Reflections: Advent

In a few weeks will be two anniversaries which will always be important landmarks in my journey into Orthodoxy. The feast of St. Longinus being one of them. As I look back and observe what has been accomplished (or not) for Christ, I am forced to wonder if I gave it my all? Have I worked enough to truly further the cause of Christ? These are questions I always ask myself when Advent is approaching and the answer is always the same: NEVER! I can ALWAYS do more. We are quickly nearing the “days of preparation.” The world looks to January and the new year as a time of reflection and an opportunity to make resolutions to do better at whatever personal goals they have set for themselves. We in the Church have a similar time and the goals and resolutions we make have a far greater impact on not only our own lives but as the Church we are called to affect the destiny of the WHOLE WORLD! We have a new Church year approaching and while it is a good time to reflect and set spiritual goals, it is not the only time. You don’t have to wait for Advent, reflect upon your spiritual state daily and set the same goals you would set for yourselves during Advent and then PRACTICE!!! Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.(2 Cor. 6:2) and But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified. (1 Cor 9:27) To paraphrase Christ “For what shall it profit a man if he should convert the whole world yet lose his own soul?”

This Christian life is a relationship. Healthy relationships require communication. True communication requires two things, speaking and listening. Both parties speak and listen. For our part, prayer is speaking and Bible reading and meditation are listening. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy – meditate on these things. (Philippians 4:8) Advent is a time for extra listening. If we as the Church would make time to listen then He will tell us what to say when it is time to speak.

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