Glimpes of My Life in Pictures

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Birth of Saint John the Baptist

He that was greater than all who are born of women, the Prophet who received God's testimony that he surpassed all the Prophets, was born of the aged and barren Elizabeth (Luke 1:7) and filled all his kinsmen, and those that lived round about, with gladness and wonder. But even more wondrous was that which followed on the eighth day when he was circumcised, that is, the day on which a male child receives his name. Those present called him Zacharias, the name of his father. But the mother said, "Not so, but he shall be called John." Since the child's father was unable to speak, he was asked, by means of a sign, to indicate the child's name. He then asked for a tablet and wrote, "His name is John." And immediately Zacharias' mouth was opened, his tongue was loosed from its silence of nine months, and filled with the Holy Spirit, he blessed the God of Israel, Who had fulfilled the promises made to their fathers, and had visited them that were sitting in darkness and the shadow of death, and had sent to them the light of salvation.
Zacharias prophesied concerning the child also, saying that he would be a Prophet of the Most High and Forerunner of Jesus Christ. And the child John, who was filled with grace, grew and waxed strong in the Spirit; and he was in the wilderness until the day of his showing to Israel (Luke 1:57-80). His name is a variation of the Hebrew "Johanan," which means "Yahweh is gracious."

Monday, June 8, 2009

The Fast of the Apostles

Today at midnight, having rejoiced for fifty days following our Lord's Pascha, we start the Fast of the Apostles.

This is the fast that Christ's disciples undertook after the Descent of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. As part of their preparation, the Holy Apostles began a fast asking God to strengthen their resolve and to be with them in their missionary undertakings.

It is this fast that we take part in while observing the Apostles' Fast. We do this not only because we honor the Apostles and their sacrifice, but also as a preparation to be sent as missionaries into the world, to reflect and radiate Christ to those around us.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Pentecost - The Descent of the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit was the One who gave the necessary power for the work of preaching. The sending of the Holy Spirit was a promise from the Lord (John 14:26, 15:26, 16:7), however, despite this He said to them, "Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high" (Luke 24:29). Where will this power come from? He said to them regarding this, "But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me" (Acts 1:8).

The Spirit of God was essential to them for they could not work without Him. The Holy Spirit worked with them in preaching and teaching. They waited according to the Lord's command. Their previous preparation for service which lasted more than three years did not dispense them of the Holy Spirit and His work in and with them. Perhaps these ten days which they waited were days of prayer and hope, from the heart, in preparation for the coming work.