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
His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us to His own glory and excellence, by which He has granted to us His precious and very great promises, that through these you may escape from the corruption that is in the world because of passion, and become partakers of the divine nature. II Peter 1:3-4
Good morning Prayer Team!
This prompt is given by the priest or deacon after the Trisagion Hymn has been sung three times. And after this prompt, the people sing the hymn again one final time. This is one of those words in Greek that we simply can’t translate. Various attempts at translation include “Again, fervently;” “again,” “with strength,” “with power,” “Louder.” People have even joked and made translations like “sing it again,” “do it with gusto” or “give it all you got.”
The “dynami” appears in the Bible many times and is usually translated “power.” So, as you hear the prompt “Dynamis” in the liturgy, there are several things that come to mind that relate to “power.” The first is that there is “power” in the words that we are singing. To sing “Holy God, Holy Mighty, Holy Immortal, have mercy on us,” to call upon the name of the Lord, there is great power in that. Describing God as “Holy, Mighty and Immortal” describes Him as “powerful.” Walking hand in hand with God throughout your life brings “power” to one’s life.” Of course it takes trust in God to place your hand in His, so to speak, as you walk through life. But in making oneself vulnerable, there is power in that.
What do I think when I say the word “Dynamis,” well, I wish one day that the congregation would all sing to the top of its collective lungs about how great our God is. Dynamis may prompt the choir to sing a little louder but many in the congregation still stand in silence. But think about how much power there would be if everyone sang as loudly as they could in the church. And think about how much power there would be if everyone took that same “gusto” and brought that to our everyday lives, to not miss an opportunity to help or encourage or give witness in the name of the Lord. So many people are sending out loud messages through protests and demonstrations. What’s stopping us from raising Orthodox Christian voices to demonstrate for truth, to witness for the Lord we serve? And on the micro, private level, what stops us from calling on the name of the Lord in our families in prayer, with our friends in conversation. “Dynamis” is the collective cry to the congregation: God is power, God’s power can change your life. With God’s power, you can help change the lives of others for good. “Dynamis” is the cry to ramping up our efforts this week, so that with each passing week, we become more confident in the power of the Lord.
From “Dynamis” comes the word dynamic. To be dynamic means to be inspiring, leading by example, to encourage others to think in your way of thinking. “Dynamis” is a reminder that our faith isn’t just some heirloom we dust off on Sundays but a living force that is constantly at work. Our faith is not static, it is dynamic. Likewise, we are not supposed to be static Christians, but rather dynamic Christians who eagerly come to church to learn, and who eagerly leave church ready to live out the Gospel, set an example and spread the Message.
Lord, thank You for the centuries of saints and martyrs who have lived the faith in such a dynamic and enthusiastic way. Help me to make my faith a dynamic force in my life each and every day. Help me to encourage others. Give me the discernment to know when I should set an example and when I should open my mouth to encourage. Give me courage of my convictions, and the discernment for how and when I should share them. Please walk with me today, and help me continue to GROW in my faith. May I always give glory to You, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, now and forever and to the ages of ages. Amen.
Have a great day!
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