Piety Hill Musings

The ramblings of the Rector of St. John's Episcopal Church of Detroit. Piety Hill refers to the old name for our neighborhood. The neighborhood has changed a great deal in the over 160 years we have been on this corner (but not our traditional biblical theology) and it is now known for the neighboring theatres, the professional baseball and football stadiums and new hockey/basketball arena.

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Location: Detroit, Michigan, United States

Sunday, December 12, 2021

An acceptable people in God's sight - Rector's Rambling for December 12, 2021

 Once again we find ourselves getting closer to the Holy Day on December 25, and yet the Church continues to look to the end times when Jesus returns to judge the quick and the dead.               The Collect for the Third Sunday in Advent harkens to the gospel lesson for the day concerning John the Baptist’s ministry to prepare the way for Jesus’ earthly ministry. Jesus tells us that John announces His arrival by bidding us to prepare through repentance of our sin.   This message of repentance is a universal message of the prophets!

The second half of the collect is a prayer for the ministry of the Church, and for the ordained ministry in particular.  We are reminded in the prayer that just as John prepared the way for Jesus’ earthly ministry, so the clergy and other ministers in the church are to prepare the world for the second coming of Christ by repentance and amendment of life so that we may be “an acceptable people in thy sight”.  It is a weighty charge of duty!

This Gaudéte Sunday Collect also sets a theme for three days that are commemorated the following Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday.  On these days we keep the Ember Days. 

The Ember Days are days of special intention where we are to pray for the ordained ministry, particularly for those who are preparing for ordination.  We also pray for all those who are involved in the ordination process; the parish, the diocese, and the seminary faculty and community.  Before the Bishop lays his hands on the head of an ordinand, that man has had to receive the endorsement of his parish’s rector and vestry, the bishop, diocesan commission on ministry and standing committee, and educated by the seminary faculty so that they can pass the canonical ordination exams.  It is a daunting process but one which is guided by the Holy Ghost and supported in prayer!