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Marriage at Cana

February 19, 2012 1 comment

In the biblical account, Jesus and his disciples are invited to a wedding and when the wine runs out Jesus turns water into wine by performing a miracle.

John 2:1-11 states that while Jesus was attending a wedding in Cana with his disciples the party ran out of wine. Jesus’ mother(unnamed in John’s Gospel) told Jesus, “They have no wine,” and Jesus replied, “O Woman, what have I to do with you? My hour has not yet come.” His mother then said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you” (John 2:3-5). Jesus ordered the servants to fill containers with water and to draw out some and take it to the chief steward waiter. After tasting it, and not knowing where it came from, the steward congratulated the bridegroom on departing from the custom of serving the best wine first by serving it last (John 2:6-10). John adds that: “Jesus did this, the first of his signs, in Cana of Galilee and it revealed his glory and his disciples believed in him (John 2:11)”.

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Categories: BIBLE

Orthodox Bible

February 3, 2012 Comments off

Orthodox Study Bible now available in Flipkart.com

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Orthodox Beliefs and Their Biblical Foundations

January 16, 2012 3 comments

Orthodox Church view of the Sacraments, specifically Holy Communion

Some teach that Communion or The Lord’s Supper (Which Orthodox call “the Holy Eucharist”) is only a sign or symbol. Most of Christendom, however, believes it is far more. The Orthodox Church has always believed that we, in a mystery, receive the Body and Blood of Christ in the Holy Eucharist. What do the Holy Scriptures teach concerning Holy Communion?

1. Jesus said at the Last Supper: “This is My body which is given for you; do this remembrance of Me,’ Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you” (St Luke 22: 19, 20).The Lord states clearly that His gifts to us are more than just a sign or a mere memorial, and all of ancient Christianity took Him at His word.
The skeptic might say, “But Jesus also said, ‘I am the door’. Certainly He did not mean He was a seven foot wood plank.” No, and Christians have never interpreted His statement that way, But the Church does teach that He is our entrance in to the Kingdom of God and the bread and wine become, in mystery, His Body and Blood.

2. In 1 Corinthians 11:29, 30, we read of people who became sick and even died through receiving Communion hypocritically. People are not affected in that manner by something that is merely “symbolic”. In this sacrament we commune with God Himself.

3. In 1 Corinthians 10, St Paul is comparing the manna and water in the wilderness with the true bread and drink of the New Covenant. In 1 Corinthians 10:4 , Paul writes, “ And all drank the same spiritual drink. For they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ.” The question is, was the Rock Christ? Under laboratory observation, the rock would still most likely be granite. But the Word of God says, ‘The Rock was Christ’. We do not subject the gifts to chemical analysis, but to the Word of God. It is mystery, but never magic. Christ was present in the Rock; He is present in the Holy Gifts.

4. In St John 6:53 we read, “Then Jesus said to them, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you”. The Church receives this passage at face value-nothing added, nothing taken away. In Communion we became partakers of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. Just as the new birth (St John 3) gives as life through water and the Holy Spirit, so the Body and Blood of Christ sustain His life in us.

5. There is also the fact (Hebrew 9: 11, 12) that Christ our High Priest enters the heavenly Sanctuary with His own Blood, and that it is this heavenly Sanctuary that we worship (Hebrew 10: 19-25).There is only one Eucharist, the one in heaven, and we join that one feast.

We must neither add to nor subtract from the Word of God. Therefore we confess with Holy Scripture that the consecrated bread and wine is the Body and Blood of Christ. It is a mystery: we do not pretend to know how or why. As always, we come to Christ in childlike faith, receive His gifts, and offer Him praise that He has called us to heavenly banquet.

Source: Orthodox Study Bible.

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The Baptism of the Lord Jesus Christ

January 5, 2012 Comments off

Image has been taken from:  solzemli.wordpress.com

During the time that John the Forerunner preached on the banks of the Jordan River and baptized people, Jesus Christ reached thirty years of age. He also went from Nazareth to the Jordan River to John to receive baptism from him.

John did not consider himself worthy to baptize Jesus Christ and began to shrink back from Him saying, “I have need to be baptized of Thee, and comest Thou to me?”

But Jesus answering said to Him, “Suffer it to be so now,” — that is, do not hold back from me now, “for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness,” — to fulfil everything in the Law of God and to set an example for people. Then, John obeyed and baptized Jesus Christ.

Upon completion of the baptism, when Jesus Christ came out of the water, suddenly the heavens were opened over Him; and John saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and lighting upon Him and heard the voice of God the Father from Heaven saying, “This is My beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased.”

Then, John was finally convinced that Jesus was the expected Messiah, Son of God, Saviour of the world.

The Baptism of our Lord Jesus Christ is celebrated in the Holy Orthodox Church as one of the great feasts on January 6th (January 19 NS). The celebration of the Baptism of the Lord is also called Theophany or the Manifestation of God because at the time of baptism God revealed Himself to people as the Holy Trinity in this way: God the Father spoke from Heaven, the incarnate Son of God was baptized, and the Holy Spiritdescended in as a dove. Also, at the time of baptism for the first time, people could see that in the person of Jesus Christ there appeared not only man but also God.

The day before the feast is an established fast day. The same strict fast is observed and the same types of services are celebrated as on the Eve of Christ’s Nativity (Christmas). Because the Saviour by His own baptism sanctified the water, on this feast there is a blessing of water. On the day before, water is blessed in church and on the feast itself — under the open sky, in rivers, lakes, pools and wells. This Blessing of the Waters is often called “The Procession to the Jordan.”

Source: http://www.orthodoxphotos.com/readings/LG/baptism.shtml

Categories: BIBLE
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