Thursday, April 30, 2015

Zwingli and Holy Communion

When it comes to the ordinance or sacrament of Holy Communion, a number of Protestant churches (through one of which I am ordained) often state that they hold to the "Zwinglian view of Communion." Usually this means that they believe Communion is simply a memorial only, focusing on Jesus' words, "Do this in remembrance of Me." What many fail to realize is what Zwingli* actually said and believed about Communion. Here are his words:

 "We believe that Christ is truly present in the Lord’s Supper; yea, that there is no communion without such presence ... We believe that the true body of Christ is eaten in the communion, not in a gross and carnal manner, but in a sacramental and spiritual manner by the religious, believing and pious heart." (In his 1531 "Confessions to King Francis 1.")

Zwingli, at least in his later years, did not believe Holy Communion was merely a memorial, but that Christ was truly present. 

* Huldrych Zwingli was a Swiss reformer (1484-1531)

Saturday, April 4, 2015


Discouragement . . .

but what a difference a Day can make!

Friday, April 3, 2015

What Happened on the Cross

By nothing else except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ has death been brought low:
  •       The sin of our first parent destroyed,
  •       hell plundered,
  •       resurrection bestowed,
  •       the power given us to despise the things of this world,
  •       even death itself,
  •       the road back to the former blessedness made smooth,
  •       the gates of paradise opened, 
  •       our nature seated at the right hand of God,
  •       and we made children and heirs of God.

By the cross all these things have been set aright:
  •       It is a seal that the destroyer may not strike us,
  •       a raising up of those who lie fallen,
  •       a support for those who stand,
  •       a staff for the infirm,
  •       a crook for the shepherded,
  •       a guide for the wandering,
  •       a perfecting of the advanced,
  •       salvation for soul and body,
  •       a deflector of all evils,
  •       a cause of all goods,
  •       a destruction of sin,
  •       a plant of resurrection,
  •       and a tree of eternal life

- John of Damascus (675-749 a.d.)

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Not as I will, but as Thou wilt

"My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as Thou wilt." - Matthew 26:39

Oh, Jesus, in deepest night and agony You spoke these words of trust and surrender to God the Father in Gethsemane. In love and gratitude I want to say in times of fear and distress, "My Father, I do not understand You, but I trust you."

This stone plaque is located just outside the Church of All Nations, which is officially named the Basilica of the Agony. It is located at the foot of the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem next to the Garden of Gethsemane.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

About Fools, Wiser Than The World

“We are fools for Christ’s sake” (1 Corinthians 4:10).

Thus speaks the great Apostle Paul who in the beginning was guided by worldly wisdom, which is against Christ, until he recognizes the falsehood and decay of the wisdom of the world and the light and stability of the wisdom of Christ. Then, the holy apostle did not become angry with the world because they called him “a fool for Christ’s sake” neither did he, in defiance of the world, hesitate to be called by this name.

It is not of any value to us how the world is going to regard or call us. However, it is important, and extremely important, how the holy angels in the heavens will regard and call us when, after death, we meet with them. This is of crucial importance and everything else is nothing.

Either we are fools for the world because of Christ or we are fools for Christ because of the world. O how short-lived is the sound of a word of the world! If the world would say to us “fool,” the world will die and its word will die! What then is the value of its word? But if the heavenly, immortal ones say to us “fool,” that will neither die nor is it removed from us as eternal condemnation.

Whoever does not believe in the Living God, nor in eternal life, nor in the Incarnation of the Lord Christ, nor in Christ’s Resurrection nor in the truth of the Gospel nor in God’s eternal mercy and justice – is it any wonder if he considers that one a fool who does believes in all of this?

O, may every one of us who cross ourselves with the Sign of the Cross not only find it easy to endure but with satisfaction receive the name “fool” for Christ’s sake! Let us rejoice and be glad if the non-believers call us such, for that means that we are close to Christ and far away from the non-believers. Let us rejoice and be glad and repeat with a powerful echo in the ears of the world: yes, yes, indeed we are fools for Christ’s sake!

O Lord Most-wise, strengthen us by Your power that we not fear the non-believing world neither when they lash us with whips nor when they insult us with words for Your sake.\

— St. Nikolai Velimirovich