In this Sexagesima’s Collect, God sees to it that we are not to trust in anything we do. But if we do, then he will mercifully defend us against all adversity through Jesus Christ our Lord.
In today’s Epistle, Paul is being sarcastic when he says, you - yourself being wise. There were a lot of spiritual issues at the Church of Corinth. Paul teaches the virtues of meekness & love. But the religious leaders of Corinth were prideful & self-righteous. They even mocked Paul as a weak leader. These leaders even fleeced some of their followers by placing them in bondage & smiting them on their face to advance themselves. This showed their followers of their advance “godliness.”
Paul then compares himself to these false teachers by extolling his litany of sufferings: he was tortured by the Jews five times; he was beaten by the Romans three times. He was shipwrecked day & night. He was stoned & robbed. He was in wilderness & in sea. He had fake friends. He was in hunger & thirst in his travels. He voluntarily fasted, and was in cold & nakedness. He was burdened with church planting and managing it from a distance. But in the end, he glories in his infirmities for his work for Jesus Christ our Lord.
In today’s Gospel, God is the sower and his word is his seed. Some seeds go by the wayside and get eaten by birds. Some go into rocks and gets withered away. And some that fall into thorns get choked. But God’s word – the good seed - moves forward to the Jews & Gentiles.
The seed that goes to the wayside, the devil takes the words from their hearts – unless they believe and are saved. Those that are on the rocks, when they hear, they receive with joy. However, those that have no root, believe briefly but fall to temptation. Those that fall among the thorns, when they hear are choked with cares, riches, and pleasures in this life; and bring no fruition. Yet, those that are in good ground are honest with good heart, hear the word & keep it to bring fruit with patience.
So what is the Good News today? As we move toward Lent, we will face our trials & difficulties as Christians. We will face what Paul had gone through for Jesus Christ our Lord, many physical attacks on our bodies both voluntary and involuntary. False teachers will attempt to imprison us with false doctrine & virtues. And we may even fall away from the faith even as seeds that fall to wayside, rocks, and thorns. But if we keep grounded in the faith, hear the word of God, and keep it, then God will keep us away from anything we do and defend us from all adversity through Jesus Christ our Lord.
In the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. Amen.
-- Father Anton
Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.
Please click here to help St. Andrew & St. Margaret of Scotland
Sunday Services, 7:45 AM, 9:00 AM, & 11:15 AM (for online participation for the services go to: https://www.facebook.com/saintsofscotland/ )
Sunday School, 10:30 AM
Wednesday at Noon – Holy Communion and anointing for healing
Monday, February 20, 7:30 PM, Vestry Meeting, undercroft
Tuesday February 21, Shrove Tuesday Evening Prayer Service 7 PM followed by pancake and champagne supper (soft drinks also available)
Ash Wednesday, February 22, Noon & 7:00 PM Services including Imposition of Ashes
Fridays during Lent 7:00 PM, Stations of the Cross
Saturday, February 25, 8:30 AM, Men's Group in the undercroft with breakfast by Chef Claude Crump and Bible Study with Bob Boyd. Start the year off right with food, fellowship and Bible study with other men of the parish.
Donations to the Food Bank and Marih Center are greatly needed. Across the country, crisis pregnancy centers have been attacked or vandalized. Please help with either a goods donation or a monetary donation. You can give through the donation button in this newsletter and use the drop down menu to choose "Charity & Mercy." Please note that the needs list for the Marih Center has been recently updated. Thank you.
Please help this month with a food donation if you are able. Christ House is very thankful for the food we provide to them each month. Please also buy low sugar cereals (and not the kid's types that have lots of sugar). Current needs include the following:
• canned meats (chicken, corned beef, spam)
• peanut butter
• canned vegetables (corn, green beans - (regular and low sodium)
• individual fruit cups (low sugar)
• canned fruit (low sugar)
• cereal (low sugar)
• pasta (regular and gluten-free)
• instant potatoes
• Macaroni & cheese kits
• Coffee, cooking oil, flour, sugar
Recently Updated List of Needs for MaRIH Center (crisis pregnancy center)
MaRIH Center with its all volunteer staff has been providing help to mothers-to-be and mothers in need. If you can provide some of the items that are needed, please do so. (You can leave the donations where the food for the food bank is collected on the pew in the undercorft.)
Baby wipes* (an ongoing great need)
Diapers (sizes 1*, 2, 3*, 4, 5*, & 6*)
Diaper rash ointment*
(Bold and * are a critical need.)
Clothing for boys and girls (0-6 months)
Sleep Sacks: Girls 0-6 mos.
Socks: Boy/Girl 2T
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Our mailing address is:
St. Andrew & St. Margaret of Scotland
1607 Dewitt Avenue
Alexandria, VA 22301-1625