Thursday, April 26, 2012

It Requires Courage and Determination to Grow the Church

Early in the morning of the first Pascha, before the sun had risen, the Myrrhbearing Women revealing great courage and determination journeyed in the darkness of early morning to the tomb of Christ to anoint His sacred body with spices. They were courageous because, not only was it before sunrise but there was fear that after Christ had been crucified, others might also be killed by the Jewish elite. But the women did not allow fear to hold them back. They were determined to carry out their responsibility to anoint His sacred body. Their courage and determination was rewarded by God when He first appeared to them and told them the Good News of His Resurrection.

The early Christians living in Jerusalem also revealed courage and determination when they were faced with a growing Church that lacked organization and resources. “There arose a complaint against the Hebrews by the Hellenists, because their widows were neglected in the daily distribution.” (Acts 6.1) Because of the large numbers of believers entering the Church, some were being neglected, not intentionally we can be sure, by the Apostles. Rather than not allowing new believers to enter the Church, the Apostles showed courage and determination and GREW the ministry of the Church by ordaining the first seven deacons saying, “It is not desirable that we should leave the word of God and serve tables. Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business; but we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” (Acts 6.3-4) Their courage and determination was rewarded by God, “and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith.” (Acts 6.7)

Now it’s YOUR turn to show courage and determination and grow YOUR faith in Christ. If you are looking for a Church to attend google your local Orthodox Church XYZ City and make plans to visit the Church for worship or Bible study or classes or just to meet the Clergy. If you already attend a local Orthodox Christian Church, consider growing your commitment and attend a special lecture or study session. Call the priest and schedule confession. It’s only with courage and determination that you will be able to grow closer to Christ – the church in your heart.

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