Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Verses on Tim Tebow's Face Today.

Tim Tebow, if you don't know, is the Heisman Trophy winning quarterback for the University of Florida. The Gators are arguably the best college football team in the country right now and Tebow, the best player.

Tebow played his last regular season college game today, as Florida dismembered their in-state rivals, Florida State, 37-10. As he is wont to do, Tebow, a homeschooled Pentecostal Christian, etched a biblical citation in the black facepaint underneath his eyes. Today, the verses were Hebrews 12:1-2:

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God." (RSV)

Yes, this is a sports reference. The "cloud of witnesses" are "fans in the stands". Tebow probaly chose this passage as generic encouragement to do one's best, regardless of what one is doing. However, it is obviously much more than that; the race is life itself, and losing is, quite literally, not an option here. Since Tebow is, presumably, Arminian in his Pentecostal soteriology, he is probably aware of this. However, he probably does not yet know about all the tools and weapons he has at his disposal: eating the Flesh of the Son of Man and drinking His blood in the most holy sacrifice of the Eucharist immediately comes to mind.

Tebow probably also does not know the following: the "cloud of witnesses" referred to above, the "fans in the stands," are occupying no stadium on earth. They are in heaven, as is attested in Hebrews chapter 11. This passage confirms the historical, apostolic doctrine of the Communion of Saints: the Church on earth is one with the Church in heaven and vice-versa because all are "members of Christ" and therefore, "members one of another". Does Tim know this? Probably not. May the Holy Theotokos and ever-Virgin Mary and all the Saints in heaven pray for Tim and all those who are like him:

Lord Jesus, introduce Tim to your Mother and to all your Friends in heaven.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

A Question...

in response to this post from Fr. Ernesto:

"The Wrong Sort of 'Mere Christianity"

This question is for both clergy and laity, but especially clergy:

Why is it that we cannot, in all good conscience, say with St. Paul, "Imitate me as I imitate Christ"?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

I wish I'd written this...

But since I didn't, thank God that Fr. Stephen did:

"Thus God came into our world, becoming one of us, so that by His sharing in our life, we might have a share in His life. In Holy Baptism we are united to Him, and everything else He gives us in the Life of His Church, is for the purpose of strengthening, nurturing, and renewing this Life within us. All of the sacraments have this as their focus. It is the primary purpose of prayer.

"Thus, stated simply, to have communion with God means to have a share in His Divine Life. He lives in me and I in Him. I come to know God even as I know myself. I come to love even as God loves because it is His love that dwells in me. I come to forgive as God forgives because it His mercy that dwells within me.

"Without such an understanding of communion, these vitally important parts of the Christian life usually become reduced to mere moralisms. We are told to love our enemies as though it were a simple moral obligation. Instead, we love our enemies because God loves our enemies, and we want to live in the Life of God. We’re not trying to be good, or to prove anything to God by loving our enemies. It is simply the case that if the Love of God dwells in us, then we will love as God loves."

Read it all:

"A Relationship with God?"

This is, indeed, the Orthodox Christian faith of the Apostles.