23 Just then there was a man in their synagogue with an unclean spirit; and he cried out, 24 saying, “What business do you have with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us? I know who You are: the Holy One of God!” 25 And Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be quiet, and come out of him!” 26 After throwing him into convulsions and crying out with a loud voice, the unclean spirit came out of him. 27 And they were all amazed, so they debated among themselves, saying, “What is this? A new teaching with authority! He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him.”
Deuteronomy 18:15-22 (NASB)
15 “The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your countrymen; to him you shall listen. 16 This is in accordance with everything that you asked of the Lord your God at Horeb on the day of the assembly, saying, ‘Do not let me hear the voice of the Lord my God again, and do not let me see this great fire anymore, or I will die!’ 17 And the Lord said to me, ‘They have spoken well. 18 I will raise up for them a prophet from among their countrymen like you, and I will put My words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them everything that I command him. 19 And it shall come about that whoever does not listen to My words which he speaks in My name, I Myself will require it of him. 20 But the prophet who speaks a word presumptuously in My name, a word which I have not commanded him to speak, or which he speaks in the name of other gods, that prophet shall die.’ 21 And if you say in your heart, ‘How will we recognize the word which the Lord has not spoken?’ 22 When the prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, and the thing does not happen or come true, that is the thing which the Lord has not spoken. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously; you are not to be afraid of him.
1 Corinthians 8:1-6 (NASB)
Now concerning food sacrificed to idols, we know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge makes one conceited, but love edifies people. 2 If anyone thinks that he knows anything, he has not yet known as he ought to know; 3 but if anyone loves God, he is known by Him. 4 Therefore, concerning the eating of food sacrificed to idols, we know that an idol is nothing at all in the world, and that there is no God but one. 5 For even if there are so-called gods whether in heaven or on earth, as indeed there are many gods and many lords, 6 yet for us there is only one God, the Father, from whom are all things, and we exist for Him; and one Lord, Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we exist through Him.
Romans 5:1-5 (NASB)
Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we also have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we celebrate in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only this, but we also celebrate in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; 4 and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; 5 and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.
Father Ward has served as the Rector of St. Bartholomew's since 1998. He received his B.A. in History from SUNY at Buffalo; a M.A. in Practical Theology from Regent University in Virginia Beach, VA; and a M. Div. from Virginia Theological Seminary in Alexandria, VA. Fr. Ward and his wife Kathleen have two adult children, Arthur and Alyssa.