Two kinds of faith; whatever faith we have the Lord will respond: Jairus and the woman with the issue of blood.

The number 12 appears twice in the story of the raising of the daughter of Jairus and the healing of the woman with an issue of blood; this is not accidental. We see two kinds of faith – weak and strong, and the good news that the Lord will respond to even to weak faith, but we must also respond when He does! Of course, the whole point of His response to our weak faith is that it would become stronger! We look at the weak faith of Jairus and his necessary response to the Lord, and learn form the strong faith of the woman with an issue of blood. Also links to meditations on Psalm 118, verse by verse.

The Gospel proclaimed and its moral imperative: “For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works”. Ephesians 2:4-10. 23rd Sunday after Pentecost.

The Gospel is proclaimed succinctly in this classic and often misunderstood! passage from Ephesians. We go through it carefully, emphasizing that we must not only understand what Christ did for us, but also that this understanding places a moral obligation upon us. Every point made by the Apostle has a moral application to our daily lives, culminating in the significant, somewhat forgotten words (since they follow the famous and significant statement: "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God") "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." This is important stuff! At the end of the homily, a pastoral exhortation regarding what we MUST expect when we attend the liturgy or any service (and how to learn to do this by degrees) and the MOST important prayer that a pastor must have in his heart when he celebrates any service.

“On the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.” Why did the Lord say “patience”?

In the parable of the sower, the Lord concludes: “On the good ground are they, which in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit with patience.” Why did He specify patience as the necessary virtue, and not faith, hope, love, zeal, etc? We examine patience, and how it is the active aspect of faith, hope, love and many virtues. How can we increase our patience?

“Having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself…” – Basic (but not well known) Christology and what happened on the cross.

Colossians chapter 1 contains one of the most succinct and clear descriptions of Who Christ is, what He did, how the cross was involved, and what we must therefore do. It is “Christology 101” and we must understand it and act accordingly. This is not your Baptist Grandmother’s Christology or understanding of the cross!

Parable! of the Resurrection of the Son of the Widow of Nain.

The Resurrection of the son of the widow of Nain, like most miracles in the NT, must be read as a parable to receive the full benefit of its instruction. This miracle is our life in microcosm. We are both the woman and the boy in the “parable”, and the words “Weep Not” do not fully apply to us now, but they will. In our life we must weep, with purpose and hope, and also “stand still”, and only if we do this, will we receive the much anticipated words of our Savior, “weep Not”. Apologies for the sound quality. The homily was inadvertently recorded at too low a volume, and the audio was massaged by an incompetent sound engineer!

Why does a priest wear black? Joyful mourning, and the remembrance of death.

An answer to a question posed in a prison visit: “Why do priests wear black?”. The answer covers a lot of ground, from prison to abortion clinics to the pain of pastoral ministry and life in general for those who are paying attention, to Johnny Cash, who gave a superficially correct answer to this question, and of critical importance, “Remembrance of death” (which we speak of at some length) and “Joyful mourning”

“Launch out into the deep” – the first great catch of fish teaches about the Jesus prayer!

Synopsis: When Jesus commanded Peter to “Launch out into the deep, and let down your nets for a draught;”, He was giving a principle, by which, and only by which we will stand in the presence of God, even in this life. This principle is all over the Scriptures. It involves patience, courage, obedience and INTENSITY. Although prayer is not explicitly mentioned, it is also about prayer, and especially about the Jesus prayer. How and why must we “launch out into the deep”?