The Collect: “O Lord, make us have perpetual love and reverence for your holy Name, for you never fail to help and govern those whom you have set upon the sure foundation of your loving-kindness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.”
The Response: Psalm 86: 1-10, 16-17 was led by Joseph Avalos: *(verse 5) “For you, O Lord, are good and forgiving, and great is your love toward all who call upon you.”
The First Lesson Genesis 21:8-21 was read by David Maitland. This passage tells of Sarah’s jealousy of Hagar and Abraham’s son Ishmael. God finally granted Sarah a child, Isaac, and she no longer wanted the servant Hagar and her son to be around. She asked Abraham to send them away and he reluctantly did so. When Hagar thought that they would die alone in the wilderness, God came to her and supplied her with water and help. He promised her that Ishmael would someday reign over a great nation.
The Second Lesson was Romans 6:1-11, read by Lee LaJeunesse. Paul explains to them that when you are baptized in Christ, you no longer need to fear death. Christ defeated death by his resurrection and all will be reunited with him in a resurrection like his. Baptism buries sins and gives a new life with Christ. Death no longer has dominion over Christ, and if all believe in him all will also live with him in his eternal kingdom. Christ died for all sins and his life is to live for God. “So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.”
Reverend Huff read the Gospel of Matthew 10:24-39. In this Gospel lesson Jesus is speaking to his disciples and trying to prepare them for the life ahead of them. Jesus tells them that the peace in their soul may come with a price of external struggling and opposition. Jesus is bringing them peace in his love for them and one another. However, others may not believe as they do and may persecute them for being different. Christians will have trouble in the world and Christ wants them to be prepared to endure it and keep their faith strong. Jesus was trying to shock the disciples into understanding what he was telling them. They may experience peace and see the church being built up, but there may be others who oppose the Gospel and Christ.
First of all Jesus wanted them to understand that He is the Prince of Peace, but there will still be opposition. Secondly, when they face opposition, it does not mean that they have failed. He warns them that they should not be surprised when they face unbelievers, for even though some may hate the church and Christ, the wrong is in the heart of humankind, not God.
There may even be opposition and unrest within families and friends who do not accept Christ. One must be prepared for the conflict and remember their loyalty to God. No other relationship should take precedence over a relationship with God. Happiness only comes when Christ is first in your lives. His constant concern is for all and he will always be with you and reward you for your faithfulness.
Discipleship is costly. Remember he is preeminent to everything in the world. He promises to care for your every need. Ask God for grace to accept his will.
Next Sunday, June 29 will be a Fifth Sunday celebrated at Ascension Episcopal Church in Refugio at 11 a.m. After the service PIM will host a Family Fun Day. The church invites anyone interested to attend all of the services. There will be no Sunday morning service at St. Matthew’s on June 29. PIM website.