An eternal beginning, Pentecost.

17c-assumption-cathedral-kem-rusThe sanctification of time is a distinctive aspect of Orthodox Christianity. They’re specific services for specific times in the day, the year is marked by events and anniversaries, and within the calendar special attention is given to the time before and after Pascha (Easter), bringing us to that “last day, that great day of the feast” (Jn. 7:37)  The feast of Pentecost (Acts. 2:1-36).

The feast of Pentecost and the gift of the Holy Spirit, is the last definitive action by the Lord for us. There is nothing left to do, to give, when Life itself, by and in the Holy Spirit is poured out for us. In a manner this is truly the “last day”, the fulfilment of the history of our salvation, until the second and glorious coming.

But as this feast reveals the completion of divine history, it also manifests a new day, with the beginning  of the Church and the witness of all that the Lord has accomplished for our sakes.

“With the descent of the Holy Spirit upon Christ’s disciples, the time of salvation, the Divine work of redemption has been completed, the fulness  revealed, all gifts bestowed: it belongs to us now to “appropriate” these gifts, to be that we have become in Christ: participants and citizens of His Kingdom.” (Fr. Alexander Schmemann)

This feast becomes for us not a static biblical anniversary, but an opportunity to receive forgiveness of our sins, healing of our bodies and souls, the ability to endure with Christ, and to conquer sin and death with Him by the power of the all Holy Spirit. It is for us an eternal beginning no matter how often we might have to start over again. This is the gift that sanctifies time, and sanctifies every moment of our life.

“Oh Heavenly King the comforter the Spirit of Truth, who are every where and fills all things, treasury of blessings and giver of life, come and abide in us, and cleanse us from every impurity and save our souls o good one”.