Fr. Stavros N. Akrotirianakis is the Proistamenos of St. John Greek Orthodox Church in Tampa, FL. Fr. contributes the Prayer Team Ministry, a daily reflection, which began in February 2015. The Prayer Team now has its own dedicated website! Fr. Stavros has produced two books, “Let All Creation Rejoice: Reflections on Advent, the Nativity and Epiphany”: “https://amzn.to/2t1rXwh and “The Road Back to Christ: Reflections on Lent, Holy Week and the Resurrection.” https://amzn.to/2WAcfG0
Listen Now. We will now be including the daily reading of Epistle and Gospel with The Prayer Team.
ENGAGED: The Call to Be Disciples
Go, therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. Matthew 28:19-20
To this end we always pray for you, that our God may make you worthy of His call, and may fulfill every good resolve and work of faith by His power. II Thessalonians 1:11
Are you saved? This question is asked in many Christian circles. Sometimes the answer to this question is “Yes, I was saved on September 15, 2008 (or some other date).” In the Orthodox world, we do not answer this question this way. For we are not saved in one finite moment of time. Salvation is a continuous process.
Because Christ died on the cross for my sins, I have the potential for salvation.
Because I have entered into the life of Christ through baptism, I have the potential to be “saved.”
These statements indicate the part of our salvation that is already in the past.
I am working on my salvation today. This statement indicates that part of our salvation is the work of the present.
I will ultimately hopefully be saved through God’s grace, at the end of my life. This statement indicates that part of our salvation lies in the future.
So, we might say that salvation is a “continuous action,” or a continuous process.
The same thing can be said for “marriage.” Like salvation, it is a continuous process. I was married on a specific date. But that wasn’t the end of the story or the end of the work. I am married now. I hope to be married many years from now.
The word “call”, which is part of our theme, works in the same way. God had called each of us to be His disciples. He calls us on a daily basis. We answer the call on a daily basis. We may or may not remember the first time we answered the call, but to answer God’s call for our lives is not a one time for all time proposition. And it is the same thing for being “engaged.” To be engaged in the life of Christ is a daily choice.
In sports leagues, it is possible that a team can “clinch” a spot in the playoffs. They can be far enough ahead of the second place team that they are assured of the playoffs whether they win or lose, and in this position, many teams rest and don’t even try to win. There isn’t a set number of good deeds or good days that clinch us the kingdom of God. Rather, we are to answer the call and be engaged as best we can each day of our lives.
We’ll go into more depth about the unique calling God has given to each of us. For now, it is sufficient to say that we each have a calling from God, a unique way to serve Him in this world. Our role then is to embrace our calling, whatever that call is, and glorify God by serving others each and every day—yesterday, today, tomorrow, for as many days as we are given.
Lord, thank You for the gift of today, and for the opportunity to embrace my calling to (name your calling). Help me to offer my best effort in whatever I am doing today, in whatever role I am called to play. May I glorify You, and in some way, may I serve others. Amen.
Answer God’s call for your life today (and tomorrow, and the next day)!
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: Beyond First
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