Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Why Attend Church?
Can God's Temple be Duplicated at Home?

Over the years I have met people who have chosen not to join a church, choosing, rather, to "worship" at home. Some have convinced themselves church is a waste of time, and feel they can be close to God while staying home on a Sunday morning. Others believe none of the churches teach the bible according to their own interpretation, and choosing to worship in the privacy of their own home, assure themselves they won't have to hear any false teachings.

Some people have chosen to stay away from church because of past conflict with a clergyman, or perhaps got tired of hearing pleas for money, and have convinced themselves that giving to a charity is money better spent (in reality, church goers tend to outspend non-church goers in charitable giving).

In truth, God has given us the Church as the very place wherein we can grow spiritually, while enjoying the protection, and the blessings, of being in weekly contact with other believers. Just like an earthly family, we don't always enjoy the presence of other members, but it is often those difficult and uncomfortable moments that help us grow the most. As well, there are blessings that would never be experienced, should we remain apart from fellow Christians.

In Luke 4:16, we read that Our Lord Jesus Christ was regularly in the temple, for "He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom." It was Christ's regular practice to go to church, "As he always did on the Sabbath, he went to the meeting place." If Our Lord Jesus made it a priority to meet together with other believers, how can we excuse ourselves from doing the same.

Perhaps the most important reason for weekly church attendance lies in the fact that it is only in the church where we can receive Holy Communion, for Our Lord went so far as to say that unless we eat of His flesh, and drink of His blood, we will have no life in us (John 6:53). It is in the reception of Holy Communion where we receive the grace needed to grow spiritually, and where we are empowered to live in all holiness and truth.

Finally, the neglect of corporate worship grieves the Holy Spirit who lives within the individual believer and the Church as a whole, "And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption (Ephesians 4:30)".

With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Tuesday December 31, 2013 / December 18, 2013
28th Week after Pentecost. Tone two.
Nativity (St. Philip's Fast). Food with Oil

Martyr Sebastian at Rome and his companions: Martyrs Nicostratus, Zoe, Castorius, Tranquillinus, Marcellinus, Mark, Claudius, Symphorian, Victorinus, Tiburtius, and Castulus (287).
Martyr Victor (1936).
New Hieromartyr Thaddeus (Uspensky), archbishop of Tver (1937).
New Hieromartyrs Nicholas archbishop of Velikoustiuzh, James, John, Vladimir, and Nicholas priests (1937).
New Hieromartyr Sergius deacon and Virgin-martyr Vera (1942).
Venerable Sebastian, abbot of Poshekhonye Monastery (Vologda) (1500).
Glorification (1694) of Righteous Simeon, wonderworker of Verkhoturye (1642).
St. Modestus I, archbishop of Jerusalem (4th c.).
Venerable Florus, bishop of Amisus (7th c.).
Venerable Michael the Confessor at Constantinople (845).
Martyr Eubotius at Cyzicus (318).
Venerable Winnibald, abbot and missionary of England and Heidenheim (Germany) (761) (Celtic & British).
Hieromartyr Zaccheus the Deacon and St. Alpheus the Reader of Caesarea (Greek).
St. Gatianus, first bishop of Tours (3rd c.).
St. Sophia the Wonderworker (Greek).
You can read the life of the saint by clicking on the highlighted name.

THANKS to all of you who have been able to contribute towards the support of the monastery. These difficult times of economic hardship have impacted the monastery, and those of you who have been able to donate, have been our lifeline. May God bless you for your generosity, and kindness.
With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Donations can be made directly to the monastery through PayPal, or you may send donations to:

All-Merciful Saviour Monastery
PO Box 2420
Vashon Island, WA 98070-2420 USA

The Scripture Readings for the Day

2 Timothy 3:16-4:4

16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Preach the Word

4 I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at[a] His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.

 I invite my readers to listen to my
Ancient Faith Radio podcasts:

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