In today’s gospel pericope [Luke 1:13] we have one of the most challenging of Jesus’ teaching, not one preachers are anxious to engage. Reading it, I was reminded of Martin Luther’s quip that sometimes one has to hug biblical passages to make them leak gospel, I have definitely embraced this one intimately over the last few days. In the parable, a wealthy man has in his household management position a slave entrusted with that burden. We find that he has been embezzling money and cooking the books. Some whistleblower clues in the capitalist, who then tells him he is out of a job. The managerRead More →

In ancient Greek, the word for the effect of a teacher on his pupil is the same word as the effect of the coin press on the blank die: imprinting. The student’s imitation of the teacher will extend, not simply to filing away new knowledge, but also to the faith and the virtue of the one who is teaching. In today’s stories [Luke 15: 1-10] we have two powerful analogies. A shepherd leaves behind ninety-nine sheep to pursue one that is lost In the rugged Judaean hillside, there are many places impassible to a human that can be negotiated by a lost sheep. Add toRead More →

In three weeks, the Bishop of Oklahoma, is set to visit Saint Matthew’s to confirm seven baptised Christians and reaffirm two others. This apostolic ministry, which we read about in the Scriptures at Acts 8: 14-17, represents giving “marching orders” for service as members of our Church. I am reminded of how easily one may be baptised and later confirmed by the bishop at his visitation. But have you wondered what was involved in becoming an active Christian in the early days of our faith? Back then, to become a member of our faith was to practise a religion that was illegal in the Empire,Read More →

In 2014 the foundation of a fourth-century basilica was finally found, just offshore in Inzik, Turkey, at the former site of Nicaea, where the first ecumenical council took place. The church was dedicated to the martyr Neofit (also Neophyte, Neophytos) who was killed in the early 300s c.e., just before the legalization of Christianity by the Emperor Constantine. Very bad timing, that! The basilica had been built around his relics (remains) at the very site where he perished. Born at Nicaea, he was baptised and raised a Christian. As a little boy, he is most remembered for bringing home poor school-friends and giving them hisRead More →