Christianity is Supposed to Change Us

Listen Now. We will now be including the daily reading of Epistle and Gospel with The Prayer Team.

For once you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is a shame even to speak of the things that they do in secret; but when anything is exposed by the light it becomes visible, for anything that becomes visible is light. Therefore it is said, “Awake, O sleeper, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give you light.” Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery; but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with all your heart.  Ephesians 5:8-19(26th Sunday After Pentecost)

 

Good morning Prayer Team!

One of the things that is constant about life is that it changes.  Each age, each stage, each event, has the potential to change us in some way.  For instance, if going to college doesn’t change how life was before we went to college, there was no point in going to college.  If getting married doesn’t change how life was before we got married, there was no point in getting married.  We eagerly go to college and get married, and get new jobs and lots of other new things, in the hopes that they will change us. 

Christianity is supposed to change us.  According to St. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, now that we are “children of light” and no longer in darkness, we are “to learn what is pleasing to the Lord” and take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them.”  (Ephesians 5:10-12)  Saint Paul warns us against doing three specific things—First, we are to walk wisely, using our time wisely.  Second, we are not to act foolish but instead understand the will of the Lord for our lives.  And we are not to get drunk, in the sense of debasing ourselves, but instead we are to be filled with the Spirit. 

One systemic challenge to Orthodox Christianity is that most people are baptized Orthodox as infants.  They don’t consciously choose to be children of God.  At least, they don’t initially choose.  In the early days of the church, especially in the time of St. Paul, people were coming to the Christian faith as adults, making a conscious choice to leave being a pagan or an atheist or Judaism and become a Christian.  Saint Paul was reminding the early Christians, and still reminds us in modern times, that the choice to follow Christ changes us.  If it doesn’t we aren’t really sincere in our faith. 

As for the person who was an Orthodox Christian from infancy, there comes a time when such person chooses whether to continue to belong to the church as an adult.  And with the choice to continue comes an impetus to change. 

The challenge, and perhaps our reality, is that there are plenty of people who call themselves Christians who aren’t walking in the light, who aren’t doing things that are pleasing to the Lord, who take part in unfruitful works of darkness, act foolishly, get drunk and debase themselves.  Many Christians “compartmentalize” Christianity into a couple of hours on Sunday morning, rather than understanding that Christianity is a way of life, it is our identity.  It’s not just what we do, it’s who we are.  Many Christians do not let choose to let Christ “transform” their lives.  Rather He is kept as a medallion worn around the neck or an icon that hangs on the wall. 

Saint Paul’s message to us, both in his time and ours, is that Christianity, like college, like marriage and like so many other things, is supposed to change us.  If we aren’t open to change, there is little point in participating.  And if we aren’t changing, we’ve got to ask ourselves why.

You stripped Hades of plunder, and humanity You resurrected by Your resurrection, O Christ. Do therefore now account us worthy with a pure heart to praise You and glorify. (Third Resurrectional Praise, 1st Tone, Trans. by Fr. Seraphim Dedes)

Set some small spiritual goals for this coming week!

 

+Fr. Stavros

         

With Roger Hunt providing today’s Daily Reading: Listen Now.

These readings are under copyright and is used by permission. All rights reserved. These works may not be further reproduced, in print or on other websites or in any other form, without the prior written authorization of the copyright holder: Reading © Holy Transfiguration Monastery – Brookline, MA, Apolytikion of Abbot Marcellus © Narthex Press, Kontakion of Abbot Marcellus © Holy Transfiguration Monastery – Brookline, MA.

The Revised Standard Version of the Bible is copyrighted 1946, 1952, 1971, and 1973 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the U.S.A. and used by permission. From the Online Chapel of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.

Photo Credit: Crosswalk

ABOUT THE ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN NETWORK

Orthodox Christian Network (OCN) is a 501(c)3 and an official agency of the Assembly of Canonical Bishops of the United States of America . It is a recognized leader in the Orthodox Media field and has sustained consistent growth over twenty-two years. We have worked to create a community for both believers and non believers alike by sharing the timeless faith of Orthodoxy with the contemporary world through modern media. We are on a mission to inspire Orthodox Christians Worldwide. We have reached 5.7 Million People in One Week and we want to reach millions more!  Signup to receive our newsletter email: info@myocn.net.

Do you find it hard to keep focused on Christ when you’re on the go? OCN makes it easy! You can be inspired daily by the OCN programming from where ever you are by plugging into our ListenReadWatch Worship.  To learn more about emerging Orthodox leaders in our Community check out OCN 30 Under 30 Initiative.  It is an opportunity to show support for and invest in this next generation of trailblazers.

Much like public radio, the Orthodox Christian Network relies on the support of our listeners, readers, volunteers, and fans. If you are interested in supporting our work, you can send your sustaining gift by direct mail, over the phone, or on our website. Your gift will ensure the continued growth of this encouraging Orthodox Community by providing faith-building, free, high-quality programming. Give today to help you and your Orthodox community stay connected no matter the location.

donate now

ORTHODOX MOBILE APPS ARE HERE!

Click here to download the Spark OCN and Orthodox Prayer Book.

_______________________________________________________________________
Posted by the Orthodox Christian Network. OCN is on Social Media! Follow us on TwitterFacebookYouTube, Google+, PinterestLinkedIn and Instagram

written by
avatar
Fr. Stavros N. Akrotirianakis is the Proistamenos of St. John…
avatar
Born and raised in Indiana as the son of a…
Related Posts