St. Luke Orthodox Invites Public to Free Movie and Pizza Night

The public is invited to see the film, “Ostrov,” at St. Luke Orthodox Church, 501 Sunset Drive, on Saturday, Sept. 25.

The film will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the parish hall. Pizza will be served. The movie and the pizza are free to the public.

“Ostrov,” which means “The Island,” is in Russian, with English subtitles. According to a publicity release, “Ostrov” is a “beautiful and profound film about a Russian monk who is a “fool for Christ,” a type of holy person who acts and speaks in ways that appear crazy and calls conventional assumptions into question in light of Christ’s kingdom, which is not of this world.”

Rev. Philip LeMasters, priest at St. Luke, wrote the following about the movie:

“Especially for church-going people in a culture influenced by Christianity, it is easy to forget that our ways are not God’s ways and that there is a stark difference between what is popular and what is holy. It certainly seemed absurd to both Jews and the Gentiles of the first century to claim that the Son of God was born of a virgin mother, died on a cross, rose bodily from the tomb, and ascended into heaven. Paul wrote that the cross of Christ is foolishness according to conventional human ways of thinking. (1 Cor. 1:18) 

Across the centuries, God has raised up unusual saints in order to remind us that holiness is different from conventional respectability.  John the Baptist anticipated the fools for Christ, for he lived in strict asceticism in the desert on a diet of locusts and honey, spoke judgment on the established religious leaders, and dared even to tell Herod to repent, which ultimately cost him his head.  Christ’s disciples and apostles were no less unconventional as they followed a path to martyrdom in sharp contrast to what people thought of as a good life.  Paul wrote to the Corinthians that the apostles were truly “fools for Christ’s sake…” (1 Cor. 4:10)

Faithful Christians today do not have to try very hard in order to look like fools, either in secular society or in our own churches. Forgiving those who have offended us, doing good to our enemies, and refusing to identify ourselves according to the passing categories of this world will make us out of step. Giving sacrificially to help refugees settle in our communities, treating those of different faiths and lifestyles as our neighbors, and refusing to see the world through the lenses of partisan politics may make us look like revolutionaries.  Reserving sex for the marital union of husband and wife and putting fidelity to God’s kingdom before loyalty to any earthly nation or agenda may make us objects of ridicule or even hatred. 

 Whenever we live out our ultimate loyalty to Christ in contrast to the popular expectations of the fallen world, we should not be surprised when we look like fools. That is true not only in the context of our increasingly secular social order, but too often also the case within our own religious institutions.   

Every time that I watch Ostrov, something new strikes and challenges me. Everyone is welcome to experience its engaging portrait of a “fool for Christ” at the showing on Saturday, September 25,  at 6:30 pm at Saint Luke Orthodox Christian Church in Abilene.”

For more information, contact Father Philip LeMasters at frphiliplemasters@gmail.com.

Father Philip LeMasters is the pastor of Saint Luke Orthodox Christian Church.  The parish’s website is www.stlukeorthodox.net

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