The Thirteenth Sunday after Trinity | 09/06/2020
Updated: Sep 19
Introduction to the Word and Liturgy for Worship
The main passage for the sermon this week is Romans 12:9: Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good.
How would life be different if we truly loved Jesus and all that He loves? This is our vision question at Church of the Incarnation. This question focuses the mind and heart on Jesus, who loves us and gave himself for us (Galatians 2:20). It also directs us to the goal of the local church: to make disciples who are learning to live in love (Ephesians 5:2).
In his short e-book titled, "Getting Love Right," Dallas Willard highlights the need for local fellowships and ministries to focus explicitly on the goal of living from, in, and with the love of God.
"It is rare to find a church or parachurch staff that is practically oriented around Jesus’ instruction: “Love one another, even as I have loved you.” (John 13:34) You might think this would be their primary explicit goal, but it usually turns out otherwise. It is remarkable how little doctrine relates to love. I read a lot of doctrinal statements by this or that organization. They rarely say anything about love. It would seem that love has nothing essentially to do with doctrine or correct teachings, nor doctrine with love. And one also notes how little is done in practice to help professors of Christianity, even faithful Church members, become genuinely loving persons. We do not, in any effectual way, “make love our aim.” (1 Cor. 14:1; cf. 1 Tim. 1:5)
"This all stands in glaring contrast to the biblical sources of our faith and practice, and to the lives and testimonies of many of the 'Great Ones' in the Way of Christ. Not all of the Great Ones are notable as great lovers, but many are, and they all hold love aloft as the guiding ideal of life."
At Church of the Incarnation, with God's help we want to "make love our aim" and to "let love be genuine." And so we ask, How would life be different if we truly loved Jesus and all that He loves?
The Collect of the Day
O Lord God, grant your people grace to withstand the temptations of the world, the flesh, and the devil, and with pure hearts and minds to follow you, the only God; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
(Click on the links below to read Sunday's passages)
First Reading: Romans 12:9-21
Psalm 119:33-48 (posted below the Playlist)
Gospel Reading: Matthew 18:15-20
(click below on the Spotify Playlist to listen)
33 Teach me, O Lord, the way of your statutes, *
and I shall keep it to the end.
34 Give me understanding, and I shall keep your law; *
indeed, I shall keep it with my whole heart.
35 Make me go in the path of your commandments, *
for therein is my desire.
36 Incline my heart to your testimonies, *
and not to covetous desires.
37 O turn away my eyes, lest they behold vanity, *
and revive me in your ways.
38 Confirm your word to your servant, *
and to all those who fear you.
39 Take away the reproach that I am afraid of, *
for your judgments are good.
40 Behold, my delight is in your precepts; *
O revive me in your righteousness.
41 Let your loving mercy come to me, O Lord, *
even your salvation, according to your word.
42 So shall I answer those who taunt me, *
for my trust is in your word.
43 O do not take the word of your truth utterly out of my mouth,*
for my hope is in your judgments.
44 So shall I always keep your law, *
even for ever and ever;
45 And I will walk at liberty, *
for I seek your commandments.
46 I will speak of your testimonies also, even before kings, *
and will not be ashamed;
47 And my delight shall be in your commandments, *
which I have loved exceedingly.
48 My hands also will I lift up to your commandments, *
and I will meditate on your statutes.
(from the New Coverdale Psalter as found in the 2019 Book of Common Prayer)