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Cross

The Twenty-Second Day of Great Lent. The Death of Christ and the Life of Man »

March 22nd, 2019    Posted in Daily Meditations

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, April 15, 2016  Several years ago, someone wrote and asked, “Why did Christ have to die on the Cross?” It is the question that prompted this article. Recently, we have been having a discussion regarding the atonement within the comments section of the blog. I have pointed out that the notion of Christ being punished by the wrath of God for our sakes is not, in fact, […]

The Eighth Day of Great Lent. The Cross. The Cross as Cure »

March 18th, 2019    Posted in Daily Meditations

The second sacred image that the cross echoes is the “Lifted-Up One,” and it comes from the bronze snake in the desert. YHWH tells Moses to raise up a serpent on a pole, and “anyone who has been bitten by a serpent and looks upon it will be healed” (Numbers 21:8). It is like a homeopathic symbol. The very thing that is killing the Children of Israel is the thing […]

Forgiveness – Do We Know What We’re Doing? »

March 8th, 2019    Posted in Daily Meditations

By Fr Stephen Freeman, March 13, 2016 The first service of Great Lent in the Orthodox Church is “Forgiveness Vespers,” served on the eve of Monday of the First Week. There is nothing unusual about the service itself – other than the “rite of forgiveness” appended to it. In this, the priest and the faithful ask forgiveness of one another. Often this is done with mutual prostrations. Each asks the […]

Members of One Another (Part IX): Weep with Me, Forest and Desert (I) »

March 6th, 2019    Posted in Daily Meditations

Sin and salvation, however, are not merely human in scope, but they also involve the entire created order. When Adam fell, the whole creation fell with him; and by the same token our human salvation will inaugurate the salvation of the total cosmos. As Fr Sophrony puts it, ‘Every saint is a phenomenon of cosmic character’. We are not saved from but with the world. This cosmic understanding of sin […]

A Lesser Atonement »

February 22nd, 2019    Posted in Daily Meditations

By Fr. Stephen Freeman, March 28, 2015 It has long been known that people tend to see what they think they are seeing. This is particularly the case where what we think is familiar and expected. The case of “mistaken identity” flows from our assumptions and expectations. This is nowhere more true than when we are reading Scripture. If a passage has years of associations, it is almost impossible to see anything […]