For context, first read the gospel story of the women going to the tomb to anoint the body of Jesus (Luke 24:1-12).
Their poor ointments, with which they meant to preserve from corruption Him who Himself keeps the heavens from decay, and with which they desired to anoint Him from whom the heavens take their fragrance! O most fragrant Lord, the only fragrance of the human being and human history; how wondrously did Thou reward these devoted and faithful souls who did not forget you dead in your tomb! You made the Myrrh-Bearing Women the bearers of the tidings of your Resurrection and your glory! They did not anoint your dead body, but you did anoint their living souls with the oil of gladness. The mourners of the dead became the swallows of a new spring.
St. Nikolai Velimirovic – “Homily on the Sunday of the Myrrh-Bearing Women”
Posted in Christian Life, Theology
Tagged Death, Decay, Easter, Good News, gospel, Hope, Luke 24, New Life, New Spring, Resurrection, Spring, Tomb, Women
…Now since you are celebrating the holy Pascha, you should know, brethren, what the Pascha is. Pascha means the crossing-over, and so the Festival is called by this name. For it was on this day that the Children of Israel crossed over out of Egypt, and the Son of God crossed over from this world to His Father. What gain is it to celebrate unless you imitate Him Whom you worship; that is, unless you cross over from Egypt, that is, from the darkness of evildoing to the light of virtue, from the love of this world to the love of your heavenly home?
St. Ambrose of Milan – “The Sunday of the Resurrection”
Yesterday I was crucified with Him; today I am glorified with Him; yesterday I died with Him; today I am quickened with Him; yesterday I was buried with Him; today I rise with Him. But let us offer to Him Who suffered and rose again for us— you will think perhaps that I am going to say gold, or silver, or woven work or transparent and costly stones, the mere passing material of earth, that remains here below, and is for the most part always possessed by bad men, slaves of the world and of the Prince of the world. Let us offer ourselves, the possession most precious to God, and most fitting; let us give back to the Image what is made after the Image. Let us recognize our Dignity; let us honour our Archetype; let us know the power of the Mystery, and for what Christ died.
St. Gregory the Theologian – Homily on Pascha
Does the Holy Spirit have you? Does he have all of you, or only some parts of you? Do you grieve him? (see Eph. 4:30), or are you led by him (see Rom. 8:12-14, Gal. 5:18-24)? Do you rely on him to enable you for all those responses to Christ to which he prompts you? Do you reckon with the fact that “… your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? …” (1 Cor. 6:19 NIV). Do you revere his work within you and cooperate with it or obstruct it by thoughtlessness and carelessness, indiscipline and self-indulgence? Here again, the specific questions must be understood Christ-centeredly; they are all in reality ways of asking whether Christ your Savior is Lord of your life. But to ask them in relation to the Spirit, who indwells us in order to transform us and who works constantly in our hearts and minds to bring us close to Christ and keep us there and who is himself as close as can be to any foul thinking or behavior in which we allow ourselves to engage, is to give them a force and a concreteness that otherwise they might not have. In the world of projecting pictures onto screens this would be called sharpening the focus.
J.I. Packer in Keep in Step with the Spirit, p.78
Posted in Christian Life, Sanctification, Theology
Tagged Attitudes, Behavior, Christ, Discipline, Friendship, Heart, Holiness, Holy Spirit, Indwelling, J.I. Packer, Lordship, Sanctification, Thoughts, Trinity
The givenness of Jesus Christ is bound up with the givenness of New Testament theology, which is … nothing less than the Father’s own witness through the Spirit to the Son. Surely there is no real Jesus save the Jesus of that theology. And New Testament theology … is essentially proclamation that Jesus Christ saves men from the bondage to false gods, false beliefs, false ways, false hopes, and false posturings before the Creator, into which all non-Christian religions and philosophies, impressive as they often are, are locked. New Testament proclamation diagnoses this whole kaleidoscope of falseness and falsehood as rooted in actual if unwitting suppression of general revelation, misdirection of man’s worshipping instincts, and ignorance or rejection of the gospel God has sent. Romans 1:18-3:20, to look no further, is decisive on that; and certainly Emil Brunner was correct when he wrote: “In all religion there is a recollection of the Divine Truth which has been lost; all religion, there is a longing after the divine light and the divine love; but in all religion also there yawns an abyss of demonic distortion of the Truth, and of man’s effort to escape from God.
J.I. Packer in Keep in Step with the Spirit, p. 39
Posted in Culture, Theology
Tagged Bible, Falsehood, gospel, J.I. Packer, Jesus Christ, New Testament, Posturing, Pretending, Proclamation, Religion, Seeking, Sharing, Theology, Trinity, Truth