“In an acceptable time I have heard you,
And in the day of salvation I have helped you.”
2 Corinthians 6:2
Father Matta El-Meskeen (Matthew the Poor)
IN THE OLD TESTAMENT God appeared in a cloud above the Ark of the Covenant only a few times, so all the people stood in acclamation with shouts in greetings.
But God very often descended in a cloud to admonish and punish them for their violations making them weep and cry out.
God’s descent and vision in the cloud was thus a frightening matter. The people trembled with fear from the words of God to the degree that they told Moses to show himself alone in the presence of God and listen to His words, then tell them as they could not bear God’s presence nor listening to His words. Moses obeyed them.
While for us, in the New Testament, God is no more far from us nor does he speak to reprimand us, but God in the Being of Christ Jesus is always with us. Nay as Christ says: “For the Father Himself loves you, because you have loved Me….”1
When the time came for Christ to ascend into Heaven, He told His holy disciples: “I am with you always.”2 The Apostle Paul through inspiration of the Spirit says: “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?”3 In another place he says we are members in the Body of Christ: “of His flesh and of His bones.”4
It is neither the time nor the age of God being absent from His faithful children. To increase our faith the Lord says: “you in Me, and I in you”5, and “He who feeds of Me (in the Eucharist) will live because of Me”6, and “He who eats of My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me.”7 In short we live now in Christ as the Apostle Paul says: “It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me.”8
Christ remaining in our life is a confirmed and established heavenly truth that needs no proof because Christ has become our life. Therefore when the Bible says: “In an acceptable time” truly we live these times now. From the point of view of acceptance we are always accepted by God through Christ, nay chosen, elected and righteous.
Our accepted time requires acclamation and praise, for the Lord Jesus Himself is in us and we are in Him. This truth some of us sense and cannot bear, consequently praising and acclaiming the glory in a loud voice, due to Jesus Christ’s presence that enflames the heart with the Spirit. The result is that a person no more considers his own existence practically leaping and rising from the earth as if flying. Every body sees it and asks what could have happened to that person? Sure, the Spirit has affected him to the very core, and he is no more part of the earth’s inhabitants. This is the situation of a renewed man who is lead by the Spirit while he does not realize that everyone wonders about him.
A renewed man is a heavenly blossom that has set down on earth with everyone in wonder over it. The heavenly blossoms of mankind surround Christ, and Christ surrounds them, emitting to God their beautiful odor, perfuming earth and heaven. The beloved preserve its fragrance as a sign of the Lord’s presence among us.
The accepted time is the zenith of God’s gift in Christ to the spiritual man, because he is reckoned as not being of this age, but of the heavenly times of the revelation of God’s pleasure and joy among us.
We ignore the time of acceptance asking for the quick arrival of the Lord: “Maran-atha, i.e. O Lord come”9, while He is alive in us and made our times an accepted time requiring acclamation of glory, nay cheers and dancing.
It is impossible for the sun to set on the day of salvation because it is the most joyful day in existence. Give me that day of salvation and take the whole age, because the day of salvation, I truthfully avow before God, is not of this age, but is the witnessed day of the Lord which He crowned with His cross and dressed with the crown of His resurrection. The day of salvation is the whole earth’s celebration and the pride of the heavens. The day of salvation is the bride of heaven revealed to us on earth for us to celebrate with drums and dances akin to the day of the salvation of God’s people on the shore having crossed the sea and seen Egypt’s pharaoh drowning in deep waters.
The day of salvation is the day on which man woke up to find the devil and all his aides shackled with chains after Christ had triumphed over them on the cross.
The day of salvation is the day when the banner was hoisted of man’s freedom from the fear of death slavery with its thorn shattered forever, ending the devil’s rule over mankind for eternity.
Where are we in relation to the day of salvation? Have we really been able to get rid of the enemy and the power of death, of grief, despondency and sighs? What is the extent of our awareness of the freedom offered to us through the blood of Christ? Have we accepted Christ Lord and God, or have we given Him the cold shoulder instead of our countenance?
With the Apostle Paul we say: “be reconciled to God”10 and accept the salvation Christ acquired for us through His blood. Whoever disparages the day of salvation becomes deprived of Christ and consequently of eternal life.
Dear brothers in the Lord, Christ made our times an accepted time and is on the lookout for our prayers and acclamations, so do not get tired from knocking at His door as He hears the sound of our sighs. Our grief over the past and that which passed in vain is known to Him for He is ready till the last moment to come with forgiveness and reconciliation. With God every sin is forgiven and does not require except an honest confession from the heart.
You who are sad and cry now, it is not the time of sorrow and weeping but the time of salvation and joy that cannot end in grief.
You who are heedless of Christ’s commandment, time flies leaving you behind. When you will wake up from your bad ways you will find the Lord grieving over your condition as a father grieves over his son’s waywardness.
Today is the day of salvation and the invitation is sent to all who listen to the voice of conscience. So listen and be saved!
27 June, 2005
1 John 16:27.
2 Matt 28:20.
3 1Cor 3:16.
4 Eph 5:30.
5 John 14:20.
6 John 6:57.
7 John 6:56.
8 Gal 2:20.
9 1Cor 16:22; Rev 22:20.
10 2Cor 5:20.
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