Translated Sermon #29: The Gift of God by Mezei Csaba

For full text go to the menu on top of the UnitarianTorch home page, click on Translated Transylvanian Unitarian Sermons line, and then click on the title: SermonTheGiftofGod.

Summary of sermon: The sermon was written in 2010.   The sermon interprets a verse from the Old Testament in the book of Ecclesiastes; the wisdom related to the gift of God.    Mezei Csaba is an ordained Transylvanian unitarian minister serving at the Iris telep church in Kolozsvár.  They are partnered with the First Church in Boston, Massachusetts.    Mezei Csaba was a Starr King School of Ministry Balazs scholar in 1997-1998. He was a lecturer at the 2016 Minns Lectures.

Translated Sermon #28: Concio CXCIII by Enyedi György

The full text of the translated sermon (in conjunction with Concio CXCII) is published in print by the Journal of Unitarian Universalist History, 2021, Volume XLIV, pages 94-113.  In accordance with the publishing contract the full text of the translated sermon is not on this website. Please contact the Journal for a copy ($15); you’ll get two sermon translations and a historical essay!!!

Summary of sermon: The author of the sermon deserves as much attention as the topic.  Enyedi György was the third bishop of the Transylvanian Unitarian Church, until his death in 1597. He is called in some Hungarian language literature as the “Unitarian Plato”, because most of his writings and sermons focuses on the explanations of Bible verses.  He is noted for using everyday, mundane metaphors to teach the congregation about the meaning behind the words of Christ.  Hungarian translations of the Bible began to spread in his time, and it was important to teach churchgoers on their mother tongue about it.

The topic of the sermon represents a  continuation of the teachings of David Ferenc, who wrote  and preached about the reasoning why Antitrinitarians (today’s Unitarians) find the concept of the Trinity unacceptable.  This sermon relies on the verses 7-8 of Psalm 2 to continue the Antitrinitarian argument that Jesus Christ is not a person of the Godhead.  Enyedi wrote and preached this sermon under the extreme stress of persecution of the Unitarian Church in the form of confiscations of property, and forced catholization of Unitarians.

In The Journal of Unitarian Universalist History you can also find a great essay about the historical circumstances of the sermon by Dr Lovas Borbala, a historian who specializes in the Unitarian sermonic literature of the XVIth century,

In this sermon you look through a window into late XVIth century Transylvania, and hear the words of a contemporary of Shakespeare.  So, sit back, relax, allow your time machine to take you back to around 1597, and enjoy this gem of a sermon, available the first time in English.

Translated Sermon #27: Concio CXCII by Enyedi György

The full text of the translated sermon (in conjunction with Concio CXCIII) is published in print by the Journal of Unitarian Universalist History, 2021, Volume XLIV, pages 94-113.  In accordance with the publishing contract the full text of the translated sermon is not on this website. Please contact the Journal for a copy ($15); you’ll get two sermon translations and a historical essay!!!

Summary of sermon: The author of the sermon deserves as much attention as the topic.  Enyedi György was the third bishop of the Transylvanian Unitarian Church, until his death in 1597. He is called in some Hungarian language literature as the “Unitarian Plato”, because most of his writings and sermons focuses on the explanations of Bible verses.  He is noted for using everyday, mundane metaphors to teach the congregation about the meaning behind the words of Christ.  Hungarian translations of the Bible began to spread in his time, and it was important to teach churchgoers on their mother tongue about it.

The topic of the sermon represents a  continuation of the teachings of David Ferenc, who wrote  and preached about the reasoning why Antitrinitarians (today’s Unitarians) find the concept of the Trinity unacceptable.  This sermon relies on the verses 1-6 of Psalm 2 to make the Antitrinitarian argument that Jesus Christ is not a person of the Godhead.  Enyedi wrote and preached this sermon under the extreme stress of persecution of the Unitarian Church in the form of confiscations of property, and forced catholization of Unitarians.

In The Journal of Unitarian Universalist History you can also find a great essay about the historical circumstances of the sermon by Dr Lovas Borbala, a historian who specializes in the Unitarian sermonic literature of the XVIth century,

In this sermon you look through a window into late XVIth century Transylvania, and hear the words of a contemporary of Shakespeare.  So, sit back, relax, allow your time machine to take you back to around 1597, and enjoy this gem of a sermon, available the first time in English.

Translated Sermon #26: With God, in the Service of Mankind by Szabó Dezső

For full text go to the menu on top of the UnitarianTorch home page, click on Translated Transylvanian Unitarian Sermons line, and then click on the title: SermonWithGodintheServiceofMankind.

Summary of sermon: This sermon was written in 1971.   The sermon is urging us to follow the command of Jesus to the disciples in Mark 10: 42-44, and dedicate our lives to the service of everyone. The author passes down to us the flame of commitment to service.  The circumstances of the writer of this sermon is also something to think about.  Szabó Dezső was an ordained unitarian minister in the village of Nagyajta until 1959, when he was arrested on charges that he committed acts that challenged the ruling communist order. He was sentenced to 20 years of prison.  He received amnesty, and then he eventually became a minister in Kolozsvár.   It is a magnificent expression of dignity, and following the ideal of Jesus when Szabó Dezső responds with the words of this sermon to the monumental injustice perpetrated on him. His grandson, Korodi Alpár, is a teacher of history in the János Zsigmond Unitárius Kollegium (Unitarian High School) in Kolozsvár.  The Nagyajta Unitárius Egyházközség is partnering with the First Unitarian Society of Madison, Wisconsin.

Translated Sermon #25: Turning Toward God by Tódor Csaba

For full text go to the menu on top of the UnitarianTorch home page, click on Translated Transylvanian Unitarian Sermons line, and then click on the title: SermonTurningTowardGod.

Summary of sermon: The sermon was written in 2009.   The sermon interprets the meeting between Jesus and Nicodemus as described in the Book of John, Chapter 3, verses 2-10; it encourages us to go the extra mile, to turn toward God, and to become someone who is born of the Spirit.    Tódor Csaba is an ordained Transylvanian unitarian minister serving at the Székelykeresztúr church.  They are partnered with the First Parish in Concord, Massachusetts.    Tódor Csaba was a Starr King School of Ministry Balazs scholar in 2004-2004. He is a contributor to the practical theology booklets titled Unitárius Szószék.

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