Christ is Risen and the Angels Rejoice!

Happy Easter!

God himself has died and risen from the dead, and so there is no more death; even death is filled with God. Because Christ is risen, we need no longer be afraid of any dark or evil force in the universe.
-Bishop Kallistos Ware

Let none fear death, for the death of the Saviour has set us free.
Christ is risen and the demons have fallen
Christ is risen and the angels rejoice
-St. John Chrysostom

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On death

I was listening to one of my favorite theologians speak via recording of a lecture he gave at my Alma mater a few years ago, and he was sharing some thoughts on death. On this Holy Saturday, the day we remember the Sabbath rest of our Lord as he lay in the tomb, I think these words on death are appropriate.

This quote is from David Bentley Hart, and in it he is expounding upon the claim that death is an unnatural part of our existence, and noting that in primitive (so called) societies, death was certainly seen this way – as an unnatural, foreign, intruder.

In most societies every death is in some sense murder; the violent interruption of a life that would otherwise have continued indefinitely. Now, most of us, we modern persons, tend to think that these are unsophisticated persons, and that they fail to recognize death as something natural and inevitable because they haven’t had a sufficiently comprehensive education in organic chemistry or something. But perhaps we should also ask ourselves whether we, in fact, absorbed as we are most of the time, in watching television, visiting shopping malls, and watching more television, necessarily possess a subtler understanding of the ambiguities that hold the human experience of death, then they do. At some very profound level this so called “primitive” intuition is surely correct and it’s one that we might share if we were more attentive to the conditions of experience.
-David Bentley Hart

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Longsuffering Lord: A Good Friday Prayer

In the book, “The Orthodox Way” by Bishop Kallistos Ware, he includes this prayer (on p.86):

He whom none may touch is seized;
He who looses Adam from the curse is bound.
He who tries the hearts and inner thoughts of man is unjustly brought to trial;
He who closed the abyss is shut in prison.
He before whom the powers of heaven stand with trembling stands before Pilate;
The Creator is struck by the hand of his creature.
He who comes to judge the living and the dead is condemned to the Cross;
The Destroyer of hell is enclosed in a tomb.
O thou who dost endure all these things in thy tender love,
Who hast saved all men from the curse,
O longsuffering Lord, glory to thee.

-from Vespers on Great Friday

The Orthodox Way

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Podcast: Here Is Your King

dead2podThis is the Palm Sunday Meditation, drawn from Matthew 21:1-11, and in it, I focus on the phrase from Zechariah’s prophecy, “Here comes your king.” We do not get the king we want, but God gives us the King we need in Jesus Christ.

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Podcast: Dead to Sin – A Messed Up Funeral

dead2podThis is the message from the fifth Sunday in Lent and it comes from John 11:1-45.  This is an amazing and powerful story of Jesus raising Lazarus.  As we die to sin, it is important to remember we place ourselves in the hands of the one who raises the dead.

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