Tuesday, February 23, 2010

“Therefore my people became captives, because they did not know the Lord.” Isaiah 5.13

How many times have we felt like captives? Whenever we make statements like, “I can’t go to Church because I have to work,” we are being held captive by a lifestyle that is not from God. There is never a time when we are forced to work on Sunday rather than being in Church. If we are in a job that forces us to miss the Divine Liturgy on Sunday, we should not be in that job. It is still against the law in America to force us to miss our worship for work. I know that many of us choose to work rather than find another job, which just leads to feelings of captivity, but we must find courage in Christ that when we choose Him then He will protect us and provide for our needs. NEEDS is the determining word here. Multiple flat-screen TV’s and cable TV are not needs. When we insist upon working for these pleasures rather than be satisfied with what we have been given it is no different than handing ourselves over to be held captive.

Taking the lead from the Prophet Isaiah we know that we are set free from our captivity by knowing God. The question is: How can we know God? The answer is found in His Church and in His Holy Scriptures. God has revealed Himself to us. We cannot learn about Him using logic or research. Anything we know about God comes to us from Him. When we read about Him in the Holy Scriptures we are reading about how He has chosen to interact with His Church throughout the centuries. If we truly want to know Him, we must be in communion with Him.

Jesus Christ said, “I have manifested Your name to the men whom You have given Me out of the world. They were Yours, You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word. Now they have known that all things which You have given Me are from You. For I have given to them the words which You have given Me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came forth from You; and they have believed that You sent Me.” (John 17.6-8)

And again He said, “However, when He, the Spirit of Truth, has come, he will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Him, for he will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.” (John 16.13-15)

And again He to His Apostles, “All things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you. You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit.” (John 15.15-16)

From these few verses we can better understand that it is God that reveals Himself to us and He has chosen to do so through His Church. If we are feeling a sense of captivity to the world, Great Lent is a good opportunity to rededicate our lives to Christ and His Church so that we can come to know the Lord and be set free of our captivity.

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