“I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” John 8:12
Have you ever looked at the world around you, and the world within you, and wondered WHY? Why is there so much pride, selfishness, poverty, decay, discord, and misery? Why do we, and why does the world around us seem so weak and fallen?
Christians believe that God created the world, and everything in it, and it was "very good". We also believe that mankind subsequently disobeyed and rebelled against God, that sin and death entered the world, and a great rupture affected mankind. This rupture occurred between human beings and their relationship with God, between human beings and their relationships with one another, between human beings and their own interior life (souls), and between human beings and the created world around them.
This left us hopeless and helpless, unable to repair these ruptures on our own. God had compassion on his creation and humankind, and sent His Son Jesus Christ to overcome sin and death, and repair these ruptures that had occurred.
Who is this Jesus, and what is the "good news"? Jesus Christ is God Himself (as we pray - "Light from Light, true God from true God"), who took on our human flesh and became one of us. Through his radical humility and obedience, He suffered with and for all of humankind by His death on the Cross. Through His Resurrection, He conquered death and sin, and brought life back into the world and to each one of us.
We are called to live out this new life with Him, and to be transformed in Him, and to make the world "a new creation" through Him. Though the fullness of this reality is yet to come, through Jesus our relationship with God is being restored, our relationships with one another are being repaired, our fragmented selves are being made whole again, and our use and care for creation is being ordered for the common good of all.
We now have an expectant hope and can experience true peace in this world. We no longer are a people who fear death, as we believe our mortal and passing bodies will rise again when Christ returns. We believe in everlasting life with Him, as each one of us and all of creation will be transformed and made perfect though His life and loving presence. Please consider watching the video below for a Eastern Christian explanation of human fulfillment.
Read the Gospel Story
The four books in the Bible which tell the basic story of the coming of Jesus among us are called Gospels -- which means "good news". They are named Matthew, Mark, Luke and John (after their authors). The Gospel of John is a good place to start. A link to a phone app where you can listen to audio of the Gospels as well as a link to directly read the Gospel of John listed are below:
Start with short prayers from your heart, which are simply a conversation with God who loves you. Praying the Book of Psalms (poetic prayers) is also a good way to begin to pray. Below is a video link to a reading of an excerpt of St. Theophan on prayer, as well as a link to the book of Psalms.
Attend Liturgy - Divine Worship
Liturgy is where the local Christian community is gathered together for common worship and to celebrate the Resurrection. Consider attending an Eastern Catholic or Eastern Orthodox Church and participating in timeless Christian worship - come and see!
To attend a local Divine Liturgy, use the directories listed below. If you are having difficulty locating a Divine Liturgy to attend in your area, or have any other questions please contact us in the form at the bottom of this webpage.
Talk given by Fr. Deacon Edward Keinguetl. Parts 2 and 3 follow.
Eparchy of Newton - entire United States
Directory of Orthodox Churches - all jurisdictions for entire United States
This website is the effort of a Byzantine Catholic (Ruthenian) Church member in Pennsylvania to further expose the riches of ancient Eastern Christianity and the good news of Jesus Christ to the modern world which is so often desperately searching for Light and Life.
I would love to answer any questions or queries you might have. Contact me in the box to the left or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Troparion of the Resurrection
-- David Zuder