Sunday, May 10, 2020

May 10 Mothers Day - FIVE MOVEMENTS OF GOD IN OUR DAY

Today happens to be one of the few years where my birthday has actually fallen on Mother's Day. It's my double blessing.

I want to begin with greetings to all our ladies at Rez. Just so you know, I want to tell you that mom's are a close second to the ultimate force in the universe! If you don't believe me you deserve The Look! So can all the ladies give us The Look. Right now. Yeah... that one! Get up to the camera and give it your very best! ....
And there you have it...
Ultimate power... almost.

So... Happy Mothers Day. And Blessings from all that your lives have touched and continue to touch.

There are many themes in our scripture readings this morning... verses that jump out:

From Acts...
Paul was referred to as one of the "people who have turned the world upside down..." Would that God would bless US with that designation!

The synagogue in Berea was one that pored over scripture to test and prove what Paul was saying to them. He said later that they were "more noble."

From 1st Peter...
like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house,
And...
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people, in order that you may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

And from John's Gospel...
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.”

Just look at your screen. We look like a wall of stones with faces on them!

God is doing something extraordinary in these days.
He is knitting us together in His Body, even through social distancing, God is at work around the world, preparing the Bride for a wedding day. I want to share 5 movements in this symphony that's happening now:

1. RESET

God has pressed a kind of 'reset button.' He's gotten our attention; he's pulled us out of our routine, out of our busyness. He's stripped away the idols of our culture here in America: noise... speed... entertainment... celebrity worship... sports... distraction. Finances are uncertain for many. We've had to return to God and to the basics.
What's important?
Who's important?
Our gods in America are being shaken, as we were promised in Hab 2, in Amos 9 and Heb 12.
All our reliance on what is not God is being stripped away.

2. REALIGNMENT

This is a time for us to "consider our ways" (Hab 1)
... for us to bend our knees and bow our heads and hearts in prayer... in repentance that bears fruit... that's not just words on a page, but leads to a REALIGNMENT of values and lifestyles, with the two tracks that we are to roll on: The Truth of God's Word and the presence of the Spirit of God in and among us. Those are the twin tracks this glory train run on. Through repentance we are to realign our hearts, our minds, our lives with His Word and His Spirit. God's seeks those who worship in Spirit and in Truth!

3. REFRESHING

Ancient wells are about to break forth; wells of revival will spring up, both from outside - around us, and inside - the wells of salvation are going to burst forth. These will refresh and strengthen God's people for what's ahead of us. Both suffering and glory are coming. Renewed authority and power for the Church. A renewed voice in our culture and extended grace for the days ahead.

4. RELEASE

"Pray ye therefore, the Lord of the harvest to send forth workers into His Harvest" Luke 10. God's about to fulfill that prayer!

He's calling us out... into the deep... let down your nets for a catch! 'But we've never done it this way before! "Indeed," He says!!

The GREAT I AM is about to do a work in our day that will make the ears of history tingle! We've been talking about it now for 13 years, since 2007. We simply call it A net-breaking, boat-sinking load of fish! The promised end- times revival is coming. We're used to the prophetic word about "the Wave coming across the land." We've been waiting in anticipation for almost 20 years for fulfillment of that vision. The wave is about to hit the shore! Judgement and revival.
We are to stand, to watch, to pray, and to go!

God is releasing the Church... the Church has left the building! And God's going to release the Catch... the Harvest!

And finally...

6. REJOICING

We are coming to Season of Joy... unspeakable and full of glory. The Joy of the Lord (Ne 8:10) is our strength!
Let me remind you what God's joy is...
In Luke 15, we are reminded by Jesus how God loves finding lost things! Jesus was sent expressly for that purpose! To seek and to save what was lost (Jn 3:17) There is more JOY IN HEAVEN over one sheep found than over 99 who never strayed!
This is the Joy of the Lord. There is no joy like the joy of introducing someone to Jesus and watching a son or daughter be born anew!

These are the movements we are going to see and hear in the days to come. Open your eyes and ears. Listen for him and look for His direction, we are each part of His Symphony, each an important part as we agree with and partner with all God is doing in our day. Arise, Shine, for your light has come!

May we pray...

Father, it's in the midst of darkness that your light shines brightest. Let us bring and be the light of Your glory into the darkness around us. Give us the hope of eternal life, the light of your countenance, the peace that passes understanding, the joy of finding that which is lost, all gathered together in the "overwhelming, never- ending, reckless love of God!"
For the sake of a your Kingdom we pray and the Fame of your Name, Jesus!

Amen 

Sunday, April 26, 2020

GOING ON A WALK WITH JESUS

In the very afternoon of the day Jesus was raised from the dead, he goes for a walk with a couple disciples. One is named, Cleopas, the other is not. We'll call him Anonymous. So we can easily put our own name in that place. So do that just now. I want you to enter the scene of being on this walk with Jesus.

All of a sudden Jesus is just there, they thought he probably caught up with them from behind.

What are you talking about? They were sad. They were totally defeated! Ever been there? Ever needed Jesus to enter the scene just when you needed Him most desperately?

What are you talking about? Innocent question. Good question if your joining someone else's conversation!

But they're a little snippy I think. Who are you? You must be the only person in Jerusalem who is this out-of-touch! You didn't see what went on with Jesus?
We had such high hope's that he was the messiah! He was going to restore the kingdom to Israel!

Jesus had been dealing with this the whole time he was with them? No one among his disciples understood his mission or his means! Peter tried to shut even his talking about it down. The guys were constantly arguing amongst themselves about rank and file; their position in the new kingdom. Jesus had mom's asking him for these kinds of promises for their boys, James and John!

Jesus loses it a little bit here. You're foolish and stupid! Well maybe a little kinder than that. Slow of heart and mind. They're just like us! And Jesus takes them back to his very first confession! With Peter in Galilee ... it was there he first said these things and Peter called him down.
Fact is that the disciples went the whole trip from Galilee to the empty tomb and beyond, and never changed their mind.

What was so hard for them to grasp? What did Jesus say on this trip that gave them heart burn?

It says he began with Moses- with the Torah!
Let's take the same walk. At least a few verses with Jesus as he explains himself, his existence and his mission to us.

Where is Jesus found in the Torah or in the prophets?

Deuteronomy 18:18
‘I will raise up for them a Prophet like you from among their brethren, and will put My words in His mouth, and He shall speak to them all that I command Him.

Jesus used this over and over again to refer to himself and the source of His message! JN 5:19

 “Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner."
========

Isa 7:14
Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.

The facts of His divine birth.
=========

Isa 52:13 - 53:12
13 Behold, My Servant ...
14 His visage was marred more than any man,

53:3. He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.
4. Surely He has borne our griefs
And carried our sorrows;
Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten by God, and afflicted.
5. But He was wounded for our transgressions,He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed.
10 Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise Him; He has put Him to grief.
When You make His soul an offering for sin,

Few scriptures in the whole Bible carry more weight than these in pointing to the sacrifice of Jesus.

Micah 5:2
2“But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah,
Though you are little among the thousands of Judah, Yet out of you shall come forth to Me The One to be Ruler in Israel, Whose goings forth are from of old,
From everlasting.”

How can you fake where you're born? How can you choose the place? Jesus didn't, in fact it was Caesar who intervened with a census that created the circumstance of his place of birth!

Zechariah 12:10
then they will look on Me whom they pierced.

Psalm 2:7
7“I will declare the decree:
The LORD has said to Me,
‘You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.

Psalm 22:16b-18
They pierced My hands and My feet;
17. I can count all My bones.
They look and stare at Me.
18. They divide My garments among them, And for My clothing they cast lots.

A factual prophetic picture along with many of the images of Ps 2 & 22. It is Psalm 22 quoted by Jesus on the cross (v.1)
My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

And finally Daniel 9:26
26“And after the sixty-two weeks
Messiah shall be cut off, but not for Himself;...

The simple calculations from the degree to rebuild Jerusalem to the end of the 62 weeks of Daniel's vision, was the year 32, the year of the crucifixion of Jesus.

Friends, there are even more passages but I wanted to see what Jesus talked about on the road they were walking that afternoon. He was able to point out the circumstances of his own life and death foretold by the Torah and the Prophets. And it was about a two to three hour walk. Only 7 miles distance.

The fact is there are over 300 such verses in the OT and the likelihood of one person fulfilling all of them perfectly is in the multiple trillions to one! Someone estimated that if you took that number and made it into 1" ball bearings, they would fill the state of Texas to a depth of about 6 feet!

I urge you to take a walk with Jesus down memory lane this week, like the disciples did on that afternoon. Their hearts were on fire with the news, and as he broke bread with them, their eyes were opened. Then they ran back to Jerusalem that very night to tell the others.

Let us run with the news of who Jesus is in our own day. Amen!

Let us pray.

O God, your Word is eternal and it stands as the anvil on which time itself is tested and shaped. Let us find in your Word the treasures of eternal life and let us take your Word with us into the works in witness to your love and power. For the fame of Jesus' Name and the sake of His Kingdom we pray.

Amen

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Easter 2020 - Born Again to A Living Hope

Easter 2020
Fr Phil Eberhart

This is a one time experience today, Easter service via Zoom and Facebook live. We're happy to be together and to see so many faces, in our Hollywood Squares boxes. God bless you in your homes this morning.

Alleluia! Christ is Risen! The Lord is Risen Indeed! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!! We can't say it enough, can we?

In the midst of a great worldwide pandemic, in the face of death and fear, of uncertainty across the planet... we have a living hope... because we have a living savior!

We say it often...

CHRIST HAS DIED... CHRIST IS RISEN... CHRIST WILL COME AGAIN!

The mystery of our faith! A Savior who died and who has come back to life and who promises to come again to receive us to Himself!

The Death, Resurrection and Return of Jesus Christ the Messiah is the source and fountain of our life, our hope, our joy inexpressible and full of glory! Even in the midst of suffering... even in the presence of pandemic... nothing can dampen the reality of God's love and His resurrection power in our lives.

I got accused this week of being "psychologically unstable" - needy because I posted that our Easter will be unchanged, walls or no walls, and declaring my love for being "face to face!" Well... guilty as charged! I'm needy... I need Jesus and I need you all!

A wise old man, when faced with his grand son's challenge of "why go to church?" Simply brought him to the roaring fire in the den, sat down and reached in with the tongs and took an ember out, setting it in the bricks in front. Soon the ember was a cold black coal. Then he simply placed it back in the fire again and it soon glowed red with the flame.
If that's psychological neediness then I'm guilty.

In a day of separation and social distancing, of not looking at one another for fear of catching something, of isolation, separation and being together only on laptops and computers, I want to declare that I hate being a lone ranger! We're not made for this.

Peter tells it pretty straight in his first letter. As I sat with my father in his last week 5 years ago, this section of 1 Peter was our meditation. Beginning at vs 3...

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God's power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time."

1 Peter 1:3‭-‬5 ESV
https://bible.com/bible/59/1pe.1.3-5.ESV

The fact of the Resurrection of Jesus from the dead is the central fact of our faith... all of our faith! It stands like an anvil that has worn out many hammers!

https://www.yourdictionary.com/anvil

Paul says, without it we're most to be pitied! But with it we're able to go through any circumstance, any difficulty, any temptation or test of our faith, because the resurrection is an anvil! A LIVING HOPE through the RESURRECTION OF JESUS CHRIST FROM THE DEAD!

The Anvil of the Resurrection has tested the hammer of unbelief, the hammer of doubt has failed to scar it; the skeptics hammer, the so- called "liberal's" hammer can't stand up to the anvil!

Friends, the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is the central fact of history. Everything flows to it from before Christ and everything flows from it now, after Christ!

Listen to what Peter says as he goes on...

In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 1:6‭-‬7 ESV
https://bible.com/bible/59/1pe.1.6-7.ESV

The testing of our faith is part and parcel of the testing of the Anvil! The use for an Anvil and a hammer is the shaping of steel, white hot from the forge. There's a TV competition show called Forged in Fire. Watch an episode of that to understand what I'm taking about. We are being Forged In Fire! Even now, today, in how we're responding to all that's going on around us. God is looking for Tested Genuineness in our faith. Forged by Fire!

Paul said of all he went through that it was "light and momentary affliction" but that it gains for us "an eternal weight of glory! "

Peter goes on...

"... you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls."

1 Peter 1:8‭-‬9 ESV
https://bible.com/bible/59/1pe.1.8-9.ESV

This Easter will stand out in our memory, individually and in our corporate memory, and I hope that we will remember it fondly, as a time when we were tested and found faithful; as a time when we were shaped on the anvil into a "truer beauty and usefulness" to use a phrase from Bishop Terry Kelshaw's prayer; and as a time when we discover all that we mean to one another in the community of His New Life.

Peter concludes as I will with these words...

"Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. ...through him [you] are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God."

1 Peter 1:13‭, ‬21 ESV
https://bible.com/bible/59/1pe.1.13-21.ESV

Peter in later chapters of this same letter asks us to "always be ready to give an answer for the HOPE that is in us!"

Lord our God, we pray that you will show us the full glory of your power and might in the Resurrection of your Son, Jesus Christ, from the grave. He has trampled death and the grave, and given us a new birth into a living hope! Help us to continually live in that hope in relationship to you, Jesus Risen Lord and King. And finally, use us as we come out of this time of COVID-19 and help us Lord Jesus, to never go back to normal! In the Matchless Name of the Risen Jesus, for the fame of His Name and the glory of His Eternal Kingdom.

 Amen and amen!

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Palm Sunday 2020 - Fr Phil Eberhart

Palm Sunday
April 5, 2020
Fr Phil Eberhart 

"TRULY THIS MAN WAS THE SON OF GOD! "


What could make a hardened soldier,  a centurion... the commander of a garrison of 100 Roman soldiers,  make such a statement? 

He had seen 100's ... no... probably 1000's of this kind of death in his career as a soldier...  but this one was different.   What did he see that made him even think in those terms?  What did he hear that set these thoughts loose in his mind?

He didn't know the scriptures that we read this morning, from the Jewish scriptures,  with their exacting descriptions of what was happening: Isaiah 53 and Psalm 22.  Even those who DID know them totally ignored them, save for one or two! 

He hadn't been following Jesus, listening to his every word, to his prophetic statements about suffering and dying on a Roman cross.  Those who did hear them didn't understand them-  it was unthinkable! Especially for those (all of them) who had great hopes that Jesus was "their guy" -- their hoped for Messiah!   Hoped for in the way they wanted a "messiah" to come. To the point that they argued about rank and position constantly. But this sure wasn't that!  Not even a little bit.  So they all ran away,  save one. 

What did he see ... what did he hear? 

Could it have been the stone cold silence of the Son of God... throughout the whole ordeal?  "Like a lamb before the Shearer's is silent,  so he opened not his mouth."  Silence in the face of great suffering speaks of great dignity, of great self control.  

Probably not just that,  though.  There's got to be more to it. 

Maybe,  the strange weather at the time got his attention... darkened mid day sun,  clouds and wind,  thunder...
And that earthquake.  That would get your attention,  wouldn't it.  But there's still more to it. 

How does one who goes through all of this,  speak words of forgiveness over those who are doing it to him? "Father,  forgive them..." That was different.  Unheard of ... ever!

How does that same man promise forgiveness of personal, individual sin (for which he was being executed justly)  and then nothing less than Paradise to a thief being crucified next to him? 

"Who can forgive sins except God?" the Pharisees had asked of Jesus once.  They knew the implications and the weight of that action by Jesus.  Did the centurion get it too? 

What awe struck him from what he saw and heard.  Something stuck -- all of it together had an impact on him. 

I wonder if he was watching when they pierced Jesus side?  Of course he was.  He saw what John saw... blood and water.  I wonder if he felt the spray of the wounded flow of "water" and blood in his face?  

"Let his blood be upon us and upon our children! "  They had no idea what they were saying.  No idea what they were doing!  Jesus said it:  "They know not what they do! "  But he knew - the centurion knew - it all added up to too much for the mind to take in.  Who was this man on the cross before him?   

TRULY!  
 THIS MAN WAS THE SON OF GOD! 

Let's pray...

Lord Jesus Christ,  you stretched forth your hands of love on the hard wood of the Cross,  that everyone... everyone... disciple,  pharisee,  thief,  centurion,...  might come within the reach of your saving embrace!

The evidence was clear and it's clear even today that you,  Lord Jesus Christ,  are truly the Son of God. So truly, THE WAY, THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE, that there is NO OTHER NAME given among men by which we can and must be saved!   There's no other name but yours.

So, clothe us with your Name and in your Spirit, that we may reach forth our hands in that same love and forgiveness,  to bring in our day, those who do not yet know You, -- our families, our co-workers, our neighbors, the stranger in Walmart --to the knowledge and love of You.  

Just like the Centurion, May we and all who truly see and hear you say,  "Surely this IS the Son of God! "

For the honor of Your Name.  

Amen. 






Sunday, March 29, 2020

Fr Phil - Seeing what God is doing

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic we are all under orders to "shelter in" - stay home with family,  stay away from other people,  wash your hands,  disinfect surfaces.   We're trying to minimize the spread of the pandemic and the loss of life.  We have no idea the scope of the orders or the timeline.  So we are obedient.  We're all getting a bit stir crazy,  some are getting lonely,  many are fearful and none of us know all that's going on here.  

What I want to address this morning is how can we see what God is doing here?  I believe God uses circumstances such as these to work His work. And we're the People of God. That means that we're in a relationship with the living God... He's our God, we're His People!  That means something in these times ... all the time actually!

I was struck when I saw our reading from Ezekiel for today.  Those verses were the roadmap that God spoke to me at the very beginning of my journey together with this church,  back in the day... summer of 1996!  St George's was on its last leg.  Bishop sent me in as a shock to the system -- as a ventilator! He yelled Clear! And shoved me through the door!  And God did a miracle! 

Ezekiel 37 was my roadmap! 
The place was dry and dead,  dead and dry... very dry!  I was called to enter in to that reality, to "walk among the bones."  Then he ask me what I believed about this church... "Can these bones live? " it's an overwhelming question!  'LORD,  you alone know!" This thing was above my pay grade and I needed to get that straight!  Val's favorite question was "Whose deal it's this,  anyway? "

Then God said Speak the Word, ... Prophesy!  Whenever you speak do so from an open Bible! We handed out Bibles for free,  put them in our pews for the first time - paid for by my parents!  I had one elder lady there tell me, " I have a stack of these at home, but you're the first person who ever told me to read it! "  prophesy to the bones,  declare the Word to God's People!  That's my charge. 

And then things began to happen.  The Vestry came to our house for 12 weeks of The Alpha Course.   Transformed them! Then they invited the church and led the groups!  We began to see the bones coming together - excitement,  noise,  messiness,  Holy Spirit was moving. 

And then God said Speak to the Spirit! 
Prophesy to the Spirit,  come!  Come,  breathe on these slain,  let them live again!  And the Wind blew!  Healings began happening,  people were filled with the Spirit,  God's Spirit was the gossip around the church!  Did you hear?  What happened to so and so? 
Those were fun times!  God,  please do it again!

RESURRECTION has its roots in that revival.  And God is using these days to do a wider work in the Church,  big C, and the culture.   How can we see what God is doing now. 

After St George's had gone from 30 to about 150 in services,  the culture around us in the larger church was becoming an issue.  We, in lent of '99, studied the letters to the 7 churches in Revelation.  "Let him with an ear, hear what the Spirit is saying to the Churches! "  I think we're there again! 

We were shown a vision of a wave crashing between the Twin Towers in New York City,  summer of 2K.  About 13 months before 9-11.  The wave is both "judgement and revival! "  for those not ready it's judgement,  for those ready it will be revival!"  

In that time we were also given to study in Hebrews 12, especially about the Lord's discipline of those He loves and the coming 'shaking' at the end.   Things are certainly being shaken today and it feels like a tsunami wave has hit our country!  Is this that?  

Let's "open our eyes,"  as we pray from time to time,  "to see God's hand at work in the world! "

God uses famine and pestilence when His People get forgetful!  Look at 2 Chronicles 7:13! Not an oft quoted verse!   "When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command the locust to devour the land, or send pestilence among my people, 14 if my people..."  If My People will...

Humble themselves...
Today is a designated day to fast and pray in repentance for the sins of our nation.  Nehemiah 9 is the model.  National repentance... something we've never seen.  We've talked about it but never seen it.  Now it's the time! 

Pray...
There is a great prayer in that chapter by Ezra, the high priest under Nehemiah.  Take some time today to read it.  Take some time to pray it! 

Seek God's Face...
The Aaronic blessing of God's people asks that God lift His Face upon us.  Do a study of God's face in scripture and then our face!  What happens when the two meet?  2 Cor 3:17-18 says this...

"Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And all of us, with unveiled faces, seeing the glory of the Lord as though reflected in a mirror, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord, the Spirit."

James likens the Word to a mirror, reflecting who we really are back to us.  We are so forgetful though!   Refresh your time in God's Word during these days of "pause."  Prayer is pausing with purpose. 

And finally Turn, ... the purpose of the pause is to press a "reset" button in our lives.   Start anew.  Let Him Renew Your Mind,  washing it and us by the Water of the Word.   

I'll do everything I can "from a distance" to help that to happen in our life together.  Until we're able to gather again and beyond let us observe to do according to all that God has said, and God will give us "good success."  

Let's pray
O God,  you made the heavens and the earth, yet you are intricately involved with the details and affairs of our life today.  Move us to hear, read, mark, learn and inwardly digest your Word to us, that we may be freed from those things we cling to other than You.  Hear our prayer, O Lord, and change our hearts to be made in the image of your Son,  Jesus Christ our Lord,  in whose Name we pray.  Amen.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Connection During COVID-19

March 24, 2020

Dear Friends,

One of the big challenges, along side staying healthy in these days, is staying connected to one another, especially for our family at REZ.  I wanted to give you some pointers along the way in our new reality of video calls, streaming live feeds and the like for our meetings and services.  I hope you know that we are working harder now to stay connected than we ever have before!!  Perhaps that is what the "silver-lining" will be after this is all over.  God is always at work in and for His People, and now is no exception, - in fact it may be more evident to us in many ways, very soon!  So we pray!

MEETINGS & SERVICES
We, after a week of using these platforms, have opted for the ZOOM video platform to do the main body of our meetings and services.  On Wednesday evening and Friday evening at 7 PM we are hosting Bible Studies.  Wednesday we are studying the Book of Philippians, and on Friday we are studying the Tabernacle in light of our own Anglican Worship for two more weeks.

Each of those are on the ZOOM video meeting platform, you can access by phone or on your laptop or desktop computer.  We have a paid account that allows up to 100 to join us and the meeting can go for up to 24 hours!!  That will cover us for a while.  You may get ZOOM from your provider website (APPStore or Google Play).  Once you have it on your device all you need to do is click JOIN A MEETING and put in REZ's specific number:  437-034-3593.     Or you can come back here to join any REZ Zoom Meeting and simply click here: https://us04web.zoom.us/j/4370343593

On Sundays we will also run a live-stream on our Resurrection Anglican Fellowship FACEBOOK page, for those who want to join us, and it will be recorded there.  Readers will be able to join in and do their work, by joining us on the ZOOM platform.

If anyone has challenges in hooking up or downloading these tools, PLEASE call Fr. Phil and he or another "techie" will guide you through to success!  This call is always better made the day or week before you try to get on a meeting!!  We can do some zoom calls as trials, we've already paid the fee!

INTENTIONAL CONNECTIONS 

We are working on other ways to connect with each other.   We are thinking of offering Daily Office times (Morning Prayer, Noonday and Evening Prayer, even Compline)  If you have an interest in helping or participating in such online events, please respond to this email and let us know in what capacity your interest lies.

We are hoping to create a "Buddy" system, especially for our elder singles.  We want to be checking in with one another daily, and be able to sound the alarm for one another if needed.  Also we are hoping to care for one another in real ways, with help picking up groceries or prescriptions if needed.  Again, we will rely on you to BUDDY UP in the next few days, and to advise us of your partners.  Please respond to this email with the name of the buddies who are going to commit to one another for this time.  If we don't hear from you we will be calling!!

God is using this crisis, as He does with all things, to work the work of His Kingdom!  There is an exponential increase in Prayer across the world, in unity among churches and pastors, in help being offered to one another and to our neighbors, and in the compassionate work of God's love, coming through his Church, now dispersed outside the walls of our buildings!  


A NOTE ON GIVING

Concerns have been voiced, that when we don't meet, we don't give!  I think we have ways to get around that, and I want to encourage you to continue to give faithfully, since the work of the church (and the bills of the church) will go on during this time!  There are several ways for you to give:

ONLINE:  We have DONATE buttons on our website (www.rezanglican.org), on my blogspot (rezpadre.blogspot.com) and there are fundraising pages on our FaceBook page during this time.  The FaceBook giving is free (no fee to us) and the regular online giving has a 3% fee that is attached.  We would appreciate it if you would add that 3% on your gifts if you use those portals.  I've included all the links here for you to give online.  

BY MAIL:  You may also want to use the mail service and mail checks to REZ, PO Box 2127, Centennial, CO 80161-2127.  If you want to drop envelopes at the church building, the mail box on the front of the church is locked as well and secure.

We thank you (Val and I and the Finance Team) for your faithful support during this extraordinary time.


HOW LONG, O LORD?

The big question on all our minds is How Long (I added the O LORD)?  That is an unknown quantity right now, because we are just now coming into an understanding of the severity of this pandemic.  The numbers are doubling about every three days and they expect it to peak in the next 3-4 weeks.  If you do the math, we are going to be "sheltering-in" for another month or so potentially.   We have planned to continue services for Holy Week:  I will have palms that people can get (outside the church on Saturday) and we will wave them to each other on Palm Sunday (10 AM),  we will continue with a teaching on Eucharist on Maundy Thursday (7 PM), a traditional Stations of the Cross on Good Friday evening (7 PM) and the regular service of Resurrection at 10 AM on Easter Morning.

We are trying to gear up for sustainability for the long haul, and hoping for a short race!!  But know this, when the quarantine is over we will all come together for a REAL Easter Service with the Bells, Whistles, Horns, Keys, and whatever else you can bring to make noise!!  I am anticipating a great RESURRECTION, on that day!

In the mean time, we pray that you are safe and sound; that you will continue to connect with us and with each other.  

Fr Phil+

Fr. Phil Eberhart, for the Staff and the Board of Resurrection Anglican Fellowship

Sunday, March 1, 2020

Lent 1 - The Anatomy of Repentance

Lent 1
March 1, 2020
Fr Phil Eberhart 

The  Anatomy of Repentance
Ps 51 as a model prayer 



Did you ever wonder how, after all that King David did just in one instance with Bathsheba,... how God could still refer to him as "a man after My own heart!" ??  I've wondered that. 

How do you get that name in spite of all he did?  Granted, he was a great king,  a valiant warrior,  not a bad songwriter and musician,  but how do all those weigh in the balance against sexual intrigue and immorality,  then cover up and eventually murder,  of a man who was exactly the opposite of David,  brave, faithful and loyal to the very end!  ... to both his wife and his King! 

Turn to the song David wrote,  the incredible poem of repentance and let's examine it a bit more closely. 

Let's look more closely...

Vs. 1-4  David dives right in... there is no small talk here,  no if's, and's or but's in his approach to God. 

It's an appeal to God's grace and mercy.  David knows that on his own merits he doesn't have a prayer! But because of what he knows of God's love,  His lovingkindness - His unfailing love - he makes his appeal begin there.   He begins with God's nature of love, God's history of Grace and Mercy,  from beginning to end it's "according to your lovingkindness,  according to the greatness of your compassion...  you are justified when you speak and blameless when you judge."  David says YOU'RE RIGHT GOD! YOU'RE RIGHT! 

Vs. 5-9  The reality of the issue

BEHOLD 
   1.  This is who I am!  My DNA is sinful!  From my mother's womb!  From the moment I was born I've been "in sin."

   2.   Yet you designed me to be different and require it even now! In my hidden parts, - what was knit together in my mother's womb (Ps139) -  in that hidden part You will make me know wisdom.  

David knows that the beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord.   And so that's where he begins his appeal. 

Vs. 7 through 9 are the prescription,  the antidote!  These are the specifics of his request for God's intervention for David...

Purify me with hyssop - David hearkened back to the Passover and all the cleansing rites from the Torah. The use of hyssop is as old as the Jewish people.

I will be "whiter than snow!"  God's invitation to us through Isaiah later would be to come and reason with Him... though your sins are as scarlet, they will be be as white as snow."

Make me to hear joy and gladness.

This isn't a pleasant experience.  Probably why so few actually do it! 

Sometimes the discipline of the Lord feels like he's broken our bones.  David was a shepherd first.  And when a lamb would get wayward,  go astray habitually, the shepherd would break its front legs and carry it around his neck until they healed. 


The picture of Jesus as the shepherd we're all familiar with,  had a lamb in such a position.  No one talks about the back story!  Here David refers to that practice. 

Heb 12:6. "The Lord disciplines all those He loves... v. 11... so that we can share in his holiness ... the peaceable fruit of righteousness. "

David cries out to God to Hide your face... blot out my sin and iniquity. 

And then the prayer becomes detailed and this is the heart of the request if God.   We sang these verses just a few moments ago...

1.  Create in me a clean heart.  David knew the problem and Jeremiah later tells us it's our heart... it's desperately wicked.  It's like stone according to Ezekiel.   It has to be made new.  Re-created!

².   Renew a right Spirit within me.  We must be renewed by The right Spirit!

3.  Do not cast me away from your presence.  David knows it's here that the answer is found.  It's in the temple, in the presence of God.  At the table!  Here. 

4.  Do not take your Holy Spirit from me!   A desperate cry.   Our cry!   God,  send your spirit to renew us. 

5.  Restore my joy.    The joy of my salvation.  There is no feeling that can compare with being forgiven! 
The weight of the world comes off your shoulders.  It's amazing...
Amazing grace!  My chains are gone!  I've been set free! 

6. Finally,  do this work day by day.. Lord,  uphold me with a willing spirit! 
Even my willingness has to come from God  ... maybe especially my willingness!

THEN...  what happens? 

3 thens... 

Then... Testimony... teaching of the Ways of God and subsequent salvation.  Every day God was adding to their number those who were being saved! 

Then... Praise!  Sounds of singing!  More songs from Poet David!  Don't you wonder how many of the Psalms came after this? 

Then...  Restoration.   The right order of righteousness and the sacrifices of God are restored.  The temple worship is renewed and in order.  All is as it was designed and created to be.  All is whole. 

Let me once again issue the invitation...

I invite you in the name of the church to the observance of a holy Lent...

We have some left over ashes if you were not able to be here on Wed evening.