Many non-Christians believe that Jesus Christ was simply a great teacher, but Christians believe that He was far more than a mere human being. His death and resurrection radically changed the course of history. Christ’s love allows people to enter into a true and meaningful relationship with God The Father.
On the 16th of January, 1786, soon after the United States of America came into existence as a sovereign nation, the Virginia General Assembly adopted Thomas Jefferson’s landmark Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom. This statute then became the basis for what is known today as the First Amendment, which guarantees religious freedom to all people residing in the U.S.A..
Every year since that time, a statement is released on this same day by the president of the United States, officially proclaiming Religious Freedom Day.
Here is this year’s statement, made by president Donald Trump:
For a list of resources about the importance of Religious Freedom Day, check out the following websites:
To find out how you can celebrate Religious Freedom Day, I invite you to browse the following articles:
Happy Religious Freedom Day, 2020.
The Jesus Prayer is one of the most important prayers in Orthodoxy, and its repetition throughout the day is recommended by many of the Orthodox Fathers.
Below is a compilation of videos presenting the opinions of several Christian Orthodox Elders about the Jesus Prayer.
In the comments section, I invite you to share your thoughts on The Jesus Prayer, and tell us in what ways you have incorporated it your prayer life.
Created by Barry Adams in the late 1990s, “Father’s Love Letter” is a compilation of Bible verses that are arranged in the form of a love letter written by God to you or to humanity in general. I invite you to watch Barry Adams explain it himself in the following video:
According to their website, since 1999, the “letter” has impacted countless people, has been translated into over 100 languages, has appeared as full page newspaper ads and has even been delivered home to home in entire countries.
And don’t forget to check out the God Loves You page. That’s one of my favorite parts of the site. 🙂
Let me know what you think about the Father’s Love Letter project. In the comments section below, I invite you to share how it has impacted you.
In this video from Saddleback Church’s YouTube channel, Pastor Buddy Owens offers some helpful advice about how to pray when you’re going through a time of turmoil and crisis and you feel like you don’t have a prayer.
Turning to Psalm 77 as an example of how to pray when you’re going through a season of darkness and confusion, Pastor Owens lists 5 important steps:
- Crying out to God
- Admitting your feelings and your fears (groaning in prayer)
- Appealing to God’s faithfulness (meditating on the many ways in which God has blessed you before, thinking about the things that God has already done for you, how He saved you, how He got you out of a tight spot in the past, what you were facing, what His timing was, what difference it made etc.)
- Turning your complaints into praise (switching from “God, are you finished being kind?” to “God, You’re amazing!”)
- 5. Following fearlessly (follow God into the unknown)
I hope this will help you if you ever find yourself in a season of confusion when praying and remaining faithful to God look like difficult tasks.
Every year, on August 6, both the Orthodox and the Catholic Churches celebrate the Feast of The Transfiguration of Our Lord, God, and Savior Jesus Christ. The feast commemorates the transfiguration or metamorphosis of Christ on Mount Tabor when our Lord appeared in His divine glory before the apostles Peter, James, and John.
Recorded in three of the four Gospels (Matthew 17:1-9, Mark 9:2-8, and Luke 9:28-36), the event of the Transfiguration unfolded as following: Jesus took the Apostles Peter, James, and John with Him up upon a mountain, and, while they were on the mountain, He was transfigured. His face shone like the sun, and His garments became glistening white.
Moses and Elijah appeared with Christ, talking to Him. Peter declared how good it was for them to be there and expressed the desire to build three booths for Moses, Elijah, and Christ.
While Peter was speaking, a bright cloud overshadowed them. A voice came from the cloud saying, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to Him.” When the disciples heard this they fell on their faces filled with awe. Jesus came to them and told them to not be afraid. When the three looked up they saw only Jesus.
As Jesus and the three apostles came down the mountain, He told them not to speak of what they had seen until He had risen from the dead.
Original article can be found here: https://greekcitytimes.com/2020/08/06/feast-of-the-transfiguration-of-our-lord-jesus-christ/
Eastern-Orthodoxy observes the Feast Day of Saints Constantin and Helen every year on May 21st.
Saint Constantine was born in 272, the son of Constantius Chlorus, ruler of the western part of the Roman Empire. His mother was St Helen.
After his father death, in 306, St. Constantine was proclaimed successor to the throne. The empire was ruled at that time by several Caesars, each with his own territory.
When Constantine learned that the Caesars Maxentius and Maximinus had joined against him, he marched on Italy, where, on the eve of a decisive battle outside Rome, he saw in the sky a radiant Cross with the words “In this sign conquer.” He ordered that a battle-standard be made bearing the image of a cross and inscribed with the Name of Jesus Christ.
The following day he and his forces attacked and won a spectacular victory. He entered Rome in triumph and in 312 was proclaimed “Emperor of the West” by the Senate. The East was ruled by his brother-in-law, Licinius. Soon thereafter he issued his “Edict of Milan”, whereby Christianity was officially tolerated for the first time, and persecution of Christians ceased. (Many believe, mistakenly, that the Edict made Christianity the only legal religion; in fact, it proclaimed freedom of religion throughout the Empire).
Licinius, though he pretended to accept the Edict, soon began persecuting Christians in his domain. In response, Constantine fought and defeated him in 324, becoming sole Emperor of the entire Roman Empire. In 324 he laid the foundations of a new capital in the town of Byzantium; in 330 he inaugurated the new capital city, naming it “New Rome” and “Constantinople”. In 325 he called the First Ecumenical Council at Nicea, attending its sessions himself. Shortly before his repose in 337, he received Holy Baptism; he died on Holy Pentecost, at the age of sixty-five, and was interred in the Church of the Holy Apostles in Constantinople.
St. Constantine’s holy mother Helen, in her role as “Augusta” of the Empire, founded countless churches. She traveled to Jerusalem and found the True Cross on which the Lord was crucified. In the Holy Land she established churches at the sites of Christ’s Nativity and burial, which still stand today in much-modified form. She died at about eighty years of age.
Read the original article here: https://greece.greekreporter.com/2020/05/21/greeks-worldwide-celebrate-saints-constantine-and-helen/
Read more about the Saints Constantine and Helen on these websites:
People who wear the names of Constantine and Helen, or other names derived from these, celebrate their name day on May 21st.
Orthodox Easter in 2020 is on Sunday, April 19. In Orthodoxy, this day is called Pascha.
While Pascha and the western Easter are both calculated using the same formula, the end dates often differ because they have different starting points. Orthodox Churches still use the Julian calendar as the starting point for the Pascha calculation.
While the majority of Orthodox Churches adopted the modern Gregorian calendar, some retained the Julian. To maintain unity within the entire church, all Orthodox celebrate the feast of feasts on the same day throughout the world.
The old Julian solar calendar is 13 days behind the Gregorian’s at the moment and its lunar calendar is four to five days behind, causing the date for Pascha to often fall on a different date to that of Easter.
While Pascha normally falls either one or five weeks later than Easter, on occasion they can be four weeks apart and on some years the dates of Pascha and Easter coincide. The dates coincided most recently in 2017 and the next coincidence will be in 2025.
Pascha is the most joyous celebration of the entire year, as the community gathers together to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Except that, this year, in many Orthodox countries, due to the Coronavirus pandemic, people are prohibited from attending the liturgies and from gathering together in large numbers in any public places. Nevertheless, we can gather together in spirit and be united in prayer from our homes.
Happy Easter! Blessed Pascha! Christ in risen!
Palm Sunday, also called the Triumphal Entry, is one of the Great Feasts of the Orthodox Church, celebrated on the Sunday before Pascha. This year it falls on April 12. Palm Sunday is the day when the Orthodox Church celebrates the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem in the days before the Jewish Passover. A mere few days before His crucifixion, Jesus Christ was received by adoring throngs at his entry into Jerusalem on the back of a young donkey.
The believers meet him, and spread out before him his clothes and olive branches. When He and His disciples approached the city Jerusalem, He ordered them to go to the near-by village, and bring him the donkey and his little who were tied-up in the beginning of the village. If they were asked, they should say that the Lord needs it. When the people knew that the donkey was for Jesus, they did not prevent his disciples. They gave Him the donkey, and He solemnly entered Jerusalem. The news of the resurrection of Lazarus already got ahead and thousands of people went to Bethany to meet him.
You can find the event told in the four Gospels:
I invite you to read more about it on these websites:
In this video, Fr. Casey Cole from Breaking In The Habit talks about how Christians can let go of their anxiety and trust in God’s word: “Be still and know that I am God”.