Fifth Sunday after Trinity

Fifth Sunday after Trinity

July 1, 2018 AD

Old Testament: I Kings 19: 11-21

Epistle: I Peter 3:8-15

Gospel: Luke 5:1-11

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This past week we have found ourselves to be shocked, appalled, at a loss for words as once again fellow Americans going quietly about their lives have been brutally murdered. I think that many of us have a sense of helplessness in the face of such evil. We are again reminded — as if we needed a reminder! – that this is a fallen world, that human sin together with the malice of Satan are terrible realities.

And so we turn to our heavenly Father, whose love and mercy we know through His crucified Son, the innocent Lamb of God whose blood and death have atoned for all sin. We commend those whose lives have so tragically been cut short to His mercy, we pray that He would comfort those devastated by loss, and that He would in His mercy move us as a people, especially those charged with the authority of governing, to honest soul-searching in the hope of somehow addressing these recurring horrors — this past week in Annapolis and here in our own City.

It is sad to reflect on the fact that so much of the human story has been and sadly continues to be a story of unimaginable conflict. Yes, if you read the Old Testament Scriptures, you see there that the long story of God’s ancient people Israel is the story of their unending disobedience to His word and will, and of the judgment of God on that sin. I submit that the history of the world in general and of God’s ancient people Israel in particular show beyond a shadow of a doubt that the human race needs a Savior.

As we once again approach our national Independence Day we are painfully aware of the troubles of our own country and of other nations as well. We do not and we cannot know what lies ahead. But this much is certain. Through all these miseries the living God, a just Judge, is calling us all to repentance and to earnest prayer that God would deliver us from just judgments.

And so the words of our closing hymn this morning are surely not just words but surely the prayer of our hearts:

God bless our native land!
Firm may she ever stand
Through storm and night!
When the wild tempests rave,
Ruler of wind and wave,
Do Thou our country save
By Thy great might.

For her our prayer shall rise
To God above the skies;
On Him we wait.
Thou who art ever nigh,
Guarding with watchful eye,
To Thee aloud we cry,
God save the State!

Keep in mind these words of Saint Paul to the Church at Corinth: “We do not lose heart. Though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed every day. For this slight momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison because we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen; for the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.”