The Task at Hand, A Call to Arms, A Call to Life
Christ is Risen! The Pascal season is coming to a close in the days and weeks to come, with the great feasts of Ascension and Pentecost. We see life renewed, the weather warm, and the months of relative relaxation calling. The struggle against the bitter cold, and dreadful isolation is far behind us, the warmth of the Sun of Righteousness is meant to be enjoyed by all of us.
With His Resurrection, Christ has stormed the proverbial beaches of Normandy and has brought about His triumphant victory over the power of the Enemy. The turning point of the war is now behind us, the great battle is won. All that remains now is for us to bring this war to its completion. To wholeheartedly enlist ourselves, as faithful Orthodox Christians, in the daily struggle of repentance, of prayer and almsgiving that was instilled in us and jumpstarted through the journey of Great Lent and Pascha.
With the feast of Pentecost and the sending down of the Holy Spirit, we as the Church, as the body of Christ are called to make ourselves Holy, and to go and preach the Gospel, the Good News of Christ’s Victory over the devil to the ends of the earth. Our battle and struggle is not with our neighbors, but with the evil spirits of deception that corrupt and enslave them.
This is why we proclaim Christ is Risen! We proclaim it loudly and boldly because we are partaking in the liberation of humanity from the actual forces of evil. We proclaim it boldly so that we can live it and profess it in our actions, so that the people we come into contact with from this point on can see a new way of life in us and through us. So that they can believe and live out for themselves the truth of the Gospel as opposed to the deceptions of the enemy of mankind. So that we and they as the formerly conquered and subjected peoples of the earth can be freed, tended to in the hospital that is the Church, and then rejoin the fight, the spiritual battle that is necessary to put out the last pockets of resistance. The spiritual tools that we have been given must be sharpened and prepared and used, otherwise they will gather dust and even rust and we will be unable to use them when the moment of need arises.
Demonstrating the Christian life is more helpful than anything else for those we come into contact with. When we live a life in Christ His grace abounds, and our neighbors see the love we have for them, and they are drawn to what we have.
It is the Holy Spirit that gives us power to live for Christ, and to love others, and to be transformed. Only the grace of God can change hearts, we must not allow our fears, or our won critical spirit or judgments to hinder the work of the Holy Spirit and the dominion of God’s Heavenly Kingdom on earth.
With love in the Risen Lord,
+ Rev Ioannis (Yanni) Michaelidis, Assistant Pastor