The Law of Humility

Christ is a King, and kings rule their kingdoms with laws. One of the most important laws in Christ's Kingdom is the law of humility. This law says that “everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and everyone who humbles himself will be exalted” (Luke 14:11). In other words, greatness in his Kingdom comes not from outdoing other people, outperforming them, and outdistancing them. Greatness in Christ’s eyes comes from serving other people, from elevating them, helping them advance, and keeping oneself in the background. In his very first sermon, Jesus had taught the same law with different words: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven” (Matthew 5:2). It

Christ is Interested in Our Hearts

Dear brothers and sisters, Many Jews at the time of Jesus thought that salvation was based on external factors, like race and ritual. Many Jews, in fact, believed that only Jews could actually live in communion with God. The non-Jewish peoples, so they thought, were destined to be second-class citizens in the Kingdom of God. Others believed that you not only needed to be of the Jewish race to win God's favor, but you also had to follow even the most minute details of the Law of Moses, as well as the many ritual practices that had grown up around that Law. Jesus takes the opportunity of this question, about whether or not many people will be saved, to correct those wrong ideas. He explai

Setting a Cruciform Fire

Today’s gospel reading is striking. Sometimes when we read the Gospel stories, we can easily imagine the vocal undertone of Jesus’ words. Like any other person, sometimes his voice would have been gentle and calm, and sometimes it would have been tense. In today’s gospel Jesus proclaims: “I have come to set the earth on fire, and how I wish it were already blazing” (Luke 12:49). There’s a vibrant urgency to these words that must have been apparent in his voice. What does he mean? Why is he so passionate about this? In the ancient Jewish world, fire was generally associated with judgment. We usually associate judgment with punishment – yet Christ himself said in the Gospel of John tha

We Have a Mission

Dear brothers and sisters, Jesus speaks in today’s Gospel (Luke 12:35-48) is about vigilance, and this part of Jesus’ discourse balances out what he said a few verses earlier about not worrying. In those verses (12:22-34) he instructed his listeners not to fret about worldly concerns, but to trust in God’s Providence. However, God knows that some people will tend to turn that invitation into an excuse for laziness, irresponsibility, and hedonism; so now he shows the other side of the coin. “You also must be prepared,” he tells his followers, like servants standing ready for the return of their master any minute. We can’t cram for life’s final exam. If we want to live in communion with G

Christ: A Mission-Driven Man

Dear brothers and sisters, In today’s Gospel, Jesus is approached by a man who asks him “Teacher, tell my brother to share the inheritance with me” (Luke 12:13). At first glance, Jesus’ response to this man’s request seems strange. The man has a real problem: his brother is trying to make off with the lion’s share of their inheritance; but Jesus refuses to step in and set things straight. Why? Later, at the end of his earthly life, Jesus will say to Pontius Pilate, “My Kingdom is not of this world.” Essentially, he gives the same answer to this man’s request for probate equity. Jesus refuses to usurp the normal functions of earthly, human justice, even though he could have done so. Th

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Church of St. John 

Love God, Love People, Make Disciples

Church of St. John

570-223-9144 Ext. #2

5171 Milford Rd.

E. Stroudsburg, PA 18302

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