Orthodoxy comes to SMS by surprise...

This Saturday, the second session of the "Life in the Spirit" course, instead of the planned discussion of Pentecostal and Charismatic theology, during first two hours of our class, Lorraine instructed us regarding Orthodox spirituality. It was very informative and detailed. I'm sure she did not intend to run so long but by the time we had our first break it was already time for lunch... Awesome!

Here are some of the highlights...

Theology is steeped into the lives of all those in the Orthodox faith from the time they are born. Babies are not flawed, but one day they will indeed die, thru Baptism the child enters into death and then enters into it's new life with Christ, the child is given a new family (the Body of believers) and it is given a vocation.

Through fasting we are reminded that God sustains us not food. As humans we are controlled by our passions, our bodily means dominate our lives, thru fasting Christ helps us to be holy so that the Holy Spirit may work greater in our lives, for without holiness no one will see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14) Fasting isn't a contest.

The 5 annual Fasts are:
Great Lent
(some start 2 weeks prior to Great Lent in the tradition of the monastics)
Holy Week Fast
Fast of the Apostles
Fast of the Dormition of the Theotokos
Fast of the Nativity

In Bible study God is speaking to us Jesus Himself is the Divine Word, we must listen with obediance and our studies should be Christ centered -looking for Christ on every page- Bible study is Christ speaking to me and I respond, as the "stories" of the the Bible include me. In prayer we enter our "inner room" (the heart) and by faith pray to God with intention, with tears, repentance and denial. Prayer should be a regular time, a special place and the hardest part -just get started-

The Jesus Prayer

"Κύριε Ιησού Χριστέ, Υιέ του Θεού, ελέησόν με τον αμαρτωλόν."

"Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Most High God, Have Mercy on me a sinner"

The Jesus Prayer is one of the most profound and mystical prayers and it is often repeated continually as a part of personal ascetic practice. The goal of the disciplines is to share in the transfiguration of Christ so that we may see Christ just as the Apostles did

We were also treated by Cn. Thelogian Fr. Glenn Davis presentation of his address for the CEC Theological Summit to be held next week in Orlando, Florida.

Question to be answered for next session:
-What is the difference between personal prophecy and divination?-