Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Mystical Union Of The Believer, Christ and His Church

Feast Day Of Brigid 

(February 1st)

Fr. Dale Matson

"For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, 'Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.'” (1 Cor. 1:26-31, Epistle reading for Feast Day of Brigid).

Do I worry about righteousness and redemption and sanctification? I think not if I am in Christ. If I am in Christ, I am a new creature. I am putting off the old man and putting on the new, empowered by God the Holy Spirit.  Does this mean that our personality is being destroyed? Is this self-naughting a kind of self-destruction? Of course it isn’t. It is our false self that is being burned up. Christ has baptized us with the Holy Spirit and fire. God the Holy Spirit is the refiner’s fire burning up the dross of our old nature.  As St. Seraphim stated, “The true aim of our Christian life consists of the acquisition of the Holy Spirit of God."

Paul states in Colossians, “"To whom God was pleased to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory" (Col. 1:27). “Paul then passes beyond the mystery of the church and comes to the words of the text, "Christ in you, the hope of glory." The church consists of souls in whom Christ lives. This is another mystery, never to be explained by or to the unspiritual, never to be perfectly explained even by the spiritual. The mystery of individual souls in whom Christ dwells lies at the back of the mystery of the church.” (G. Campbell Morgan).

But is it not also that we are born again by our baptism into Christ and His body the Church? Christ is the light of the world and the lamp inside me searching my inwards parts. Just as Brigid transformed a pagan location into a Christian community, Christ is exposing the darkness in us by the brightness of His light. He is transforming us so His Father may be glorified.  He is not making new things. He is making all things new. Just as Brigid took the pagan land and water and fire and consecrated it for Christian purposes and posterity. He is the tree of life within us and we live eternally on this fruit of the Spirit.  So, we are in Christ and He is in us. His body is the Church and we are members of it. The good deeds we perform, we do for Him and through Him and He does them through us. It is no longer we who live but Christ who lives in us and for us. Amen

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