Sunday, September 10, 2017

10 September 2017 ~ Sermon preached at St. Mary's Episcopal Church, Cathedral Road


The Rev. Peter M. Carey
Sermon
St. Mary's Episcopal Church, Cathedral Road, Philadelphia
10 September 2017


From Presiding Bishop Michael B. Curry - A prayer for all those affected by hurricanes #Harvey and #Irma.

"We stand with you, but not only we. The Lord who sacrificed His life for us all and was raised from the dead is with you. Remember that we are your brothers and sisters, and we’re in this together. The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious to you. The Lord lift up the light of His countenance upon you and give you His peace, this day, and forever more. Amen."


Love your neighbor as yourself.

Love is a verb - action - “Verb - Who Are You?”

“They will know we are Christians by our Love, by our Love, yes they’ll know we are Christians by our love.” ~ Rock Point
We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord
We are one in the Spirit, we are one in the Lord
And we pray that our unity will one day be restored
And they'll know we are Christians by our love, by our love
Yeah they'll know we are Christians by our love
We will work with each other, we will work side by side
We will work with each other, we will work side by side
And we'll guard each man's dignity and save each man's pride
And they'll know we are Christians by our love, by our love
Yeah, they'll know we are Christians by our love.

From the Rock Point Summer Conferences Songbook
Peter R. Scholtes, 1968

How are we known.  Are we known by our love.  Perhaps it is helpful to turn this whole thing around.  Are we neighbors who are worth loving?  Are we known for our loving actions? How are you known in the community?  How are your actions speaking for you?  How is St. Mary’s known in the world?  Are we known for the good work that we are doing?  Of course, some of this can turn into mere publicity seeking and marketing, but at our essence, how are we known?  

 Are we known for our loving embrace of the community?  Are we known for our consistent and dedicated work to feed others through Meals on Wheels?  Are we known for our work at Cathedral Village, and our offering of weekly services for those in Bishop White Lodge?  “They will know we are Christians by our love?”  How do we show our love in the world, in this community, to our neighbors?

Love for Paul was not merely an emotion, but was a behavior.  This meaning of love did not so much mean how we “feel” about another...not so much about the happy feeling that we might have for a certain person.  It really has to do with our actions.  What do we do.  What are we - we are what we do.

We may not “like” our neighbors, but we should “love them”...this has to do with behavior, this has to do with actions.  Like when things really hits the fan, are we there, for our neighbors, or not.  WE may dislike their shrubbery, or the way they mow (or don’t mow) their lawns, we may dislike their political views, we may dislike their hobbies, but do we love them?  Do we behave as if we love them.

“Actions speak louder than words.”

We are loved by God, we are loved no matter what.  And because of this bedrock of love, we have the power, the Spirit, and the strength to love our neighbors no matter what.  We have the strength to love, to show love through our actions, to reach out to one another, empowered by the Holy Spirit, to “be the Love of Christ in the world,” to be in the world as God would have us be.  “They will know we are Christians by our love.”



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