how our chief priests and leaders handed him over to be condemned to death and crucified him.

But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel. Yes, and besides all this, it is now the third day since

these things took place. Moreover, some women of our group astounded us. They were at the tomb early this

morning, and when they did not find his body there, they came back and told us that they had indeed seen a

vision of angels who said that he was alive. Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it

just as the women had said; but they did not see him.” Then he said to them, “Oh, how foolish you are, and

-3-

how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have declared! Was it not necessary that the Messiah

should suffer these things and then enter into his glory?” Then beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he

interpreted to them the things about himself in all the scriptures. As they came near the village to which they

were going, he walked ahead as if he were going on. But they urged him strongly, saying, “Stay with us,

because it is almost evening and the day is now nearly over.” So he went in to stay with them. When he was

at the table with them, he took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened,

and they recognized him; and he vanished from their sight. They said to each other, “Were not our hearts

burning within us while he was talking to us on the road, while he was opening the scriptures to us?” That

same hour they got up and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the eleven and their companions gathered

together. They were saying, “The Lord has risen indeed, and he has appeared to Simon!” Then they told

what had happened on the road, and how he had been made known to them in the breaking of the bread.

(NRSV)

BUILD INTEREST WITH A FRESH VOICE:

Volunteers who are familiar with the

ministries of The Anglican Diocese

of Ontario Foundation and The

Anglican Appeal may be ‘booked’ to

speak to your parish. To line up a

speaker for Love in Action Sunday

or for another Sunday please

contact Mark Hauser (see information on the first page of this resource). Please also make sure that

many people in your parish get an opportunity to see the excellent video on Love in Action which is

available by following the Love in Action 2014 banner link at our Diocesan website.

INTERCESSIONS:

The following litany may be adapted to include

special concerns.

Let us pray, saying, God of Love,

Help us to live your Love in Action.

We give thanks for all those who, like Peter surrounded by his companions, share the Gospel with

clarity and invite others to follow Christ. May we faithfully support those called to proclaim the gospel

afresh in our local communities and around the world.

God of Love, Help us to live your Love in Action.

Remembering that God’s promise is for us, for our children and for all who are far away, we give

thanks that we are part of a Diocesan and World-Wide Church that seeks to move faithfully into the

future. May our lives be a response to that promise.

God of Love, Help us to live your Love in Action.

We join with the Psalmist in asking how we can repay the Lord for all He has done for us, and pray

for the Spirit’s guidance in doing so.

God of Love, Help us to live your Love in Action.

We rejoice in having been born anew through the living and enduring word of God. May our love for

one another be demonstrated by all our actions.

God of Love, Help us to live your Love in Action.

We give thanks for all the opportunities we have to meet Jesus as we travel our own roads. May our

eyes be open to recognize him amongst us.

God of Love, Help us to live your Love in Action.

Consider inviting a Speaker for LOVE IN ACTION

SUNDAY, or showing the Video that day!

The Video is available at

http://ontario.anglican.ca/wp/love-in-action

Let us pray for LOVE IN ACTION!