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.
Go-To Verses from the Bible
“My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:8-10
Good morning Prayer Team!
We’ve discussed many times how love and fear cannot co-exist. Where there is fear, there can be no love. And where there is love, there isn’t fear. In order to form relationships that are loving, we have to make sure that there is no fear in our relationships. This is, of course, easier said than done.
In the ideal relationship—marriage, friendship, etc.—there is a sense of mutuality. We work for the mutual good of others. We serve others. In our fallen world, however, there isn’t always mutuality. There certainly isn’t equality. Where there isn’t mutuality or equality, there is an imbalance of power. And where there is an imbalance of power, this is where fear can come in and love can slip out.
There are certain relationships where there is a power dynamic—think the military, or a boss/employee relationship. Where there needs to be a power dynamic, it is up to the boss or the officer to govern in a benevolent way. It is up to the soldier or the work to serve in a humble and obedient way.
However, there are lots of relationships where there isn’t, or shouldn’t be, a hierarchy. This is especially true for marriage. When one spouse seizes control, then there is a power imbalance. It is important to remember that Christ is the “power”—He is leader par excellence, the benevolent King. We pray “For Thine is the Kingdom and the Power and the glory.” The ultimate power belongs to God. Ultimately we are all servants, even if we are the boss, the general or the president.
Some of us are stuck in relationships where there is a power imbalance. Examples include a tough marriage, a bad boss, a domineering friend, or even a circumstance, like illness, which robs us of our freedom and forces us to cede control to caregivers without much say in the matter. These occasions lead to fear and challenge our ability to love or to feel loved. In these times especially, it is important to lean on God for grace. Grace, again, completes what is lacking and heals what is infirm in each person. Grace can help us overcome, or at the least, cope with, a situation where there is a power imbalance. Because God’s power is manifested as perfect in our weaknesses. The need for grace is not felt as much when everything is going right. We get the more full effects of grace when everything is going wrong and we keep showing up, keep trusting, keep ceding control and power to God.
Of course, we don’t need everything to be going wrong to experience God’s grace. But when we feel incomplete and lacking, the first thing we should do isn’t head for the ice cream, but head for the grace of God which is always just a prayer away.
I bless You, O Lord. Though I am powerless, You strengthen my weakness. You stretch from Above Your helping hand and bring me back unto myself. What shall I render to You, O all-good Master, for all the good things You have done and continue to do for me, the sinner? I will cease not to bless You all the days of my life, my Creator, my Benefactor, and my Guardian. (Prayer of St. Basil the Great, 4th Century, as found in “My Daily Orthodox Prayer Book” by Fr. Anthony Coniaris, Light and Life 2001, pgs. 145-146)
Remember, God wields the most power. Be a servant to your boss. Seek mutuality with your friends. And give God the power of your life!
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: Desiring God
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: email@example.com.
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 Listen, Read, Watch , Wors
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.
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 Twitter, Facebook, YouTube,