Whilst we are unfortunately stuck in our homes in quarantine as Holy Week approaches we could use this time to develop our Christian faith. Instead of having the opportunity to solely enjoy extended time on our Xbox, with our friends online, scrolling through trending videos, since we are not able to participate in the Church’s services, in the Lord’s voluntary suffering and His self-sacrifice on the Cross leading to His glorious Resurrection, we might also give some time in this crisis for the development of our faith, for the searching of the inner heart and the peace offered to us in prayer and contemplation of God.
To gather as a family, to read Scripture and prayerfully develop knowledge of our Orthodox Christian faith.
We are told in Scripture that the freedom God has given us is a gift we can use in order to cultivate a wholeness of being, of both body and soul, a life ‘by the Spirit,’ (Gal 5:16) In this freedom we are to ‘hold fast to that which is good,’ (1 Thess 5:21) abstaining from ‘all appearance of evil’ (5:22) while in every situation ‘giving thanks’ (5:18) as ‘children of light’ (5:5) wearing the ‘breastplate of faith and love’ and the ‘hope of salvation.’ (5:8)
Let us then refresh our faith and trust in our living God Who is present everywhere and fulfils all. We believe He has revealed and continues to reveal Himself to us, especially in the revelation of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. This revelation of God, His love and His purpose for humanity is constantly made manifest and contemporary, within His Church, by the power of His Holy Spirit.
So primarily we believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. In Him, divinity is united with humanity without the destruction of either reality. Jesus Christ is truly God who shares in the same reality as the Father and His Holy Spirit. God has manifested Himself to us and is experienced as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Our essential belief in the Holy Trinity affirms that there is One God, in Whom there are three distinct Persons.
Our Saviour Jesus Christ, is truly man who shares with us all that is human. The Church believes that, as the unique God-man, Jesus Christ has restored humanity to fellowship with God. By revealing the Holy Trinity, by teaching the meaning of authentic human life, and by conquering the powers of sin and death through His Resurrection, Christ is the supreme expression of the love of God the Father, for His people, made present in every age and in every place by the Holy Spirit through the life of the Church.
The Holy Scriptures are of great importance in the Orthodox Church. Their high regard is expressed in the fact that a portion of the Bible is read frequently in our worship. The Church is the guardian and interpreter of the Scriptures for these books of the Bible are a valuable witness to God’s revelation. However the Scriptures are not the only expression of God’s revelation. As Orthodox Christians we also have ‘Holy Tradition.’ By this we do not mean cultural practices but the very living treasure of faith in God, passed from generation to generation, expressed foremostly in the partaking of Holy Communion – the body and blood of Jesus Christ, initiated at the ‘Last Supper’ (Lk 22:14-21) but also taught by the fathers of the Church, glorified in the saints, expressed in our iconography, our prayers and hymns, and defended by our theology and history. Most importantly; lived out locally by the faithful today, in our homes and in our parishes; experienced and witnessed through personal and communal relationship between God and man.
How will you develop and live out our Orthodox Christian faith these coming days leading to Holy Week and Pascha?
* For any of you who would like to share any theological, spiritual, psychological concerns with some of our specially chosen clergy, theologians and psychologists, please do contact us on our email: email@example.com, where we will put you in contact, confidentially, with the relevant specialist in the field. Our new youth office will remain especially dedicated to serving all needs of our young people throughout this troubling crisis.