Monday, April 21, 2014

Christ is Risen!

Christ is risen~!

As we rest and put things back in their place, and get back to normal...   I remember the advice a friend gave me as I was moving away from home for the first time.   "Nothing is ever the same after you leave." These words encouraged me as I was far from home, knowing that what I was missing was no longer there.  I was being changed by my new experiences and they were being changed in a different direction by experiences we no longer shared.

I pray that you find a new normal, having been changed by the preparation of Holy and Great Lent.  I pray that as you settle back into your routines you are finding things need to be adjusted.  You might no longer be entertained by the same TV shows or radio stations.  Maybe you are finding life a little too loud and demanding of your attention.   You might even be missing the peace of the worship services.

Christ is risen!  Life is new! 

Galatians 4 (1-7)
 Now I say that the heir, as long as he is a child, does not differ at all from a slave, though he is master of all,  but is under guardians and stewards until the time appointed by the father.  Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the world.  But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law,  to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.
And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, “Abba, Father!”  Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

And Then There Was One.

Here we are!  ONE WEEK Left! 

You might be thinking, "I can't believe there is only one week left."  or  maybe even. "Oh my!  I will never eat spaghetti again!"  Either way, the season is ending and our lives will soon be returning to normal...

Hopefully it is a new normal.   Our experiences these past 6 weeks should have affected us and moved us to a deeper awareness or stronger connection to God and the needs of our souls.  At least I pray that was the result.  Some times the food, even though we are fasting, just gets in the way and distracts us from the real purpose of Lent.  Not that we shouldn't fast but that we should have done a better job of experiencing the whole process.. prayer and fasting and charity.   It's like a three legged stool.  All three legs are needed for balance. 

I don't want to say it's too late, because St. John Chrysostom wrote a lovely sermon on how everyone, even at the Eleventh Hour, is welcome to join in the joy of our Lord's resurrection.  This is the beauty of God's grace. 

But that soon this season of Lent will pass and we will all move on to focus on other things. 

I pray you have a blessed Holy Week and that these post have been helpful along you journey. 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Palm Folding Refresher

Did you forget how to fold a palm into a cross?  This video might help awaken the gray cells.

Saturday, April 05, 2014

And Then There Were Two

Yes, you counted correctly!  Only two weeks left.  How is it going?  Are you ready for the big day?  Have you prepared?  Have you fasted?  Have you shown charity?  Have you gone to any of the special services?  Or do your days look the same as any other week in the year? 

What are you waiting for?

We fast, pray and show charity not only because our Lord has called us, (which just doesn't seem like good enough reason for some people)  but because it works to aid us in spiritual growth.  How do we know it will help?  Holy men and women throughout the CENTURIES, have witnessed to this.  They have written and instructed to this fact.  If you are striving to live a holy life, one set apart that pleases God, then you would be smart to follow the path of other who have paved the way.

If anyone is devout and a lover of God, let them enjoy this beautiful and radiant festival.
If anyone is a grateful servant, let them, rejoicing, enter into the joy of his Lord.
If anyone has wearied themselves in fasting, let them now receive recompense.
If anyone has labored from the first hour, let them today receive the just reward.
If anyone has come at the third hour, with thanksgiving let them feast.
If anyone has arrived at the sixth hour, let them have no misgivings; for they shall suffer no loss.
If anyone has delayed until the ninth hour, let them draw near without hesitation.
If anyone has arrived even at the eleventh hour, let them not fear on account of tardiness.
For the Master is gracious and receives the last even as the first; He gives rest to him that comes at the eleventh hour, just as to him who has labored from the first.
He has mercy upon the last and cares for the first; to the one He gives, and to the other He is gracious.
He both honors the work and praises the intention.
My Friends, it's the ninth hour.  How you haven't been convinced to join us up to now amazes me.  But now that we are left with two weeks, I hope you set your goal to experiencing even this small amount of the Great Fast that remains. 

For those of you who were in at the first hour, do you see the end approaching?  Do you remember as in years past that joy and salvation is coming closer now than ever before.  Stay in the race.  Don't give up now. 

Soon we will be cracking red eggs and shouting, "Christ is risen!"  Soon this holy season will be over.