Sunday, January 9

Occasionally on Sunday mornings, as I'm sitting at my desk and getting ready for the day, I will pull up a church service on the Internet -- often an Eastern Orthodox liturgy.

Now, as a side note I'll say that Orthodox priests are not really known for their preaching. They do other things well but on a whole, as my Orthodox friends occasionally complain, the preaching isn't very strong.

However, this morning I watched the liturgy at
St Mark's Greek Orthodox Church in Boca Raton, Florida and I was pleasantly surprised. The sermon was simple, visual, and very powerful. I'm not sure which of the two priests was up to bat today but he talked about the jailer in Acts 16:30 who asks the Apostle Paul, "What must I do to be saved?" And Paul responds "Believe on the Lord Jesus and you will be saved..." (v. 31).

The priest focused on how basic the gospel is. Often we make everything too complicated but at the core it's all about believing in Jesus. In his conclusion he called on his congregation to "believe" -- even if they have been participating in liturgy all their lives -- if they don't believe they aren't saved. It was powerfully done -- and very much reflecting the evangelicalism inherent in Orthodoxy.

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