Scripture for Orthodox Christians to memorize

We have started a new routine at St Nicholas. I want my flock to be more scripturally literate. I am taking a page from the Protestants, who memorize the bible frequently. They memorize things they often do not completely understand – we have the true faith, and the precise exposition of the bible is present in all our (often neglected by the majority) services, and yet, as a people, many of our bibles are dusty! This should not be.

Here is the first scripture I chose. I have no idea how I am going to choose scripture to memorize. I have a zillion favorites, and there are are zillion important scriptures. I will probably use the church year as a guide, so for our first scripture,. I chose something from the Apostle Peter, since we are in the Apostle’s fast. I hope we can get something from St Paul memorized before the end of the fast.

All scripture will be at http://www./orthodox.net/scripture-memory

It will be in PDF and Word fornats, suitable for printing, and dividing into quarters.

A good beginning. We all must leave our nets or we will never come close to fulfilling the beatititudes. 2nd /Sunday after Pentecost

On this day, commemorating All Saints of Russia on the 2nd Sunday after Pentecost, we read the beatitudes, and the first Gospel tells us what we MUST do it we are to have any chance whatsoever to fulfil the beatitudes (and we are called to do this!). The calling of the apostles Peter ans Andrew and James and John is recounted. The Gospel is short, but very specific: both pairs left their nets, that is, left everything, and followed Jesus. We must have this sort of dedicated beginning in order to endure to the end. It gets hard in the middle, and if we do not begin with dedication, and constantly remember our original dedication, we will never make it to salvation. What does “leaving their nets” mean for us and how can this resolute act help us?

Celebrating Sanctity. How To Become A Saint. Sunday of All Saints 2011

It is apropos to celebrate All Saints on the Sunday after Pentecost, because with the coming of the Holy Spirit, coupled with all the effects of the incarnation, we have the ability to become holy – in fact we are commanded to become holy (“saint” means “holy one”). The readings today focus on how we can become holy. We must have true, living faith – we discuss what faith is (it is not mere belief in something!), and confess the Lord Jesus Christ before men (we discuss what “confession” is – it is not just what we say, but also what we do and who we are – and it is especially difficult in our day, because the spirit of the age permeates and pollutes everything). We also discuss what it means to “take up our cross”, and “run with patience the race that is set before us”.

Exegesis Of Sunday Of All Saints Vespers Parables.

The “parables” of Vespers are OT or sometimes, NT readings, which elucidate the meaning of the feast. Since this is the Sunday of All Saints, these 3 OT readings describe sanctity – holiness (the word “Saint” means “holy one”). Saints, which we are also called to be, are witnesses who are misunderstood by the world of sinners, and their virtues are described, much like the apostle Paul described virtues in the passage in Ephesians which described the armor of faith (Ephesians 6:13-17)

Sunday of All Saints – Several Homilies

Several homilies on the Sunday of All Saints.

One explores what “Confession” in Christ really is. It *is* many things!
Another explores what being a Saint really means.

Another has many hard words that must be heard! It describes the arduous task of confession Christ against the Spirit of this age. Check yourself against these words, and open your eyes to see this age and whether or not you are conformed to it.

In order to be a saint, we must be holy. “Saint” actually means ???holy???. In fact, we are commanded to be holy. If we don not become holy we have no part with Christ. Christ came to help us to become holy. He gave us the ability, but we must have the desire and the effort. We are not only called but also commanded to be holy. So to be a saint is to be holy. This is not the calling only of those holy ones we have on our walls, but it is the calling of every person….

Sunday of All Saints, First Sunday after Pentecost. Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven

Excerpt:

“Everyone that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children or lands for My Name’s sake, shall receive a hundred fold and shall inherit ever-lasting life. But many that are first shall be last, and the last shall be first.”

This describes in microcosm the life that pleases God… These readings contain not only the encouragement and this incredible joy that we should feel about the grace of God; they also contain a blueprint, a path of how to live. Not only how to live, but also how not to live. The promise is there, that also contains, very, very clearly for those who have ears to hear and eyes to see, what happens when a man does not follow Christ…Our Lord said,

“Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.”

This is a fundamental characteristic of righteousness, to confess the Lord Jesus Christ. And how do we confess Him? With our lips and with our actions; with our priorities and with our way of dealing with people; with what we say is important and what we show is important. There are some obvious things that you could have come to mind. We confess the Lord by showing that we care about Christianity, that we live our life in a moral way. The entire world has gone off unto Sodom and Gomorrah, but we cannot do this. We must have the courage to stand against it, to stand against every form of immorality and vice. This is the confession of Christ.

Now there is a new form of Christianity in name only. It’s been around now for quite a good many years. In fact, you really can see the beginnings of it in Apostolic times. But certainly, in the past few hundred years of the post enlightenment age, it has been codified that this is an acceptable way of life.

This way of life confesses Christ with the lips, but not with action, not with morality, not with the way we live, not with the way we order our lives. The new Christianity, from which the Orthodox are not immune, has a sort of dichotomy between belief and action. But there is no such thing. This is the great lie. Faith without works is dead. There is no dichotomy between action and belief. And if you do not live according to what you say you believe, then you are not confessing Christ. And we’ve been given everything we need to confess Him. We’ve been given the Holy Spirit, the comforter, Who lives within us if indeed we make a place for Him, if indeed we clean out our soul, and garnish it and sweep it out with effort and desire. And He will help us in all things. But if we do not live righteously we are not confessing Christ.

Now there are other practical things. In our modern society we are constantly in social situations. Are you afraid to make the sign of the cross before you have your dinner in a restaurant? If this is the case, you should weep and lament and pound your breast and ask God’s forgiveness for this, and do it the next time. Are you afraid among your friends or among your business associates or whomever else you come across in your daily walk of life to show your priorities and the Christian way of thinking, or do you change your priorities based upon the vicissitudes of your life, maybe so you are not in trouble, or so nobody thinks badly of you, or maybe just so that you are not inconvenienced? This is not confessing Christ, either. …

Sun of All Saints 2009. Audio Homily. I want you to be ready.

Synopsis:

In order to be a saint – “Holy” – we are commanded to become holy – we must have desire and effort, and God will help us. If we do not have this desire and effort, God will not help us, and He will have no part with us.

We must, as the Lord says. “Confess” Him. He says something great and terrible: Whosoever will confess me before me.

One must understand what it means to confess. To confess in the Lord is is to live as He taught us, to have the priorities He taught us to have. Confession involved living the tight way. You cannot confession the Lord and steal, or be an adulterer. We must confess with the lips also – stand for what is right as Christians. We live in an age where good is called bad, and bad good. Abominations are deemed healthy, and to even believe that abominations are bad is labeled as bigoted, or even mental illness.

Let’s not talks about politics, or parties, or particular people – let’s talk about the age we are in, and what we must do – who we must be – in order to confess Christ in this age. …

Pentecost If any man thirst… Three important things John 7:37-52,8:12. Text/Audio Homily

There are three very important things that are said in the gospel today. They?re right in a row. One is basically a question. The other is a command or actually, a suggestion, and the other is the result. We are celebrating today Pentecost, the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the disciples, the apostles and all the rest of the believers up to and including us – the Holy Spirit Who enlightens us, Who shows us the way of life, Who speaks to us in groanings that cannot be uttered. He tells us the things of God, the things of Christ; He enlightens us. But none of this, none of this will happen unless first we consider this very, very important question. And we must answer. When you answer a question, a Christian question, it?s not something that you say once. It?s something that you answer again and again and again…

What is praying in Jesus’ name? It is not adding a suffix!

In our day, many people who believe in Christ end their extemporaneous prayers with the ubiquitous phrase: “In Jesus name”, in large part due to an incorrect understanding of this verse: “Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you.” What does it means to pray in Jesus’ name? It does not mean to add a suffix to our prayers, but rather, to live according to His name, and then, of course, our prayers will be in accordance with His all-holy will. We explore this important idea.

Exegesis of the Parables at Vespers for Pentecost Numbers 11:16-17, 24-29 ; Joel 2:23-32 ; Ezekiel 36:24-28

The “Parables” for an important commemoration are read on the eve of the feast, and are usually from the OT, and they always elucidate the meaning of the feast in some way. We look at the 3 OT readings for Pentecost Vespers, which, among other things, describe the ministry of the Holy Spirit, the calling of the Gentiles, the promise of the sending of the Holy Spirit to all Christians, and a superb description of the human condition and how the Holy Spirit helps heal it. This last point may be the most important one, because of we do not recognize our need, we will not do everything in our power to have the Holy Spirit abide in us.