“I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”
Father Matta El-Meskeen (Matthew the Poor)
AN UNDERWENT DEATH, from Adam until the completion of the times of darkness, while no one announced his death and no one shed a tear. Man was cramped within the tombs, and many a tomb served as a tomb multiplied times, laughing at the crowd of adversaries. Regardless of the tombs’ décor on the outside, inside they continued to hold rotten bones and every uncleanness. Whether occupied by a king or beggar, all in death were humiliated, and the final destination was always death. From Satan Adam inherited the sting of death passed from generation to generation, until the voice of the angel hosts rang from heaven on high, crying out, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.” Within these angelic cries, the mystery was the birth of man’s savior, from heaven Christ the Lord in a cattle manger.
At long last, from heaven he called, “Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” Throughout those happy days the voice rang out of new life for man and a welcome in heaven. The bones in the graves shook, preparing for man’s divine resurrection in Christ. Though death had made ancient the worm-eaten bones and wore them out, still a triumphant resurrection awaited them in heavenly glory, sung out by the heavens. The coming one’s arrival was announced with praise and joy that filled heaven and earth. The earth will release her dead, and the dead of the seas, wastelands and all corners of the world will be presented, for the command has been issued for the resurrection of man in glory and majesty.
You, who are coming, come quickly, for we are fully ready for the resurrection. He who is coming comes from heaven. The armies of saints follow him, and the souls, joyful and crowned in glory, receive him with the glory of the resurrection certain to come very soon.
Christ who is our life has come to give us an unseen resurrection, so we taste in him and with him the best of what he has prepared for his chosen ones.
So the life that is certainly ours in his Kingdom we taste now symbolically and obscurely. The Kingdom of God is within us, and we make it known to the degree God wills for the sake of a better life in the light of his grace. From above Christ calls to us: “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom.” The best of life and immortality has been prepared for the members of God’s house. For this reason and for this cause Christ came to prepare for them the greatest portion!
Dear brethren, we live now, by the Spirit, our portion in the life of Christ, for he is heavenly, and he is not of the earth in any manner. The city Christ prepared for his chosen ones sparkles in heaven, and here on earth we only see its shadows. Within it the spirits of the saints gaze upon us from above and revive our souls. They urge us to be patient for the time is short. Christ now fills our lives, and we likewise live his fullness. We prepare for our appearing, at his appearing, for we trust that we shall be like him, and his glory will cover us. What an abundant life we now live, so if the present deposit is this precious and captivating, what will the final gift be like! If we in the here and now have gained the mysterious abundant life, what abundance of Christ will there be on us in the meeting at the end! Christ’s abundance on us is two abundances; the abundance we now fully enjoy in our sojourn away from our happy homeland, and the lasting abundance that is ours throughout eternity. Yes, Christ came to give us life and to give it to us to the full.
Rejoice, brethren, rejoice. Ours is the best portion that none can take away.
September 29, 2005
|| The Orthodox Faith (Dogma) || Family and Youth || Sermons || Bible Study || Devotional || Spirituals || Fasts & Feasts || Coptics || Religious Education || Monasticism || Seasons || Missiology || Ethics || Ecumenical Relations || Church Music || Pentecost || Miscellaneous || Saints || Church History || Pope Shenouda || Patrology || Canon Law || Lent || Pastoral Theology || Father Matta || Bibles || Iconography || Liturgics || Orthodox Biblical topics || Orthodox articles || St Chrysostom |||| Bible Study || Biblical topics || Bibles || Orthodox Bible Study || Coptic Bible Study || King James Version || New King James Version || Scripture Nuggets || Index of the Parables and Metaphors of Jesus || Index of the Miracles of Jesus || Index of Doctrines || Index of Charts || Index of Maps || Index of Topical Essays || Index of Word Studies || Colored Maps || Index of Biblical names Notes || Old Testament activities for Sunday School kids || New Testament activities for Sunday School kids || Bible Illustrations || Bible short notes
|| Prayer of the First Hour || Third Hour || Sixth Hour || Ninth Hour || Vespers (Eleventh Hour) || Compline (Twelfth Hour) || The First Watch of the midnight prayers || The Second Watch of the midnight prayers || The Third Watch of the midnight prayers || The Prayer of the Veil || Various Prayers from the Agbia || Synaxarium