Our Relationship with God: 3. The Prophet Joel

Our Relationship with God: 3. The Prophet Joel

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Very Rev. Archimandrite Zacharias (Zacharou)

The Prophet Joel also gives us a beneficial word that is able to enlighten our mind and to sustain our heart in a perfect relationship with God and with all His creation. He says: ‘The vine is dried up, and the fig tree languisheth; the pomegranate tree, the palm tree also, and the apple tree, even all the trees of the field, are withered: because the sons of men put to shame joy.’[1] According to the Prophet, there is only one joy that deserves our honouring. This is the joy that is sourced in God Himself, because only this joy is perfect and ‘full’.[2] The joy that God gives to man works by the Holy Spirit. We honour this precious joy, when we preserve a good conscience and purity of life through the keeping of the holy commandments. This strengthens our heart to stand with courage and fear in the presence of Christ, Who rewards us with the ineffable peace of reconciliation with God and the incorruptible consolation that witnesses to the soul of her eternal salvation. The holy and full joy that Christ promised to His own inspires also fear and wisdom, so as not to have confidence in themselves, but to remain within the considered measure of their created-ness and to have the discernment to use all the natural sources of joy and consolation for the glory of God and for their own sanctification.

When, however, men shame the true and pure joy that emanates from God, then all the natural sources of joy on the earth dry up, and no longer have the power to comfort them, because they are not overshadowed by the life-giving grace of God. They bear within them the mark of self-love and the seed of corruption and death. If, however, the joy of God reigns over our life, then also our relationships with our fellows will be sources of joy and full of creative inspiration and stability.

[1] Cf. Joel 1:12 (LXX).
[2] Cf. John 16:24 and 17:13.

Source: pemptousia.com

 

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Pemptousia Partnership

Pemptousia and OCN have entered a strategic partnership to bring Orthodoxy Worldwide. Greek philosophers from Ionia considered held that there were four elements or essences (ousies) in nature: earth, water, fire and air. Aristotle added ether to this foursome, which would make it the fifth (pempto) essence, pemptousia, or quintessence. The incarnation of God the Word found fertile ground in man’s proclivity to beauty, to goodness, to truth and to the eternal. Orthodoxy has not functioned as some religion or sect. It was not the movement of the human spirit towards God but the revelation of the true God, Jesus Christ, to man. A basic precept of Orthodoxy is that of the person ­– the personhood of God and of man. Orthodoxy is not a religious philosophy or way of thinking but revelation and life standing on the foundations of divine experience; it is the transcendence of the created and the intimacy of the Uncreated. Orthodox theology is drawn to genuine beauty; it is the theology of the One “fairer than the sons of men”. So in "Pemptousia", we just want to declare this "fifth essence", the divine beaut in our life. Please note, not all Pemptousia articles have bylines. If the author is known, he or she is listed in the article above.