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.
You shall not make for yourself a graven image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them or serve them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments. Exodus 20:4-6
Good morning Prayer Team!
I’ve always been annoyed with the colloquial use of the word “icon.” We have sports “icons”, Hollywood “icons”, etc. They dot the covers of magazines in the checkout line at the market. Their posters fills the walls of children and teens. We “idolize” athletes and actors. And then there is the broader area of things we idolize—perhaps it is our golf game, our yard, a sports team, or even our job. Where does your relationship with Christ stand in comparison to these things—If golf is your Sunday morning activity, if you meticulously manicure your lawn but aren’t concerned with the appearance of your soul, if you are obsessed with work but never open the Bible, then there is some work to do with this commandment. There are lots of things to keep us busy, and there are lots of things that we HAVE to do, but the one thing we need to have in mind at all time is our relationship with the Lord. Finally, Christ is more than a picture on our walls or a chain our necks. If He is truly the source and center of our life, as we discussed in the last reflection, then we should work Him in our life, but should work our life around Him.
Today’s reflection asks you to ponder these questions:
Have a valued anyone or anything above God?
Have I given to anyone or anything the love, honor and worship that belongs to God alone?
Have I made an idol of any person, idea, occupation or thing?
Where do I spend the majority of my time? How do I rank time with Christ—in prayer, worship and service to others, when it stands next to other activities that I do.
Lord, thank You for the gifts I have—my home, my work, my hobbies, my family and my friends. Thank You for fun things like entertainment and sports. Help me to find a proper balance between work, play, and worship. Take away my desire to make idols out of people, and help me to know that You are the only one worthy of my worship. Bless me today in all that I do. Amen.
Keep Christ at the top of your priority list today!
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.
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