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542Re: Orthodox Sermons

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  • orthogrammy
    Jun 1, 2008
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      http://www.dynamispublications.org/

      DYNAMIS!
      A publication of St. George Orthodox Christian Cathedral
      Wichita, KS

      St. John 9:1-38 (6/1) CHRIST IS RISEN! Gospel, Sunday of the
      Blindman: 6th of Pascha



      Open and Closed Minds: St. John 9:1-38, especially vs. 24: "Give God
      the glory! We know that this Man is a sinner." Trying to hold a
      heart to heart conversation with someone who has all of life's
      mysteries `answered,' considers every question `settled,' and brushes
      away new insights with determined conclusions is both disappointing
      and enervating. By contrast, talking when others will freely examine
      life's basic questions, share from the heart, and look forward to
      learning from every conversation, energizes, lifts, and builds up the
      soul.

      In this present passage, the Pharisees' reactions to the healing of
      the man born blind exemplify classic, stubborn resistance to open
      dialog. Rather than welcome the man's healing as a sign of God's
      presence, they grew more adamant in opposition and argumentative
      concerning the Lord Jesus (vs. 22). The man who was healed, by
      contrast, exemplifies a heart and mind open to dialog and appreciative
      of God's mysterious workings in the world. Notice six ways the
      Pharisees defended against new truth even as the healed man embraced
      truth and Truth Himself.

      1) In accusing the Lord of violating the Sabbath (vs. 16), some of the
      Pharisees closed themselves off from the joy of the healing, though
      others of them could not accept their reasonings (Jn. 9:16). The one
      who was healed said, "He is a prophet" (vs. 17). Both in experience
      and by conclusion, he testified to God. "O taste and see that the
      Lord is good" (Ps. 33:8).

      2) The Pharisees sought to explain away what had happened by
      questioning a healing visible for all to see and by impugning the
      honesty of the witnesses: "Is this your son,who you say was born
      blind? How then does he now see?" (vs. 19). Here alone, three
      different attacks are made, but plain truth and simple replies force
      them to abandon their earlier approach

      3) "The Jews had agreed already that if anyone confessed...he would be
      put out of the synagogue" (vs. 22), exposes the hidden motives behind
      their persistent interrogation associated with the healing - the
      threat of social banishment. The man's parents rightly referred them
      to the man himself. The newly sighted man spoke for himself and God -
      and quite capably.

      4) "Labeling" is a tried and true method of intimidation to silence
      the truth. Notice that Jesus is called a "sinner" but no
      substantiating evidence is offered. In addition, they take the role
      of `impeccable' authority. Note the emphatic "we" (vs. 24),
      grammatically underscored in the original. The Jews retreated into
      "specialist" knowledge in order to assert a "truth" with no basis in
      fact - a familiar ploy: "Science has shown...," "All the evidence
      proves...," "Those who have looked into the matter know...." On the
      other hand, the blind man brushes aside all these tactics and plainly
      states the facts. "...though I was blind, now I see" (vs. 25).

      5) When it became clear that all the Pharisees tactics were failing,
      the Lord's opponents resorted to discrediting the witness himself.
      "You are His disciple, but we are Moses' disciples" (vs. 28). They
      also appeal to "higher" authorities and attempt to "expose" the facts
      of the case as worthless. They even attribute prejudice to the man
      who had been healed! The man's reply is a classic example of one who
      is growing in strength as he is attacked for his faith. He easily
      reaches the conclusion they reject: "If this man were not from God, He
      could do nothing" (vs. 33). They in turn continue to impugn the
      healed man's worth as a person (vs. 34).

      6) Finally, the Jews take the "ultimate" resort of the implacably
      self-assured: they thrust the man away from them rather than face his
      truth (vs. 34). When the man was thus rejected the Lord came to him
      and revealed Himself as God. Of course, the man worshiped Him (vs. 38).

      Illumine our hearts, O Master Who loveth mankind, with the pure light
      of divine knowledge, and open the eyes of our minds to the
      understanding of Thy Gospel teachings.

      Return to the June Calendar

      --- In LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com, "James Royal Prickett,
      Ph.D." <jimi@...> wrote:
      >
      > Here is a link to the written homilies of Fr. David Moser (ROCOR) of
      > Boise, Idaho:
      >
      > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/propoved/
      >
      > jr
      >
      > --- In LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com, <phos_hilarion@>
      > wrote:
      > >
      > >
      > > Thanks everyone!
      > > Among Lutherans it's common to find written sermons posted online
      > but I hadn't had luck in finding many Orthodox sermons. If they don't
      > write out their manuscripts that explains why. I suppose I should be
      > looking for podcasts instead. I have listened to Fr. Hopko via
      > podcast before and enjoyed it.
      > >
      > > Rosemarie, you're right on when you say that Lutheran sermons don't
      > discuss Love so much. Orthodox sermons are always talking about Love -
      > I also observe that the *Orthodox* are always talking about Love,
      > it's in the way you live and breathe it seems. It's what I find most
      > attractive about Orthodoxy.
      > >
      > > Peter, that sounds like the best compliment one could get! :)
      > >
      > > Christopher, "My local imam's sermons are far, far superior." - Are
      > you sure you ended up in the right building? ;) What is a
      > baladachine? Interesting & apt point about what the architecture
      > stresses as being the most important.
      > >
      > > Love in Christ,
      > > your little phos
      > >
      > > To: LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com
      > > From: rose.lieffring@
      > > Date: Thu, 29 May 2008 22:18:13 -0400
      > > Subject: Re: [LutheransLookingEast] Orthodox Sermons
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > >
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      > >
      > > I was thinking on this a bit more during my drive home
      > from work tonight and
      > >
      > > there was one very obvious difference in the sermons that I recall
      > when I
      > >
      > > first started attending the Orthodox Church. Orthodox sermons are
      > always
      > >
      > > talking about Love. Love within the Trinity, Love of God for us,
      > our love
      > >
      > > for neighbor. The priest asks a leading question and the answer is
      > Love.
      > >
      > > Always encouragement about this communion of Love. The Lutheran
      > sermons I
      > >
      > > was familiar with didn't discuss Love so much.
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > In fact I was listening to a AFR podcast of Father Thomas Hopko's
      > while
      > >
      > > driving and it wasn't but a few minutes after this thought came to
      > me when
      > >
      > > and sure enough...he started talking about love!
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > On Thu, May 29, 2008 at 4:32 PM, Rosemarie Lieffring <
      > >
      > > rose.lieffring@> wrote:
      > >
      > >
      > >
      > > > My priest does as Christopher's experience offers. He reads
      > some, prays,
      > >
      > > > makes some notes. I asked him about prepared sermons and he said
      > he speaks
      > >
      > > > to the people who are there so he isn't really tied to a word for
      > >
      > > > word prepared text. Quite honestly, he expects the Holy Spirit
      > to guide him
      > >
      > > > and from my vantage point, he is not left unaided.
      > >
      > > >
      > >
      > > > I think the sermons are different. Lutheran sermons are Lutheran
      > and the
      > >
      > > > Law and Gospel are intentionally and precisely separated. That
      > been my
      > >
      > > > experience in Orthodox sermons. The focus on a formula of first
      > terrorizing
      > >
      > > > consciences with Law and then soothing them with Gospel just
      > isn't there.
      > >
      > > > I suspect my priest's sermon would fail the Wilken diagnostic.
      > >
      > > >
      > >
      > > > When I took my Lutheran Lay Ministry studies I was taught that
      > Word and
      > >
      > > > Sacrament are equal means of grace but in the Orthodox Church the
      > focus of
      > >
      > > > the Divine Liturgy is on Christ in the Eucharist as Christopher
      > pointed
      > >
      > > > out. So...there is a difference then in theology/formula and in
      > importance
      > >
      > > > (priority) of the sermon which is I would expect to be detectable
      > to the
      > >
      > > > listener.
      > >
      > > >
      > >
      > > > Don't some of the Orthodox priests have sermon podcasts? Could
      > anyone
      > >
      > > > recommend some representative ones to phos?-----R
      > >
      > > >
      > >
      > > >
      > >
      > > > On 5/29/08, BPeter Brandt-Sorheim <donpedrogordo@> wrote:
      > >
      > > >>
      > >
      > > >> I vote for sermons that apply the gospel of the day.
      > >
      > > >>
      > >
      > > >> At school someone dissed me for giving a short sermon that was
      > too much
      > >
      > > >> like a patristic reading. I took it as a compliment despite the
      > intended
      > >
      > > >> put-down. Peter
      > >
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      > > _________________________________________________________________
      > > E-mail for the greater good. Join the i'm Initiative from Microsoft.
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      > >
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