How is the story of Scripture different from the stories that the culture tells us about ourselves, how we can find help, how we can succeed and be happy?
Though God sees each nook and cranny of our hearts, our minds, and our lives, he does not look away in disgust or shame, he looks beyond our messes and our wounds and he looks with love and compassion into the deepest part of ourselves. In our great neediness, God heals.
More than just reaching down, or reaching out, or touching to heal us, more than being a sort of doctor who binds up wounds and then sends us on our way, or a famous orator who gives an inspiring talk and then leaves us in our tracks, God desires a two-way street with us. God not only knows everything about us, we are not just open books to God, but in the Transfiguration, God shows that he wants us to know him, too.
The Kingdom of Heaven is not the same as the American society, or as Western culture, or as first-world standards. This may seem obvious at first glance, but if we dig a little bit deeper, the ways our minds are trained to think and the ways our hearts are trained to love might start to reveal something else. See Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52
The second in the Kingdom of God sermon series based on the parables in Matthew 13, Fr. Jordan explores what kind of place Jesus must be describing through agrarian examples and how to understand them in our modern sensibilities.
Maybe the parable of the sower/soils isn’t so much about types of people -- rocky, hardened, or thorny -- as much as it’s about the varied pieces of each of our own hearts.
"So, the truth, my friends, is that there is no other way. The tempter, that voice that’s sometimes in our heads and sometimes on our television screens and sometimes coming out of the mouths even of our friends and loved ones, is telling us a lie. Busyness or accomplishment does not bring hope or life or peace or a future. Addiction to alcohol or things that we see on screens or shopping or money or prestige does not provide security or help us to sleep at night. Not really. The God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, the God of Eve, he really does have our best interests at heart, he really does provide us hope and future, he really does love us and give us the very best. Yahweh really is the Lord of light."
A fond farewell, a burial in baptism, Hagar's lament, and the question of peace. In Father Paul's last sermon as Vicar of St. Augustine's he charges the church to take up the Cross of Christ. Texts: Genesis 21:8-21; Romans 6:1–11; Matthew 10:24–39, Proper 7, The Third Sunday after Pentecost.
In the heat of the day, three visitors come to Abraham's doorstep, and God's bringing his promises for Abraham's life to fruition. What does this mean for us?