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Showing posts from February, 2007

Ephesians 4 (part1) - Unity in the Body of Christ

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Ephesians 4 (part 1): Unity and Love in the Body of Christ

I. Unity in the Body of Christ (1-16)
A. Called to Unity 1-3 “I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, 2 with all humility and meekness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, 3 endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”

-“walk worthy” of the calling...here Paul is primarily holding up the unity of the body of Christ. What else are we called to in the body of Christ? We are called to be saints, adopted as children, heirs of God, called to be holy (2 Pet. 1:15).

-The life here that leads to unity includes these virtues: humility, meekness, longsuffering, and bearing one another in love.

-Meekness is a great word, yet it is often associated with weakness in the modern world. Perhaps the rhyme throws us. It suggests self-control, stability, and being unshakeable regardless of circumstances. It was used in the firs…

St. Valentine

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Yes, St. Valentine was real!!

He was an early Christian martyr in the 3rd century. He was of the category of saints called "Holy Unmercenaries". Basically this means a physician saint who took no payment for services. He became friends with a Roman jailer and his blind daughter. He prayed for the daughter and tried healing her with various ointments, but to no avail. They picked flowers together and became fast friends. During one of the persecutions, Valentine was arrested. While in jail, the jailer heard of his imprisionment, and came to him. Valentine wrote a short letter to the jailer's daughter and the jailer promised to deliver it. The daughter opened the letter and one of the flowers they had picked fell out. The father read her the letter and all it said was "From your Valentine". The girl then miraculously regained her sight.

In the Orthodox church we celebrate St. Valentine's memory on July 6.

Here is a link to a wonderful icon of the …

Orthodox converts from the Far East

Recently I ran across an excellent site that chronicles multiple stories of men and women who converted to Orthodoxy from Hinduism, Buddhism, and other far eastern religions.

This is a culture and religious tradition that is mostly unknown to me.

However, on the surface many of Orthodox contemplative traditions may look similar to that of the Far East. This site debunks those ideas. There is a lot here and it is worth spending some time if there is an interest.

Here's the site: The Watchful Gate

Ephesians 3 - Mystery of the Body of Christ

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Ephesians 3

I. Paul servant of salvation

A. Paul’s Revelation 1-6

1. To the Gentiles: For this reason I, Paul, the prisoner of Christ Jesus for you Gentiles--

-Paul is talking about the revelation that he was given to bring to the Gentiles. This is the revelation that he was given on the road to Damascus. Gal. 1:15-17; Acts 9:1-22

2. Steward of the mystery of God’s Grace 2   if indeed you have heard of the stewardship of the grace of God which was given to me for you, 3   how that by revelation He made known to me the mystery (as I have briefly written already, 4   by which, when you read, you may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ),

-”steward” oikonomos - the steward of the house in those days was the man entrusted with the arrangements and administration of the house; the steward owned nothing but was entrusted by the master with the care of it.
-God has given to Paul the authority to speak and deliver this mystery to the Gentiles.
-whatever talent God ha…

Groundhogs and Ghana

This Sunday I mentioned a couple stories I read this past week.

The first was the connection between Groundhog Day and the Feast of the Presentation. Lori Balakos told me about this the year that we went through the 12 feasts of the church.

You can read that one here.

The other is a brief of story of the Orthodox Church in Ghana. They are celebrating their 25th anniversary. The story is here.