The Arena
The Arena

Episode · 1 year ago

There Are No Humpty Dumpties - Sunday of Zacchaeus 2021

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Now available at patristic nectar dot Org. patristic nectar publications is pleased to present a new five lecture series entitled Contemporary Women Saints. Saint John of Sinai, in his ladder of divine assent, writes that the lives of the saints arouse us to emulation of their courage and lead us to the virtue of humility and compunction. Contemporary Saints are particularly important since they acquire their love for God and holiness in the midst of our current milieu and demonstrate that spiritual acquisition is possible even in our own troubled times. The five lectures are as follows. Lecture number one the life of Saint Zania of Saint Petersburg. Lecture number two the life of Saint Elizabeth, the new martyr. Lecture number three the life of Saint Maria of Paris. Lecture number four the life of Saint Metrona of Moscow. Lecture number five the lives of mother Maria of Olonettes, Schema Num Macaria, the beloved cepher, and Matushka Olga of Alaska. For these and other available titles, please visit our website at atristic nectar got org and now the arena with Father Josiah Trenna. In the name of the father and of the son and of the Holy Spirit. Greetings and much love to all of the parishioners who are outside again. God bless your patience, God bless your love and forbearance, and God bless your health. It's been chilly and may the time come soon when the only reason someone have to be outside is because there's not a square inch left in the church. We had seven hundred in here for the consecration. You know that we're on a short hiatus from finishing the iconography in the Church temple. Were so close we didn't need just two more installation. We've done eight. You know it was a ten year project. We've taken a short hiatus to turn our attention to a ministry that the Lord has been pressing on us and we felt he was saying get to it now. But I can't wait. Once we have completed the St Andrew Academy and we've done the Great Hall and we renovated the Fellowship Hall, we're going to complete the Baptismal Chapel with beautiful iconography and hang too beautiful bass bells. Can't...

...wait for those belts, massive bells. They cost thirtyzero dollars each. They weigh threezero pounds, about the weight of a car. Will winch them up, tie them onto the posts which are already there waiting for them, where the other five Russian bills are, and then we'll seal off that third story, because if we don't, when we ring those bells, your soul will leap out of your body. Those bells will be extremely important, for instance in holy week, to hear a funeral toll on great Friday from one of those bells. They'll be used, of course, for our own funerals, and we could also use it today if we had one, because today is Zechisk Sunday. This poor man, completely ruined man, an inheritor of the promises of Israel, who turned his back on everything good, everything godly, and totally gave himself to his own passions, his own avarice, his own greed, collaborating with the God awful Romans. This Day, Zach Caius Sunday, is a tolling of the liturgical bell, because you you know, maybe some of the young ones, some of our green parishioners, don't, that Zach Caius is a marker in the the turtical year. Za caus is telling US soon the most sacred portion of the year will be here, soon the days of repentance and salvation will be here, soon the great lent will be upon us. This is the liturgical message of Zachaius. Zachaius is followed by the Publican and the Pharisee, which is followed by the Prodigal son, which is followed by the great judgment Sunday, which is followed by forgiveness on day and the launch into great lent. So if we had that great bell, I'd right now give the look to the bell ringer. You know, we have quite a complicated system here because the bells are three stories up. So we bless God in this one occasion for facetime, because the bell ringers keep their little facetime phone and there's one that's being held by the subdeacons so that they know exactly when to ring the bells based upon the liturgical movements that are going on inside the altar. I would look at him right now and tell him give us one toll just to remind us where we are. Get Ready,...

...have a heart of anticipation. I can't wait because I want to heal all my wounded memories of last lent. I want a good lent together so that we never have to remember this horrible, horrible, perhaps unheard of, covid lent that we had this last year. And if, if God wills, if God wills, and I certainly hope he does, please Lord, will have an undisturbed lent and we can give ourselves to the services together and to repentance. Let's hope. Let's hope. I have a few words to say about Zychaius and I want to start with one of my favorite nursery rhymes, Humpty dumpty. Humpty dumpty sat on a wall. Humpty dumpty had a great fall all the king's horses and all the king's men and could never put Humpty dumpty together again. Humpty dumpty. I tried to figure out exactly where Humpty dumpty came from. No one really knows. We do know that it was published first in a nursery rhyme type book by Samuel Arnold in one thousand seven, hundred and ninety seven. We do know that, but we're not exactly sure what it's president was, where he got it. Some people think it's a riddle, that an early seventeen century riddle, and so the person would have said, tell me what this is, who is or what is Humpty Dumpty, and then you say the riddle. Some people think it actually has historical references to the murder of King Richard the third. The Wall evidently was his horse and he was Humpty dumpy and he fell off his horse and he got slaughtered by the enemies. I don't know, I don't know, but I do know this. I do know this. Today Humpty dumpty is presented, of course, as an egg and not as a riddle, just as a story in our nursery rhymes. He's an egg that fell and he broke into so many pieces that it was simply impossible for the king's horses, in the King's men or anybody to put them back together again. I want you to know something as a witness of this gospel text. None of you, on principle, there are no Humpty dumpties. No one is so screwed up, no one is so broken, and certainly we can relate to Humpty dumpty. We've all had a great fall and if we're honest. We know that the consequence of that great fall is that we are in pieces. Some...

...of us are on the process of wholeness further than others, but no one here without wounds, no one here without a history of patching. But the witness of this gospel is a man so ruined, so totally destroyed as Zachus was not beyond fixing, he was not beyond saving and no one is. We have to remember this, brothers and sisters. We have to keep this in the depths of our heart. We can't have Jesus's view of the world, a Christian mind, unless we believe this. No one is beyond redemption. There are no Humpty dumpties. Zach Caius was a man who was in Israelite. He was a Jew waiting for the Messiah at the time of Christ it should have been the happiest time from that from his youth, to be that generation that was going to see the promises of the prophets come to fulfillment, the long for Messiah Appear, the tyranny of the Romans and even more the tyranny of the devil overthrown by the Messiah. He should have been right there ready, but no. Instead, he turned his back on his people for his own personal game. He collaborated with a godless pagan power to suppress his own people, his own relatives, his own family members, so that he could get rich. He swore an oath, a pagan oath, to the emperor and to his genus in order to become a tax collector. And it wasn't just the tax collector. He was the chief Teloni's, the number one, the richest, most abusive, criminal tax collector, rich on the backs of his people. This is him. This is him. If there was anyone who was past redemption, we would think it's at this man, Zechaius. But not only was he not past redemption, he becomes the paradigmatic convert. This man not only key did Jesus is words, he heard Jesus was coming. I don't know who we heard it from, but I was wondering maybe it got through his circles. Just think he wasn't the first tax collector Jesus saved. Think of the Apostle Matthew, one of the twelve. Jesus went right into his tax collecting house and said you follow me, and he was completely taken aback. And then the next scene, Jesus is at...

...his house with all his other tax collector friends. It's in Matthew United. It's an incredible text. Next thing you know he's an apostle. I just wonder, I don't know if they had like the text collectors union. I don't know exactly how that works, but my guess is that he heard that some of his other tax collectors a changed. When someone like you changes, when someone in your own world changes, maybe not from complete darkness to light. That's a big, huge change, of course. Maybe it's just change from a sin to something. It's sparks beautiful things. It's stirs up talk, it stirs up hope. If Fred can do it, and I know Fred, maybe I can do it. This is the thought. This man went from being a sinner to a seeker, to a sorrower, to one who was saved, to a servant. It's not that Huh Tho's five essays. That's what happened to Zakus. That's what happened to him, and you know that he ended up becoming a bishop of the Church and it becoming a servant of Christ, a martyr in Rome under Nero. Yes, there are no Humpty dumpties in the church, brothers and sisters, and today is the great encouragement. This is the time to repent. We can become like him. And he became a child, Jesus said. We just talked last week about how Jesus said, unless you become like children, you'll never enter the Kingdom of God. And what do children love to do? Climb trees, which is exactly what Zak's did, much to no doubt the Chagrin of all the upstanding people in the area. He climbed a tree, he became a child in his desire to see Jesus and Bam. Now I want to say one thing about the Lord here before I close. Zachus is a great encouragement to all of us, all of us broken ones, that we can be put back together by Christ, that repentance is powerful and what a message that is. On the edge of lent, something can happen good for us if we take lens seriously. But I also want you to see how marvelous, how marvelous, the Lord Jesus is in this text. The Lord was with the crowd, constantly hassled by crowds, constantly followed by crowds, overwhelmed. Do you know? I'm just a little priest and my crowds are little, but I can get numb very quickly. The number of hands that touch you...

...at the same time, from different directions, from little ones, big ones, old ones, young ones, the number of requests, it can make you feel Numb, and I'm just a little priest with little crowds. The Lord how he was able to keep his composure surrounded by so many people all the time seeking things from him all the time, and yet could look at Zachaeus, whom he's never met, in a tree and call him by name, Zachaeus, and I loved what he said. It's a great message for all of our spiritual lives. Ye'll know what he said. First word, hurry, hurry. Why Hurry? I have no idea what need to say. Come down, nice to see. Is that case? I'm coming to your house. No Hurry. And then the next text says Zak has hurried down. Salvation is not to be played with. It's time to get on with it. It's a beautiful message. He spoke his name, he knew him. Zakos must have just been like a flower coming into the sun that just started bubbling and growing and blossoming. And he did because he as soon as Jesus came into his house, he said, Lord, Fifty percent of everything I had, and that was something. Can you imagine, if Jess Bezos has a conversion moment, what could happen to people who are poor, if he has a conversion moment and says, half of what I have I give to the poor at anything I stole, which is a lot, which is a lot, I give back fourfold. Just flowered his life, just flower his whole priorities changed in the presence of Jesus. I want you to see this. And then he went right into the man's house and that crowd which had just been following him started murmuring. Oh, the fickle ones who wanted what they want, but when they got something else, when they saw something else that they didn't like. Jesus hanging out with that man. Oh, all the criticisms, all the condemnation of Christ. How dare he go into the house to eat with a sinner? Now, let me, let me help you be a little bit sympathetic with those people. We rejoice in what he did, but it was a scandal. The Lord was absolutely scandalous. Think of the first Psalm, which is all about him, by the way, the blessed man, well less it is the man who doth not walk in the council of Sinners, nor stand in the path of the UNRIGHTEOUS,...

...nor sit in the seat of the scoffer. But if delight is in the law of the Lord and on his law, he meditates day and night. What's the very definition of the righteous man? The very definition of the Godly man is that he neither walks, stands nor sits with sinners. That's what he does. So what if Jesus doing? If Jesus breaking his own law? Is Jesus violating his own standards? This is what the people thought. Hey, Jesus, why are you actually sitting with a wicked man? That is exactly what the Psalm says. You're not supposed to be doing. How do you put these two things to other? It's a good question. Jesus answers it for us at the end of this account. He says, for the son of man has come to seek and to save the lost. His whole reason for coming, brothers and sisters, is to enter into the lives of sinners, to start walking next to sinners, to sit down with sinners, to enter into the homes of sinners and even to eat with them. Why? In order to save them. And this is the difference. It's one thing to walk in the Council of the sinner in order to perhaps take some counsel from him. Bad idea. It's something else to stand and have a conversation with the sinner, as sinners talk. It's something worse to sit down with them and to get into league with them and start doing what sinners do. That is not why Jesus came and that is will not what he was doing. Is Not what he did with Matthew. It's not what he did with that case, and he's not what he did with us, and it's not what we do either. We pursue everyone and we, yes, talk to people and invest ourselves in people who are outside the church, who are away from God, even who are Godless Democrats, are godless Republicans, or whatever you think is the definition of like evil. Okay, we we talk to them, we seek them, because this is our very mission. It doesn't need explanation. It's two thousand years old. That's why the church exists. We are those people converted. This is US broken people who prove that there are no Humpty dumpties. This is how the church interacts. For this reason, there are some who shouldn't do too much of that,...

...because they can't yet go out and interact in those places without being compromised and being weak. They should get stronger. They should get stronger for the sake of your neighbor. So that you can interact with someone. You can have a conversation with a CO worker that you know is a dishonest person, that you know is cheating on his wife, you can still sit with them and interact heart to heart, not because you are at all interested in collaborating in that kind of stuff, but because you love this person, you want to help this person and you're in a position to do it because you're stuck permanently in a sycamore tree so that you can see Jesus. That's where you want to end up. Brothers and sisters, we all should end I want to end this by saying we should all be permanently in the sycamore tree. You know that Sycamore Tree. Don't get the out wrong idea. For those of you who have been to my house, the best part of my house are my sycamore trees. They're humncous things. A matter of fact, I just had people in them like that Kus last week trimming them because just before the rains, because they were about to fall on my house, big huge branches, and I saw those guys up there, hundred feet up, cutting things down. The Sycamore Tree we're talking about in Jericho was a sycamore fig and it's still there. By the way, you can go to Jericho, they have it all walled off. Zakus is tree is a place of sacred tilgrimage, but he did what he had to do in order to have a clear line of sight to Jesus in the midst of a crowd, and that is exactly what we should do. If we're going to be like this, if we're going to be like the Lord, if we're going to be like Zakus and be done with that which pleet displeases God, we have to have Christ in our life and we got to take whatever position we can so that we can see him. This may mean embarrassing yourself, like he embarrassed himself. It certainly means to act like a child and to put it the matters that the world doesn't consider important to be important so that you can see him. This means keeping your prayers, it means faithfully coming to church, it means trying to see his face in other people and not looking at people what they can give you, but how they'd reflect him. These are ways that you can stay in your syc of Martry. And All was seen Christ. What an incredible, glorious account we have today. Be encouraged, brother, since sisters be encouraged. There is no one still messed up that they can't be healed by Christ. Comment. We hope that you have enjoyed and have been edified by this presentation offered to you by Patristic Nectar Publications, a nonprofit organization committed to nourishing the spiritually thirsty with the sweet teachings of the Holy Fathers.

If you are interested in other available titles or if you would like more information on patristic nectar publications, please visit our website at www dot patristic nectar dot org. Again, that's www dot patristic nectar dot org.

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