Δευτέρα, 09 Αύγουστος 2021 16:56


Translation from the book:

Στεργίου ΝΣάκκουΚΥΡΙΑΚΗ ἡ ἀναστάσιμη ἡμέρα

κδ«ΧΡΙΣΤΙΑΝΙΚΗ ΕΛΠΙΣ» ΟΡΘΟΔΟΞΗ ΑΔΕΛΦΟΤΗΤΑ, ἔκδ. 4η, Θεσ/νίκη 2020, σσ. 17-24

(Stergios N. Sakkos [Read CV]SUNDAY: The Day of Resurrection, pp. 17-24)


  jesus christ Part 2

Sunday: its theology


God came and walked on earth. He left His footprints on several places and some of these are:

• The stable in Bethlehem, where He was born in a manger,
• the lake in Galilee, where He walked and chose His first disciples,
• the hillsides and plains that heard His voice teaching the crowds,
• the mount of Transfiguration that saw His divinity shining like the sun,
• the garden of Gesthemane, where He shed tears of anguish,
• the place of Golgotha, where He shed His blood,
• his empty tomb.

   The whole Palestine, which He crossed “doing good and healing” (Acts 10,38), is the Holy Land that reminds us of Godman's visit. We can go to this Holy Land if we wish and kneel on the sacred ground. However, we can also find this Holy Land in every Church because there we can enter Christ's life through the Holy Sacraments:

♦ In the Prothesis (Preparation table) we see Bethlehem,
♦ in the Holy Altar we stare at Golgotha,
♦ in the baptismal font we see the river Jordan,
♦ from the oil lamp of the sanctuary we take the light of the Resurrection.

   On the other hand, during His lifetime lots of divine signs took place:
◊ Epiphany, when God Father showed His Son and the Holy Spirit rested on Him in the form of a dove,
◊ the Passion, when Jesus was gradually led to His crucifixion and death,
◊ the Resurrection, that filled with light and happiness the hearts of the faithful,
◊ the Ascension, which glorified human nature,
◊ the Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit laid the foundation of the Church.

   All those supernatural events that brought salvation to the suffering human beings are the religious celebrations of our Church that keep, through the grace of the Sacraments, alive the presence of Christ among us. So, the faithful, no matter of the age we live in, can:
√ Meet our Lord Jesus Christ, the Godman,
√ become his disciples,
√ walk with Him,
√ listen to His words,
√ see His miracles,
√ live His Resurrection,
√ commune Him.

   All the above, that is, the Holy Land and the sacred celebrations, are offered in a way that only God could cοnceive and attain, in the day of Sunday. On Sunday and during the Divine Liturgy, being its essential feature, we gather in church where our Lord comes physically through the Holy Eucharist. Sunday helps us to take part in His life from the manger to the empty tomb. There, in the Church, in front of the holy altar and among the angels and saints we embrace God’s space and our soul rests, because it senses the divine eternity. At the same time we enter in God’s time through the Holy Communion where Christ is present in the bread of Prothesis, on the altar and in the Holy Chalice. Then our soul, full of eternity, rejoices. Sunday offers a spiritual space without borders and a limitless time. It brings God both in our life and heart... Sunday offers an always present experience of God’s love, which is expressed and realized tangibly in the Divine Liturgy.
   It is, also, a living memorial of the past, a kind of a historical witness. It is a one and only witness in the course of humanity that constantly testifies the redemptive work of the resurrected Christ until this day.
   Also, Sunday is a prophecy of the future, as the enlightened Fathers of our Church have remarked. The present world is included in the seven days of the week, which are constantly recycled till this world comes to an end. Sunday is considered to be the eighth day, which succeeds the seventh, and prophesies the future life, inaugurated by Christ’s resurrection. This eighth day is the sweet eternity of God’s kingdom. It starts now in Christ’s Church and expands farther after this earthly time. Sunday allows us to have this experience in advance.
   When God started the creation of the world by bringing light in the abyss it was the first day of time. “And there was evening and there was morning, one day” (Ge 1,5). It was also the first day of the week when Christ started reforming mankind by defeating death in Hades, “But on the first day of the week” (Lk 24,1). So, on Sunday the faithful celebrate both the birthday of the creation and the revival of humanity by Jesus Christ, while we experience in advance the future world of eternity, the heavenly rebirth.

   When we talk about the theological meaning of Sunday, we present the great truths of our faith. Sunday is:
• The first day of the world’s creation,
• the day of the Resurrection and man’s re-creation,
• the apocalyptic day of the future eternity,
• the day of Divine Liturgy in our church life.

   Thinking of Sunday we feel, indeed, the need:
◊ To thank God for the world He offered us,
◊ to praise Him for His Church and His Resurrection and,
◊ to have an ever ending expectation for His blessed kingdom.
   The existence of Sunday in the worldly calendar constitutes a visit of God Himself, Who by approaching us breaks the earthly boundaries and opens the way to heaven, the way that leads to His Presence.

To be continued

Copyright © 2021 by Orthodox Christian Association «ΧΡΙΣΤΙΑΝΙΚΗ ΕΛΠΙΣ» ΟΡΘΟΔΟΞΗ ΑΔΕΛΦΟΤΗΤΑ. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Κατηγορία Articles
Τρίτη, 10 Αύγουστος 2021 00:21


Translation from the book:

Στεργίου Ν. ΣάκκουΚΥΡΙΑΚΗ ἡ ἀναστάσιμη ἡμέρα

κδ«ΧΡΙΣΤΙΑΝΙΚΗ ΕΛΠΙΣ» ΟΡΘΟΔΟΞΗ ΑΔΕΛΦΟΤΗΤΑ, ἔκδ. 4η, Θεσ/νίκη 2020, σσ. 5-14

(Stergios N. Sakkos [Read CV]SUNDAY: The Day of Resurrection, pp. 5-14)


By John Chrysostomos, PG 51,265. “About Charity”

   Death was abolished on Sunday. The curse was erased. The sin was cleared. The gates of hades were torn apart. Devil was chained up. The ever-lasting war stopped and God reconciled with all people. Men came back to their previous or rather to a much more noble condition. The sun saw that wonderful and strange sight: men becoming immortal. So, if people have a feast and a formal celebration of their birthday –in honour of this exceptional event – it is even more important for us to honour Sunday. It is the day which can be certainly considered as the birthday of all human nature. Indeed, we were lost and found; we were dead and regained life; we were enemies and came to reconciliation. Therefore it is appropriate to honour Sunday only in a spiritual way: not with festivities, dancing, drinking and getting drunk but by helping generously our poor brothers.

Part 1
Sunday: its history

   Sunday: this word sounds so sweet in our ears and heart! It can touch even the most corrupt. It brings to our mind the most beautiful and tender moments of our life. It is wrapped in a festive glow and embellished with the happy meetings with the dearest ones. Most of all, it is wreathed in valuable, divine gifts; it is itself a divine gift to humans.
   When mentioning Sunday we refer to Lord Himself, to the Church, the Gospels, God’s plan for man’s salvation. We trace its history and theology in the Holy Scripture since the beginning of God’s history.
   When the six days of creation were over, God “rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had done” (Ge 2,2). That is, He stopped the work of creation on the seventh day. But He did not stop working, because as Jesus Christ His Son, attests “My father is working still, and I am working” (Jn 5,17). He continued and goes on working, ruling and preserving the world. This ruling and preservation of the world is an act not inferior than that of the creation. His repose and rest means this ceaseless divine providence.
   He built a beautiful house for us to enjoy: the universe. He created us with His love and then He rested. He stepped back and since then He is pleased and happy to take care of us and endow the world with His presence in various ways.
   On the seventh day which He blessed and considered as sacred, He started communicating with His creatures. He made a distinction between that one and the rest of the days. He established it as the day of His worship and ordered His chosen people “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labour and do all your work; but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work” (Ex 20, 8-10). As the seventh day denotes for God His constant care and providence for us, in the same way the day of Sabbath implies for His people the exclusive service and worship of God. Lord created everything for man, but He created man for himself. So, He asks man to dedicate a day of rest from his daily duties in order to study God’s will and offer his love to others to be able to meet God. “Be still, and know that I am God” (Ps 45(46),10) the psalmist suggests. This is the first aim of people’s resting and celebrating Sunday: undisturbed communication with God.
   Unfortunately, soon after the creation of the world and the blessing of Sabbath, the transgression of the first men caused a breach to the relationship between humans and their Creator. Although the Law tried to keep open the road which leads from earth to heaven, the seed of sin which (circulated in) ran through human race, always raised an obstacle between the Creator and His creature. However, the bond between man and God was maintained. The covenant was preserved until the salvation was established that is, the new order our Lord Jesus Christ brought on earth. With His work and sacrifice a new cosmogony took place, a new world was created, the spiritual one: His Church. As after the first creation of the world, God rested and that signifies His loving care of the world, so Christ’s Resurrection, which sealed the second creation of the Church, determines a new relationship of familiarity between God and people.
  anastasi1 On “The first day of the week” (Lk 24,1), Christ resurrected and our human nature was resurrected with Him. God blessed that day and turned it into a new Sabbath, which replaced the old one. This keeps all the old attributes while gaining new graces. Nobody has seen God creating or resting, so the old Sabbath was established through orders. The new one was founded on the fact of Christ’s resurrection and it is testified by history. The old Sabbath demanded sacrifices and offerings to God. The new one offers Lord’s sacrifice and He nurtures us with it. In Christ’s new creation we have a new day now. It is as if heaven opened and a fragrant flower appeared, as if a precious jewel was given to our hands, as if we were offered the most expensive gift by Lord. In order to consider(estimate) it as something special and not like everything else on earth, like an ordinary day, He wrote His name on it: Sunday (in Greek Kiriaki means the day of Kirios =Lord). Lord marked His day as we do, when we write our name on our own things to identify them, and then He donated it to us.

To be continued


Copyright © 2021 by Orthodox Christian Association «ΧΡΙΣΤΙΑΝΙΚΗ ΕΛΠΙΣ» ΟΡΘΟΔΟΞΗ ΑΔΕΛΦΟΤΗΤΑ. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Κατηγορία Articles