My beloved brothers and sisters in Christ God,
CHRIST IS IN OUR MIDST! HE WAS, IS, AND EVER SHALL BE.
“O Lord, how manifold are Thy
In WISDOM Thou hast made them
all” (Psalm 103:24)
Among the authors of the Psalms are David which were written at various times, most likely beginning in the time of David (1000 B.C.) and for several centuries thereafter. The Psalms are thy hymnbook of Israel, and now of the Church. Each psalm has its own theme. The psalms are of many types, including (a) prophecies of the coming Messiah, (b) prayers for the king, (c) personal lamentations (d) songs of praise, and (e) hymns for special feasts.
The Psalms have become for the Church, as for ancient Israel, a book of prayer and praise. All reach their fulfillment in Christ, the Son of God. Not only do the Psalms predict specific events of Christ’s life, but in them He Himself intercedes for and with His people before the Father. The Palms could also be seen as a dialogue between the Church, the body of Christ, and Christ her Head. Therefore, it is encouraged that all Orthodox Christians who may not how to pray to God to use the Psalms as a guide. They make the most sense to us when they are prayed, not simply recited.
Psalm 103, the great psalm of the divine service of Vespers (Esperinos), this psalm is a poetic rendition of Genesis 1. Since the new day begins at sundown according to our tradition is sung by the faithful to give praise and thanksgiving to our Creator and Fashioner. This specific psalm is sung on Pentecost. The psalmist indicates the Providence of God: He provides for the heaven and the earth and does not neglect even the smallest creatures.
“Wisdom is radiant and unfading and is easily perceived by those who love her; for she is found by those who seek her” (Wisdom of Solomon 6:12). Our desire for wisdom leads from instruction to love, to virtue, to God’s everlasting Kingdom. The holy Apostle James writes: “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, Who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind” (James 1:5-6). “Wisdom,” the practical and spiritual knowledge required for godly living, comes to those who ask of God, in prayer. While Saint James loves God’s law, for him faith is found not in rules but in a sincere relationship with God.
Saint James the holy Apostle also reminds us the following, “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing” (James 1:2-4). “Trials,” the world’s oppression, take place with God’s permission. The issue is not trials per se, but our response to them. When we accept them properly, trials reveal where our hearts are. They help to increase our faith, which cannot remain static but must grow or die. Our godly reaction to trials and tribulations is joy and perseverance. Though difficult circumstances are from the evil one, to be angry at circumstances is to be angry at God, Who permits them. Especially it is important at times of personal pain and agony to remain loyal to God and resist the temptation to question God’s wisdom and judgment. Wisdom must prevail at times of distress and fear and not panic or faithlessness.
The contemporary person ought to be a true philosopher, translated as a” lover of wisdom” which is the true meaning of the word. Being an intelligent person does not mean that one is a possessor of wisdom. Again as people of faith, we turn to God to impart His wisdom upon us. It is His wisdom that will make a difference in our lives and how we come to understand our place in the world. We can see historically that human reasoning is flawed and thus we continue to make wrong decisions over and over again. We repeat the same mistakes and the results are always the same but we do not learn anything from them. Why? because humanity lacks wisdom! For example, we are all living in the 21st century and we still see the same human issues plaguing our society e.g., wars, faithlessness, pride, anger, famine, disease, greed, power struggles, injustice, hatred, slavery, persecutions, the obsession to control the world and of all humanity, to possess all wealth, division, exile, the slaughter of children and human trafficking, etc. What all this spells out is that we as humans have lost our way. That we are spiritually, intellectually, emotionally, and psychologically ill. We need to see a good physician and trust in his diagnosis and knowledge as well as his experience to restore our health. Well, I know of a most excellent physician for us to turn to, the Physician of our souls and bodies, Jesus Christ our Lord. He is the only hope that humanity has and no one else.
Without Him, Jesus Christ, our world will eventually become a wasteland and wilderness. Humanity is in danger of annihilation and it needs to turn to God and trust in His Divine Wisdom. Humans now have the ability, through the use of nuclear weapons, to destroy this planet many times over, and don’t doubt for a minute that some evil person or persons will not use them, now or in the future, even though it will lead to total destruction of the world and humanity. Insanity and irrational thinking are major concerns in today’s world. Looking back at world history we come to realize that not much has changed over thousands of years and even with the coming of the Messiah, Jesus Christ. Even Christians in general have fallen victim to conditions in the world. Many of our Christian brothers and sisters have become a part of the problem instead of being obedient to the Almighty God and Savior. Christians who are faithful to Jesus Christ and His commandments and teachings have the opportunity not only to make a difference in the world but to lead humanity to Him Who created all.
The fragmentation of Christianity is an evil invention of the Evil One, Satan. The Head of the Christian Church is the Savior of the world Jesus Christ Himself. He is an UNITER and NOT a divider. He who divides and creates confusion, division, hatred, enmity, violence, defective reasoning, and seeks the destruction of the human race is the devil. Why would anyone, especially Christians, be willing to listen to his advice? Our Lord, God, and Savior is the God of AGAPE (LOVE) and taught His followers, His disciples, to LOVE ONE ANOTHER! Discord does not exist where there is love. Where is the love among Christians? Where is their obedience to His commandments? Christ is NOT and WILL NEVER SURRENDER HIS CHURCH TO THE ENEMY. Those Christians who have surrendered to the evil one and are participants of the thousands of fragmentations of the Faith are guilty of betrayal and bring His condemnation upon themselves. In the Wisdom of Solomon, we hear, “LOVE RIGHTEOUSNESS, you who judge on the earth. Think about the Lord in goodness and SEEK Him with sincerity of heart; because He is found by those who do not tempt Him. And His manifest to those who do not disbelieve Him. For dishonest reasoning SEPARATES PEOPLE FROM GOD. And when His power examines someone, it convicts the UNDISCERNING; FOR WILL NOT ENTER IN A BODY INVOLVED IN SIN. FOR A HOLY SPIRIT OF DISCIPLINE FLEES FROM DECEIT AND SENDS AWAY UNDISCERNING REASONING. IT WILL PUT WRONGDOING TO SHAME WHEN IT COMES NEAR. FOR WISDOM IS A SPIRIT THAT LOVES MANKIND” (1:1-5). For the Orthodox Christians, this passage brings to mind the prayer to the Holy Spirit, “O Heavenly King,” in which we confess, “the Spirit of Truth…is everywhere present and fills all things.” Amen.
“Glory Be To GOD
– Saint John Chrysostomos
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With sincere agape in His Holy Diakonia (Ministry),
The sinner and unworthy servant of God