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Alpha Omega Portal Journey Begins

Why does this Alpha Omega Portal blog now exist? 

  • Have you ever found yourself asking… “What is your life really about?”
  • Have you ever sensed there is more to help answer “Why am I here?” than frequently offered by science alone?
  • Do you have it in your heart to expand your own one-to-one relationship with God, our Heavenly Creator?

I’m convinced in time, you will conclude it was not by accident that you find yourself here; that you are reading and pondering right alongside with me.

In the Book of Revelations, the last book of the Holy Bible, Jesus Christ reveals to His Apostle John “…I am the Alpha and the Omega”.

You likely already know that Alpha and Omega are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. I offer to you that “Alpha” is intended to convey that Jesus Christ is the beginning of all. “Omega” is intended to help us perceive that in Jesus Christ is the “completion” of all!

Very briefly about me. I may be much like so many of you. I’m pretty shy. My career has been as an engineer and business person. I am not ordained as a minister, nor priest. Nor have I had formal academic training in theology.

As providence so provided for me, I found myself in the direct linage of either 11, 14 or 17 generations of Orthodox Christian Priests. (Yes, thankfully, Orthodox Priests may be married and have families.)

My family history details were a little uncertain regarding the number of generations of service to our Lord Jesus Christ vis-a-vis the details of my own grandfather, the most recent Priest in our family. Early in the 1900’s he started and served either 11, 14, or 17 Orthodox Christian parish communities around the mid-west and north east United States.

Yet, here I am. I am called upon through the Holy Spirit of God to share with you via this site and blog.

You may know the Biblical story of Jonah and the Whale. How Jonah resisted the Lord who directed him to take the message of repentance to the people of Nineveh.

Well, I too tried resisting bringing this message. I resisted for 21 years. Yet I’ve always known I must reach out with the Alpha Omega Portal.

My personal prayer is that our Good Lord will guide this Alpha Omega Portal and help me to be of service sharing together with you and others who may also find themselves here.

This Alpha Omega Portal is a web conversation between us (that is, each of YOU who find yourself here along with me). Along the journey, we will try to explore how Two Thousand Twenty Years of Orthodox Christian faith guide us toward understanding ourselves vis-a-vis the above three important questions.

I invite you to journey along with me in cyber space.

You are invited to share back how the Holy Spirit of God guides such understandings within your life.

First thoughts…

“Lord I believe. Help my unbelief!” I pray for faith to honestly “know” in my heart that you, Jesus Christ, are the “Son of God”!

I also foresee that I will come to “know” our God, my Heavenly Father, only as and when Jesus Christ finds my heart is open to my accepting His revealing to me of my Heavenly Creator.

In Holy Scripture 1 John 5:20, the Apostle John writes “And we know that the Son of God has arrived, and that he has given us understanding, so that we may know the true God, and so that we may remain in his true Son. This is the true God, and this is Eternal Life.”

Christ is “…true God, and this is Eternal Life” and true salvation. Namely, I seek to “know” Jesus Christ and God, our Heavenly Father, who has sent Him.

As I come to “know” Jesus Christ, and come to “know” God, our Heavenly Father, as Jesus Christ reveals Him to me, I also come to “know” the “fruit” or the “gifts” of God’s Blessed Holy Spirit.

And I realize what a wonderful benefit to my life are these “fruits”, these “gifts”!

Love

Joy

Peace

Patience

Kindness

Goodness

Faithfulness

Gentleness,

and Self-Control

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Our Journey

Thanks for joining with us!

Daily Readings from the Holy Scriptures of the day follow for you after these welcoming thoughts.

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Original post was on Christmas Day – December 25, 2019 and reposted December 2021

From today’s Orthodox Christian Holy Scripture (Bible) in Matthew 1:18-25, we read ‘…”she will bear a son, and you shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”

All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet: “Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and his name shall be called Emmanuel” (which means, God with us).’

Today, we acknowledge the birth of Jesus Christ with the exclamation to each other “Christ is Born!”

Today, we recall the beginning of the “New Testament” of the Holy Scriptures.

Today, we give prayful thankgivings to the Holy Trinity, our Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus Christ, Holy Spirit, for the reality that “God …is…with …us”!

In future postings, we will return again and again to the fulfillment of Holy Scriptures Old Testament prophecies and teachings foretelling Jesus Christ, and as documented in the New Testament

Resolutions

My own New Year personal challenge is before me is from St. Paul’s First Letter to Timothy 6:11-16

“Timothy, my son,

aim at

righteousness,

godliness,

love,

faith,

steadfastness,

gentleness.

Fight the good fight of the faith;

take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.

In the presence of God who gives life to all things, and of Christ Jesus who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession, I charge you to keep the commandment unstained and free from reproach until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ;

and this will be made manifest (clear to us) at the proper time by the blessed and only Sovereign, and King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has ever seen or can see.

To Him be honor and eternal dominion. Amen.

Good News!

In today’s December 29, 2019 posting, we start to return to the earlier theme that Jesus Christ came among us and fulfilled the prophecies written in the Old Testament of the Holy Bible.

Today’s Bible Gospel reading is from St Luke 24:36-53

‘At that time, Jesus, having risen from the dead, stood in the midst of his disciples and said to them, “Peace to you.” But they were startled and frightened; and supposed that they saw a spirit. And he said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do questionings rise in your hearts? See my hands and feet, that it is I myself; handle me, and see; for a spirit has not flesh and bones as you see that I have.” And when he said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. And while they still disbelieved for joy, and wondered, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate before them.

Then he said to them, “These are my words which I spoke to you, while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the law of Moses and the prophets and the psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be preached in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you; but stay in the city, until you are clothed with power from on high.”

Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands, he blessed them. While he blessed them, he parted from them, and was carried up into heaven. And they worshiped him, and they returned to Jerusalem with great joy, and were continually in the temple blessing God.’

Epistle (New Testament letter) Reading is from St. Paul’s Letter to the Galatians 1:11-19

St. Paul testifies that the Good News (Gospel) is revealed from Jesus Christ to him. The following excerpt is from St. Paul’s letter written to the members of the Church in Galatia (located in that area of the Mid-east now part of the country of Turkey)

Today’s Epistle reading

‘Brethren, I would have you know that the gospel which was preached by me is not man’s gospel. For I did not receive it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through a revelation of Jesus Christ.

Holy Scriptures January 29 2023

ST. PAUL’S SECOND LETTER TO THE CORINTHIANS 6:16-18; 7:1

Brethren, you are the temple of the living God; as God said, “I will live in them and move among them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

Therefore come out from them, and be separate from them, says the Lord, and touch nothing unclean; then I will welcome you, and I will be a father to you, and you shall be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.

Since we have these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from every defilement of body and spirit, and make holiness perfect in the fear of God.

MATTHEW 15:21-28

At that time, Jesus went to the district of Tyre and Sidon.

And behold, a Canaanite woman from that region came out and cried, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David; my daughter is severely possessed by a demon.”

But he did not answer her a word.

And his disciples came and begged him, saying, “Send her away, for she is crying after us.”

He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”

But she came and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, help me.”

And he answered, “It is not fair to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.”

She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their master’s table.”

Then Jesus answered her, “O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire.”

And her daughter was healed instantly.

Holy Scriptures January 28 2023

ST. PAUL’S LETTER TO THE GALATIANS 5:22-26; 6:1-2

Brethren, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such there is no law.

And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.

Let us have no self-conceit, no provoking of one another, no envy of one another.

Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness.

Look to yourself, lest you too be tempted.

Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

LUKE 6:17-23

At that time, Jesus stood on a level place, with a great crowd of his disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea and Jerusalem and the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon, who came to hear him and to be healed of their diseases; and those who were troubled with unclean spirits were cured.

And all the crowd sought to touch him, for power came forth from him and healed them all.

And he lifted up his eyes on His disciples, and said: “Blessed are you poor, for yours is the Kingdom of God.

Blessed are you that hunger now, for you shall be satisfied.

Blessed are you that weep now, for you shall laugh.

Blessed are you when men hate you, and when they exclude you and revile you, and cast out your name as evil, on account of the Son of man!

Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven.”

Holy Scriptures January 27 2023

ST. PAUL’S LETTER TO THE HEBREWS 7:26-28; 8:1-2

Brethren, it was fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, blameless, unstained, separated from sinners, exalted above the heavens.

He has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for his own sins and then for those of the people; he did this once for all when he offered up himself.

Indeed, the law appoints men in their weakness as high priests, but the word of the oath, which came later than the law, appoints a Son who has been made perfect for ever.

Now the point in what we are saying is this: we have such a high priest, one who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, a minister in the sanctuary and the true tent which is set up not by man but by the Lord.

JOHN 10:9-16

The Lord said, “I am the door; if any one enters by me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.

I am the good shepherd.

The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.

He who is a hireling and not a shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf snatches them and scatters them.

He flees because he is a hireling and cares nothing for the sheep.

I am the good shepherd; I know my own and my own know me, as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep.

And I have other sheep, that are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will heed my voice. So there shall be one flock, one shepherd.

Holy Scriptures January 26 2023

ST. PAUL’S SECOND LETTER TO THE CORINTHIANS 1:21-24; 2:1-4

Brethren, it is God who establishes us with you in Christ, and has commissioned us; he has put his seal upon us and given us his Spirit in our hearts as a guarantee.

But I call God to witness against me – it was to spare you that I refrained from coming to Corinth.

Not that we lord it over your faith; we work with you for your joy, for you stand firm in your faith.

For I made up my mind not to make you another painful visit.

For if I cause you pain, who is there to make me glad but the one whom I have pained?

And I wrote as I did, so that when I came I might not suffer pain from those who should have made me rejoice, for I felt sure of all of you, that my joy would be the joy of you all.

For I wrote you out of much affliction and anguish of heart and with many tears, not to cause you pain but to let you know the abundant love that I have for you.

MATTHEW 25:14-30

The Lord said this parable: “A man going on a journey called his servants and entrusted to them his property; to one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability.

Then he went away.

He who had received the five talents went at once and traded with them; and he made five talents more.

So also, he who had the two talents made two talents more.

But he who had received the one talent went and dug in the ground and hid his master’s money.

Now after a long time the master of those servants came and settled accounts with them.

And he who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five talents more, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me five talents; here I have made five talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a little, I will set you over much; enter into the joy of your master.’

And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, ‘Master, you delivered to me two talents; here I have made two talents more.’ His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a little, I will set you over much; enter into the joy of your master.’

He also who had received the one talent came forward, saying, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not winnow; so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground.

Here you have what is yours.’ But his master answered him, ‘You wicked and slothful servant! You knew that I reap where I have not sowed, and gather where I have not winnowed?

Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and at my coming I should have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him, and give it to him who has the ten talents.

For to every one who has will more be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who has not, even what he has will be taken away.

And cast the worthless servant into the outer darkness; there men will weep and gnash their teeth.”

As he said these things he cried out: “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!

Holy Scriptures January 25 2023

ST. PAUL’S LETTER TO THE HEBREWS 7:26-28; 8:1-2

Brethren, it was fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, blameless, unstained, separated from sinners, exalted above the heavens.

He has no need, like those high priests, to offer sacrifices daily, first for his own sins and then for those of the people; he did this once for all when he offered up himself.

Indeed, the law appoints men in their weakness as high priests, but the word of the oath, which came later than the law, appoints a Son who has been made perfect for ever.

Now the point in what we are saying is this: we have such a high priest, one who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, a minister in the sanctuary and the true tent which is set up not by man but by the Lord.

JOHN 10:9-16

The Lord said, “I am the door; if any one enters by me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.

I am the good shepherd.

The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.

He who is a hireling and not a shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf snatches them and scatters them.

He flees because he is a hireling and cares nothing for the sheep.

I am the good shepherd; I know my own and my own know me, as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep.

And I have other sheep, that are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will heed my voice.

So there shall be one flock, one shepherd.

Holy Scriptures January 24 2023

ST. PAUL’S LETTER TO THE GALATIANS 5:22-26; 6:1-2

Brethren, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such there is no law.

And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.

Let us have no self-conceit, no provoking of one another, no envy of one another.

Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness.

Look to yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

MATTHEW 22:35-46

At that time, a lawyer came up to Jesus and asked him a question, to test him. “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?”

And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment.

And a second is like it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

On these two commandments depend all the law and the prophets.

Now while the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them a question, saying, “What do you think of the Christ? Whose son is he?”

They said to him, “The son of David.” He said to them, “How is it then that David, inspired by the Spirit, calls him Lord, saying, ‘The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at my right hand, till I put your enemies under your feet’?

If David thus calls him Lord, how is he his son?”

And no one was able to answer him a word, nor from that day did anyone dare to ask him any more questions.

Holy Scriptures January 23 2023

ST. PAUL’S LETTER TO THE PHILIPPIANS 3:20-21; 4:1-3

Brethren, who our commonwealth is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will change our lowly body to be like his glorious body, by the power which enables him even to subject all things to himself.

Therefore, my brethren, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm thus in the Lord, my beloved.

I entreat Euodia and I entreat Syntyche to agree in the Lord.

And I ask you also, true yokefellow, help these women, for they have labored side by side with me in the gospel together with Clement and the rest of my fellow workers, whose names are in the book of life.

MARK 2:23-28; 3:1-5

At that time, Jesus was going through the grainfields; and as they made their way his disciples began to pluck heads of grain.

And the Pharisees said to him, “Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the sabbath?”

And he said to them, “Have you never read what David did, when he was in need and was hungry, he and those who were with him: how he entered the house of God, when Abiathar was high priest, and ate the bread of the Presence, which it is not lawful for any but the priests to eat, and also gave it to those who were with him?”

And he said to them, “The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath; so the Son of man is lord even of the sabbath.

Again he entered the synagogue, and a man was there who had a withered hand. And they watched him, to see whether he would heal him on the sabbath, so that they might accuse him.

And he said to the man who had the withered hand, “Come here.”

And he said to them, “Is it lawful on the sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill?” But they were silent.

And he looked around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, and said to the man, “Stretch it out, ” and his hand was restored.

Holy Scriptures January 22 2023

ST. PAUL’S FIRST LETTER TO TIMOTHY 4:9-15

Timothy, my son, the saying is sure and worthy of full acceptance.

For to this end we toil and suffer reproach, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe.

Command and teach these things.

Let no one despise your youth, but set the believers an example in speech and conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.

Till I come, attend to the public reading of scripture, to preaching, to teaching.

Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophetic utterance when the council of elders laid their hands upon you.

Practice these duties, devote yourself to them, so that all may see your progress.

LUKE 19:1-10

At that time, Jesus was passing through Jericho. And there was a man named Zacchaios; he was a chief collector, and rich. And he sought to see who Jesus was, but could not, on account of the crowd, because he was small of stature.

So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree to see him, for he was to pass that way.

And when Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaios, make haste and come down; for I must stay at your house today.”

So he made haste and came down, and received him joyfully.

And when they saw it they all murmured, “He has gone in to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.”

And Zacchaios stood and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have defrauded any one of anything, I restore it fourfold.”

And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham.

For the Son of man came to seek and to save the lost.”

Holy Scriptures January 21 2023

ST. PAUL’S LETTER TO THE PHILIPPIANS 1:12-20

Brethren, who I want you to know that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, so that it has become known throughout the praetorian guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ;

and most of the brethren have been made confident in the Lord because of my imprisonment, and are much more bold to speak the word of God without fear.

Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will.

The latter do it out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel; the former proclaim Christ out of partisanship, not sincerely but thinking to afflict me in my imprisonment.

What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed; and in that I rejoice.

Yes, and I shall rejoice. For I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance, as it is my eager expectation and hope.

LUKE 12:8-12

The Lord said to His disciples, “Every one who acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man also will acknowledge before the angels of God; but he who denies me before men will be denied before the angels of God.

And every one who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven; but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.

And when they bring you before the synagogues and the rulers and the authorities, do not be anxious how or what you are to answer or what you are to say; for the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.

Holy Scriptures January 20 2023

ST. PAUL’S SECOND LETTER TO THE CORINTHIANS 4:6-15

Brethren, it is the God who said, “Let light shine out of darkness, ” who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, to show that the transcendent power belongs to God and not to us.

We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed;

perplexed, but not driven to despair;

persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed;

always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.

For while we live we are always being given up to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh.

So death is at work in us, but life in you.

Since we have the same spirit of faith as he had who wrote, “I believed, and so I spoke, ” we too believe, and so we speak, knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence.

For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.

LUKE 6:17-23

At that time, Jesus stood on a level place, with a great crowd of his disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea and Jerusalem and the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon, who came to hear him and to be healed of their diseases; and those who were troubled with unclean spirits were cured.

And all the crowd sought to touch him, for power came forth from him and healed them all.

And he lifted up his eyes on His disciples, and said:

“Blessed are you poor, for yours is the Kingdom of God.

Blessed are you that hunger now, for you shall be satisfied.

Blessed are you that weep now, for you shall laugh.

Blessed are you when men hate you, and when they exclude you and revile you, and cast out your name as evil, on account of the Son of man!

Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven.”

Holy Scriptures January 19 2023

ST. PAUL’S LETTER TO THE GALATIANS 5:22-26; 6:1-2

Brethren, the fruit of the Spirit is

love,

joy,

peace,

patience,

kindness,

goodness,

faithfulness,

gentleness,

self-control;

against such there is no law.

And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.

Let us have no self-conceit, no provoking of one another, no envy of one another.

Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness.

Look to yourself, lest you too be tempted.

Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

MATTHEW 22:2-14

The Lord said this parable, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a marriage feast for his son, and sent his servants to call those who were invited to the marriage feast; but they would not come.

Again he sent other servants, saying, ‘Tell those who are invited, Behold, I have made ready my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves are killed, and everything is ready; come to the marriage feast.’

But they made light of it and went off, one to his farm, another to his business, while the rest seized his servants, treated them shamefully, and killed them.

The king was angry, and he sent his troops and destroyed those murderers and burned their city.

Then he said to his servants, ‘The wedding is ready, but those invited were not worthy. Go therefore to the thoroughfares, and invite to the marriage feast as many as you find.’

And those servants went out into the streets and gathered all whom they found, both bad and good; so the wedding hall was filled with guests.

But when the king came in to look at the guests, he saw there a man who had no wedding garment; and he said to him, ‘Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding garment?’

And he was speechless.

Then the king said to the attendants, ‘Bind him hand and foot, and cast him into the outer darkness; there men will weep and gnash their teeth.’

For many are called, but few are chosen.

Holy Scriptures January 18 2023

ST. PAUL’S LETTER TO THE HEBREWS 13:7-16

Brethren, remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God; consider the outcome of their lives, and imitate their faith.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and for ever.

Do not be led away by diverse and strange teachings; for it is well that the heart be strengthened by grace, not by foods, which have not benefited their adherents.

We have an altar from which those who serve the tent have no right to eat.

For the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest as a sacrifice for sin are burned outside the camp.

So Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through his own blood.

Therefore let us go forth to him outside the camp and bear the abuse he endured.

For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city which is to come.

Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name.

Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.

MATTHEW 5:14-19

The Lord said to his disciples, “You are the light of the world.

A city set on a hill cannot be hid.

Nor do men light a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house.

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfill them.

For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished.

Whoever then relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but he who does them and teaches them shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”

Holy Scriptures January 17 2023

ST. PAUL’S LETTER TO THE HEBREWS 13:17-21

Brethren, obey your leaders and submit to them; for they are keeping watch over your souls, as men who will have to give account.

Let them do this joyfully, and not sadly, for that would be of no advantage to you.

Pray for us, for we are sure that we have a clear conscience, desiring to act honorably in all things.

I urge you the more earnestly to do this in order that I may be restored to you the sooner.

Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great Shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do His will, working in you that which is pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever.

Amen.

LUKE 6:17-23

At that time, Jesus stood on a level place, with a great crowd of his disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea and Jerusalem and the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon, who came to hear him and to be healed of their diseases;

and those who were troubled with unclean spirits were cured.

And all the crowd sought to touch him, for power came forth from him and healed them all.

And he lifted up his eyes on His disciples, and said: “Blessed are you poor, for yours is the Kingdom of God.

Blessed are you that hunger now, for you shall be satisfied.

Blessed are you that weep now, for you shall laugh.

Blessed are you when men hate you, and when they exclude you and revile you, and cast out your name as evil, on account of the Son of man!

Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven.”

Holy Scriptures January 16 2023

ACTS OF THE APOSTLES 12:1-11

About that time, Herod the king laid violent hands upon some who belonged to the church.

He killed James the brother of John with the sword; and when he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also. This was during the days of Unleavened Bread.

And when he had seized him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four squads of soldiers to guard him, intending after the Passover to bring him out to the people.

So Peter was kept in prison; but earnest prayer for him was made to God by the Church.

The very night when Herod was about to bring him out, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries before the door were guarding the prison; and behold, an angel of the Lord appeared, and a light shone in the cell; and he struck Peter on the side and woke him, saying, “Get up quickly.” And the chains fell off his hands.

And the angel said to him, “Wrap your mantle around you and follow me.”

And he went out and followed him; he did not know that what was done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision.

When they had passed the first and the second guard, they came to the iron gate leading into the city.

It opened to them of its own accord, and they went out and passed on through one street; and immediately the angel left him.

And Peter came to himself, and said, “Now I am sure that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued me from the hand of Herod and from all that the Jewish people were expecting.

JOHN 21:14-25

At that time, Jesus revealed himself to the disciples after he was raised from the dead.

And he said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?”

He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.”

He said to him, “Feed my lambs.”

A second time he said to him, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?”

He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.”

He said to him, “Tend my sheep.”

He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?”

Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?”

And he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.”

Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep. Truly, truly, I say to you, when you were young, you girded yourself and walked where you would; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish to go.”

(This he said to show by what death he was to glorify God.)

And after this he said to him, “Follow me.”

Peter turned and saw following them the disciple whom Jesus loved, who had lain close to his breast at the supper and had said, “Lord, who is it that is going to betray you?”

When Peter saw him, he said to Jesus, “Lord, what about this man?”

Jesus said to him, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you? Follow me!”

The saying spread abroad among the brethren that this disciple was not to die; yet Jesus did not say to him that he was not to die, but, “If it is my will that he remain until I come, what is that to you?”

This is the disciple who is bearing witness to these things, and who has written these things; and we know that his testimony is true.

But there are also many other things which Jesus did; were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.

Amen.

Holy Scriptures January 15 2023

ST. PAUL’S LETTER TO THE COLOSSIANS 3:4-11

Brethren, when Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: fornication, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.

On account of these the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience.

In these you once walked, when you lived in them.

But now put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and foul talk from your mouth.

Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old nature with its practices and have put on the new nature, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator.

Here there cannot be Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free man, but Christ is all, and in all.

LUKE 17:12-19

At that time, as Jesus entered a village, he was met by ten lepers, who stood at a distance and lifted up their voices and said: “Jesus, Master, have mercy on us.”

When he saw them he said to them, “Go and show yourselves to the priests.”

Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice; and he fell on his face at Jesus’s feet, giving him thanks.

And as they went they were cleansed.

Then said Jesus: “Were not ten cleansed? Where are the nine? Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?”

Now he was a Samaritan.

And he said to him: “Rise and go your way; your faith has made you well.”

Holy Scriptures January 14 2023

ST. PAUL’S LETTER TO THE EPHESIANS 6:10-17

Brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.

Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

Therefore take the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Stand, therefore,

having girded your loins with truth, and

having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and

having shod your feet with the equipment of the gospel of peace;

besides all these,

taking the shield of faith,

with which you can quench all the flaming darts of the evil one.

And take the helmet of salvation, and

the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

MATTHEW 4:1-11

At that time, Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.

And he fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterward he was hungry.

And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” But he answered, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.'”

Then the devil took him to the holy city, and set him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down; for it is written, ‘He will give his angels charge of you, ‘ and ‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.'”

Jesus said to him, “Again, it is written, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.'”

Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them; and he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.”

Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! for it is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.'”

Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and ministered to him.

Holy Scriptures January 13 2023

ST. PAUL’S LETTER TO THE GALATIANS 3:23-29; 4:1-5

Brethren, before faith came, we were confined under the law, kept under restraint until faith should be revealed.

So that the law was our custodian until Christ came, that we might be justified by faith.

But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a custodian; for in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God, through faith.

For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

And if you are Christ’s, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to promise.

I mean that the heir, as long as he is a child, is no better than a slave, though he is the owner of all the estate; but he is under guardians and trustees until the date set by the father.

So with us; when we were children, we were slaves to the elemental spirits of the universe.

But when the time had fully come, God sent forth his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.

LUKE 20:1-8

At that time, as Jesus was teaching the people in the temple and preaching the gospel, the chief priests and the scribes with the elders came up and said to Him, ‘Tell us by what authority you do these things, or who it is that gave you this authority.’

He answered them, ‘I also will ask you a question; now tell me, was the baptism of John from heaven or from men?’

And they discussed it with one another, saying, ‘If we say, ‘From heaven, ‘ he will say, ‘Why did you not believe him?’ But if we say, ‘From men, ‘ all the people will stone us; for they are convinced that John was a prophet.’

So they answered that they did not know whence it was. And Jesus said to them, ‘Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.’

Holy Scriptures January 12 2023

ACTS OF THE APOSTLES 18:22-28

IN THOSE DAYS, when Paul had landed at Caesarea, he went up and greeted the church, and then went down to Antioch.

After spending some time there he departed and went from place to place through the region of Galatia and Phrygia, strengthening all the disciples.

Now a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesos. He was an eloquent man, well versed in the scriptures.

He had been instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things concerning Jesus, though he knew only the baptism of John.

He began to speak boldly in the synagogue; but when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him and expounded to him the way of God more accurately.

And when he wished to cross to Achaia, the brethren encouraged him, and wrote to the disciples to receive him.

When he arrived, he greatly helped those who through grace had believed, for he powerfully confuted the Jews in public, showing by the scriptures that the Christ was Jesus.

JOHN 10:39-42

At that time, the Jews tried to arrest Jesus, but he escaped from their hands.

He went away again across the Jordan to the place where John at first baptized, and there he remained.

And many came to him; and they said, “John did no sign, but everything that John said about this man was true.”

And many believed in him there.

Holy Scriptures January 11 2023

ST. PAUL’S LETTER TO THE HEBREWS 13:7-16

Brethren, remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God; consider the outcome of their lives, and imitate their faith.

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and for ever.

Do not be led away by diverse and strange teachings; for it is well that the heart be strengthened by grace, not by foods, which have not benefited their adherents.

We have an altar from which those who serve the tent have no right to eat.

For the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest as a sacrifice for sin are burned outside the camp.

So Jesus also suffered outside the gate in order to sanctify the people through his own blood.

Therefore let us go forth to him outside the camp and bear the abuse he endured.

For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city which is to come.

Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name.

Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.

LUKE 4:1-15

At that time Jesus returned from the Jordan, and was led by the Spirit for forty days in the wilderness, tempted by the devil.

And he ate nothing in those days; and when they were ended, he was hungry.

The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone.'”

And the devil took him up, and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, and said to him, “To you I will give all this authority and their glory; for it has been delivered to me, and I will give it to whom I will. If you, then, will worship me, it shall all be yours.” And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve.’

And he took him to Jerusalem, and set him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here; for it is written, ‘He will give his angels charge of you, to guard you, ‘ and ‘On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone.'” And Jesus answered him, “It is said, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.'”

And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time.

And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee, and a report concerning him went out through all the surrounding country.

And he taught in their synagogues, being glorified by all.

Holy Scriptures January 10 2023

ST. PAUL’S LETTER TO THE EPHESIANS 4:7-13

BRETHREN, grace was given to each of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift.

Therefore it is said, “When he ascended on high he led a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men.” (in saying, “He ascended, ” what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower parts of the earth?

He who descended is he who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.

And his gifts were that

some should be apostles,

some prophets,

some evangelists,

some pastors and teachers,

to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.

LUKE 3:19-22

At that time, Herod the tetrarch, who had been reproved by John for Herodias, his brother’s wife, and for all the evil things that Herod had done, added this to them all, that he shut up John in prison.

Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heaven was opened,

and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form, as a dove,

and a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”

Holy Scriptures January 9 2023

ST. PAUL’S SECOND LETTER TO TIMOTHY 2:1-10

Timothy, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me before many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.

Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus.

No soldier on service gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to satisfy the one who enlisted him.

An athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules.

It is the hardworking farmer who ought to have the first share of the crops.

Think over what I say, for the Lord will grant you understanding in everything.

Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, descended from David, as preached in my gospel, the gospel for which I am suffering and wearing fetters like a criminal.

But the word of God is not fettered.

Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain salvation in Christ Jesus with its eternal glory.

MARK 1:9-15

In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan.

And when he came up out of the water, immediately he saw the heavens opened and the Spirit descending upon him like a dove; and a voice came from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.”

The Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness.

And he was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels ministered to him.

Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the gospel.”