Friday, June 13, 2014

Church Seasons

Many Christians do not associate the concept of seasons with the Church calendar, except to acknowledge the calculation of Holy and Great Pascha with the full moon and spring equinox. But there are definite “seasons” within the Church calendar during which certain themes and scripture readings are expressed during these times. For example, the Feast of Pentecost which we celebrated last week as the end of the Paschal Season which began on April 20th with Pascha.

The Sunday of All Saints is the first Sunday of a new season in the Church dedicated to the Holy Apostles. With the Ascension of Christ and His return to His Heavenly Throne, and the coming of the Holy Spirit upon the Holy Apostles, the Church now focuses our attention on the life, teaching and dedication of the Holy Apostles. The Gospel for the Sunday of All Saints begins, “Therefore whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before My Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 10.33)

The Holy Apostles established a Way of Life focused upon living in Communion with Jesus Christ, and taught HOW to confess our faith in Him. The Gospel continues, “He who does not take his cross and follow Me is not worthy of Me.” (Matthew 10.38) Confessing our faith in Christ is not what we say, but how we live.

Do we confess Christ when we judge others? Do we confess Christ when we make shrewd business deals? Do we confess Christ when refuse to welcome visitors into our Church? The Apostles, guided by the Holy Spirit, taught us to love others, share our resources, and welcome ALL people into our Church. It’s time for a new season.

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