Reformed Churchmen

We are Confessional Calvinists and a Prayer Book Church-people. In 2012, we remembered the 350th anniversary of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer; also, we remembered the 450th anniversary of John Jewel's sober, scholarly, and Reformed "An Apology of the Church of England." In 2013, we remembered the publication of the "Heidelberg Catechism" and the influence of Reformed theologians in England, including Heinrich Bullinger's Decades. For 2014: Tyndale's NT translation. For 2015, John Roger, Rowland Taylor and Bishop John Hooper's martyrdom, burned at the stakes. Books of the month. December 2014: Alan Jacob's "Book of Common Prayer" at: January 2015: A.F. Pollard's "Thomas Cranmer and the English Reformation: 1489-1556" at: February 2015: Jaspar Ridley's "Thomas Cranmer" at:

Friday, December 23, 2011

Friday after the Fourth Sunday in Advent

From Bishop Dennis Campbell, Anglican Orthodox Church.  The lectionary that he uses is the 1928 BCP.  (We, however, use the fuller and richer lectionary of 1662.)  Without developing those differences but noting the use of the 1928 BCP, the Rev. Campbell's commentary is helpful...St. John's text of Revelation comes before all serious readers in Advent.

Friday after the Fourth Sunday in Advent


Morning - Ps.147, 1 Sam 2:1-10, Lk. 1:57-66
Evening - Ps.148, 150, Jer. 23:5-8, Rev. 22:10-21

Tonight's reading takes us to the end of the book of Revelation, the "final chapter" in more ways than one. It shows the completion of the great story of redemption. In Revelation we have seen the Church go from terrible persecution to unspeakable joy. We have seen her enemies judged and punished, and we have seen the complete victory of God. His purpose was not defeated in Eden. Rebellion in the house of Israel could not prevent His victory. The crucifixion of His own Son did not defeat Him. The empires of the world, though they appear to us as powerful and terrible in their relentless tribulation of the Church, are as easily brushed aside by God as a speck of dust. Jerusalem is given over to the Gentiles. Rome is crushed as though it were nothing. God has marched through history, extending His Kingdom and vanquishing His foes until all enemies are put under His feet and Christ rules the restored creation in perfect peace and righteousness. Even the devil could not prevent God from fulfilling His purpose for His creation and His people. God used Satan as it pleased Him, and destroyed him when it suited His purpose. At the end of the battle, then, God reigns supreme. His enemies are destroyed, His people are saved, and His Kingdom is established forever. This is one of the most important messages of the book of Revelation.

A second, and nearly equally important message is stated several times in Revelation, one of which is found in this chapter; "blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book" (Rev. 22:7). To "keep the sayings" is to remain faithful unto Christ throughout the trials and tribulations of life. It is to overcome, as Christ said to the churches in the first three chapters. We overcome our enemies and oppressors by being faithful to God at any cost. It is those who overcome in this way who will eat of the tree of life (2:7) not be hurt of the second death (2:11) and feed on Christ by faith, the hidden manna (2:17). Therefore, let us stand fast in the faith. Let us never retreat; never bow to any "beast;"
never give up the faith. Then shall we reign with Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever. Amen.

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