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 Christ has Ascended!!!!!


Holy Apostles Greek Orthodox Church 

www.holyapostlesgo.org

(206) 542-13





Weekly eBulletin for June 13th, 2021



Jesus Ascends So We can Descend 


As Orthodox Christians, we get to celebrate the Feast of the Ascension forty days after Pascha and it is the last time we see Jesus in His body on earth.  It was time He left His apostles and His mother behind along with instructions. The instructions were to wait for the Gift of the Father.  That gift was the Holy Spirit who would ignite this flame within their heart to proclaim the message of Jesus’ Gospel,  His love and plan for salvation. 

 

When we truly think about it, it is tempting to see Christ’s Ascension as the conclusion of His sacred ministry, an ending to a movement, and revolution.  We can be misled to think the chapter is closed and that's it. It is not a closed chapter but the beginning of a chapter filled with possibilities!  

 

Ascension Day is one of the few remaining main feasts in the church year that hasn’t really been touched by our secular American society. Christmas has been imposed by Santa who is looking for ‘naughty and nice’ people so he can take his reindeers to give everyone presents! 

 

Then Easter comes along and for many has replaced the mystery of Christ trampling death upon death, for egg hunts, Easter bunnies and chocolate eggs!  And this month we will not see Ascension day sales at Macy’s and I’m guessing most do not receive any “Happy Ascension Day” cards in the mail, or went out for dinner for Ascension Day.  

 

But the day of our Lord’s Ascension was the miraculous beginning!  A beginning to a church who has the mission to continue Jesus' revolution of Love!  Jesus handed the baton to His beloved sons and daughters, to us His baptized faithful to be His voice and hands, feet and eyes!  St. Teresa of Avila says: “Christ has no body on earth but yours.  He has no hands or feet buy yours.  Yours are the eyes through which Christ’s compassion for the world is to look out.  Yours are the feet with which He is to go about doing good.  And yours are the hands with which He is to bless us now.”  Ascension day reminds us that we who are baptized are part of the royal priesthood.

 

When we remember our Lord’s Ascension, many assume and presume some false understanding about God and His relationship to the world and His creation and people.  The language we often use is that “God is outside” of us and believe God is “up there” and not down here, somewhere “out there” and not within.  We are left with a gap between God and humanity, mind and heart, spirit and matter, heaven and earth.

 

So the following is a story suggesting that if this Russian astronaut had ventured into more space He would have seen God?  On April 12, 1961 the Soviet cosmonaut, Yuri Gagarin, was the first man to enter outer space and orbit the earth. Western sources claimed that during this space flight Gagarin commented, “I don’t see any God up here.” Later sources denied Gagarin made that statement and attributed the following to Nikita Khrushchev, “Gagarin flew into space, but didn’t see any God there”.

 

Whatever the true statement was, it points to some assumptions, even misunderstandings, about God and God’s relationship to the world.  Christ’s Ascension is about presence not absence. Jesus never left us and will never leave us. Rather Christ has come to unite us and restore us and His Ascension into heaven is about freedom from space and time as we learn to be united with Him.   His Ascension does not represent his removal from earth, but his constant presence everywhere on earth and dwelling “in” us.  Jesus is everywhere present and fills all things!

 

Christ continues to fill and sanctify all time and space. The grace of the ascension is that “Christ is all in all!” (Col. 3:11). The unity of humanity and divinity revealed in the incarnation is brought to fullness in His ascension.  For most of us the way up is by climbing up the ladder of success, going up the mountain, etc.. This almost always takes us into comparison, competition, judgment, and expectation with one another as well as our self.

 

The Orthodox life, asks us to first descend, to dive down into our heart our self  – not the self of the ego but the Self that was created in the image and likeness of God. This diving down is nothing less than letting go of all the things that we think give us identity and success that have little to do with God. Ultimately, it asks us to trust God’s work more than our own work and to want to become Christ like.


As we meditate on Christ’s Ascension let’s not think of Jesus performing a disappearing act into space beyond the clouds but He enters the space of our heart. The ascension reveals that in Christ’s humanity and He invites all to be enthroned next to God since our ultimate destination and homeland is heaven.  

 

Jesus asks us to become active, alive, engaged and enlightened members of His holy church and at Holy Apostles coming together to serve Him and give glory to Him!  Let us commit ourselves and one another to Christ our God. Let us all roll up our selves and ask how we well contribute to be engaged and active in Christ's ministry.  

 

Please consider offering your talents to the many ministries of Holy Apostles!

 

May God inspire you to descend!


+fr. Tom

 

 



We have entered phase III in the covid restrictions and there 

is room for you! No need to make a reservation   


If you can't attend in person for a good reason, please click the link below for our live stream.


Click here to view the service online








Upcoming Events


Click here for our online calendar




Sunday, June 13th

Sunday of the Father's of the 1st Council

Orthos 8;00 am

Divine Liturgy 9:00 am


Wednesday, June 16th

Bible Study James 2: 1-12 via zoom

12:00 - 1:00 pm 


Sunday, June 20th

Pentecost

Orthos 8;00 am

Divine Liturgy 9:00 am


Wednesday, June 24th

Bible Study James 2: 1-12 via zoom

12:00 - 1:00 pm 


Sunday, June 27th

Sunday of all Saints

Orthos 8;00 am

Divine Liturgy 9:00 am


Tuesday, June 29th

Vespers for Holy Apostles 6:00pm


Wednesday, June 30th

Holy Apostles Feast Day

Orthos 8;00 am

Divine Liturgy 9:00 am

No bible study








Sunday Readings 

Sunday of the Blind Man


The Gospel According to John 17: 1-13

At that time, Jesus lifted up his eyes to heaven and said, "Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you, since you have given him power over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him. 


And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent. I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work which you gave me to do; and now, Father, you glorify me in your own presence with the glory which I had with you before the world was made.

"I have manifested your name to the men whom you gave me out of the world; yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. 


Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you; for I have given them the words which you gave me, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you did send me. I am praying for them; I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are mine; all mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them. 


And now I am no more in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one. While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me; I have guarded them, and none of them is lost but the son of perdition, that the scripture might be fulfilled. But now I am coming to you; and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves."




​Epistle Reading


Prokeimenon. Mode 4.
Daniel 3.26,27

Blessed are you, O Lord, the God of our fathers.
Verse: For you are just in all you have done.

The reading is from Acts of the Apostles 20:16-18, 28-36


IN THOSE DAYS, Paul had decided to sail past Ephesos, so that he might not have to spend time in Asia; for he was hastening to be at Jerusalem, if possible, on the day of Pentecost. And from Miletos he sent to Ephesos and called to him the elders of the church. 


And when they came to him, he said to them: "Take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God which he obtained with the blood of his own Son. I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them. 


Therefore be alert, remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to admonish every one with tears. And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified. I coveted no one's silver or gold or apparel. You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my necessities, and to those who were with me. 


In all things I have shown you that by so toiling one must help the weak, remembering the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, 'it is more blessed to give than to receive.' " And when he had spoken thus, he knelt down and prayed with them all.




Bible Study: 


We are excited to resume our bible study this Wednesday 

12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.


We will study the Epistle of James

Chapter 2: 14-26


 

A Message of Hope in a Chaotic World



 

 This is a recurring Wednesday meeting.  just click the link below


https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83144582046


Please make time to immerse yourself in God's word...We look forward to being with you together with one mind and heart, to study the lessons that St. James has for us on Wednesday from 12:00 p.m - 1:00 p.m..  


St. James encourages us to live out our faith.  He reminds us to not show favoritism but to love our neighbor as we strive to love ourselves! "My brothers and sisters, believers in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ must not show favoritism..."





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