Summary: Jesus learned obedience by the things He suffered. Similarly, St. Paul learned from the Christ that he had persecuted, the things he would suffer as He followed the Christ. Living the Christ life, we will see how suffering aids in redemption.
Trinity 2 2017 Learning from God’s Providence
O LORD, who never failest to help and govern those whom thou dost bring up in thy stedfast fear and love; Keep us, we beseech thee, under the protection of thy good providence, and make us to have a perpetual fear and love of thy holy Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Epistle 1 St. John iii. 13.
MARVEL not, my brethren, if the world hate you. We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death. Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him. Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. But whoso hath this world's good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth. And hereby we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before him. For if our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. Beloved, if our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight. And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment. And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us.
The Gospel St. Luke xiv. 16.
A CERTAIN man made a great supper, and bade many: and sent his servant at supper time to say to them that were bidden, Come; for all things are now ready. And they all with one consent began to make excuse. The first said unto him, I have bought a piece of ground, and I must needs go and see it: I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to prove them: I pray thee have me excused. And another said, I have married a wife, and therefore I cannot come. So that servant came, and shewed his lord these things. Then the master of the house being angry said to his servant, Go out quickly into the streets and lanes of the city, and bring in hither the poor, and the maimed, and the halt, and the blind. And the servant said, Lord, it is done as thou hast commanded, and yet there is room. And the lord said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. For I say unto you, that none of those men which were bidden shall taste of my supper.
The Rt Revd Dr Graham Tomlin is in his second year as Bishop of Kensington, in England.
It is not easy to be a Christian in the 21st century, especially if you are in countries where Christians are targeted for death by either the government or powerful hateful groups within the country that gain honor, power, and financial strength by killing Christians.
In the U.S. and in England, Christian from many denominations found it difficult to follow some of their leaders from the days of the “enlightenment” down to our own times, not because of danger of physical harm, but because they were being led to spiritual death by denial of basic Christian teachings regarding the person and work of Jesus Christ and basic morality and family life.
Though there has been a flight from nearly all churches during the last century, there are rays of hope arising in the darkness.
Graham Stuart Tomlin (born 1 August 1958) is a British theologian, author and Church of England bishop. Since September 2015, he has been Bishop of Kensington, an area bishopric in the Diocese of London.
Tomlin was born in 1958. His father was a Baptist minister. He was brought up a Christian but confessed he became an atheist during his teenage years. Tomlin attended Bristol Grammar School in the 1970’s then to college at Oxford. He went into the insurance business for a time . . . .then, in spite of the rising agnosticism in England even among some church leaders, he found he was drawn to Christ and to the whole church including the Apostolic Fathers, the great teachers and liturgical traditions.