Showing posts from October, 2008


Before posting the notes on Acts 2, I decided to place our lesson on Pentecost from last year first. This provides much of the background material to understand some of the significance of what is happening in Acts 2.

As the name Pentecost indicates (pentekoste), this second of the great Jewish national festivals was observed on the 50th day, or 7 weeks, from the Paschal Feast, and therefore in the Old Testament it was called "the feast of weeks." It is but once mentioned in the historical books of the Old Testament (2Ch 8:12,13), from which reference it is plain, however, that the people of Israel, in Solomon’s day, were perfectly familiar with it: "offering according to the commandment of Moses, on the sabbaths, and on the new moons, and on the set feasts, three times in the year, even in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles." The requirements of the three great festivals were then well understood at this time,…

Acts 1 - Intro & Ascension

The notes on Acts are merely comments that were made in our Adult Class at St. Michael Orthodox in Louisville. They are in no way comprehensive, and no substitution for reading the text. When posting them online, I will try to pretty them up a little so that they are more comprehensible than the notes I would use while teaching.

In effect the book of Acts is Luke part 2. This becomes apparent when comparing the introductions of both books. Luke addresses each to a person named Theophilus. The identity of the man is unknown, and some surmise it was a catechumen in the early church or because it means “lover of God” the name could refer to a generic new Christian or catechumen.

Luke was a physician and traveling companion of Paul; so many parts of the book are first hand accounts. He was a Gentile and is the only Gentile writer in Scripture

The book was written n the 60’s. We can determine this because he neither mentions the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 nor mentions the martyrdom…

Christianity in Ethiopia

The most that many Christians know about Christianity in Ethiopia is Deacon Philip's encounter with the Ethiopian Eunuch in Acts 8. Some may be familiar with the Queen of Sheba's brief encounter with Solomon in the OT, but this is as far as it goes. Ethiopia was one of the first countries to embrace Christianity en masse, and it was partly due to the Eunuch's witness.

Our parish has a significant population of Ethiopian Christians, and because of this I have had the wonderful opportunity to be introduced to their culture and piety. This past year our parish supported an orphanage in Ethiopian. One of our parishioners, Meskerem Eshetu, visited the orphange on behalf of the parish. Being native to Ethiophia, Meskerem decided to spend more time in Ethiopia and visit the holy sites that she had wanted to visit since a child.

This upcoming Sunday, October 26 at 9:30 am, Meskerem will be doing a presentation in our church hall on the orphanage as well as the history of Christ…

The Dynamic Horologion and Psalter

Yesterday I found a wonderful prayer resource on the web. It is called the Dynamic Horologion and Psalter. For the non-Orthodox, the Horologion is the service book for the prayers of the hours which includes: Vespers, Compline, the Midnight Service, Matins, First Hour, Third Hour, Sixth Hour & Ninth Hour. You can click on the service and the site will give you the service with the daily variable prayers and commemorations in place as well. There are multiple options available such as choosing particular Psalms, the current Kathisma (daily Psalm section), and daily Troparion/Kontakion (short chorus like prayers).

The designer of this work provides the following qualifications:
"Please note, this Horologion is not a complete Orthodox service book. Although it provides access to the normal weekly hourly services for non-feast days, it still lacks many features including the following:Canons and Akathists such as Sunday Midnight and the Akathist to the Mother of God.It current…

Sword in the Fire is back

I became a little lazy with the blog, and I am really backed up on Church School notes. Currently we are going through Acts, so I am going to try to get the notes caught up for Acts, and then go back to the previous lessons missed. By tagging the posts you could click on the tag and get everything in the category. So even if my chronological posting is off, one could still see all the notes together.

Here's a thought for the day that seems appropriate considering the blog title:

As at the rising of the sun over the horizon the shroud of darkness is removed from the face of the earth, so that it shows itself in all its beauty, so likewise when the love of Christ shines forth in the soul and the veil of the old nature is taken away, the light of Christ shines forth in it, and the hidden things that were not visible before are now seen by it. And as iron when placed in a fire has the fire pass into it to become one substance with it, the iron united with the fire assuming its liken…