Eastern Orthodox Christians Celebrate Easter
Apr 20, 2008
The music piece “Christos Anesti (Resurrection)” performed by Vangelis and sung by actress Irene Papas. Released as part of the 1986 Vangelis CD “Rapsodies”. Music & lyrics based on the Greek-Orthodox Easter hymn “Christos Anesti” (“Christ is risen”).
Christos anesti ek nekron, thanato thanato patisas,
ke tis en tis mnimasi zoin harisamenos.
Christos Anesti (“Χριστός ἀνέστη!” – “Christ is Risen!” in Greek) refers to the:
Paschal troparion, hymn for the celebration of Easter in the Eastern Orthodox Church
Paschal greeting, Easter custom among Eastern Orthodox and Eastern Catholic and some Protestant Christians to greet another person with “Christ is Risen!” and the response is Alithos Anesti (“Ἀληθῶς ἀνέστη! ” – “Truly He is Risen!” or “He Has Risen Indeed!”)
Χριστός ανέστη ♫ Христос Воскрес Hristos voskrese ♫ Kabarnos
The Lord does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the Lord’s and He will give you into our hands. —1 Samuel 17:47
On August 4, 1991, the MTS Oceanos cruise ship ran into a terrible storm off the coast of South Africa. When the ship began to sink, the captain decided to abandon ship and left with his officers, failing to notify those onboard of any problem. Passenger Moss Hills, a British musician, noticed that something was wrong and sent out a Mayday signal to the South African coast guard. Then, taking matters into their own hands, Moss, his wife Tracy, and other entertainers on board helped organize the evacuation of all passengers by assisting them as they were lifted into helicopters.
Sometimes those we look to for leadership can let us down. When King Saul and his officers faced the belligerent insults of the Philistine giant Goliath, they responded with fear and timidity (1 Sam. 17:11). But a young musician and shepherd boy named David had faith in God that transformed his perspective on this threat. David said to Goliath, “You come to me with a sword . . . . But I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts” (v.45). David defeated the enemy and turned the tide of battle (v.50). He did not look to earthly leaders for his strength but to the living God.
When others let us down, God may be calling us to provide leadership in His strength and for His honor.
Dear Lord, I don’t have the power on my own to lead others through a difficult situation. But You are all-powerful. Give me the courage to help others as I rely on Your strength that cannot fail.
Only as we follow Christ can we lead others in the right direction.
By Dennis Fisher
Most of us enjoy feeling in control of our own schedule and grow frustrated when things don’t go according to plan. Yet if we truly desire to walk in the center of God’s perfect will, we must become willing to cooperate with His time frame.
Consider how you pray about situations in your life. Without realizing it, you may be demanding that God follow the schedule you’ve constructed according to your very limited human wisdom. Yet if we believe He is who He says He is, how can surrendering to His way not be to our benefit? Think about His unique, praiseworthy qualities:
• His all-encompassing knowledge. The Lord has complete understanding of our world and the details of every individual life—past, present, and future.
• His complete wisdom. God understands man’s every motive, whereas none of us are able to accurately discern people’s intentions. We make choices based on partial information, whereas He has the wisdom to take action based on truth.
• His unconditional love. Our Creator is always motivated by love and constantly has our best in mind. Unless we trust His heart, our view of reality will be distorted.
• His perfect sufficiency. At just the right time, God will provide us with everything we need to carry out His plan.
Submitting to God’s timetable requires faith and courage. Believe in the goodness of His heart and His plans—and wait until He gives the signal to move forward. Then, as you follow His schedule, you’ll experience the joy of watching Him make all things beautiful in His timing.
“Praise ye the LORD. Praise the LORD, O my soul.” (Psalm 146:1)
Each of the last five psalms (146–150) begins and ends with: “Praise ye the LORD”—i.e., “Hallelujah.” They comprise a sort of “Hallelujah Chorus”: a grand epilogue to the five books which make up the complete book of Psalms.
Each of these five books also ends in a doxology. Note:
Book 1: “Blessed be the LORD God of Israel from everlasting, and to everlasting. Amen, and Amen” (Psalm 41:13).
Book 2: “And blessed be his glorious name for ever: and let the whole earth be filled with his glory; Amen, and Amen” (Psalm 72:19).
Book 3: “Blessed be the LORD for evermore. Amen, and Amen” (Psalm 89:52).
Book 4: “Blessed be the LORD God of Israel from everlasting to everlasting: and let all the people say, Amen. Praise ye the LORD” (Psalm 106:48).
Book 5: “My mouth shall speak the praise of the Lord: and let all flesh bless his holy name for ever and ever” (Psalm 145:21).
It is interesting, even if coincidental, that these five final praise psalms—all thanking God for past deliverances and the promise of an eternal future—contain a total of 153 verses. This is the same as the number of great fishes caught in a strong net by the disciples after Christ’s resurrection, symbolizing their going forth to fish for men in all nations, bringing them safe to the eternal shores of glory (John 21:10).
Then come the last five songs with their ten cries of “Hallelujah!” In the New Testament, “Hallelujah” (or “Alleluia”) occurs only in the setting of the victorious marriage supper of the Lamb (Revelation 19:1-6). This suggests that these “Hallelujah Psalms” may be sung by the redeemed multitudes as they gather at His throne in heaven. HMM
Then said, I, Ah, Lord God! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child. —Jeremiah 1:6
To be articulate at certain times we are compelled to fall back upon “Oh!” or “O!”—a primitive exclamatory sound that is hardly a word at all and that scarcely admits of a definition….
In theology there is no “Oh!” and this is a significant if not an ominous thing. Theology seeks to reduce what may be known of God to intellectual terms, and as long as the intellect can comprehend, it can find words to express itself When God Himself appears before the mind, awesome, vast and incomprehensible, then the mind sinks into silence and the heart cries out “O Lord God!” There is the difference between theological knowledge and spiritual experience, the difference between knowing God by hearsay and knowing Him by acquaintance. And the difference is not verbal merely; it is real and serious and vital.
We Christians should watch lest we lose the “Oh!” from our hearts…. When we become too glib in prayer we are most surely talking to ourselves. When the calm listing of requests and the courteous giving of proper thanks take the place of the burdened prayer that finds utterance difficult we should beware the next step, for our direction is surely down whether we know it or not.
Lord, don’t ever let me lose the “Oh!” Amen.
And God said, Let us make man in our own image, after our likeness… So God created man in his own image…. Genesis 1:26, 27
The one mark which forever distinguishes man from all other forms of life on earth is that he is a worshiper: he has a bent toward and a capacity for worship.
Apart from his position as a worshiper of God, man has no sure key to his own being; he is but a higher animal, being born much as any other animal, going through the cycle of his life here on earth and dying at last without knowing what the whole thing is about.
If that is all for him, if he has no more reason than the beast for living, then it is an odd thing indeed that he is the only one of the animals that worries about himself, that wonders, that asks questions of the universe.
The very fact that he does these things tells the wise man that somewhere there is One to whom he owes allegiance, One before whom he should kneel and do homage.
The Christian revelation tells us that that One is God the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, who is to be worshiped in the Spirit in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.
That is enough for us. Without trying to reason it out we may proceed from there. All our doubts we meet with faith’s wondering affirmation: “O Lord God, thou knowest,” an utterance which Samuel Taylor Coleridge declared to be the profoundest in human speech.
Bible Christianity needs to recapture the spirit of worship, with a fresh revelation of the greatness of God and the beauty of Jesus!
Sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. JAMES 1:15
Some of you will object to my saying this—but it is my opinion that in Christianity we have overemphasized the psychology of the lost sinner’s condition.
We spend time describing the sinner’s woes and the great burden he carries until we almost forget the principal fact that the sinner is actually a rebel against properly constituted authority!
That is what makes sin sin! We are rebels, we are sons of disobedience. Sin is the breaking of the Law and we are fugitives from the just laws of God while we are sinners. We are fugitives from divine judgment.
But thankfully, the plan of salvation reverses that and restores the original relationship, so that the first thing the returning sinner does is confess: “Father, I have sinned against heaven and in Thy sight, and I am no more worthy to be called Thy son. Make me as one of Thy hired servants!” (see Luke 15:21).
Thus, in repentance, we reverse that relationship and we fully submit to the Word of God and the will of God, as obedient children!
Dear Lord, You didn’t come to this world to condemn but to save sinners. I pray that Your Spirit will do His convicting work in the hearts of many seekers today.