Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Intercessory Prayers to the Departed Church Fathers: Are they silent or not?

Intercessory Prayers to the Departed Church Fathers: Are they silent or not?

By Ajay Abraham Kuriakose

Introduction

In this age of new doctrines, we faithful are often confronted with the question, why do you pray Intercessory prayers? Your immediate answer, I believe it will help a sinner like me to obtain mercy

The attacker now uses a technique wherein:

1) He shows that your belief itself is flawed. 2) That it is without Christian foundation.

Your reply: my church people have been doing this for centuries. Now they will attack the church fathers saying that these kinds of faith are not Biblical and that nothing outside the Bible is Christian.

In this final step many of us fall not because they are right but because we have never tried to study the bible properly ourselves. I shall try to point out as many Biblical parts in order to show that Praying for the dead is indeed in line with the BIBLE.

All of our traditions and prayers for the dead are based on the teachings of Christ and his apostles who spoke in the power of the HOLY SPIRIT.

Ephesians ch1. v20: having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone..

One of the primary verses with which these people attack us is: Psalms115 v17. This verse has become so widely used that most of us have heard this several times by now. The dead do not praise the LORD, NOR any who go down into silence.

We never have an answer to this because we never bother to check this up, let alone hold the Bible when discussing Biblical topics.

Read the next verse, because its obvious the psalmist isn’t talking about himself in v17; V18: But we will bless the LORD From this time forth forevermore. Praise the LORD! The psalmist knew that he would die. Then what did he mean when he said he would in contrast to the wicked mentioned in v17 bless the LORD forever.

Explained below in the psalmist’s own words is the explanation of who he meant to be in silence. I will start with the psalmist’s prayer in Psalms 26 V9: do not gather my soul together with sinners, nor my life with bloodthirsty men.

These words were in perfect concordance with Jesus who taught where the souls of Abraham, Lazarus and other faithful were in difference to the gathered souls of the rich man and other wicked. (Check it up in Luke ch.16)

Again the psalmist tells us what he meant in ch115 v17, through the following psalms Psalms 30 V3: O Lord you have bought my soul up from the grave; you have kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit. If the pit is a place where David is not going, then neither is it the place where Abraham is nor the resting place of the faithful. Do you think I am exaggerating the psalmist’s words?

He speaks for himself v9. of the same psalms Verse 9: What profit is there in my blood, When I go down to the pit? Will the dust praise You? Will it declare Your truth?

If the psalmist was to bless his Lord forever he certainly could not be gathered with those in the pit . I hope u understand when he says O Lord you have bought my soul up from the grave; you have kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit.

Also he reaffirms that his soul is not silent at any point in verse 12. Psalms 30 Verse 12: To the end that my glory may sing praise to You And not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever.

Now observe the prayer of the psalmist in the very next Psalms; Psalms 31 Verse 17: Do not let me be ashamed, O Lord, for I have called upon You; Let the wicked be ashamed; Let them be silent in the grave,

Verse 18: Let lying lips be put to silence, Which speak insolent things proudly and contemptuously against the righteous.

I suppose it is now clear as to who the silent are & who can not praise the Lord when they r dead. Also crystal clear is that the faithful souls are constantly praising the Lord and hence in constant communication with Him.

The psalmist doesn’t stop here… Psalms 94 Verse13: That You may give him rest from the days of adversity, Until the pit is dug for the wicked.

NOTE: the days of adversity refers to the last days of torment when the faithful souls will be given rest unlike the torment of the wicked.

Verse 17: Unless the Lord had been my help, My soul would soon have settled in silence.

Also Psalms 49v15 Verse 15: But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave, For He shall receive me.

This is in line with what Jesus spoke of what happens to the dead, some are received; others suffer as in Psalm 49 verse14 (kindly read it also Luke ch.16.)

The Wicked

The Righteous Faithful

Psalms 115 verse17: The dead do not praise the LORD, NOR any who go down into silence.

Psalms 115 verse18: But we will bless the LORD From this time forth forevermore. Praise the LORD!

Psalms 26 V9: do not gather my soul together with sinners, nor my life with bloodthirsty men

Psalms 30 V3: O Lord you have bought my soul up from the grave; you have kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit.

Verse 9: What profit is there in my blood, When I go down to the pit? Will the dust praise You? Will it declare Your truth?

Psalms 30 Verse 12: To the end that my glory may sing praise to You And not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever.

Psalms 31 Verse 17: Do not let me be ashamed, O Lord, for I have called upon You; Let the wicked be ashamed; Let them be silent in the grave,

Verse 18: Let lying lips be put to silence, Which speak insolent things proudly and contemptuously against the righteous.

Psalms 94 Verse13: That You may give him rest from the days of adversity, Until the pit is dug for the wicked.

Verse 17: Unless the Lord had been my help, My soul would soon have settled in silence.

Psalms 49 Verse 15: But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave, For He shall receive me.

From the above I hope it is clear beyond any doubt that the faithfully departed ones (souls) are constantly in His presence.

Hebrews ch12 Verse 1: Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, …

It is because of this that we believe that they participate in the Holy Qurbana along with us. In fact some blessed church fathers have seen with divine eyesight the presence of these souls in the Church where we all come to commune.

source: http://www.socdigest.org/articles/03nov05.html

"This house will make a very big difference in my life! I used to worry all the time that my house would fall down on my children. Now I will have peace -- because I know that won't happen.... God has sent you in answer to my prayers." -Celia, a middle-aged mother of seven

Utilizing all volunteer labor, Project Mexico builds solid stucco homes with concrete floors for the poorest families in Tijuana, Mexico. Trip participants pay a fee which is used to purchase building materials and food for the workers. Recipient families are chosen by local clergy and community leaders who are familiar with and can verify their circumstances. Many of these families are part of the greatest migration in history -- rural Third World peasants moving to the cities. City planners estimate that thirty to forty families from Mexico's interior settle in Tijuana daily. Authorities state that this influx is occurring so rapidly they are unable to keep accurate population figures. Nearly 14% of the world (i.e. one of every seven people) lives in these squatter settlements where electricity and indoor plumbing are non-existent.

Low-cost government land is available only if the family lives on it. Families often spend all they have to purchase the land, leaving nothing for construction. This results in hastily constructed shanties made of cardboard, tin, or whatever supplies can be salvaged. These shelters are rarely adequate as evidenced by the numerous children who die each winter from cold and exposure.

In 1988, our goal was simply to help some of these struggling families make a better life for themselves by providing them with secure, safe, permanent homes. Now, well over one hundred families have been blessed with a safe and solid home while over 6,900 young people have given of themselves in a hands-on way. With a concrete floor, solid walls and roof, warm interior, and locking door which a Project Mexico home provides, the family's situation is given a quantum leap forward.

Home Building Q&A

Why Mexico?

Working in Mexico offers a unique environment for spiritual growth and a time to experience God's blessings. Each person involved has an opportunity to give to others in a special way -- serving those who can only repay with sincere gratitude. Participants bring back a memorable experience and youth and adults have a chance to evaluate their values and receive a new perspective on life.

How is this done?

Each participant pays a fee for materials which are purchased in Mexico and delivered to the work site. All tools are provided by Project Mexico and no power tools are used, so the work site is very safe. A trained supervisor works with the groups to teach and manage the actual construction of the house. Construction experience is not necessary at all. Our best workers are usually those with the biggest hearts and a sense of adventure!

Is it all work?

While hard work is involved, there is also plenty of time to meet and talk with the local people who are usually very curious and most gracious. The children love to play and sing and always hate to see the group leave at the end of the day. Work trips range from one day to one week. Those who are staying in Mexico are housed at St. Innocent Orphanage which allows time to get to know the boys there by sharing meals and playing volleyball, basketball, and the boys' favorite - soccer.

How can I take part in a work trip to Mexico?

There are two ways to be involved -- as a group or as an individual. You may schedule a trip just for your group or join with another group. You may also reserve a place for yourself on one of our already scheduled trips.

What age groups can participate?

All ages may take part with the following restrictions: adults are always welcome; high shoolers may attend with a release form and an adult leader; junior highers and children may attend with their parents. I'm interested but I have lots of questions! Please request an information packet and after reviewing it, feel free to call us with any remaining questions. We can also put you in touch with previous participants.

Work Trips

Shown below is the step-by-step process that takes place when a Project Mexico home is built.

A Firm Foundation - leveling the site, mixing the concrete, smoothing it into place.
The hardest day - but our young people do it with gusto and joy. A Solid Structure - the walls go up. Thirty people sawing and nailing all day long until... the walls are put in place and everyone is full of joy and amazement to see what they have done.
The Roof Goes On - an exciting moment as the home takes shape. It's for real - we are actually building a house! Now we must add windows and doors, roofing, and stucco.
Protection from the Elements - the stucco is mixed and applied to form a hard shell - like icing a giant cake only much, much better! This will soon be the home of a very special family.
The Blessing Ð This is often the most moving part of a home-building trip. When the home is completed, the family gathers with the work trip participants and priest for the house blessing: ÒO Lord, keep safe from harm those who dwell here...Grant all their petitions that are for their salvation and eternal lifeÉÓ The family is presented with the key to their home, along with a Bible and icon. The family is overwhelmed with the generosity that has been bestowed on them. The selfless example that is set by the work group often encourages the family to reach out and help others as they are able.


St. Innocent Orphange Part 2

Due to a complete lack of facilities in the Tijuana area, orphan boys are usually only cared for until the age of twelve when they are put out. Forced to fend for themselves, the majority end up living on the streets. This sad situation leads to neglect, abuse, criminal activity, and even death. Initial attempts to survive may be innocent enough: selling gum on the streets, dusting cars at intersections, and other odd jobs -- anything to earn a few pesos for a mouthful of food. Authorities agree, however, that this lifestyle quickly and unquestionably leads to criminal behavior such as stealing, drug use, prostitution, illegal border crossing, and serving as "coyotes" (i.e. leading other illegal immigrants across the border into the U.S. for a fee). Obviously, these children have absolutely no access to education or social and spiritual training. Without intervention, they are destined to live out their lives as criminals, addicts, gang members, and prostitutes on the streets of Tijuana and San Diego.

Project Mexico has purchased a beautiful eight and one-half acre ranch, complete with buildings and a fresh water well....an ideal place to raise young boys! Situated near Rosarito, Mexico, the orphanage is home to boys aged nine through nineteen. St. Innocent Orphanage seeks not only to meet the boys' basic needs but to accomplish much more. They are guided in the Christian life, receive a quality education and are encouraged toward academic success, learn vocational skills, participate in sports, are counseled appropriately by trained professionals, and are showered with a tremendous amount of love from the staff and frequent visitors both from the United States and Mexico. All of this, plus a structured and loving environment, allows a miraculous transformation to occur. Instead of fending for themselves on streets filled with crime, drugs, and prostitution, they now have the freedom to prepare for a bright future and to become givers, not takers.

Spiritual Life

Because we believe that each person's relationship with God is of the utmost importance, spiritual training is given priority. While the boys cannot be forced to participate, daily prayers are held, along with special training and events. The boys are always happy to participate. They're responsible for a large portion of the chanting, reading, and serving in the church. They also have their own charitable efforts at a home for the elderly. We're teaching them that when their needs are met, they must look to assist others.

Education

Education is key. The recent completion of the 2,500 square foot St. John the Merciful Computer Learning Center has enhanced the on-site educational opportunities for the boys. They now have a computer lab, classroom, and an audio/visual area. The impact is obvious as the boys have a growing appetite to learn and are improving in their school work.

We also have a library and reading program that has proved to be a blessing far beyond our expectations. Instead of playing video games or watching TV, our boys are content to check a book out of our library and spend a few hours reading. We're teaching the boys to love to learn. With the addition of our ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) program, the boys are steadily becoming proficient in speaking English. They're excited about learning a new language and are always anxious to try out what they know on visitors who come to the ranch.

Activities

There are many firsts for the boys - a first Christmas present, first birthday party, first home where there is no fear of abuse, first uninterrupted school attendance, first time a warm meal was a sure thing, first time that love and reason would be their guide. These many firsts add up to promote healing and the building up of souls.

The boys participate in a variety of extra-curricular activities. This year, two boys joined an esteemed folk dance troupe performing at a number of functions and appeared at the Rosarito Beach Hotel. The boys also participate in sports teams, music lessons, and a variety of clubs. These activities bring much pride to the individual and the orphanage as the boys grow and excel in different areas.

Ranch Work

A strong work ethic is a gift we hope to give each boy during his time with us. Based upon the boy's age, he is given a variety of responsibilities at the ranch. The boys are in charge of all irrigation, ranch cleanup, livestock, the on-site store, chapel cleaning, some kitchen duties, and some of the older boys serve as counselors in the mornings to prepare the younger ones for school.

The livestock operation continues to be a source of learning and income for the boys. We have diversified to now include chickens, ducks, turkeys, rabbits, goats, sheep, and cows. The boys enjoy their role of caring for the animals. It is a wonderful blessing for them to learn the valued skills of animal husbandry which include population inventory and simple veterinary procedures, as well as bookkeeping and maintenance.

Through their participation in profit-making ventures attached to St. Innocent Orphanage, the boys acquire work expeence and an appreciation for the value of their labors.

source: http://www.projectmexico.org/orphanage.html


Project Mexico

What We Do

Since 1988, Project Mexico has been involving young people in the alleviation of suffering by building homes for Mexico's poor. In 1996 our outreach expanded through the opening of St. Innocent Orthodox Orphanage in Tijuana which provides a home for teenage boys who live on the streets or who have been put out of other orphanages and would otherwise be left to fend for themselves. In operation only six years, it was named one of the top three institutions in the state for 2001. St. Innocent Orphanage is the only facility dedicated to teenage boys in Tijuana and one of only four in the entire country of Mexico.

This charitable outreach is unique because our very own people do the work. In the process, their lives are changed. This proven, powerful vehicle of change has provided a fertile environment for thousands of youth to grow in Christ and give of themselves by doing works of mercy for a needy world. Volunteers from 43 of 50 states and eleven foreign countries have participated. Additionally, we hope to continue strengthening the ties between the people of the U.S. and Mexico and be an example of how we can help each other when we work together.

Lives have been changed. Families have been catapulted forward in their struggle to have good shelter and a true home. The impact of this step cannot be measured as they can now focus their energies on their family's moral, spiritual, and educational needs. Some families would split up otherwise, unable to adequately provide for their children. Disease and death no longer loom at every spell of bad weather and rain. And spiritually, it is pure joy to watch the tears of thanks flow during the house blessings. The families know that the Lord has visited them, literally, where they live.

The volunteers who build the homes are profoundly affected. We regularly receive letters from participants, parents, and clergy describing the awakening that has occurred. Many become active and eager participants in their home parish. Others have made college decisions and career choices based upon the experience. All seem to be more in touch with the simple yet difficult commandments of our Lord to love our neighbor and to care for the least of these

Our History

Project Mexico began in Orange County, California through the efforts of Gregory Yova, our Founder and Executive Director. Greg was alarmed by the increasingly desperate plight of youth in North America which directly affects society as a whole. In the Fall of 1988, Project Mexico developed from Greg's desire to provide young people an opportunity to look beyond themselves and reach out personally to those in need. Greg felt compelled to get them involved in the relief of suffering in neighboring Mexico. Though geographically close, Mexico is a Third World country and has a great need for basic human services.

In 1988, our goal was simply to help some struggling families make a better life for themselves by providing them with secure, safe, permanent homes. The work caught on like wild fire as more people experienced the joy of giving in a hands-on way. By 1991, we were spending three weekends a month in Mexico with volunteer groups from Southern California. Then, in 1992, we received a call from a group in Chicago that wanted to come build a home. The subsequent explosion of interest across the country made it clear to us that this should be a full-time endeavor. In 1992, Greg made the leap and quit his job in order to bring as many people as possible to Mexico. We established bylaws, incorporated as a charity, and set up an office.

In 1990, Project Mexico began coordinating with a group of Mexicans to establish an orphanage for teenage boys in Tijuana. This effort to address a critical social problem was a natural outgrowth of our goal to relieve suffering in Mexico. After extensive labors to receive official approval from the Mexican government, St. Innocent Orphanage opened its doors in September 1996. At that point, the orphanage began serving as the home base for Project Mexico where groups eat, sleep, pray and can be a part of the boys' lives. Over the years many groups have come and worked exclusively at the orphanage, helping us to complete a great number of important projects.

This charitable outreach is unique because our very own people do the work. In the process, their lives are changed. This proven, powerful vehicle of change has provided a fertile environment for thousands of youth to grow in Christ and give of themselves by doing works of mercy for a needy world. Volunteers from 43 of 50 states and eleven foreign countries have participated. Additionally, we hope to continue strengthening the ties between the people of the U.S. and Mexico and be an example of how we can help each other when we work together.

Lives have been changed. Families have been catapulted forward in their struggle to have good shelter and a true home. The impact of this step cannot be measured as they can now focus their energies on their family's moral, spiritual, and educational needs. Some families would split up otherwise, unable to adequately provide for their children. Disease and death no longer loom at every spell of bad weather and rain. And spiritually, it is pure joy to watch the tears of thanks flow during the house blessings. The families know that the Lord has visited them, literally, where they live.

The volunteers who build the homes are profoundly affected. We regularly receive letters from participants, parents, and clergy describing the awakening that has occurred. Many become active and eager participants in their home parish. Others have made college decisions and career choices based upon the experience. All seem to be more in touch with the simple yet difficult commandments of our Lord to love our neighbor and to care for the least of these.

The home building trips were first run by Greg and local volunteers, many of whom became the original board members. When we took possession of the orphanage facility in 1993, we also began our internship program. This was a way for young people to give a few months to a year in service. These interns helped with everything from work trips to projects at the orphanage to administrative tasks. It was an exciting time in spite of extremely tough conditions.

Many more interns would follow and do invaluable work both with home building and at the orphanage. Everyone involved has both endured difficulty and experienced blessings as they have given of themselves to do works of mercy. We now stand at well over one hundred homes built and blessed! Over 6,900 volunteers from forty-three of fifty states and eleven foreign countries have come to give of themselves and have been blessed in return. St. Innocent Orphanage now exists as a haven to abandoned teenage boys.

Organization

Project Mexico is accountable to two Boards of Directors -- one in the U.S. and one in Mexico. Both Boards are comprised of well-respected community and business leaders and clergy with many years of experience serving in the Church.

Project Mexico holds nonprofit status (i.e. 501(c)3) in the U.S. and in Mexico. (This is a very difficult process in Mexico and we are one of only four agencies in Tijuana to have achieved this status.) Funding comes from individual donors, parishes, charitable organizations, foundations, and corporate donors.

Our Goals

To completely solve the problem in Tijuana of orphan teenage boys would be impossible for any one organization. However, to provide a home, an education, vocational and Christian training for up to thirty-five of these boys until they are of age is a worthy goal which can be accomplished. By providing these services, Project Mexico and St. Innocent Orphanage seek to reduce the number of boys on the streets of Tijuana and San Diego, to consequently reduce the crimes in which they are involved in both cities, and to provide the possibility for these boys to grow into godly men who are upstanding citizens and productive members of society.

We are also working to implement an independent living skills program for older boys who complete high school which will cover career training, personal finances, ethics, a healthy lifestyle, and household management. We are in the process of securing scholarships for boys to attend university or vocational school. We are working to expand the livestock and farming operations to supply 75% of the orphanage's food needs and provide additional work experience. Our master plan includes further vocational and business training which will include profit-making ventures for the orphanage. We are in the process of completing facilities for on-site staff, life skills housing, and vocational shops.

We also aim to increase the number of homes built for families and to bring as many volunteers to do the work as we are able. The number of groups we accommodate per year has doubled to forty over the last few years and we are hoping to double that number to eighty groups in the near future. This will require additional facilities to house the groups and support staff to effectively manage the groups.

The Life of St. Innocent of Alaska

St. Innocent of Alaska, our patron, was a remarkable man who inspires us by his life, his love of God, his sacrifice, and his affection for the native people of Alaska.

To learn more about St. Innocent, click here.

Contact Info

Please feel free to contact us in any of the following ways:

Write to us:

Project Mexico
P.O. Box 120028
Chula Vista, CA 91912-3128

Call us: 619.426.4610
Email us: info@projectmexico.org
Fax us:

source: http://www.projectmexico.org/about.html

Monday, September 29, 2008

The Struggle Ahead

The Struggle Ahead

by Mike Wingert

Shroro

Christ taught humanity obedience by receiving the baptism from St. John the Baptist, but His teaching was not limited to this. Baptism signals a very important moment in the journey of a Christian. Many mistake baptism to be solely a decision one makes to undertake the Christian life. This is not the case. The true focus of the baptism is the process of setting aside something for holiness. This act can be seen in the pre-Christian Hebrew rite of the mikv'ot. As Christ teaches that we must believe and be baptized, we can see that the decision-making is not the focus of baptism, for conviction lies in the realm of belief. The focus of baptism is simply the process to set holiness in motion.

It is this setting aside one for a life of holiness that places a target on the back of the believer. "Be sober, be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking some one to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experience of suffering is required of your brotherhood throughout the world." (1 Peter 5:8-9) As St. Peter has written in the Scriptures, the devil seeks to attack those who walk with God. It is for this reason, that the Syriac Orthodox Church of Antioch always remembers the Denho (Epiphany) before the Great Lent.

After the account of the Denho, Christ had received the baptism, and by being "led" to the wilderness, shows us that after the baptism, we too will face the harshest of temptations. Being led shows us that this is God's work, that just as Christ faced the attacks of the dark one, so too will we. Baptism is not the end all (a.k.a., "once saved, always saved") as some think - it is the beginning of one's Christian journey. Baptism is that which advances us into the next phase of our Christian life.

The devil assails those who walk with God. It is what happened to Adam and Job for example.

Some theologians who focus on splitting of Christ's humanity and divinity (claiming each an independent nature), explain that Christ, in His humanity endured temptation. Then questions for them arise, asking: even while Christ was human, He was God in the flesh -- how is it that he was tempted then because St. James says that God cannot be tempted by evil; so how does that work?

When referring to Matthew Ch. 4, the verb, nethnaso is both passive and future tense. How does this impact the teaching? The fact that it is passive voice shows us that it is the intention of the devil to comment the act of tempting; it does not proclaim the success of one yielding to temptation.

As can be read in Matthew Ch. 4, Christ triumphs over the devil's attempts to tempt Him. With this action, Christ, the Incarnate Word of God, teaches us that we too will be assaulted by the devil, who will offer temptations to us. The Athonite monks refer to these suggestions of temptation as logismoi. This is what we will face on the road of our walk with God. As we are attacked by these logismoi, we should find comfort in the teaching of Christ, that even though we will be assaulted by the devil, by following Christ's humble ways, we too can triumph over our struggles. Having received the holy baptism, the love in our hearts beckons a duty of us all, to conquer our weak imperfections, and continue walking the path to God.

source: http://www.socdigest.org/articles/09jan06.html

Son of God, Son of Man

Son of God, Son of Man

By Mike Wingert

Much can be said of the terms "Son of God" and "Son of Man." These terms that we use to address the Messiah tell the story of not only Jesus Christ, but also of all humanity. It is in these terms that we experience one of the most profound teachings of Christ—mankind's struggle with immortality.

First off, what does it mean to be a son? In a general sense, a son is one that springs off from another within the same family, hence the English term, "offspring." The duty of the son has traditionally been one of obedience and responsibility, especially in cases where there is only one son present. Such instances also lead us to another facet of sonship: inheritance. In many cultures throughout the world, the son would receive the inheritance of the father. This is also true of the Hebrew culture in which the Christian Nasrani faith was nestled. (Deuteronomy 21:17)

The inheritance of the first-born, only-begotten, or unique son was especially prevalent in monarchies. The meaning conveyed by the father-son relationship shows us the equality of two, for both function in the same capacity--as king.

Often times in history, many myths (such as Heracles) as well as historical individual monarchs (Roman Emperors, Egyptian Pharaohs, Japanese Monarchs) have claimed a divine heritage. Whether part of a pantheon of Gods, avatars, or deified monarchs, none of these are comparable to the idea of the "Son of God" in Christianity.

Bar Aloho - Son of God

There are two major points to be made when discussing the title "Son of God." The first belongs to Christ, who is the ihidoyo Son of God—that is to say, "the unique" or "the only-begotten." It is in this respect that the same idea conveyed by the inheritance of a son is seen with the Messiah. The Kingdom of God, a term alluded to since the days of the Old Testament, has an heir in Christ Jesus.

It is in Christ that we see the archetype for all humanity. The Messiah's purpose here on earth was, in the words of St. Paul, "the mediator between God and men." (1 Timothy 2:5) This act of mediation is explained by the Cappadocian and Alexandrian fathers in the phrase: "God became man, so that man may become divine." It is the same for all humanity.

Therefore what are we? We too are sons (and daughters) of God, as evinced by the method in which the Christ taught us to pray: "Our Father, who art in heaven…" Throughout the New Testament, it is clear that God is our Father, as St. Paul often makes clear in the greetings of his letters "from God our father..." or as St. Peter writes in his epistle: "And if you invoke as Father him who judges each one impartially according to his deeds." (1 Peter 1:17)

St. Philoxenus of Mabug teaches, "We became sons of God, although our nature was not changed, and Christ became a man by his mercy, although his essence was not changed." Again, we chant in our divine liturgy (the Holy Qurbono), "in offerings and in prayers, let's remember our fathers, who while alive taught us to become the children of God in this transitory world."

It is clear that in the New Testament age until present, we are considered sons of God. Though Messianic prophecies in the Old Testament pointing to the Christ being the Son of God abound, there are other examples of believers being referred to as the sons or children of God.

In the Old Testament, Israel is called the first-born son of God. (Exodus 4:22) More fascinating are perhaps the many references to those who seek a righteous path being called sons of God, or seeing God as their father; these instances are found especially in those books removed by the Jews who rejected Christt at the council of Jamnia in 70AD. One such example can be found in the second chapter of the book of Wisdom, where some suggest these passages foreshadow the suffering of the Christ.

The Logos as Son of God

Logos is often translated as "Word," in English language bibles, yet this is often an intellectual injustice, as the term "logos" carries a much deeper meaning in traditional Greek Philosophy.

As the Hebrews found themselves dispersed in many areas of the world, often times they would convey their ideas in the modes of thought of their adopted homes. One such philosopher called Philo [20BC - 50AD], a Hellenized Jew from Alexandria, Egypt, functioned as a bridge between the Semitic and Hellenic (Greek) cultures. He expressed certain Semitic ideas within the linguistic framework of Greek philosophy. Most schools of Greek philosophy used the term "logos" to designate a rational, intelligent and thus vivifying principle of the universe. Philo related this to God's utterances

The Logos has an origin, but as God's thought it also has eternal generation. It exists as such before everything else all of which are secondary products of God's thought and therefore it is called the "first-born." The Logos is thus more than a quality, power, or characteristic of God; it is an entity eternally generated as an extension, to which Philo ascribes many names and functions. The Logos is the first-begotten Son of the Uncreated Father: "For the Father of the universe has caused him to spring up as the eldest son, whom, in another passage, he [Moses] calls the first-born; and he who is thus born, imitating the ways of his father, has formed such and such species, looking to his archetypal patterns" (Conf. 63)

Here we can see that within Hebrew thought, the idea of Logos equates to the Son of God. In this context, we see the light of St. John the Apostle's comments in his Gospel narrative when he writes: "In the beginning was the Logos, and the Logos was with God, and the Logos was God," (John 1:1) "And the Logos became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father."

Bar Nosho - Son of Man

We have seen how the Christian faith teaches that Christ, the unique, prototypical, only-begotten Son of God leads the way that we may be adopted children of God. As we have seen St. John the Apostle begin his Gospel narrative, so do the other three Gospel narratives. St. Luke's genealogy concludes with an interesting twist, tracing Christ's line all the way back to Adam:

"Now when all the people were baptized, and when Jesus also had been baptized and was praying, the heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon him in bodily form, as a dove, and a voice came from heaven, "Thou art my beloved Son; with thee I am well pleased." Jesus, when he began his ministry, was about thirty years of age, being the son (as was supposed) of Joseph, the son of Heli...
...the son of Enos, the son of Seth, the son of Adam, the son of God.

Both St. John and St. Luke note the act of the incarnation of God's meaning (logos), but employ different literary techniques to explain this. While St. John employs concepts known to Greek philosophy and the Hebraic faith, St. Luke uses a genealogy to convey the same idea.

The key point we should focus upon is the "son of Adam." The story of the creation of mankind begins with Adam. What does the name Adam mean? Adam means "man;" so by calling reference to being the son of Adam, St. Luke is also calling to mind the name of another title: the Son of Man.

The first usage of son of man, is translated as ben adam, and like sons of God, can be applied to the whole of humanity. Over time, this begins morphing into the term ben enosh, as can be seen in the Psalms (114), and finally to its Aramaic usage, bar nosho. The holy prophet Daniel's use of this term is quite unique:

I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him. And to him was given dominion and glory and kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed.
- Daniel 7:13-14

It is in this sense, that we see the many New Testament references to Christ as the Son of Man. "For the Son of Man is to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay every man for what he has done." - Matthew 16:27 We needn't list the many citations from the New Testament regarding the term Son of Man. It is clear from the many references in the New Testament that a) Jesus Christ is the Son of Man, and b) that the Son of Man is both divine, as well as human -- exactly the point of St. Luke's geneaology.

Points of View - Christology in the Syriac Tradition

Christology is the study of Christ--who He is. Unlike the Greco-Roman tradition, the Syriac-Aramaic approach to Christology has been less philosophical and more poetic. In their worship, different authors have used different poetic devices to comment on Christ's Divine Incarnate nature. Even in our iconography, we use the colors of Christ's clothing to remind us that Christ is both divine (represented by the color red) and clothed in humanity (represented by blue), when he "put on Adam," as the holy Ephraim teaches.

Some of the Syriac-Aramaic fathers focused on the unity of Christ:

The Holy Ephraim, called the Harp of the Holy Spirit:

    "God saw that mankind, worship things created:
    He put on a created body, that in our custom He might capture us.
    Lo! in this our form, He that formed us healed us;
    and in this created shape, our Creator gave us life.
    He drew us not by force: blessed be He Who came in ours,
    and joined us in His!"
    Hymn 14 - On the Nativity

    The two things Thou soughtest, in Thy Birth have been done for us.
    Our visible body Thou hast put on; Thy invisible might we have put on:
    our body has become Thy clothing; Thy Spirit has become our robe.
    Blessed be He Who has been adorned and has adorned us!
    Hymn 25 - On the Nativity

The Holy Aphrahat, the Persian Sage:

    Let us take pattern, my beloved, from our Saviour, Who though He was rich, made Himself poor;
    and though He was lofty, humbled His Majesty;
    and though His dwelling place was in heaven, He had no place to lay His head;
    and though He is to come upon the clouds, yet rode on a colt and so entered Jerusalem;
    and though He is God and Son of God, He took upon Him the likeness of a servant;
    and though He was (for others) rest from all weariness, yet was Himself tired with the weariness of the journey;
    though He was the fountain that quenches thirst, yet Himself thirsted and asked for water;
    though He was abundance and satisfied our hunger, yet He Himself hungered when He went forth to the wilderness to be tempted;
    though He was a Watcher that slumbers not, He yet slumbered and slept in the ship in the midst of the sea;
    and though He was ministered to in the Tabernacle of His Father, yet let Himself be served by the hands of men;
    though He was the healer of all sick men, yet nails were fastened into His hands;
    though His mouth brought forth things that were good, yet they gave Him gall to eat;
    though He injured no man and harmed none, yet He was beaten with stripes and endured shame;
    and though he was Saviour of all mortals, He delivered Himself to the death of the cross.
    All this humility did our Saviour show us in Himself.
    Let us then also humble ourselves, my beloved.
    When our Lord went outside of His nature, He walked in our nature.
    Let us abide in our nature, that in the day of judgment He may cause us to partake of His nature.

The Holy Jacob of Serug:

    Daniel saw Him borne on the clouds, and coming
    As a man to judge the kings and their empires.
    Ezekiel, too, sees Him on the high throne, [He Who] was also God,
    That likeness of the servant that He assumed within the womb [of Mary]
    Was whispered on the wings of the heavenly beings (575:11-16).

    Why was it necessary for the prophet to repeat [the description of] the vision,
    then to say "above" and repeat [the same] about [what is] below in his prophecy?
    He wanted to show the higher and lower [aspects] of the Son of God,
    How that supernal Being had become earthly,
    And that He had become a mediator [cf. I Tim 2:5], because He stood in the
    midst between the [two] sides [i.e., heaven and earth]
    In order to make peace [cf. Eph 2:14] between those and high and those below.
    Thus He girded himself with peace in the prophecy,
    For he [i.e., Ezekiel] saw something in the likeness of a [rain]bow
    in the clouds accompanying Him,
    A sign of the peace that He would come and make with those below. (576:18- 577:4)

Others focused on each aspect--the Son of God, and the Son of Man:

Master Narsai:

    He set out and departed to a desert place, as Man;
    and He multiplied the bread and satisfied thousands, as God.
    He ate and drank and walked and was weary, as Man;
    and He put devils to flight by the word of His mouth, as God.
    He prayed and watched and gave thanks and worshipped, as Man;
    and He forgave debts and pardoned sins, as God.
    He asked water of the Samaritan woman, as Man;
    and He revealed and declared her secrets, as God.

Master John of Damascus:

    When we say that Christ is perfect God and perfect man,
    we assuredly attribute to Him all the properties natural
    to both the Father and mother.
    For He became man in order that that which was overcome might overcome.
    For He Who was omnipotent did not in His omnipotent authority and might
    lack the power to rescue man out of the hands of the tyrant.
    But the tyrant would have had a ground of complaint if,
    after He had overcome man,
    God should have used force against him.
    Wherefore God in His pity and love for man wished to reveal fallen man
    himself as conqueror,
    and became man
    to restore like with like...

    ...Therefore, God the Word,
    wishing to restore that which was in His own image, became man.

Son of Man, Son of God--All of Us

Though such a study can continue into the ages, the core theme remains the same. Just as Christ is the penultimate Son of God and Son of Man, it is our duty as sons (children) of man, to become adopted sons of God. It is the heart of the Christian mind; God's meaning, His Logos, became man to lead us men to unite with God. Therefore, it is only fitting that we meditate upon these titles every day, until we forge ourselves into Christ.

 source:  http://www.socdigest.org/articles/05oct05.html

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