The appointed Gospel for the Church’s daily prayer is taken from Luke where we hear the story of the king who gave his servants funds to invest while he was gone. Interestingly, this parable is preceded by the story of Zacchaeus where we are told why God sent His Son, Jesus:
Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through it. A man was there named Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax-collector and was rich. He was trying to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was short in stature. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree to see him, because he was going to pass that way. When Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, ‘Zacchaeus, hurry and come down; for I must stay at your house today.’ So he hurried down and was happy to welcome him. All who saw it began to grumble and said, ‘He has gone to be the guest of one who is a sinner.’ Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, ‘Look, half of my possessions, Lord, I will give to the poor; and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will pay back four times as much.’ Then Jesus said to him, ‘Today salvation has come to this house, because he too is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek out and to save the lost.’ (Lk. 19: 1-10).
Jesus came to “seek out and to save the lost.” Who among us is not lost? We are all lost. Some of us are lost in addictions of all sorts: alcohol, food, drugs, sex. Some are lost in loveless families. Some are lost in abusive relationships. Some are lost in sickness. Some are lost in fear. Some are lost in confusion. Some are lost in self loathing. Some are lost in despair. Some are lost in loneliness. Some are lost in hunger and poverty. Some are lost in abundance and wealth. You know how lost you are.
But here is the Good News: Jesus, the Son of Man, came to seek out and to save the lost. Jesus came to seek out and to save everyone who is lost. Christ came to seek you out and to save you. Jesus came to seek me out and to save me. Jesus then takes those of us who were once lost, but are now found, and He invests in us giving us talents to use for building God’s kingdom. God expects a return on His investment from those of us who were once lost.
Let us pray: Holy God, heavenly Father, you formed me from the dust in your image and likeness, and redeemed me from sin and death by the cross of your Son Jesus Christ. Through the water of baptism you clothed me with the shining garment of his righteousness, and established me among your children in your kingdom. But I have squandered the inheritance of your saints, and have wandered far in a land that is waste. Therefore, O Lord, from these and all other sins I cannot now remember, I turn to you in sorrow and repentance. Receive me again into the arms of your mercy, and restore me to the blessed company of your faithful people; through him in whom you have redeemed the world, your Son our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
St. Augustine will be hosting World Aids Day in Galveston on Saturday, 1 December 2012 starting at 1 p.m. and ending at 5 p.m. This event will not only provide important information about HIV/AIDS, but we will also have HIV/AIDS testing, food give-aways, a hot dog lunch, music and much more. Please join the various agencies involved, including St. Vincent's House, the Gulf Coast Center, Aids Coaloition of Coastal Texas and others, in this annual event.
RBC Kids: Jillian and Jo want to thank our St. Aug's family for adopting the Rainbow Connection as your Christmas outreach this year. The Rainbow Connection is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to serving children living with cancer or blood disorders, and their families. Activities include: The Rainbow Connection Camp, community education, holiday parties, parent support activities, quarterly newsletters, and outings. We have a Christmas party for them each year, with a Santa shop where the children may choose a few gifts. As mentioned in Church, we are most in need of gift cards and gifts for teenagers. If you'd prefer, you can give a cash donation to Jillian. We will be shopping for gifts on December 12, and would appreciate having all donations in hand by then.
Advent begins on Sunday, 2 December, as well as our new Adult Christian Education series from Kerygma on Handel’s Messiah where we will explore:
Comfort, Comfort My People
Who shall Abide the Day of His Coming?
For Unto Us a Child is Born
Glory to God in the Highest
PRAYER LIST: Please remember everyone on our Prayer List, especially Caleb Boyer who is recovering from surgery, all of those who are unemployed, all of those serving in the Armed Forces, Izzola Collins, Gladys, Patricia and Betty.
Your servant in Christ,
Fr. Chester J. Makowski+St. Augustine of Hippo Episcopal Church
Galveston, Texas 77550