Beauty and Saving the World

July 16, 2014 / Jean Hoefling This is an excerpt of the article originally published by Relief Journal, a Christian online publication. Click the link below for full article. Beauty will save the world. – Fyodor Dostoyevsky In the Orthodox Church, from Easter to the Ascension, an ethereal hymn is sung while the faithful partake of Eucharist. The brief lyrics implore all who will, to receive the Body of Christ, drink of the Fountain of Immortality. Assuming this transformation of … [Read more...]

The Tabernacle

From the Orthodox Study Bible (Old Testament): On Mt. Sinai Moses received not only the Ten Commandments, but also precise and detailed instructions for building the tabernacle – a moveable tent – where God met the assembly of the people Israel (Ex 25:1-27:21). Consequently, the tabernacle is built according to the divine blueprints (Ex 35:4-40:33). Here God’s Presence, His Glory, will be made manifest through the shining cloud filling the holy place (Ex 40:34-38). The importance of God’s … [Read more...]

The Priesthood, Hebrew and Christian

From the Orthodox Study Bible (Old Testament): OLD TESTAMENT PRIESTS The Hebrew word for “priest” is kohen. He is the Levite who stood as intercessor for the people before God. Old Testament priests offered up gifts and sacrifices to the Lord on behalf of the people, that they might be reconciled to Him. The Lord directed Moses to construct the tabernacle (Ex 25:1-27:21). Then He established a permanent, hereditary priesthood, beginning with Moses’ brother Aaron and continuing through … [Read more...]

The Priesthood — Earthly and Eternal

From the Orthodox Study Bible: A major theme of the Book of Hebrews is the contrast between the earthly, or Levitical, priesthood, and the eternal priesthood of Melchizedek, which is fulfilled in Christ. The Levitical priesthood, established by Aaron of the tribe of Levi, is limited simply because those who fill it are ordinary human beings. The Levitical priests carry out God’s instructions and assist the people in their worship, but they cannot ultimately reconcile people to God. The … [Read more...]

The New Birth

From the Orthodox Study Bible: Early in His ministry Jesus revealed the way to enter God’s eternal Kingdom. We must be “born again” (John 3:3), a birth from above brought about by water and the Spirit. In His conversation with Nicodemus, Christ states: “Unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God” (John 3:5). From the beginning the Church has recognized “water” to be the waters of baptism, “the Spirit” to be the Holy Spirit. Therefore, the new birth is … [Read more...]

On the Reception of Holy Communion

From the Orthodox Study Bible: Who May Receive Holy Communion in the Orthodox Church? Orthodox Christians fully participate in the celebration of the Liturgy when they receive the body and blood of the Lord Jesus in Holy Communion, as the Lord himself commands (John 6: 53). To receive Communion in the Orthodox Church, one must be a practicing Orthodox Christian; this means that you must be baptized and/or chrismated in the Orthodox Church and that your beliefs and lifestyle are in … [Read more...]

Confession

From the Orthodox Study Bible: Perhaps the most misunderstood sacrament of the Christian Church is confession. How did it originate? What role does a priest play? Is there a special procedure for confession? The Scriptures hold answers to these questions. Concerning our sins, God’s Word gives a marvelous promise. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9). The faithful are to bring their sins to God in … [Read more...]