The Arena
The Arena

Episode · 4 months ago

Our Coming Quality Inspection | Sunday After Dormition 2021


The Arena Podcast is the flagship of Patristic Nectar Publications and contains the Sunday Sermons and other theological reflections by Father Josiah Trenham delivered from the ambon of St. Andrew Church in Riverside, California and begun in 2010. Currently there are more than 550 sermons and lectures covering ten years worth of preaching through the liturgical calendar.

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God's Prodigal Prophet: An Exposition of the Prophecy of Jonah 

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Now available at patristic nectar,Doorg patristic, nectar, publications ispleased to present a four part lecture series. My father desyatin entitledGod's Prodigal Prophet An exposition of the prophecy of Jonah. This text is found amongst the minorprofits of the Old Testament and is much beloved by believers, not only forits Christological typology, in which it sets forth the death, burial,plundering of Hades and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, but also becauseit is simply packed full of spiritual themes like obedience, repentancesinful nationalism, God's call to mission, the enlightenment of thenations, brokenness rebellion and grace the love of enemies and much much morefor these and other available titles visit our website at patristic nectar,not a work, and now the arena with Father JosiahTrene, in the name of the father and of theson, and of the Holy Spirit. I hope, brothers and sisters that your heartsare filled with joy to be in God's house. I hope so it would be onlynatural father, Joseph other Thomas, and I encourageeach other just at the end of the duthoe. Beforethe divine litery starts. We share portions of the psalms, often with each other to day Father Thomas said, happy Lord'sDay Fathers Father Joseph responded. I was gladwhen they said to me. Let us go into the House of the Lord, and then I responded one day in God's house is more preciousthan one thousand outside. Do you see the common thing? Are you glad to be in God's House Yeah? Do you judge that one day in thepresence of God in this holy place, worshipping him is more precious andcontributes more to our happiness than over three years of the best things theworld outside has to offer? Do you really believe that I hope so? This is the cry of thepeople of God's heart. How privileged we are, what a greatblessing we have were finishing the celebration of thedormition of Our Lady, which is why her epitafia is still here on the SOLEAuntil to morrow you'll have one last chance to give it a kiss. I I'm not going to preach on the doormission now and I'm not going to preach...

...on the Gospel text, although I wouldlike to preach on both go to preach instead on the epistlelesson, which you just heard from Saint Paul's, first letter to the Corinthians,but before I do that, I want to just give you an encouragement with regardto the celebration of the dormition and what you should think when you're surrounded by the mother ofGod's beer here when you're facing east and when you're facing left themagnificent Western Wall of the dormition icon, you know I can imagine some peoplethinking that the reason Jesus had such a victory over death was because hewasn't just a man, but God he was the than throost and therefore death couldnot hold him, and that is true. Death could not hold him, some might say. But what does that haveto do with me? I'm not God, I'm just a sinner. How is it that I can have confidence inthe face of death? The feast they of Our Lady's dormition is the feast partexcellence of what the implication of Jesus is victory. Over death means forhuman beings, who are not God, her triumph. Her triumph at the time ofher repose, her magnificent glorious ascent in body and soul into the Kingdom ofGod to sit on the right of her son, who is sitting on the right of his father,is a witness to us about the implications about why Jesusdefeated death why he rose again from the dead and that was to grant to hismother and to all of us who loved him and who believe in him his victory overdeath. We believers, sometimes don't meditatedeeply enough upon that, and we allow the fear of death to reside in us in anunnatural way in a way that is not consonant with the Gospel. For instance. Listen to this quote.This is a magnificent quote. I sent it yesterday to a friend who is was just diagnosed with a very,very terrible, rare disease. He is an incredible Orthodox Christianman who lives in the country of Georgia and a warrior and an inspiration toknow, and now he's facing this very serious moment in his life unexpectedlyto him, not unexpectedly to God- and I sent him. This quote. Listen to this.This is from Saint John Cresols in ask yourself. Is this what you think aboutdeath? This is Saint John, Chris Alston. Death is only a name devoid of reality.

Death is only a name devoid of reality,for death is nothing more than asleep a journey, a migration, a rest, atranquil haven, an escape from trouble and a freedom from the cares of thispresent life. This is what Jesus our saviour has made it do you believe that you should? This is the consequence ofthe Gospel there once for us to tremble at death, I'm not suggesting that we're still notsinners, or that there's not a certain horrorthat human nature has, but those things can't be normative. For us,our faith must be determinative. Our confidence in Christ is what shouldinform us with regards to death, but I'm not going to preach on thedormition to day. Instead, let me say just a few words about the incredible epistles I'veentitled my reflection on that lesson: the coming quality inspection, the coming quality inspection, you all say every day every morning,I'm confident in your morning prayers that beautiful prayer. Suddenly thejudge shall come and the deeds of all shall be revealed, but with fear, wecry out in the middle of the night Holy Holy Holy Art, Thou God through theTail Toco of mercy on us. We say this all the time. Suddenly the judge shallcome and the deeds of all shall be revealed. This is something that Paulspoke about very clearly in this epistles on this morning. First crinththree. He says this several things. First, hesays we are all God's building. He says we are all not just God'sbuilding were workers in God's building. The apostles are the wise masterbuilders and they have laid the foundation, and there is no otherfoundation that can be laid than the foundation of faith in Jesus Christ.Our Lord, we ourselves are part of this building we're living stones, SaintPeter, says fashioned into the very walls of this divine building, which isthe church, the body of Christ and were workers he ses, we're not justpart of the building were absolutely absolutely part, but we're alsocontributing to its growth were laboring, and this is such an apt image,since that is literally what we're doing right now next door. We are a church that knows a lot aboutbuildings and a lot about building projects. Imean just think how many years of God,...

...blessed inconvenience, we've had here,just think of it. How many times we've seen the dirt torn up, how many times we've seen new buildingsrising. All of these buildings are wonderfuland that they all assist the one building that matters the glorious building that was foundedby God, which is the church. Don't let it be a shock to you whenPaul says you're workers. In God's building, I think some of us, thank God- I don't thinkmany here, but some of our brothers and sisterswould be shocked at being called a worker in God's building. May the mental orientation to theChurch that leads people to come in the church like she's, some sort of factorydispensing sacraments, receive community, then walk out the churchwithout saying hello to any one. May that mentality perish from the face ofthe Earth mid the mentality that leave some tocome into the church and just be takers. I want to go get a good word. I want tohear beautiful singing. I want to stand in front of God and be anointed toreceive the sacraments, but not have the mentality on goingthere to work. I'm going there to give I'm going thereto pour out I'm going there to squeeze myself in the service of others. That'sthe Christian mind, brothers and sisters the take and not give hasnothing to do with Christ at all. Were workers in God's building and ourchief work is what you're doing right now, standing in the presence of God and adorning his name with beautiful words of praise liftingup the name of the Holy Trinity, Bowing Low and worshipping. This is the firstand highest calling of believers. It's the greatest work that inspires everyother work, the scent of worship. If we're going to be Christian in ourlives, it's what inspires everything else. It's what keeps us well oriented in all of our daily tasks. Prayer, service, mercy, love witness. These are the works that we do here.This is the work of God's building. Second Thing Paul says, is that ourLabor in this building project is going to be inspected. It's going to be inspected in allbuildings. Are this week I had some pressing matters with our buildingcontractors that I needed to ask them about twice in the same week, I went to see themand I never know where they could be.

They could be in their trailer. Theycould be on the first floor. They could be on the second floor. They could beout in the dirt with the dirt movers, who knows so. I have to search for themand I went to find them and I found them. Thank God. I heard them before Isaw them. They were with an inspector the first time and they were withanother inspector the second time. Neither of the conversations soundedpleasant. Thankfully I heard him before I sawthem so as I was coming around the corner, I just backed up and went right back to my office and Isaid I'll. Try I'll try to morrow I'll try to morrow those inspectors areserious business. I remember when we received our final inspector to come tothis Holy Temple. God bless him. I still remember hisname. Phil Irwin Film was a long time veteran exinspector. Then he was famous in the city because he wore a very handsomecowboy hat everywhere. He went and I had known about him because he actuallyinspected our hall back in two thousand one and two when we built our hall. SoI saw Phil and I got to know him then, and I asked Phil I said Phil. I madeterrible mistake, I said Phil, thank God. It's you thank God as too, and he looked at me.I said you know. I know he had shared with me. How excited he was about whatthe church was doing and the building of the church etc. I said you know,would really like you to come to our banquet. He said Nope, I said I'm an inspector, I'm not afriend, I'm an inspector, I said: Oh got, it got it. Who are you anyway, and whatare you doing here? Yes, our labor dear ones, is going to beinspected, that's the reality of it and reinspect or serious business, and theinspection is serious. Business. Jesus emphasized this coming inspection,a lot. You know inspectors. They look into thecrevices they're, looking behind our dry wall, they're running their eyesalong every single wire and where it's going looking for anymistake, they're measuring the wit of our staircase and they were very upsetbecause the SAIRCUS was forty, seven and a half inches wide and it wassupposed to be forty eight inches wide. We had to fix it then, and there, when we built thischurch, we put the stall in the men's bathroom. It was a half inch too narrow.The entire thing had to be torn out and redone. That's what inspectors dothat's how serious inspections are? Our coming inspection is going to be aninspections that penetrates the depths...

...of the human mind and heart no secrets will remain secrets. Jesus says this in his teaching in LukeChapter Twelve, he was teaching in the context of thePharisees and their hypocritical religion. Bunch of outward show, butnothing on the inside right. They look pretty on the outside. Like an adorned memorial on the inside. He says theywere full of dead, men's bones and all uncleanness, and he said on that day,which is coming that which has been hidden will be revealed. That which hasbeen spoken in the darkness will be spoken in the light and every secretwill be proclaimed from the house, tops Ouch Ouch, our Labor will be inspected and it's going to beinspected. He says Paul says this is the third thing he says. Each man's work he says will becomemanifest for the day will make it manifest. It will be tried by fire. This is point three notice how he calls it just the day just the day. That's the Christianmentality. There are days lots of them. They come and go, but there's only onethat day and that day is what we think about all the time. Suddenly the judge will come and thedeeds of all will be revealed. This is what we say every day, we'relooking forward to that day, we're thinking about that day. Eternity isfixed in our mind. The judgments fixed in our mind,because that's the day that the inspection, the quality inspection, isgoing to take place. I was telling you about my my friend, whose facing suchchallenges now in Georgia he's a very, very accomplished business man. I shared a little bitwith you five years ago when I came back from Georgia. Having spoken there at the WorldCongress of families in the presence of Patriarchia there a much respected anddeeply revealed revered patriarch of Georgia. I told you a little bit about my friendat that time. This accomplished business man. He was diagnosed with this extremelyrare disease just shortly after publicly announcing that he was goingto put aside his business and he was going to enter the realm of politics inthe country of Georgia. He already had a lot of enemies for his StandfordOrthodoxi and especially for his resistance against globalization andthe coming of the whole secular stick into the country of Georgia. All of a sudden. He gets this terribledisease and he wrote a reflection and published it, and he said that he hadno idea if he would survive that he had...

...every intention, with God's help, totry to do so because he has just made a major transition in his life and wasprepared to pour out his life the rest of his life in service to his country.He said, but many people thinks he think that he waspoisoned. There is no explanation. The doctors haven't been able to make anyexplanation on how this disease arose, and he said whatever the case is anyone who is opposing the church. Should knowthat we Georgians, we Orthodox Georgians, we only care about one thing: Eternity we only care about one thing: Eternityeverything in light of this everything in light of the day which is coming thecoming of the Kingdom of God. This is the day that is coming and Paul says,will have a test by means of fire. The fire will show our works either tobe works of gold, silver and precious stone or works of Hay and Straw willeither be like the three holy youths who danced amidst the cool breeze inthe middle mist of a furnace of fire or will be like our dear towns in northernCalifornia. These last few weeks, complete shells burned out nothing left. This is what each of us will be. Dearones, will either suffer loss a terrible loss possess or will receivea great reward. It all depends on how we build on the foundation of Christ. Iwant to encourage you. I want to encourage you to take heed, to take heed, how you build and how youare building you who are catechumens. You are in the process of laying thefoundation that pauls describing her the foundation. Is Your faith in Christwhich you're forming right now, which your building and which you'll have theday you're baptized, and from that moment that's not the end. That's thebeginning, when your baptized God has given youthe foundation of his son, to build your life suddenly upon, so that whenthe rains come and the flood start pouring upon us and the wind is blowing,you will stand on this day when the fire comes you'll, be able to standbecause you built upon the Solid Foundation of Christ. This is why don't drop out of catechism. You know we just last week en roll thatbeautiful new family, the ASTRADO family, a new nine CATICOM NS. What youdidn't probably know is that very weak. I remove five CATICOM humans forinactivity, gone no longer on the list, I'm not used tothat. I'm not used to that. I'm used to a twelve percent recidivism rate afterfive years. That's horrible enough!...

That's horrible enough to lose twelveout of every hundred converts, but to see catechumens disappear. Evenin the middle of catechism, before the foundation has been laid utter, totalfoolishness, total foolishness, brothers and sisters.Dear catechumens, persevere. Persevere! If you don't lay afoundation for your life like this. How are you going to stand on this day? Ifyou don't build your life solely on Christ, this day will be terrible. This thingwill be terrible and all of us. This is the time for building. This isnot the time for resting. Our rest is coming when death will be shown only to be aname devoid of reality in our own life, when our saviour will stand next to us,like he stood next to his mother. As our champion and he'll say that one ismine, go wait. Death go away demons, com,mine! This is our future, but it's not now. Now is the time for Labour. Now is thetime for gold and silver and precious stones, the works of God, worship, prayer, service, mercy, loveteaching, compassion forgiveness, make God grant that we have this glorious fruit on that day, we hope that you have enjoyed and havebeen edified by this presentation offered to you by Patristic Nectar,Publications, a nonprofit organization committed to nourishing the spirituallythirsty with the sweet teachings of the Holy Fathers. If you are interested in otheravailable titles or if you would like more information on patristic nectarpublications, please visit our website at www, dot, patristic nectar, dot, Org.Again, that's W W W dot, patristic nectar, God all t.

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