On Stewardship and the Orthodox Life - Part 142: Christ Is Risen! (4/16/17)
“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, to show that the transcendent power belongs to God and not to us.” (2 Corinthians 4: 7 RSV)
Christ is Risen! Indeed He is Risen! This most glorious of Christian feast days is celebrated with great joy, peace, and love! We have experienced the resurrection of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and He has brought salvation to us.
What a wonderful and spiritually rewarding time this week and this day have been for us! When our clergy walk up and down the aisles proclaiming, “Christ is Risen” with the throng responding, “Indeed He is Risen” the smiles and joys are on the faces of all. The fast is over, and now the feast begins, but for how long is this joy with us? We become intoxicated living and remembering what Christ has accomplished, for us! How long does it take us to once again become intoxicated with the opportunities to fill up our lives once again with distractions of the secular world forgetting that my life has only one goal: to know God!
Fr. Barnabus Powell in his blog, Faith Encouraged Daily, states that “when we forget that our true life is a gift from God, our abilities are a gift from God, our world is a gift from God, we start forgetting our dependence on God for our very breath.” We slip into choices and behaviors that lead us back into the self-centered life that we have just forgotten on this wonderful and glorious day of Our Lord’s Resurrection. Our forgetfulness directs us once again into ungratefulness and into believing that we can do it all ourselves.
Christ has defeated the power of death. He has, “Trampled down death, by death!” We have no excuses, no distractions, no forgetfulness to bind us. There is no reason for us to go back to putting our secular lifestyles before our Christian life. The Holy Spirit fills us, is promised to us, “and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and your children and to all that are far off, every one whom the Lord our God calls to him” (Acts 2:38-39). We are also told that the Holy Spirit is all truth and knowledge.
So on this Holy and wonderful day of Our Lord’s resurrection let us pray that we continually remember what this day means to us and that we use those gifts that He has given us to change our lives that we might be in communion with God and also use them for helping others on the path to Theosis. We have but one physical life to live. Let us use it and the gifts God has given us to be “perfect as God is perfect.” Let us be servant stewards and serve others as Christ serves us.
Christ is Risen. Indeed He is Risen!
This weekly series of brief thoughts on stewardship and Orthodox life is brought to you by your Diocesan Stewardship Commission.
Mark Your Calendar Now for the 2nd annual Stewardship Retreat will be held September 22-24, 2017.
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