Sunday, March 22 was The Fourth Sunday in Lent. In the Christian church calendar we use the two most holy days, Christmas & Easter, are preceded by penitential seasons for self-examination, Christmas by Advent and Easter by Lent. Also in the Anglican tradition one Sunday in each penitential season is set aside as a Rose Sunday in which the somber violet altar & vestment colors are replaced by rose colors as an anticipation of the joy to come; altar flowers are not used during penitential seasons but are on Rose Sundays and today we had beautiful arrangements of spring flowers which added another element of joy and brightness.
The theme of today’s service was flesh vs. spirit and Bishop Hartley based his sermon on the Epistle for the day, Galatians 4:21. In this letter Paul is addressing a new congregation of new Christians who are Gentile, not Jewish. But there was a faction insisting they had to follow the old Jewish law in order to be Christian and here Paul corrects this mistaken idea, insisting that for Christians we are saved by faith in Christ not by following authoritarian rules. He then reminds them that “Abraham had two sons, the one by a bond maid, the other by a free woman,” one born into servitude and one free. Christians are the children of promise, free from bondage to the law by Jesus. The slave son represents the physical world and bondage to it, and the free son represents God’s grace and our freedom. The lesson is that humankind cannot save itself, only God’s grace can.
Today was supposed to be our spring cleanup day but the weather did not cooperate so we had our lunch after the service & were able to do some work cleaning inside the building so the day was not wasted altogether.
Services at St. Francis Anglican (Traditional Episcopal) Church are Sundays at 10:30 and Wednesdays at 6:30. For more information visit our website at stfrancisavamo.org.