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St Peters Orthodox Church
41 minutes | Oct 17, 2021
The Kingdom of God is Near to Us: Session 6 "Pondering God in Our Hearts"
The Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ is such an incredible indication of how close our God came to us. If we are to gain the experience of how closely God and His Kingdom are to us, we must begin with seeing the wonder of the Incarnation itself. The Blessed Virgin Mary kept the wonders God did in, through, and all around her right in front of her pondering them in her heart. This must be the disposition of us all. Today we discuss what it means that we should ponder God and the wonder of all He has done and is doing in our hearts.
20 minutes | Oct 17, 2021
Christ in the Battlefield of Our Thoughts
October 17, 2021 - The battlefield of the Christian is the battlefield of the mind; our thought life. And in this battle, someone is going to be taken captive. Too often we get caught off-guard with our temptations and thoughts. Our thoughts then grow within us and eventually we come to agree with them and commit actions of sin. St. Paul tells us to take every thought captive. Today we talk about the discipline of being far more vigilant and watchful over our own thoughts. We also talk about turning to Christ in the earliest moments of our thoughts. When we do, it is Christ Who grants us His victory over our temptations and the demonic that seek only the destruction of our souls.
45 minutes | Oct 10, 2021
The Kingdom of God is Near to Us: Session 5 "In the Beginning God"
In order to understand the Kingdom of God made manifest through our Lord Jesus Christ and established on the earth as it is in heaven, we must begin by look at our Lord's Creation and ordering of all things. He did so in order that He might share Himself with us and that we might experience Him both in fellowship and through all that He had created. In this session, we focus on the first words of Scripture, "In the beginning God."
13 minutes | Oct 10, 2021
The Stages of Sin
October 10, 2021 - The definition of sin in the Orthodox Faith is falling short of that Nature of God. There are many ways we sin by this falling short and there are distinct stages that pave the way for sin in our lives. Today we have a look at these stages so that we can better recognize them. If we can do this, we can live a life of repentance in the earlier stages that bring about sin. And, if we can grow in this earlier repentance we can begin to experience the victory of Christ over sin in our own lives.
41 minutes | Oct 4, 2021
The Kingdom of God is Near to Us: Session 4 "The Antiphons of Creation"
The creation and re-creation of all things by God makes manifest to us Who God is and all that He has done. In the beginning all of creation was permeated and filled with the Divine life of God. God created the material and the immaterial in His marvelous act of creation. This same God is the God Who reveals Himself to all and through all. This revelation of God is the starting point to our experience of true reality; and reality is greater than just the material. Our Christian life is a life of re-creation. Our journey is to see and experience all things as they truly exist. This comes only by the experience of God in our lives, for Paradise is not a place created in the Middle East. Paradise is God and the experience of Him which is now available to all who dwell in Him.
18 minutes | Oct 4, 2021
A Living Remembrance of God's Mercy
October 3, 2021 - Today we hear of Christ healing the ten lepers from the Gospel of St. Luke 17. After the ten are healed only one, the Samaritan, returns to Christ to offer Him praise and glorify Him for healing his disease and releasing him from shame. Jesus looks at Him and says, "Your faith has saved you." Why did He return? The answer to this shows us the faith that saves us all. That faith is the pattern of our bringing our need for mercy to Christ. When we do so, we receive the experience of the profound mercy of God. And those who experience the ongoing mercy of God in their lives grow to love God in such a way that they offer their very lives to Him; love responding to the love that was given.
43 minutes | Sep 27, 2021
The Kingdom of God is Near to Us: Session 3 "Koinonia Fellowship with God"
If you want to know what the Christian existence is to be like, indeed what the experience of God and His Kingdom in our lives is there to be had, then look no further than Jesus' prayer for us in the Gospel of St. John 17 just before His Passion. He prays, "My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me." We were created for the most intimate fellowship with God. We were created that God may share all He is and has with us and for us to share ourselves with Him. This is the koinonia, the fellowship, we were created to enjoy with God. And this is what has been made available once again by the finished work of Jesus Christ on our behalf.
17 minutes | Sep 27, 2021
The Church as the House of Healing
September 26, 2021 - When the Hebrew Lawyer asked Jesus "Who is my neighbor?", Jesus responds by telling the Parable of the Good Samaritan. In this parable, according to the Church Fathers, the Good Samaritan is none other than Christ our God. The Inn that He brings the broken and wounded man into is His Church. We see in this timeless parable the wonder that Christ our God has indeed shared His ministry with us, His Holy Church. The Incratate ministry of Christ reconciling man back to God will continue to the end of the age through those who are His disciples.
48 minutes | Sep 20, 2021
The Kingdom of God is Near to Us: Session 2 "Renewing Our Minds to Experience the Kingdom"
St. Paul says in Romans 12 that we are not to be conformed to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of our minds. The patterns of this world lead us to experience a two-story reality regarding the Kingdom of God. We live on the first floor while God and His Kingdom exist on the second floor as if God is not everywhere present and filling all things. For us to experience the Kingdom of God, the very reality inaugurated on behalf of mankind by the Incarnation, we must be transformed by the renewing of our minds. This session discusses the posture of the Christian that will pave the way for the renewing of our minds towards the very real experience of Christ and His Kingdom in our lives.
16 minutes | Sep 20, 2021
We are the Body of Christ
September 19, 2021 - When Christ our God healed the deaf and mute man, He put His fingers in His ears and commanded them to be opened. He also spat and touched the man's tongue and at once he could speak. So you see the physicality of just how near God came to that man? In this sermon, we are reminded that being called the Body of Christ is more than a metaphor; it has become a reality. God continues to come near to mankind to heal and to save. He does so enfleshed in us, His Church.
47 minutes | Sep 13, 2021
The Kingdom of God is Near to Us: Session 1 "An Introduction to the Series"
Today is an introduction to this series. In it we discuss the secularization of our faith; that we have had a tendency to compartmentalize God in our lives rather than God and His Kingdom permeating every aspect of our lives for our salvation. Jesus Christ was incarnate specifically to bring the fullness of the Kingdom of Heaven to earth for our experience of Him; again, all for our salvation. This series, we pray, will break down any thoughts where we have been deceived to believe and live as if God and His Kingdom are distant at any moment of our lives; to the end that we might have realized in our daily lives all of the benefits Christ has bestowed upon us by His Kingdom being manifest on earth as it is in Heaven.
15 minutes | Sep 13, 2021
The Faith our Lord Desires: Persistence & Humility
September 12, 2021 - In the Gospel of St. Luke 18 our Lord Jesus Christ asks, "When the Son of Man returns, will He find faith on the earth?" What faith is our Lord seeking to find in the souls of mankind? The answer to this is in the two parables He tells around this question. One parable shows us that an attribute of this faith is one who persistently comes, again and again, to Christ pleading for and experiencing His mercy. The other parable tells us that an attribute of this faith is absolute humility before Him. Today we examine both of these parables in the hope that the faith our Lord seeks grows within us all of our days.
13 minutes | Sep 9, 2021
Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary
September 8, 2021 - The beginning of the Liturgical Calendar is September 1st each year. Yet the first of the 12 Major Feasts of the Church, the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary is held on the 8th day of September. Why the 8th day? The theology of the 8th Day runs throughout our Faith. Tonight we remember why the Birth of the Mother of God is celebrated on this particular day. We also reflect on the reality that both her conception and birth shows forth what would be fulfilled through her Son, Christ our God; that is, the casting down of the shame of the fall of mankind.
18 minutes | Sep 6, 2021
The Lament of Christ our God
September 5, 2021 - When Jesus entered Jerusalem at His Triumphal Entry, He looked at the city and wept tears of lament. He wept over the condition of their souls and blindness of their hearts that would reject every inexhaustible benefit He can come to offer, and that rejection would keep them suffering the lesser condition of living that is the result of the Fall of Mankind. Through what lens to we see the souls in the culture outside of the Kingdom of God today? Does it stir up anger, disgust, angst, or even worries. This reflection calls us to walk in such fellowship with Christ that we participate in His Divine Nature towards those outside of the Church; that we mourn and lament over the condition of their souls as Christ weeps over them.
19 minutes | Aug 29, 2021
And God Gave Them Over...
August 29, 2021 - "And God gave them over..." That phrase should put such a holy and righteous fear into God's people; a blessed fear that drives us always toward God and to remain in Him all of our days. Today we look at the Parable of the Prodigal Son coupled with the words of St. Paul from both 1 Corinthians 10 and Romans 1 regarding the warning this blessed Apostle gives to us. God's people passed through the waters of the Red Sea and became His people; a people released from bondage and freed to follow and worship Him. But they were adulterous over and over again towards God and He gave them over to their will, their passions, their desires.
16 minutes | Aug 22, 2021
The Holy Spirit as the Wind & Rudder of the Soul
August 22, 2021 - What is it that governs your life? What is the wind in the sail of your soul and where is that wind currently taking you? The fruit born in our lives helps us answer that question. Either we will be living by the flesh, the sin nature put to death in Christ. If we do, chaos will overcome peace. Fears, anxieties, and despair will be the fruit born from living from our flesh. Or, we will live with the Holy Spirit being our wind and rudder. The fruit born of a life in and by the Holy Spirit is the fullness of the experience of the Kingdom of God in our lives. A life where the peace of Christ and true joy are realized in our lives. And nothing this life could ever throw at us can shake us and disturb our life in Christ.
15 minutes | Aug 15, 2021
Feast of the Assumption: The Resurrection of Us All
August 15, 2021 - Fr. Thomas Hopko wrote, “In the Orthodox Church the Virgin Mary is the image of those who are being saved. If Jesus Christ is the Savior, Mary is the image of the saved.” When we look upon the Blessed Virgin, we see ourselves; we see the Church. This is true regarding the event of the Blessed Virgin's falling asleep and her translation into Paradise by her Son. As we look at this today, we have placed before us the great and very real hope of every Christian; that is, those who remain in Christ will be resurrected on the last day to dwell with Him and one another for eternity.
16 minutes | Aug 8, 2021
Communing with God in the Most Simple Ways
August 8, 2021 - Sometimes we can err in overthinking the concept of fellowship with God. The reality is God became man to bring God and His Kingdom to us in our lives. We need to remember the very simple yet profound ways we can find and experience the reality of God in the most daily and mundane routines of our life.
12 minutes | Aug 7, 2021
Ascending the Mountain of Prayer
August 8, 2021 - Our Lord Jesus Christ led Saints Peter, James, and John up the mountain to pray. As Jesus was praying, He was transfigured right before their eyes. As they ascended the mountain his appearance was that of a mere human. As He prayed, the glory of His Divinity shone upon and from His body. The Early Church Fathers teach us so many things regarding the Transfiguration of our Lord. Tonight we focus on their teaching that the Transfiguration shows us the path to be healed of our humanity and be transformed to shine from the nature and virtues of Christ our God. That path is to ascend the mountain of prayer. For it is fellowship with God that heals and transfigures the human soul.
19 minutes | Aug 2, 2021
Becoming a People Who Forsake All to Follow Christ
July 25, 2021 - On the Feast Day of St. James the Greater, we remember the calling of the first disciples. At the experience of Christ our God, they forsook all and followed Him. Today we examine what it means for us to forsake all and follow Christ as His disciples. We also hear the very important truth regarding what it takes for any human to do so. Without the experience of Christ and His mercy, who would forsake all and offer their entire lives to Christ.
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