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Thursday, March 29, 2018

     “Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has contentions? Who has complaints? Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes? Those who linger long at the wine, those who go in search of mixed wine. Do not look on the wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it swirls around smoothly; at the last it bites like a serpent, and stings like a viper. Your eyes will see strange things, and your heart will utter perverse things. Yes, you will be like one who lies down in the midst of the sea, or like one who lies at the top of the mast, saying: ‘They have struck me, but I was not hurt; they have beaten me, but I did not feel it. When shall I awake, that I may seek another drink?’ Do not be envious of evil men, nor desire to be with them; For their heart devises violen...

Saturday, July 1, 2017

So you also must consider yourselves (λογίζεσθε ἑαυτοὺς) dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus. Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal bodies, to make you obey their passions.” (Rom 6: 11-12)

Well that’s easier said than done, some of us might say, as we dismiss this passage for all practical purposes. After all, does it really matter what we “consider ourselves,” or don’t “consider ourselves,” when it comes to sin’s “reign in our mortal bodies”? Does our perspective or view of ourselves matter, when our “mortal bodies” call to us to “obey their passions”?

Yes, perspective does matter. The words I tell myself matter, and have power. Because I, as a human being, am made up not only of the “powers” and calls of my “mortal body,” or its unreflected “emotions.” Contrary to the small...

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God sent the Son into the world, not to judge (ἵνα κρίνῃ) the world, but that the world might be saved through him. He who believes in him is not judged (οὐ κρίνεται); he who does not believe is judged already (ἤδη κέκριται), because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment (ἡ κρίσις), that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed...” (Jn 3: 16-20)

The words used here for “judge/judged/judgment” (provided above in Greek) all stem from the verb “κρ...

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Deacon: “Let us love one another that with oneness of mind we may confess:”
People/Choir: “Father, Son, and Holy Spirit: Trinity, one in essence and undivided.” (Byzantine Divine Liturgy, just before the exchange of the Kiss of Peace)

Tomorrow is “Forgiveness Sunday,” when in our churches we have a special, pre-Lenten Rite of Forgiveness (asking forgiveness of, and forgiving, one another). But of course we have a Rite of Forgiveness at Divine Liturgy every Sunday as described above, just before we proclaim our common faith in the Creed and begin the central, Eucharistic Prayer. This “Rite of Forgiveness” often goes unnoticed, since it is only the celebrating clergy who actually exchange the “kiss of peace,” and they do so in the sanctuary. Nonetheless, the call of the deacon, “Let us love o...

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