Fr. Dustin Lyon explores scripture to rediscover Christianity so that we can walk in the Way of the Lord.
Trials and Responsibility
Today the Way Podcast takes us to the Letter of James.
Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll take a look at this challenging, yet often overlooked letter.
And it doesn’t take long for it to start challenging us. As we discover in the opening verses, temptations and trails may not be a bad things.
In fact, James believes they are needed for us to grew and mature. They are needed in order for us to walk the Way.
Opposing the Government Through Baptism
I had already recorded this week’s podcast when the unimaginable happened: domestic terrorists, at the encouragement of the U.S. president, stormed the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. Now four people are dead.
In light of this, I thought it was appropriate to re-record this week’s podcast.
This senseless violence, during what should have been a procedural session of congress, shocked a nation … I take that back; it shocked the world. The country that is usually held up as a standard of freedom and democracy in our time descended into chaos and destruction.
As I watched the horrifying events unfold this week, I noticed something that brought tears to my eyes. Some of these terrorists were holding flags that said “Jesus” on them. Others were holding the universal “Christian” flag.
If we are to understand this symbolism correctly, these terrorists wanted to us to believe that God was on their side. They wanted us to believe that they were doing “God’s work.”
Is this true? Where is the Kingdom of God in all this?
And, does it have anything to do with the feast we celebrated this week?
St. Stephen, Christmas, and the Old Testament
The lectionary readings around Christmas are fascinating, especially this year.
Every year for the Sunday before Christmas, we read the genealogy from Matthew. This reading forces us to consider the entirety of the Old Testament—especially in light of Christ’s upcoming birth.
Then this year for the Sunday after Christmas, the church has us celebrate St. Stephen. (Normally, St. Stephen is celebrated 2 days after Christmas, but this year, that also happened to be the Sunday after Christmas.)
But back to our topic … the lectionary reading for St. Stephen comes from Acts, where his story is found. In that reading, we hear his speech to the Judeans, which is, essentially, a summary of the Old Testament.
So, for two Sundays in a row, we’ve heard summaries of the Old Testament. This is a reminder that Jesus can never be separated from the Old Testament.
The Mystery of Christmas: Is Jesus's Genealogy a Lie?
Christ is born! Glorify Him!
On this special Christmas episode, we take a look at the mystery of the Christmas story.
Am I referring to the virgin birth? No, not that one. This mystery is so mysterious, I bet you’ve never even noticed it … until now!
What's in a Name? The Genealogy of Christ
No matter how you spin it, you can’t avoid the fact that an English speaker is always one step removed from the the Bible—at least by one step.
Translations are always an interpretation; they often depend on the theological leanings of the person doing the translation.
So, to read the actual words of scripture, you have to learn Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek.
But, even if you learn Greek, you’re still a little bit removed from what the Bible is actually saying. The genealogy in Matthew, chapter 1, is a perfect example.
The names of Jesus’s ancestors are in Hebrew; those names have actual meanings, but you only have access to those meanings if you understand Hebrew.
Preparing for Christmas, Part 2
In my parish, we recently celebrated the service of unction. This service is a sacrament of healing.
Though this service can be celebrated at any time during the year—after all, people usually don’t schedule their illnesses—In Greek practice, it’s usually celebrated on Holy Wednesday.
However, that didn’t happen this year, because, at that time, we were only allowed 4 people in church.
Now, though, we have procedures in place to protect people, so we thought it would be nice to celebrate this service as approach Christmas. After all, COVID is still ravaging people’s lives all over the world.
I can think of no better way to prepare for Christ’s nativity than to ask God for healing.
And, you know what? That’s exactly what we see in this past Sunday’s Gospel reading: Jesus healing.
But, when he heals the crippled woman, he does more than heal her disease. He also heals her illness.