Saturday 22 November 2014

Give what you have to the poor

A homily for Mark 10:17-31

Jesus looked straight at him with love and said, "You need only one thing. Go and sell all you have and give the money to the poor, and you will have riches in heaven; then come and follow me."

It is always wise to study a passage of Scripture in its context, rather than as a small fragment of text that is isolated from everything else in the Gospels. In the case of the passage from the Gospel of St Mark which we have just heard we would find that there were three people or groups of people whom Jesus met on the way that day.

The first group were some Pharisees who sought to tempt Jesus and came to him without any sense of wishing to learn anything for their salvation. They were hoping that he would say something which would expose him as a false prophet, or would allow them to seek his prosecution as a rabble rouser. They asked him questions about the Law, and especially that of divorce, but Jesus made it clear that their hearts were hardened and they were unreceptive to what he had to say. His words were like seed falling on hard, baked soil.

Tuesday 18 November 2014

Hate your father and mother?

If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.

This Gospel reading teaches us with strong and shocking words that we must not allow even our normal family and social relationships to stand in the way of service to Christ. If we have decided to follow Christ then it must be with our whole heart and soul and mind. Perhaps in the West it has become very easy for people to become Christians without considering the cost. Perhaps the Christian life has been presented to them in a one-sided manner where only the benefits are described, where Christ is our Saviour and Friend, as indeed He is. But He is more than that. He is our Lord and our King, and God Himself. He cannot be our Saviour and Friend unless we recognize Him as Lord and Master as well.

Friday 7 November 2014

The Orthodox Way of Prayer - Moorlands Lecture

Good morning to you all. My name is Peter Farrington, and I am a graduate of Moorlands Bible College. I think I finished my three years of study here in 1988. I completed the Moorlands Diploma and then stayed to take the Advanced Diploma in Mission Studies. I am from an evangelical background in the Brethren, but I became Orthodox in 1994, and was ordained a priest and pastor of the Orthodox Church in 2009. I belong to the British Orthodox Church, a small missionary community within the much larger Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria and I am an Orthodox missionary supporting the development of new communities of Orthodox Christians in various places around the UK.