Sunday, November 24, 2013

Meditations on the Winter Pascha - Temples of the Living God

I ended last time by mentioning Fr. Alexander Schmemman's words about Mary being the great example to us, rather than the great exception. When I turned to this chapter, I found those words looking back at me (I couldn't remember where I'd read them before, but now I know!).

This chapter then, is simply an expansion of that idea. Fr. Hopko points out how the Theotokos shows us what we can also become if we choose to allow the Holy Spirit to dwell within ourselves. For it is truly our choice. No one will force us to open our hearts to God; least of all God Himself. He created us with the knowledge that we might choose to turn our backs to Him, yet He made us anyway.

This is not mere symbolism... This is serious business. It is a matter of life and death. For we are either the living vessels of God... or we are, to use the apostle's language once more, "vessels of wrath" to be destroyed in our wickedness by God's righteous glory. 

There is no in between way, and it is clear that the choice is ours.

As we go the way of the Winter Pascha the choice placed before us is clear. We can follow the "narrow way" that leads to life, or we can go on the "broad way" that leads to destruction (Mt. 7:13-14). We can, like Mary, cleave to the Lord and become His dwelling place in the Spirit. Or we can through immorality and sin choose the death of the nothingness which we are unless the Lord Himself lives within us. 

There are only two options: life or death. May each of us choose the way of Life.



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