True Freedom Comes Not in Choosing, But in Being Chosen

I was privileged to be the “Reader ” at the Mass in which this most eloquent and insightful sermon was first preached.  I read the Galatians lesson and remember thinking at the time that my namesake and patron Saint Paul, seemed to have been plucked from his “high horse” and literally pressed into the service of Our Lord with absolutely nothing to say about it. And what was more impressive is the fact that he seemed to thrive and glory in having had the experience.  To honor the words of Canon Dane as best this humble servant can I am going to reproduce the scripture which forms the basis for the sermon.  Let me also state that the last two years of my life have been spent in extreme torment as I had imagined myself to have a choice which I could not seem to make and now I realize there was never a choice at all. God has put me exactly where I am supposed to be.  As Canon Dane points out true freedom comes not from choosing but from being chosen.

As I sat listening to this sermon last Sunday I hoped and prayed Canon Dane would publish it and to my absolute satisfaction he has done just that.

Galatians 1:11-24:(Revised Standard Version)

For I would have you know, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not man’s gospel.

For I did not receive it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through a revelation of Jesus Christ.  For you have heard of my former life in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God violently and tried to destroy it; and I advanced in Judaism beyond many of my own age among my people , so extremely was I for the traditions of my fathers. But when he had set me apart before I was born, and had called me through his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son to me, in order that I might preach him among the Gentiles , I did not confer with flesh and blood, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me, but I went away into Arabia; and again I returned to Damascus.

Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to visit Cephas and remained with him for fifteen days . But, I saw none of the other apostles except James the Lord’s brother. (In what I am writing to you before God I do  not lie!) Then I went into Cilicia in Judea; they only heard it said ” He who persecuted us is now preaching the faith he once tried to destroy.” And they glorified God because of me.

Luke 7: 11-17:

Soon afterward he went to a city called Nain and his disciples and a great crowd went with him. As he drew near to the gate of the city, behold, a man who had died was being carried out, the only son of his mother and she was a widow; and a large crowd from the city was with her.

And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her and said to her, “Do not weep”.  And he came and touched the bier, and the bearers stood still. And he said “Young man, I say to you, arise.  And the dead man sat up, and began to speak.  And he gave him to his mother.  And, fear seized them all ; and they gloried God, saying. “A great prophet has arisen among us !” and God has visited his people.  And this report concerning him spread throughout the whole of Judea and all the surrounding country.

 

That Blessed Dependancy

raisingthewidowsson

(“Jesus raising the youth of Nain” from the Evangeliar Ottos III, circa 1000 A.D.)

A Sermon Preached on the Third Sunday after Pentecost, June 5, 2016

By the Rev’d Canon Dane E. Boston, Trinity Cathedral, Columbia, South Carolina

Texts: Galatians 1:11-24; Luke 7:11-17

May I speak in the Name of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost. Amen.

Well the great season of decision is over!

Obviously I’m not talking about the election, which promises to continue to grind away at our faith in American democracy for months to come.

No, the season of decisions and choices that I’m talking about had mostly to do with our graduating high school seniors. After years of work, months of writing applications and compiling resumes, and weeks of waiting for acceptance letters, the time to decide finally came just a few months ago.

Would it be Wofford…

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