The Cathedral of Christ the King
Fifth Sunday of Pentecost
June 21, 2015
Services of The Sacrament of Confirmation were held May 31 at the Cathedral of Christ the King, Sharpsburg. Each of the confirmands received eight hours of instruction on a wide variety of subjects. David Epps, Bishop of the Diocese of the Mid-South (Georgia and Tennessee) ministered the sacrament. Darlena Pattison will serve at the Church of the Holy Cross, Fayetteville, GA, while the others will be at Christ the King.
FRONT ROW- Darlena Pattison, Griffin; Peyton Epps, Sharpsburg; Ruth Dickinson, Sharpsburg
BACK ROW- Bishop Epps; Christiana Wroble, Newnan; and Merrielle Gatlin, Fayetteville
The Cathedral of Christ the King
Fourth Sunday of Pentecost
June 14, 2015
Sermon Link: Does Your Life Matter?
I am a 36 year-old single woman who for some months now has been taking a long, hard look at my life. Truth is I am sad, lonely and very disappointed that the hopes and dreams I had as a girl have not happened. I very much wanted marriage, motherhood and a fulfilling career. The clock is ticking, and so far none of these have happened. I am what you’d probably call a “nominal Christian,” going to church five or six times a year. I live in Arkansas and read your columns on the Citizen web-site. Any advise you have for me will be appreciated and taken to heart.
Thank you for your question. There are tens of thousands, probably millions, of people today who are in the same situation as you. I met a lady recently, a lot like you. She told me she cries herself to sleep almost every night. She is a little older than you with a few less years left for her desires and dreams to come true. But let me encourage you, as I encouraged her, that there IS still time, if you will both follow exactly the advise I shared with her and am about to share with you and my readers.
It’s a nearly fool proof strategy for success, fulfillment and happiness in life that, now over 3,000 years old, has stood the test of time. And yet it is so simple that it is often rejected by the “smart” people. “It can’t be that easy,” they say.
It is based on one tiny and obscure verse in God’s Word to mankind … the Bible. You knew I was going there didn’t you. But seriously, the Bible is God’s “operation manual,” written to guide each of us, whom he himself has created, through life. Think of it like this. Who better knows, the innermost workings … and how to “fix’ anything that can possibly go wrong in a hundred-story skyscraper than the architect who planned, designed and built the whole building down to the last detail? Nobody, that’s who. Everything is in the architect’s mind and blueprints! And when we begin to see God as the supreme architect and builder of the universe and all that is in it (including us) it becomes a simple matter of faith for us to then go to his “operation manual,” his “blueprint” … the Bible, for the answers to all of our problems and concerns. This is called by some, “a Biblical World View,” and it has worked for me for 72 years now. That’s why I can, without apology or reservation, recommend the Bible to any and all persons, no matter their problems or issues. For all too many of us though, the Bible (the answer) sits there on our bookshelf, gathering dust.
The little Bible verse I mentioned is found in Psalm 37:4. It was written by King David. It says (New Living Translation) “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires.” Wow! That’s a simple, and profound (but conditional) promise directly from God himself to every man, woman, boy and girl on planet earth. You want to have your heart’s desires? Then “delight” in the Lord. Yes, it really is that simple. Please note: I am definitely NOT talking about winning the lottery, a new Corvette or inheriting ten million dollars, but rather the things your heart desires for the “right,” unselfish, godly reasons.
The Hebrew word in the original Psalm 37:4 text which the Bible translators have translated into English, as “delight,” is the word Anag … pronounced “aw-nag.” It literally means to become soft and pliable in the hands of God. Basically, God is promising that when we come to the place where we know, love, serve and obey him (with soft and pliable hearts) … and we find all of our peace and fulfillment in him, then he will pour out his blessings upon us … including giving us the desires of our hearts. This is in direct contrast to the way the world works, but it is indeed the way the Kingdom of God works.
So I would simple urge you, Angie, and everyone else, beginning today, to simply start “delighting in the Lord,” then get ready for what he will do.
Do You Have A Question? Send it to me at email@example.com and I will try to answer it in the paper.
Father Paul Massey is Pastor Emeritus of Church of the Holy Cross in Fayetteville, Georgia. Visit www.holycrosschurch.wordpress.com for more information, service times, directions and recorded Sunday messages.
The Cathedral of Christ the King
Third Sunday of Pentecost
June 7, 2015
Sermon Link: Sacramental Unity
I did not grow up in a home with girls. In fact, my father was the oldest of eight children, six of them boys. My mom and dad had two kids, both boys. When I got married, my wife and I had three sons. No girls anywhere. So, one can understand my surprise that, when my eldest son and his wife had their first child, it was a girl. She was named Victoria Sabrina — “Tori” for short.
My wife and I were in the hospital waiting room when she was born twenty and a half years ago. Soon, my son brought her out and placed her in my arms. I didn’t know what to do with her. Boys, I understood. Girls, to a very great extent, were and are a mystery. I was afraid I’d break her or hold her too tightly. After Tori, my sons had three boys in a row and I thought things had returned to normal. But the next seven grandchildren were all girls.
Barring some unforeseen event, Tori will be the first of the eleven to be married. Soon after she was born, I dedicated her to the Lord in church. Later I baptized her and saw her confirmed in the Church. When she turned 12, she looked 15, so I started asking her if she had any “boyfriends I needed to kill.” I know that her father is her primary protector but I decided to ride shotgun on that stagecoach. The more protection, the better, I figured. And now someone has come along and stolen her heart. And he is a fine young man, one I will be proud to call family.
When Tori was 16, she told me, as she had in the past, “I want you to marry me when the time comes. I want my daddy to walk me down the aisle and I want you to marry me.” Touched, I said, “Tori, I’d be honored. If I can, I will.” She cocked her head and said, “What do you mean, ‘if you can?’ Why couldn’t you?” “Well, I’m 60 years old,” I said. “I might not be around forever.” “Oh, pooh,” she retorted. “That’s not old.” “Sweetheart, my father died at age 69.” A look came over her face and tears spilled down her cheeks. “Well, that can’t happen,” she sobbed. “You have to be here!” I held her close, terribly regretting that I ever opened my big mouth, and said, “I do plan to be here. I do.”
And now, the distant future is not so far away. The baby I held in my arms is going to be married. And, I presume, she will be a mother, too, someday. It thrills me. It delights me. It frightens me, too. I want to protect her and her intended from the pressures and pains of adulthood. I want them to have an easier time of it that did we. But that’s not a role I can play. They will meet life on their own terms and, with God’s help, they will prevail.
It also frightens me because, now, I want to see them all get married—all eleven of them. I want to stay reasonably healthy, be in my right mind, and I want to live longer than my father and my mother. I want to be at their weddings, see them have great-grandchildren, and watch them grow. The youngest will be 20 in 14 years. I will be 78 years old. I plan to be there, too.
Someone who had just had their first child once told me, “I don’t think I want any more children. I love this one so much.” I said to her, “Love is not like an apple pie where, if you have one child, they get the whole pie and, if another comes along, the pie is cut in half. Each child gets a whole new pie.”
I felt that way with my sons. There wasn’t a pie cut into thirds. There were three pies, as full of love and pride as could be. It’s the same with the grandkids—eleven grandkids, eleven pies. There are limits to many things. But love is not one of them. And so, I want to see them all experience and live their dreams. Hopefully, that’s not too much to ask of God. I know there are no guarantees but if He will let me, I plan to be there.
David Epps is the pastor of the Cathedral of Christ the King, Sharpsburg, GA (www.ctkcec.org). He is the bishop of the Mid-South Diocese which consists of Georgia and Tennessee (www.midsouthdiocese.org) and the Associate Endorser for the Department of the Armed Forces, U. S. Military Chaplains, ICCEC. He may contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org