18 March 2019

Banned Books of the Bible (VI): The Shepherd of Hermas

2019-03-18T15:29:43+00:00 March 18th, 2019|Podcast, Sermons|

Our final book we explore in the "Banned Books of the Bible" series comes from the first part of the Second Century - a popular text known as The Shepherd of Hermas. This book is a testament to the zeal of the early Christians for righteous living. In today's sermon, Father John focuses on the central theme of the book - that two "angels" (or natures) reside within us, warring for ascendancy. How do we feed the negative impulses within us? Listen and find the wisdom containing in this intense but powerful book from our ancestors in the faith.

12 March 2019

Banned Books of the Bible (V): The Acts of Paul and Thecla

2019-03-12T02:03:17+00:00 March 12th, 2019|Podcast, Sermons|

In this installment of the sermon series "Banned books of the Bible," Father John explores an early Christian romance called the Acts of Paul and Thecla. This story was widely popular among the early Christian churches. Thecla is presented as a powerful woman of faith in this document, and her life offers some very practical spiritual lessons for us today.

5 March 2019

Banned Books of the Bible (IV): The Gospel of Thomas

2019-03-05T14:37:29+00:00 March 5th, 2019|Podcast, Sermons|

What is the core identity you maintain of yourself in your heart of hearts? This Gnostic Christian text, discovered in 1945 in Nag Hammadi, Egypt, challenges its readers to contemplate their identity as children of the living God. The author of Thomas (Didymous - "the twin") hopes that you discover that you, like Jesus, possess part of the Divine in you - that you and he are, in fact, "twins." While Father John doesn't take the Gnostic theology which permeates this Gospel that far in this sermon, we are challenged to consider what it means to live as a child [...]

28 February 2019

Banned Books of the Bible (III): The Wisdom of Jesus, the Son of Sirach

2019-02-28T15:20:37+00:00 February 28th, 2019|Podcast, Sermons|

Today's "banned book" is a text written two centuries before the time of Christ, by a Jewish sage named Jesus. Like Proverbs, the book of Sirach is a collection of wisdom sayings. Father John's sermon focuses on several verses throughout the book on the topic of having a healthy relationship with money. This wisdom may surprise you!

11 February 2019

Banned Books of the Bible (II): The Book of Enoch

2019-02-11T00:38:50+00:00 February 11th, 2019|Podcast, Sermons|

This strange book from the second century B.C.E. was likely written by a Jewish mystic conveying visions of the stories of Genesis 5-6, written centuries earlier. In the Book of Enoch we encounter ideas that had significant impact on early Christian theological development as evidenced in the writings of the New Testament. In today's sermon, Father John explores the unique way that the Book of Enoch describes the origins and actions of evil in the world, and what we can learn from this as practical spiritual lessons for today.

4 February 2019

Banned Books of the Bible (1): I Maccabees – Take a Stand

2019-02-04T17:13:47+00:00 February 4th, 2019|Podcast, Sermons|

Father John begins a new sermon series looking at apocryphal books considered Scripture by various groups of early Christians. Today we examine the story of Judas Maccabee and his brothers overthrowing the rule of Antiochus Epiphanes. What might God want to say to us through this ancient story? Among other lessons, that people of faith must not be afraid to live differently in our culture, and to take a stand when God leads us to do so.

7 January 2019

Surrendering in Order to Understand

2019-01-07T17:57:35+00:00 January 7th, 2019|Podcast, Sermons|

Today we look at an action taken by another angel - this time the Angel of the Lord leading the Israelites through the desert and away from Egypt. When Pharaoh changes his mind and gives pursuit, the angel (in the form of a dark cloud) interposes itself between the armies of Egypt and the Israelites. One side of the cloud was deep darkness, while the other gave off brilliant light. What does this story have to say to us today? Father John explores the reality that two people can encounter the same battle in life, but have two very different [...]

30 December 2018

Re-evaluating Your God

2018-12-30T17:12:04+00:00 December 30th, 2018|Podcast, Sermons|

What should we make of the story of Abraham called to sacrifice his son, Isaac? Is this truly a test of faith, or is there more going on in this story that meets the eye? Today, Father John explores the traditional interpretation of Genesis 22, noting how problematic it is for many people. Offering an alternative interpretation based on the Hebrew text, this sermon ends with some surprisingly applicable lessons for today from a disturbing story in the Hebrew Bible.