Teach Me Thy Statutes

Teach Me Thy Statutes

Fr. Aaron Warwick and Jason Ewertt
35 episodes

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Each week, Fr. Aaron Warwick and Jason Ewertt meet to discuss biblical readings from the Orthodox lectionary.
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03 June 2020

Christian Hope in the Resurrection

The Ephesus School
Today we examined the epistle reading that is designated for the Saturday of Souls services as well as the funeral service. Our discussion began with the theme of hope. As Christians, our hope is that we will be found as St. Paul says, “in Christ.” Here again, we were reminded that faith is not just an intellectual concept, but one that requires a trust in God to reverse the judgment of this world. Properly understood, we see that our hope as Christians is intimately connected to the judgement. Finally, in discussing the importance of the Saturday of Souls services, Father Aaron explained that the purpose of the services goes beyond our prayers for all the departed since the beginning of time. The Church places these services as bookends to the season of Great Lent, reminding all of us that we will die, we will be raised, and we will be judged.
27 May 2020

Theophilus & The Ascension

The Ephesus School
Today’s discussion began with Theophilos, to whom St. Luke addresses both his Gospel and the Book of Acts. This opening address shows that St. Luke’s writings were not intended for any one individual, but for the broader community. Next, in examining the importance of the Ascension, we were given a few points to remember. Father Aaron explained that we should heed Christ’s words and get to work sharing His message. We concluded the discussion by noting the meaning and significance of Jesus being seated at the right hand of God.
20 May 2020

From Saul to Paul

The Ephesus School
We began today’s podcast with a discussion around the significance of the name change of the great Apostle to the Nations, from Saul to Paul. These names provide us with clarity on the role they play in the biblical story. We also highlighted the conversion story of Paul and how it mirrors the calling of the twelve disciples during Jesus’ life. We concluded by noting we, too, should respond to God’s call by planting the seed of the Gospel.
06 May 2020

Success Is Planting A Seed

The Ephesus School
Today’s episode focused on a comparison of the apparent outcomes of both Peter and Stephen’s sermons in the book of Acts. First, we discussed why the Bible is systematically critical of those with power and authority. We then examined the outcome of Stephen’s ministry. At first glance, it may appear that Stephen failed, having an outcome entirely different from that of Peter. But as Father Aaron explained, we must be careful not to judge our success based on our results. Rather, our success should be determined by whether or not we were faithful to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Our job is to plant and water; whether it will bear fruit is in God’s hands. Stephen planted a seed in a young man named Saul--who later became the great apostle Paul, spreading the Gospel to all nations.
29 April 2020

Peter Freed From Chains

The Ephesus School
We discuss the significance of James’s martyrdom and Peter’s being freed from his chains. Having been unsatisfied merely with the crucifixion of Christ, Herod Antipas--like the rest of the Jewish leadership--moved to also bury Jesus’ message. Herod chains Peter physically with the hope of restraining the message that Peter is spreading. Peter is guarded by four squads of soldiers, indicating Herod’s desire to encompass and eradicate the Gospel. Related to Peter’s freedom from chains, we are all implored to remember that through Christ, we have been set free from the Mosaic Law. Yet this does not mean we are free to do whatever we please. We were set free so that we might live according to the law of grace. We conclude by discussing opportunities to provide this grace given to us by God to others.
22 April 2020

Jesus Christ & The Old Testament

The Ephesus School
Today’s reading from Acts finds Peter in the midst of a sermon given to many devout Jews who were in Jerusalem for the feast of Pentecost. We began by examining the purpose of Peter’s use of Old Testament Scriptures in his sermon and how Jesus Christ comes from the Old Testament tradition. The only way in which Jesus’ message can be properly understood is to have a fundamental understanding of the Old Testament Scriptures; to understand Christ in the light of the Old Testament. In this way, the Old Testament has “control” over our understanding of Jesus. We are prevented from making Jesus into whatever we want, or into some common historical figure. We concluded by highlighting how the message from Peter ‘cut them to the heart’ as his hearers realized the Scriptures were condemning them and their self-righteousness. Like the pious Jews in the book of Acts, devout Christians today must also come to this realization of our own self-righteousness, and be cut to the heart.
15 April 2020

In The Beginning Was The Word

The Ephesus School
We discuss why John 1 is read at Pascha rather than an account of the Resurrection. Fr Aaron connected the beginning of this Gospel to the reading from Matthew 28 at the Vesperal Liturgy prior to the Paschal Liturgy that concludes with “Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” At Pascha the following day, we here from John 1, “In the beginning was the Word.” Because the church revolves around Pascha, we end our year with a reminder that God’s Word was there in the beginning, and then turn to the promise that the Word will be there in the end. God’s Word abides forever. We then turned our attention to what John refers to in his Gospel as “the Word.” Father Aaron explained that we can understand “word” to be a statement or a brief teaching, as “the word of God” (Scripture), and/or as the incarnate word/incarnate Scripture, which is Jesus Christ. With this in mind, we can comprehend that God first gave His word to Abraham, then through His Scriptural message, and finally culminated with the Word incarnate—our Lord Jesus Christ.
08 April 2020

Hebrews 12: Fear and Covid-19

The Ephesus School
In today’s episode we examined Hebrews 12 and how we might apply his instruction to our current situation. On the subject of fear, Fr Aaron stressed that rather than allowing fear to consume us, we should direct our concern and our care for those who are most vulnerable. We were reminded that—by our nature—we are social beings (even those of us who are naturally introverted). It is important that all of us make an effort to reach out to people we know who may be struggling with isolation. Further into today’s passage, St. Paul instructs us not to covet, but to be content with the things that we have. Here, Fr Aaron stated that covetousness is a manifestation of a lack of faith in God’s providence. Finally, we were reminded that as Christians we have hope. We have hope not only in the life to come, but also in this life. As Christians, we have an opportunity before us to live out our faith. And because we have received grace from God, we now have a responsibility to show grace to others in return.
01 April 2020

The Testing of Abraham

The Ephesus School
Having received the promise of God to be the father of many nations, Abraham grew impatient and took it upon himself to have a child. Further illustrating his unbelief, Abraham laughed at God. Many years after the child of promise is born, God tests Abraham to see if he has learned to trust him. This time, Abraham passes the test and is told by God that, “In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.” This promise is fulfilled in the life, ministry, teaching, and the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Father Aaron also provided an example of the striking similarities between Abraham’s restoration and that of St. Peter. After failing to trust God time after time during the life of Christ, Peter puts his trust in the word of the Lord and Christ restores him by his three-fold affirmation of his love for Jesus. We concluded with Fr Aaron explaining the significance of this testing of Abraham and how it relates to the death of Christ.