Sundays:  Pastor's Class 9:00 AM (Ephesians)
               Divine Liturgy 10:30 AM

Wednesdays: Pastor's Class 10:00 AM (Psalm 119 deep dive)
                    Divine Liturgy 7:00 PM



Be Strong And Courageous


"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go." (Joshua 1:9)

People are sick of masks, social distancing and the unending assault of the media, medical establishment, politicians and sadly churchmen! with their specters of mass death. To hear them tell it the world will be littered with dead bodies by Fall unless you wear your mask today.

When I say people are sick I do not mean it as a metaphor. While masks and social distancing may have saved some from bodily illness, they have made our entire nation mentally ill, and spiritually ill. 

I will not enter the fray except to say that there is a different set of facts regarding everything coronavirus that has been quarantined and masked; that has been kept at a social distance, but not an unreachable one. You can find these on youtube and elsewhere. 

People need people. They need to be physically close and intimate with each other, and not afraid of one another. They need to touch and hug and hold hands and shake hands. They need to see each other's faces and smiles!

To create distance and division by cold fiat is not merely an inconvenience, it makes people sick. It causes slow death by sorrow, and rapid death by suicide. It intensifies every trouble, and clouds every joy. 

Come to your senses people! "Be strong and courageous."

In times of trouble people naturally gather closer together. But the words of Jesus have come true in our own time, "They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law." (Luke 12:53) We have become a nation of petty tyrants, and state informers. Snitches.

Come to your senses people! "Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed."

If people were willing to be remanded to house arrest, and destroy the economy of the world to avoid the specter of mass casualties - has there ever been a more drastic reaction to an uncertain threat in history ... how much more willing should they be to throw away their masks, and gather closely to the ones they love; this is love for neighbor and love for God.

The cases of mental and spiritual illness have likely dwarfed the cases of physical illness in the year 2020 in these United States of America. Most guilty are churchmen. Among them the Roman Catholic Bishops who instantly caved in March and denied people their life and salvation. Denied them Holy Communion with their Lord and Savior and Shepherd and Friend. Catholics and indeed all Christians were then expected to fill their spiritual stomachs by remembering previous meals; or eating virtual food over the internet.

But it doesn't work that way.

There is no such thing as virtual church, there is only churh. Incarnational church. Put away your live streaming gadgets, O Pastors! You are neither serving your people, nor evagelizing the world as you think.

As if to add insult to injury a local Roman Catholic church displays a sign that says: "Carry your cross and wear your mask." How meretricious! Rather this church should practice what it preaches. It should have taken up its own cross and remained open without fear; and led the way back to reason and rational thought. Led the way to "God, our help in ages past, our hope for years to come." And even today those churches that are "open" could hardly be called "open" with their science fiction practices. And so take your own advice, and take up a real cross as Jesus teaches, and lead people back to sanity, O priests! O bishops! O Pastors. "Be strong and courageous."

People need God more than ever. Even if they come in the 11th hour, or because they have no where else to go, or have found every other door to happines barred like St. Augustine did. Let them come!

"The Spirit and the Bride say, Come!" (Rev. 22:17)

Augustine wrote:

“Late have I loved you, beauty so old and so new: late have I loved you. And see, you were within and I was in the external world and sought you there, and in my unlovely state I plunged into those lovely created things which you made. You were with me, and I was not with you. The lovely things kept me far from you, though if they did not have their existence in you, they had no existence at all. You called and cried out loud and shattered my deafness. You were radiant and resplendent, you put to flight my blindness. You were fragrant, and I drew in my breath and now pant after you. I tasted you, and I feel but hunger and thirst for you. You touched me, and I am set on fire to attain the peace which is yours.”

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go." (Joshua 1:9)

This, is true love for neighbor, to embrace and comfort one another and welcome one another with open arms in the name of Christ -- and to stop dividing people one from another. If your leaders won't lead you, then you lead them!

Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal One, have mercy upon us. Amen.




1 Comment

This needs to be said much louder and more often.

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