Monday, July 18, 2011

Psalm 16: Spiritual Preservation of Christian Ministry

Psalm 16: Spiritual Preservation of Christian Ministry

Last week, the Gospel of Luke tells us that Jesus sent His disciples and apostles as lambs among wolves. This paradoxical directive to convert the world in a lamb-like manner meant many martyrs were devoured and many more since. Some suffer abuses even by the hands of those that say they serve God, as Jesus Christ foretold.

This week's Gospel (from Luke chapter 9) starts with the Apostles telling Jesus everything they have done when they were sent forth. Be sure that this includes their mistakes and their failures. Yet, Christ gives them a demonstration of His love for His followers by feeding five thousand with fives loaves and two fish, preserving them for the service and ministry in the future.

When we preserve anything in this world, we are trying to keep the forces of decay and corruption from destroying something important. Fr John Brian uses Psalm 16 to
remind us of the basic spiritual principles of keeping our service and ministry alive - against the forces of decay and death in this world.

These two readings from this Sunday of Pentecost can guide us in the difficult times Christian mission work in this modern world.

This sermon lesson uses the readings and services appointed from the Malankara Syrian lectionary and was given on Sunday, July 17, 2011 by Fr. John Brian Paprock at Holy Transfiguration Orthodox Mission Chapel, Madison, Wisconsin.

"We have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency may be of the power of God and not of us." 2 Corinthians 4:7.

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