Tag Archive for: Value

Banquet Seating

Armodoxy for Today

Banquet Seating

The Parable of the Great Banquet (Luke 14:12-24) ends with the words, “For I say to you that none of those men who were invited shall taste my supper.” And now, you find yourself sitting at the table, and the only reason you are here is because you’ve accepted the invitation. You’re at the Banquet which was referenced as “Blessed is the one who will eat at the feast in the kingdom of God.” You’re blessed. You’re at the feast. And now let’s take a look around.

Up until now we’ve looked at others who have refused the invitation. The Armodoxy challenge is to put yourself in the Parable. It’s easy to look at the characters in a parable and see the fault of others, but the Christian is called to see him or herself in the parable dynamics. This placement is an exercise in self-evaluation. Hence, we find one of the important reasons for the season of Advent: to be prepared emotionally and spiritually to accept the Creator of the Universe in our midst. Christ is born and revealed, is the Christmas message.

You’re now at the Table. Take it further by asking yourself, in what ways have I answered the invitation to be seated? The true invitation is to the Kingdom of Heaven. God asks us – invites us – to value life, we value our cars, our homes, our business, to the point we put our children on hold while we go chasing material wealth. God asks us – invites us – to seek peace. We build bigger and better weapons. We eliminate options of working together to find harmony and find only ways of building borders and barriers. God asks us – invites us – to love one another and care for others. We say not everyone. We set our standards so that love is not unconditional.

In other words, the invite to the Banquet is an invite to the Kingdom of God. Responding to the invite is a chance for each of us to truly listen carefully to the answers of our heart.

The Parable is to share God’s love and God’s kingdom with everyone. Everyone has equal access. Today we sit at the Table and look around, thankful that we are here and increase our awareness of the love, tolerance, peace-seeking, life-loving, that has brought us here. God’s grace and mercy have given us access to this beautiful opportunity, tomorrow we’ll look at the price for sitting at this Table. It steep but its also a lot of fun.

Join me in prayer, All benevolent and almighty refuge and hope of the weak and the troubled, my Lord and my God, who created everything from nothingness. Draw closer to me with Your unspeakable mercy, for you show compassion to those who yearn for You and heal them through Your benevolence. Make me worthy of the Table of Immortality, to join in prayer those who adore You, for to You is befitting glory, dominion and honor, now and always, Amen.

Staying on Track

Armodoxy for Today

Staying on Track

Our Advent Journey continues and our first stop is confronting the parable of the ‘Rich Fool,’ as told by Jesus Christ in the Gospel of Luke, chapter 12.

“The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. And he thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’ So he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.  But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then who’s will those things be which you have provided?’ So is he who lays up treasure for himself and is not rich toward God.” – Jesus (Luke 12)

Remember, Advent is a time of preparation for Christmas, to understand the holiness of the holy day. Right off, Jesus tells us the preparation is about laying treasures and uses this parable to illustrate the importance of not losing sight of the prize. We are on a journey to Christmas when we proclaim that Christ is born and revealed among us. Along the way, it will be easy to be sidetracked. The rich man of the parable begins as an entrepreneur who uses his wisdom and knowledge to bring him profit. When his work yields a bumper crop, he loses sight of the purpose of his labor and falls into the trap of losing sight of the destination. Further, Jesus gives him the designation of a “fool” because he had labored and not set aside treasures beyond himself.

St. Paul refers to the love of money as the root of all evil. Money itself is merely a tool. It has value when it is used, otherwise it is merely a figure of lines, circles, dots and dollar signs on a ledger somewhere. When money is used, an in particular to the aid and benefit of others – your children, your parents, your loved ones, your community, your church, and yes, to those who you don’t know – it picks up value because now, it can be measured by the terms that are understood by others beside yourself.

It always amazes me when I hear someone boast of himself or of his child, proudly proclaiming that they “know the value of a dollar.” In fact, a drug dealer knows the value of a dollar. So what? The parable is about finding true value for money which translates to the value of life.

We pray the prayer of St. Nersess the Gracefilled, from the 23 hour: All-merciful Lord, have mercy upon all Your faithful, on those who are mine and on those who are strangers; on those whom I know and on those whom I know not; on the living and on the dead; and forgive all my enemies, and those who hate me, the trespasses that they have committed against me; turn them from the malice which they bear towards me, that they may be worthy of Your mercy. Amen.

We continue tomorrow, on the Advent Journey. I look forward to being together to take the next steps.

How Much for Your Love?

Next Step #287 – December 5, 2013

How much do you want for your love? “I’ll buy your a Cadillac… If you just give me some of your love…” say the minstrels Burdon & Aroustamian – but what about your love? Should you have an expectation for the giving-receiving-taking dynamics? Fr. Vazken asks along and challenges listeners for some candid conversation about expectations and demands from our Church. (More to come). Also – Priests stepping out at night: Gossip? or more? The minstrels as the priests of music and the arts. Nelson Mandela (1918-2013) – some early reflections as the news of passing breaks during this recording session.
Song: “Free all the People (South Africa)” by Carlos Santana
Pope at night ministering to homeless
Cadillac by Ashot Aroustamian
Nelson Mandela Quotes
Sermon on the Apostles by Fr. Vazken
Engineered by Ken Nalik
Produced by Suzie Shatarevyan for epostle.net
Look for The Next Step on blubrry.com
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