In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit
Because of our traditions we have kept our balance for many years, Here in Anetevka/Burkburnett we have traditions for everything…..how to eat, how to sleep, even how to wear clothes. For instance, we always keep our heads covered and always wear a little prayer shawl…This shows our constant devotion to God. You may ask how did this tradition start? I’ll tell you I don’t know. But it’s a tradition…Because of our traditions, everyone knows who he is and what God expects him to do.
Now I will not torture you will more of me singing Fiddler on the Roof, but I do like that musical a lot.
Today we get the chance to demonstrate the beauty, and divine integrity of the what we call the 3 legged stool. As Orthodox Anglicans we have the wonderful concept of our faith coming to us supported by Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition, and Holy Reason. We never have to check our minds at the Church door, for we in fact know that via the right actions of our minds we manifest the image of God to the rest of the world. We do this by how we know, will, and love in creation.
We can rest easy with our beautiful Apostolic traditions, our Sacraments, and all the wonderful practices come down to us through the centuries without having to fret if they are exactly spelled out in the writ of Scripture. They may, or may not be, but we know they never run contrary to Scripture. We can love them as we have received them.
We say the Creed of Nicea every Sunday, we celebrate the Eucharist, we Bless, we sing, we anoint, we do so many wonderful things come down to us from where? Remember last week “For all the Saints who from their warfare rest” That’s where. This stuff goes all the way back to folks like Old Job. “For I know that my redeemer lives, and at last he will stand upon the earth.” Yes, he will Job.
In 2nd Thessalonians, St. Paul tells us “To this He called you through our Gospel, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. So then, Brethren, stand firm and hold to the traditions which you were taught by us, either by word of mouth or by letter.” Right here in the text of Sacred Scripture it flat tells us that “Solo Scripture” is not the completeness of the faith. The traditions of the Church and the Faith itself are very important and to be held. These traditions do not run contrary to or contradict Scripture but do contain much of the content of our faith no other place found.
In just a moment we will together conduct the Liturgy of the Eucharist, it is the one thing Christians have done as long as there have been Christians. We celebrate the truths of Christ is Word and Sacrament. I cannot imagine one without the other, and neither can about 80% of Christians who have ever lived. We learned this through those who took time to teach us our traditions, to teach who we are, and what we are called to Christ’s Church. We have an obligation to teach the next generation. What would your mother say if she knew you did not teach your kids and grandkids?
Why do we go through all the trouble of these ancient traditions? Sometimes they are a lot of work. They are sort of odd looking, and from a much different time and place. That is precisely why we practice them. It is just like the Lord Christ told you in today’s Gospel. The kingdom is not exactly what you think it is, all your earthly legalism, ideas about time, what you see in this present world is going to be much changed when the Kingdom of God comes in its fullness. Our traditions are designed to point to the truths of Christ and all he promises; they need to look a little different.
“Those who are accounted worthy to attain to that age and to the resurrection from the dead are equal to angels and are sons of God, being sons of the Resurrection.” This should really be amazing!
The Reverend Randy Rogers+