Worship was held Sunday, February 12, 2023, at Ray Of Hope Church @ 10:30 a.m. in person and interactively on the Internet using Skype as we celebrate the second Sunday of Black History Month. Download the Order of Worship with weekly announcements: RIGHT CLICK HERE. See the Facebook Live recording of the worship event: Right Click Here.
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One theme in the readings for the day is "choice." God established choice as a free gift of our will during our human life. In the first reading, the book of Sirach or Ecclesiasticus, 15:20, we read God has not commanded anyone to be ungodly and has not given anyone permission to sin. Therefore, it is not God's will when people choose evil over good, be it individually, as a family, a city, a State, a Country, or in the world system. God allows us to choose between God's ways and the way of evil. The psalm response, then, is "blessed are they who live by the wisdom of the Lord."
The second reading is a continuation of last Sunday's second reading. St. Paul explains there is deep spiritual knowledge available in the church through the ministry of the Holy Spirit. Paul makes the valid point that brief in-person preaching is not the place for deeper considerations of God's will. Those who want to learn the deeper wisdom are certainly welcome to it, and there is the "choice" left up to each person. At Ray Of Hope Church (LGBTQSIA2ss+) we offer advanced education at no cost in our Tuesday evening Bible Enrichment Sessions and through our Vocational Ministry Training Program - our tuition-free seminary program http://www.rayofhopechurch.com/vmtp1.htm
The Gospel reading was shortened due to time. The sermon begins at 38:30 in this recording. You may advance through the recording to any place to hear portions or to repeat sections for your study purposes. In the sermon a discussion is heard on how LGBTQSIA2s+ people should understand "adultery," "divorce," and most interestingly a word rendered as "fool" which might mean "sissy" or "faggot," If it does, then Jesus is making a statement against what we call today homophobia. Much more is discussed and recorded on this tape regarding living "woke" and "Critical Race Theory."