Sun, 26 May 2019
Homily on the Sunday of the Samaritan Woman; St. John 4:5-42. What are we to learn about water that is more than water and the secret food that sustained Jesus? Listen and find out!
Sun, 19 May 2019
St. John 5:1-15; Acts 9:32-42. Three lessons: A Life lesson from St. John Chrysostom: We must persevere, even when there is no clear solution. A moral lesson from St. Augustine: There is a time for being cared for and healed, but there is also a time for healing others. A theological lesson from St. John Chrysostom: God set it up this strange way to prepare us to understand the real healing that would come through baptism. Enjoy the show!
Sun, 5 May 2019
Homily on Belief
Does God hate doubt? Did he shame doubters? No, He had a different approach.
He wants us to know the truth; but this is MUCH less about facts than it is about us knowing Him as the God. In St. John 14:6, He says “I am the Truth...”
He does not want us to remain in doubt about Him, His power, or His redeeming love for us. He wants us to believe in Him. Again, in John (11:26), He describes how important this belief is: it is the only way to have real life. But He is patient and will draw the earnest seeker into belief.
But what does it mean to believe in someone? It means that you can trust that person, trust their intentions, and trust their power to do what it is they are saying they will do.
In a healthy marriage, a husband believes in his wife and the wife believes in her husband. In a healthy home, children grow up believing in their parents; they trust them, their intentions, and their power.
When that belief is gone, no actions are going to be able to save the relationship. A spouse that is convinced their partner is going to find evidence – even if the mind has to make it up – to support that. And so the whole dynamic changes; without belief their can be no connection; no blessed unity; no harmony; no “life”.
Christ is worthy of our Trust. His intentions towards us are clear: He loves us and desires us to have eternal joy with Him and each other. His power to do what He has promised is similarly clear: He has risen from the dead. And He has given us reminders of all this: we share in His Body and Blood in part to keep the reality of His promise alive in us. To help us drive away the doubt.
You have united yourself to Christ. You believe in His love and you have accepted that love. You believe in His power and you have accepted that power.
The mind will still come up with doubts; but that is what the mind does. It comes up with ideas. Over time, as we learn to really trust Him, these doubt will trouble us less. But in the meantime, don't be afraid of your doubts. As in any good relationship, bring them out into the open. This is the safe place to do that; not here during worship, but here in this community. I guarantee you that you won't be the first to express the ideas your mind has come up with; incredibly intelligent and well-educated people and experienced people have thought those thoughts.
If those thoughts were generated out of love and a genuine desire to know, then working out the answers here in God's presence will be a holy act. History shows this without exception. The answers may be hard to hear, but being good isn't always easy.
History also shows that if we use questions out of malice or a desire to mock God or His children, that we will learn nothing from our dialogue with Him. But malice is a poison; the only way to cure it is by pulling out the poison. Facts don't help at all.
One last note about doubt. When you believe, do it gently, patiently, and with love as you share it with others. God did not mind people who came to Him with questions because He knew the connection of honest dialogue would bring them into a relationship – that is to say, a belief – in Him.
But He had no patience with people who believed so strongly in the wrong things that they hurt others for it, especially when they did this in His name. (Pharisees)
So believe in Christ; believe in His love for you, and His power to bring you into the only life worth living.