What is meant by the unwaning light but to understand who is the Light of the world and that Light that you receive and "Put on, is Christ," who is arisen from the dead. Today being a Christian means more than just going through the motions, it means to be "transformed". It means being "all that you can be for Christ." It means not just saying your a Christian, but showing others that you are by your loving and respectful example. That means not me but Him through me. Are you Christ centered?
In years past, I was often criticised for not being as respectful toward others by the tone I showed toward them, especially those in "authority over me". It wasn't until I saw that same attitude being displayed by others, (which was undesirable), that I realized the need to be more guarded of my own actions. Simply you don't make friends that way. Another one of my burdens was lateness for everything, starting with school, class and then work. I had many excuses, the problem was mine alone. I had work to do, on myself, the only one that needed to change was me. Change only comes through realization, by having yourself exposed and being honest. It is called spiritual growth and we need to be sensitive to all of God's children as we are not at the same level, but are called slowly to understanding through God's Word.
Fast forward, I am no longer the proud one who never would wear a hat especially, that would spoil my hairdo, because it was all about how I looked. Today, it is on a very rare occasion that you would find me in church without a head covering, and on time. Not all people would understand the respect that I learned, because I cherish my Lord, who sees into my heart. It is done in a spirit of being humble, recognizing that God resists the proud. When I draw near to Him, I do it in purity of heart, with preparation.
Many churches "soften the rules" to accommodate the masses of individuals who will come only if they can be assured of their comfort levels. Yet, does not a slippery slope assure the spiraling down? Is there is no limit to the requirements of some, like special seating, parking arrangements, air conditioning, names placed by donors for their edification and on and on. A non-compliant type will find any excuse not to be where they really do not want to be. This can ultimately relate to non-attendance. The attitude, is it going to be my way or the highway, eventually means the dwindling of numbers and loss of support, in many ways. But what does that have to say about where we are spiritually?
What is your focus or rather, who is your focus on? Are you Christ centered or self-centered? Look not to the corrupting forces around you who are becoming more and more alienated from the truth, but look to Christ Jesus who is the Truth, and submit to God.
Take the time to read (James Chapter 4:6-11) "God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble." Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded. Lament and mourn and weep! Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom. Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up." Do not speak evil of one another, brethren. He who speaks evil of a brother and judges his brother, speaks evil of the law and judges the law. But if you judge the law, you are not a doer of the law but a judge."
We must always interpret scriptures with the guidance of respected clergy, and scholars of the Orthodox faith working within an apostolic tradition. Taken from the Orthodox Study Bible (James 4:11,12) we are reminded "Belittling criticism of others is another way pride is revealed in our speech. It is a lack of faith united with evil works, an offense both to the person criticized and to God. There is one Lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy. Who are you to judge another?"
Wow those are pretty strong words. Life is not easy. It is not easy to admit when we are wrong or when we have offended someone else. Even when we are trying to do the right thing. Then, I appreciate the "Unwaning Light" and all it has to offer all of us. Let the Unwaning light of Christ be my guide, on a sure and straight path which leads me to "life" with no uncertainty. And let not my pride stand in the way of good judgement. O joyful Light!
Finally, when I see with spiritual eyes, Christ naked and bleeding on the cross, as only part of the way that He was humiliated, out of respect, will I transform myself to what is pleasing to Him. We cannot serve two masters. I choose Christ. Forgive me all whom I have offended, my brothers. Let us all work to the greater good in upholding all that has been past down to us by those who gave so much of themselves for the faith that we cherish. And, as my mom used to say, "put a sock in it"... She meant to be careful of what you say to those you love, in order that you will not have to eat those words which cause conflict and damage, at a later time. We ought not be casting stones, as we are all sinners. (Taken from Hosea 6:6) The Lord tells us "For I desire mercy and not sacrifice, and the knowledge of God more than whole burnt offerings." (5) "And My judgment shall go forth as the Light."
All scriptural references are taken from the "Orthodox Study Bible"
Almost A Minyan
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