Message from Fr Constantine, May - June 2021
The Joy: Fr. Constantine's Message
Christ is Risen! Χριστός Ανέστη!
Truly He is Risen! Ἀληθῶς ἀνέστη!
I greet you with the joy of the Resurrection of Christ! This is the Feast of Feasts! This is the Festival of Festivals! Pascha is the reason for all our efforts, all our labors, and all our hardships in life. With the Resurrection as our sure bedrock and foundation of faith, we can then march through life enduring and overcoming any and all hardships. Conversely, without the Resurrection of our Lord and God and Savior Jesus Christ, then we labor in vain. St. Paul posed this argument to parishioners in the church in Corinth, saying:
“Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.”
Obviously, there was a major misunderstanding going on amongst some people in the Church at Corinth, if some Christians weren’t believing in the Resurrection! St. Paul continues his argument:
“We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified about God that he raised Christ, whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile, and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.”
Truly, how ridiculous we Christians look to the outside world - to those without faith and belief in our Almighty God - if we think, speak and act with the conviction that there is a God who became a human, and volunteered to save all humanity, past, present and future, by dying! This is the “stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles” (1COR 1:23) which makes us appear so foolish to those without hope in Christ. However, “...the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men” (1 COR 1:25, ESV).
St. Paul then turns his argument in the other direction:
“But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the first fruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ. Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. For “God has put all things in subjection under his feet.”
Dear Brother and Sisters: Do we believe that all things have been put under the feet of Christ? Do we believe that He is the Victor over sin, death and all things that will pass away when He comes again forever? If we find ourselves doubting, then we must go deeper. We must not settle for half-truths, or blindly bury in our minds the arguments and misunderstandings of others about our Greek Orthodox Christian Faith. Let us reach out to our Risen Christ, beseeching Him to give us the thoughts, the words and the actions to live the reality of His Resurrection every day of our lives. Let us reach out to His Church, seeking the resources needed to become the warriors we are called to be. Let us take courage, so that we become the emissaries He desires us to be. Then we will not only believe His truth, but we will live His truth. May it be so for us, each and every day of our lives.
With Love in the Risen Lord,
Fr. Constantine Trumpower