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3 posts categorized "Religion"

May 06, 2010

How God Feels About Justice

When I was on the junior high football team I had a bad habit of spearing running backs with my helmet. I'd run as fast as I could and head my opponent like a raging bull. There was a problem. I was only about 100 pounds soaking wet. At the same age, my 13 year old is 160. At any rate, one day I decided to pick on a rather large running back weighing in about 175. Centrifugal force was not in my favor. The next thing I knew, the coach had put some ammonia based smelling salts under my nose and I came to. Never had I seen things so clearly. My eyes were dilated so everything was bright, my mind was sharp, and I was violently cast out of a dark sleep. 

Sometimes God speaks in scripture the same way about what is important to Him. I thought this verse from the Message Bible was apropos regarding our last few conversations regarding sex trafficking, Craigslist, and how we approach it. It's also important in lieu of the fact that today is the National Day of Prayer:

Amos 5:21-25

"I can't stand your religious meetings. 

I'm fed up with your conferences and conventions.

I want nothing to do with your religion projects, 
   your pretentious slogans and goals.
I'm sick of your fund-raising schemes, 
   your public relations and image making.
I've had all I can take of your noisy ego-music. 
   When was the last time you sang to me?
Do you know what I want? 
   I want justice—oceans of it.
I want fairness—rivers of it. 
   That's what I want. That's all I want."

April 07, 2007

Easter Sunday

The Resurrection of our Lord and Savior!!! Christ Is Risen!

About the Icon: The Resurrection of our Lord

Christ - the central figure; He is robed in white to denote His Divinity. In some icons you will see the aureole (elongated halo) encompasses Him, this also symbolizes this brilliant Light; at His feet are the brass gates of Hades which He has demol-ished. Also visible are the keys and broken locks to these gates at His feet.

Adam our Forefather - being pulled from his tomb by Christ; he is portrayed as an old man with white hair and beard; the hymns of the Church speak of Adam being "recalled" to his primordial innocence by the Incarnation.

Eve our Forbearer - being raised from her tomb immediately behind the figure of Adam; she is portrayed as an old woman; the hymns of our Church speak of Eve being "set free" from her sin in Eden by the Incarnation.

The Righteous of the Old Testament - the group of figures on the ex-treme left represents those righteous individuals who lived and died before the Incarnation; the two figures are the Holy Kings, Saint David the Psalmist and his son, Saint Solomon the Wise.

The Righteous of the New Testament - the group of figures on the ex-treme right represents those righteous individuals who died after the Incar-nation but before Christ's death and resurrection. Saint John the Baptist and Forerunner is inf ront of this group.

Scriptural References
Epistle: Acts 1: 1-8
Gospel: John 1: 1 - 17

From The Theology of the Church

The Church teaches that while the body of Christ rested in the tomb on the Sabbath (the day after the Crucifixion), His soul descended into Hades. Prior to the Incarnation the gates of paradise were closed to mankind. Therefore, Hades, not to be confused with Hell, was the place where the souls of all went upon death. It was neither a place of reward nor a place of punishment. It had been likened to Death's "prison" where the souls of both the just and the sinners were confined. Since Christ actually died upon the Cross, Death claimed His soul for Hades. However, Hades re-ceived more than it expected ... it received the Giver of Life, who destroyed the power of Hades. This icon of the Resurrection portrays this concept and we have New Life and a Hope to live in this world!

February 21, 2007

Ash Wednesday

This year I've decided to take Lent seriously. Why? Because of what it represents. Lent represents a re-focusing of our lives from the hustle, the business, and the craziness of life. We make some 'readjustments' towards things that really matter - Loving God with our whole hearts and loving our neighbor as ourselves. If I had to be honest, I have let things creep in and be more important in my life than my relationship with Christ. Lent is about repenting and putting first things first in life.

Today, I attended an Ash Wednesday service at Christ the King. Great service, complete with ashes on the forehead and communion. I'm also following a traditional Orthodox Lenten Fast. It keeps me centered and focused and my Christian faith. There are even Bible Readings for Lent to assist you on your journey everyday. (If you're interested in any of this, click on what's blue). If you don't like any of those ideas, you can simply give up something important to you for Lent.

Do something during the Lenten season, and I promise you, Easter will have much more meaning and you will draw closer to God!