Sunday, July 7, was the Third Sunday after Trinity. Bishop Hartley based his sermon on the Gospel for the day, St. Luke 15:1, in which Jesus is criticized by the Pharisees for eating with publicans and sinners.
In the modern world we don’t pay much attention to people in whose company we take meals & eat with all kinds of people, but in the ancient world it was quite different. Meals and eating together had a symbolic meaning which has been lost over time. Sharing a meal in ancient times was symbolic of making a covenant between people, so to eat together was to bond together. The people with whom Jesus was sharing a meal were publicans who represented the power of the Roman empire; they and the others with whom Jesus was eating were very despised by the Jewish religious authorities. Jesus answered this criticism with the Parable of the Lost Sheep in which the shepherd, symbolizing God, leaves his sheep unattended to go and search for one lost, and the lost sheep symbolizes those who are lost to God. The story has four parts: first the realization of the lost sheep, second the search, third the rescue and finally the rejoicing over the rescue with the well-known line “there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.” The lesson we take from this story is that no one is forgotten by God.
During prayer time Bishop Hartley said the birthday prayer for Bill Winklemann, whose birthday is July 8. In announcements he noted that next Sunday will be our potluck dinner/vestry meeting and that he is still taking hymn requests for the Trinity season. Services at St. Francis Anglican (Traditional Episcopal) Church are Sunday mornings at 10:30 and Evening prayer Wednesday evenings at 6:30. For more information visit our website at stfrancisavamo.org.