In this Sunday’s Gospel from Luke 15, we will hear the parables of the Lost Sheep and the Lost Coin.  There is a third parable is this chapter, that of the Prodigal Son which we will hear later in the Trinity Season.  These parables are significant because they reveal to us a God who wants all of humanity to be saved. Jesus came to seek and save those who are lost, all people. He will never rescind this opportunity for salvation.  Jesus will continue to seek all of us.

All three of these parables have the word "lost" in common. The sheep, the coin and the son were all lost. All of us are as helpless, weak, and homeless as these lost things. In this lost, disconnected state we are spiritually dead (Eph. 2:1).  Until we are found we are in opposition to God as was St. Paul before his conversion.  Until we are found we live in ignorance as did Nicodemus (John 3). But the good news is that regardless of our state, God will continue to seek us.  That is what Jesus was telling the crowd when He told of the shepherd looking for the one lost sheep, and the woman not giving up her search for the coin, and the father who never stopped yearning for his lost son. These parables present a picture of God’s great love, His Agape, intended for all of lost humanity. Before His ascension, Jesus charged the disciples to go the ends of the earth to seek the lost (Acts 1:8).  Jesus commanded all of us to seek the lost in all nations (Matt. 2:19). It is now our time to fulfill the Great Commission to seek the lost as did the shepherd, the woman, and the father.

Now while we know that God will never stop seeking us, we can still use our free will to reject His offer of redeeming grace. The Pharisees who were listening to these parables only hardened their hearts as a result. It may be difficult for us to understand why anyone would willfully reject God’s Love, but here we are in a rapidly secularizing society that is openly hostile to that Love in a way that would make the Pharisees blush.  This state of mankind is much like the mindset of those, mentioned in a recent sermon by Fr. Roddy, who would gladly choose hell over heaven.  As our text reveals, the lost sinner cannot find Jesus by himself.  And also as our text shows, lost sinners can choose to reject the seeking Savior.  So we have a choice to make.  Let the Church be the help you need to make that choice.

For those who struggle with the invitation to Divine Grace, comfort may be found in the parable of the Prodigal Son. After the prodigal son returns much to the father’s joy, the father then speaks to his other son (the one who remained, followed the rules, and worked the land) who was still lost. This lost son was jealous of the son who was found. He resented the love of the father for the prodigal son. But the father continued to plead with this second son. The father would not give up on either of his sons. And so it is today… the love of God in Christ still calls out to all people.  Will we heed the call?  Will we help those who don’t?  Remember what Jesus told Nicodemus, “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God” (John 3:5). This water and Spirit is found in our sacraments. Like the father in the parable, let us strive to help as many as we can to be born into the Kingdom through the saving waters of Baptism.

--Fr. Deacon Chris

All things come of thee, O Lord, and of thine own have we given thee
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Upcoming Events

Sunday Services, 7:45 AM, 9:00 AM, & 11:15 AM (for online participation for the services go to: )

Sunday School will return in September

Wednesday at Noon – Holy Communion and anointing for healing (for online participation, check info under Sunday Services)

Next Vestry meeting September

Annual Parish Picnic, Sunday October 8 at Fort Hunt Park, following a 10 AM combined service (no 9:00 AM or 11:15 AM services that day) , more details closer to event.

Your support of the Food Bank and MaRIH Crisis Pregnancy Center is greatly appreciated. The lists below tell what is needed.  The MaRIH Center list was just updated.  If you cannot bring items to the church, you can also click on the donate button above and then on the drop down menu that appears on the donation page choose Charity and Mercy to give a cash donation.  In the comment box you can specify if the donation is for the Food Bank and/or for the MaRIH Crisis Pregnancy Center.  Thank you.

Food Donations 
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
• jelly
• tuna
• 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 

 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.)

Especially Needed
Bold and  * are a critical need.

Diapers (sizes newborn, 1, 2, 3, 4*, 5*, & 6*)
Baby wipes
Diaper rash ointment
Summer clothing: Newborn, 3-6 mo.,6-9 mo., 9-12 mo.,12-18 mo,, 18-24, 2T*
Baby shampoo
Baby blankets
Sleeping -- Pack-n-Play*
Formula: Simulac Advance Formula*
Formula: other but not recalled
Wash clothes
Hooded towels
Grocery gift cards*

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St. Andrew & St. Margaret of Scotland
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Alexandria, VA 22301-1625