February 12 2018

Recognizing Heaven

What if when we die, we all end up in the same place? What if we all end up in heaven? What if we don’t like being in heaven? The story of the Last Judgment found in Matthew 25.31-46 lays out the criteria Christ will use in our judgment. Are we able to see others in the same way Christ sees them? The story isn’t about making a list of required tasks, but rather whether how we see others. If we can’t see them in the same light that Christ see them, we may not recognize heaven when we get there.

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February 4 2018

When One Returns

The Parable of the Prodigal Son teaches more than just repentance. It also teaches those who “never left” that we are called to welcome home those who left the Church. When they return home, it will be our opportunity to restore them to the original honor and status they enjoyed before leaving. If we are unable to welcome them home, and be filled with the same joy as the Lord at their return, we will be the ones who find ourselves outside the kingdom.

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January 29 2018

True Christian Humility: A Call for God’s Mercy

The Church helps us see to silliness in having pride when it comes to our spiritual journey. “Thank You God! I’m not like all the other sinners in the Church!” If we ever witnessed a Church leader begin prayer with such a ridiculous prayer, we would turn away and run for the hills. On the other hand, Christian humility isn’t about calling ourselves ugly names either. True Christian humility is about being honest with where we are in life. True Christian humility helps us see that we are all sinners and we need God’s mercy.

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January 22 2018

Climb above Temptation

On the Sunday before Triodion the Church brings our attention to Zacchaeus. He was a short, rich, sinful tax collector who wanted to see Jesus. Since he couldn’t see over the crowd, he climbed above the crowd to see Jesus. When Jesus came to stay at Zacchaeus’ house, Zacchaeus promised to give half of everything he had to the poor, and return fourfold anything he had received through false accusation. It just took a little climbing and he was saved. We are surrounded by so many temptations that we can’t always see God. We need to climb above it and engaged in cleaning our souls to be ready to see our Lord.

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January 15 2018

God’s Point of View

From the time Jesus began to teach, He invited us to “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” (Matthew 4.17) This invitation from our Lord is crucial to our experiencing His love as heaven rather than hell. Since our ancestors fell trap to the devil’s temptation in the Garden, we humans have been looking at the world through our fallen eyes with our fallen human condition. When Jesus invites us to repent, He is challenging us to change our mindset, to change our view point, and look at the world from God’s point of view.

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December 31 2017

A Worthy Resolution; Happy New Year 2018

Most of us enter the New Year making promises for a better life, but normally our promises are based upon the physical blessings of life rather than the spiritual. This year, take the lead from St John the Baptist, who Christ called the greatest man ever to be born of a woman. St John the Baptist understood just how unworthy he was of the blessings that God had for him. Focusing in the New Year on our soul and growing closer to God rather than on the physical blessings will be a worthy resolution indeed.

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December 24 2017

If God Says it; He WILL do it

On the Sunday before Christmas, the Church reminds that God is good for His word. We hear the ancient genealogy of Jesus Christ from Abraham to Christ, as a reminder of the historical promise that God had made to His people to send a savior. On Christmas we celebrate the arrival of the Savior and God keeping His promise. Now we can look ahead to the last promise that God made, to return to rescue us from death once and for all.

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December 17 2017

It’s all about Family

With God as our Father and the Church as our mother, we are all invited to gather in the Church for the banquet which has been prepared. As a Greek Orthodox family, we have been invited to be in Church every Sunday. If some make excuses, then we must reach out to the rest of our family, those who God wants in His Church. God wants His family gathered for the banquet in His Church. Set your mind… “If it’s Sunday, I’m in Church!”

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December 11 2017

It isn’t the Letter of the Law; It’s the Love of the Law

“You broke the law! You should be kicked out!” While we don’t normally hear people use this exact language when discussing the Holy Canons of the Church, the attitude is quite common. Many of us get worked up about whether OTHERS are following the letter of the law, that we neglect to remember the love that God had in mind when He created the rules in the first place. In the Gospel lesson found in Luke 13.10-17, we hear about a woman who was healed by Christ on the Sabbath. The religious leaders watched with shock and anger the she would dare seek healing, or that Christ would dare to heal her on the Sabbath. The Church engages each of us through dispensation (also called economia) rather than strictness when considering the Holy Canons. If not, we would ALL be out!

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December 4 2017

Open Our Eyes to Others

Sometimes we get stuck with our blinders on during important functions in the Church. Sometimes we forget the needs of those around us who need time with God for healing and peace. When we take to the streets with special Church services, or just going about our day, we need to remember our purpose is to bring God to the world. There are too many around us who need His help. We must open our eyes to their needs.

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