What does the Resurrection mean to us? What is Pascha? The end of a long fast? The day to take a deep sigh of relief, throw some leaves around the church, eat different stuff, drink some wine 5 days a week instead of two? Come to church less often? What does the Resurrection mean to us? As little Christs, we enter into His Resurrection; we celebrate Him as Light and Life; and we look forward to our own resurrection. We are asked to BE. We are asked to DO. This is a life-giving combination.
Part of being a Christian is sharing the light of Christ with the world. This is important because each person is made in the image of God and has permanent eternal value. We share in the task of helping others to see their value in a relationship with God. How do we do that? No matter our actions in that regard, this can be said. If we are praying and in the process of knowing God, we will not be able to hide it; the light we gain from knowing Him will shine toward others and cast aside the darkness of the world in our little sphere. We don’t have to go out of our way, on a mission trip, become a priest or bishop, pass out tracts, preach from street corners. We will exude a sweet fragrance that others will want. People are always watching. If we are genuine, that is the best witness.
Even good deeds have a power of their own, but good deeds that flow from a profound sense of the love of God for oneself and those around us have the power of the Spirit of God. That acts of mercy must flow from a prayerful life is demonstrated by the fact that people seem easily swayed toward even heretical beliefs when they see good works being done on their behalf. It is a both/and world: works of mercy and kindness plus speaking the truth in love. To balance this, we also have the advice of the holy ones: “If they have not asked a question, don’t give them an answer.”
This is a good kind of pressure to have on us. We must be constrained to be ready to offer the good Gift to others by possessing the life of God by way of a life of prayer. We are behooved to know God and thus know who we are. Therein is a fountain of power, strength, the good knowledge, and ultimately HEALING, which is the heart of the Orthodox faith. Therein is the strength and power of gifts of mercy which should characterize us and will change the world around us.
To Him be the glory forever. Amen.