Tag Archives: Pentecost

The Gospel of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost

by V. K. McCarty | български | ქართული | ελληνικά | Română | Русский | Српски


“When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place.
And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind. . .”*

The Pentecost feast-day reading from Acts (2:1-21) is absolutely galvanized with spiritual energy, isn’t it? It radiates with the brightness of faith coming into being in an extraordinary mystical experience including the whole community gathered in prayer; so that, in the words of Romanos’ Kontakion for Pentecost: “they glorified the All-Holy Spirit” (E. Lash, trans. 1995, 207). This abiding presence of God the Holy Spirit, revealed to us in Scripture, is a foundational treasure of Orthodox Christianity. It is the Holy Spirit who is leading us through the Liturgy, who gave courage to the early men and women martyrs, who guided the Ecumenical Councils, and who defined the Canon of Holy Scripture.

We are fortunate that the Acts of the Apostles was crafted so soon after the events it describes. While it is a story involving a whole panorama of remembered characters and beloved episodes contributing to the seeding and growth of the Primitive Church, it is the action of God—the living divinity of God we know as the Holy Spirit—which is most urgently, most excellently portrayed here. “It is no exaggeration to conclude that Early Christians looked upon the Holy Spirit as the chief external witness to the presence of Christ’s reign” (J.T. Koenig, Charismata: God’s Gifts for God’s People, 1978, 73). In fact, Acts might better be titled “The Gospel of the Holy Spirit.”

Continue reading

The Holy Bible: The Living Word and the Breath of God

by Lia Lewis

Open Bible with a candle

During the last few days, the Bible has been disrespected not only by President Trump but also by many people who sought to defend it. The Bible is being used as an instrument of political rhetoric in a divided country. It has been subjected to ridicule in a time when we should be reading it, praying, and taking solace from it. The Bible is God’s promise to His creation for the time that is yet to come, a time of peace and reconciliation. Because He sends us the Holy Spirit, His Word becomes more than just sentences in a book. It becomes the mighty wind blowing that fans the fire that is God within our hearts, reconciling us to each other in Christ

One illustration of the high esteem of the Bible in the Orthodox Church is the procession of the Gospel in the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom. Historically, the Gospel needed to be moved from storage to be read from the altar during the liturgy; it was processed from the chapel to the altar by way of the church.  Over time, the procession of the Gospel became an important feature of the Divine Liturgy in itself, rather than simply an act of moving it between locations.   

Continue reading