Sunday, April 27, 2008

The Easter Sermon of St. John Chrysostom

This sermon is read every year at the end of the services that we celebrate for Holy Pascha. Read this beautiful sermon out loud. It is wonderful.

The Easter Sermon of John Chrysostom
If any be pious and a lover of God,
let him rejoice in this fair and radiant festival.
If any be a faithful servant
let him enter into the joy of his Lord.
If any be weary with fasting,
let him now enjoy his payment.

If anyone has labored from the first hour,
let him receive today his just reward.
If anyone has come after the third hour,
let him now be thankful that the feast is at hand,
If anyone has waited until after the sixth hour,
let him not be anxious, no loss shall be his own.
If anyone has tarried until the ninth hour,
let him draw near also, shedding all his doubts.
If anyone has come only at the eleventh hour,
let him not be fearful because of his delay.

For the Master is bountiful
and receives the last even as the first.
He gives repose to him who came at the eleventh hour
just as to one who labored from the first.
The tardy are shown mercy
and the timely are made whole.
To the one he gives,
on the other he bestows.
He honors the deed and praises the intention.

Let all therefore enter into the joy of our Lord,
(let both the first and those who came later receive their wages)
Let rich and poor dance with one another.
You sober and you heedless celebrate the day.
You who have fasted and you who have not
rejoice in this occasion.

The table is full-laden
let all enjoy the feast.
The calf is fatted,
let no one go forth hungry.
Let all partake of the banquet of faith,
let all partake of the riches of goodness.

Let none mourn his poverty,
for the kingdom stands before us.
Let none lament his failings,
forgiveness has risen from the tomb.
Let none fear death,
for the death of the Savior has set us free.

He quenched death when it had tasted his flesh.
He despoiled Hades when he descended thereto
Foreseeing this, Isaiah cried:
'Hell was embittered when it met you face to face.'

It was embittered for it was made void,
It was embittered for it was mocked,
It was embittered for it was slain,
It was embittered for it was despoiled.
It was embittered for it was led off in chains.

It received a body and encountered God,
It received earth and came face to face with heaven.
It received what it saw and fell where it could not see.

Death where is thy sting,
Hades where is thy victory?

Christ is risen and you are cast down,
Christ is risen and the demons are fallen,
Christ is risen and the angels rejoice,
Christ is risen and life is made free.
Christ is risen and there is none dead in the tomb.

For Christ is risen from the dead as the first fruits of those that
fell asleep.

To him be glory and power forever and ever, Amen.

Translated by Frank Dobbs
I pray that Christians everywhere are having a blessed Holy Pascha. God bless all of you.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Barack Obama - Jedi Knight

Found at Real Clear Politics, this gem was created by editorial cartoonist Grey Blackwell of the Raleigh News Observer.

Barack Obama: Jedi Master


Sunday, April 06, 2008

More Islamic Tolerance in Indonesia

A ransacked and burned Christian Church in Indonesia with ALLAHU AKBAR written in Arabic on the walls

I have written several times about the oppression of Christians in Indonesia and other Islamic countries. It is impossible for me to believe that any well meaning person who can read at the 5th grade level or better can view Islam as anything other than the oppressive, abusive, intolerant political ideology that it is.

And remember, Indonesia has a "moderate" Islamic culture and is (we are supposed to believe) a secular republic. Of course you can believe whatever idiocy that you want.

At The Christian Post: Indonesia: Over 100 Churches Closed in 3 Years
Islamic extremism and local governments closed more than 100 churches in Indonesia within three years, according to a persecution watchdog agency.

From 2004 to 2007, 110 churches were closed in Indonesia as a result of attacks from radical Muslim groups or by local governments coerced by these groups, reported Compass Direct News. Based on official numbers, a total of 1,025 churches have been closed or destroyed in Indonesia since the island nation claimed its independence in 1945. Notably, however, only two cases of church destruction or closures are recorded in the era of Indonesia’s first president, Sukarno (1945-1967).
High profile cases of Christian persecution in Indonesia include the 2005 arrests of three Christian Sunday school teachers who were accused of attempting to convert Muslim children. The Muslim parents had reportedly given full consent for their children to join Christian students in singing Christian songs, playing games and hearing Bible stories, but the court nevertheless sentenced the women to three years in prison. The women served two years and were released early for good behavior last June.

Also in 2005, Islamic militants on motorcycles beheaded three Christian schoolgirls who were on their way to school. The girls’ heads were dumped in villages nearby with and a handwritten note by the bodies warned of more killings in revenge for sectarian violence on Sulawesi Island.

“Wanted – 100 more heads,” read the letter, according to The Associated Press. “Blood must be paid with blood, lives with lives, heads with heads.”

Headless corpse being dragged through the streets of Banyuwangi with shouts of Allahu Akbar

Religion of Peace indeed.