Saturday, November 5, 2016

Preach the Kingdom

As this week I am just beginning a new ministry in Tarpon Springs, Florida, today’s Gospel rings loudly in my mind. Our journey on earth, no matter what our career is temporary. We are brought together for a short time to accomplish great things in the Name of the Lord. Some will receive us and other will not. Having served the Church in various capacities for 23 years, I can attest to this fact. I have seen souls healed and bodies healed, but I have also seen angry rejection of God’s kingdom.  Consider today’s Gospel Reading:
Luke 9:1-6 (RSV) - At that time, Jesus called the twelve together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal. And he said to them, "Take nothing for your journey, no staff, nor bag, nor bread, nor money; and do not have two tunics. And whatever house you enter, stay there, and from there depart. And wherever they do not receive you, when you leave that town shake off the dust from your feet as a testimony against them." And they departed and went through the villages, preaching the gospel and healing everywhere.
When we preach the kingdom and someone rejects us, we can’t think they are rejecting us. Jesus also said, "He who hears you hears Me, he who rejects you rejects Me, and he who rejects Me rejects Him who sent Me. (Luke 10.16) But that doesn’t give us the free reign to abuse others and demand our own agenda under some false pretense that we are God’s messengers. It requires humility and constant confession of our own sins to our spiritual father. How can we accuse others of rejecting Christ if we don’t constantly repent of the sins of pride that plague our hearts?

As I begin my new journey here at Saint Nicholas Cathedral, please keep me in your daily prayers. Pray that I don’t fall victim to my own passions. Pray that I am able to see my own sins rather than the sins of others. Pray that I do not lose sight of preaching the kingdom and being a healing presence for those I meet. 

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