“And Adam knew his wife Eve and she conceived.” Isn’t it interesting that the Holy Scriptures describes the most intimate connection between husband and wife as “know.” There is something significant in human relationships that transcend a mere “knowing about” and goes to the very mystery of what it means to be a person in communion.
But, again, this makes perfect sense when we consider that God knows Himself as Persons in Communion. God experiences His inner life as Father, Son, and Holy Spirit: co-equal and co-eternal Persons in loving communion for eternity. And then God shares His Image with His humanity and calls us to enter into true communion by knowing Him and each other in the Divine Mystery of Communion.
Huge ideas, I know, but this is the heart of our Purpose as persons and a revelation of our true destiny. Anything smaller and we are left unsatisfied in the depth of our souls.
Look at our Epistle Lesson for today in Philippians 3:8-19. We’ll focus on the first part of this passage:
BRETHREN, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as refuse, in order that I may gain Christ, and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own, based on law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith; that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that if possible I may attain that resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.
St. Paul tells the persons in Philippi that this is what knowing Christ has meant for him. He considers everything in his life to be of lesser value that knowing Christ. He has lost his standing in the Jewish community. He has lost his freedom being in jail for his faith. He has lost his reputation as a faithful and zealous follower of the Jewish Law. And he counts all these previous accomplishments as “refuse” (garbage) when compared to the singular joy of knowing Christ.
But he keeps going. St. Paul says that knowing Christ means knowing His Death AND Resurrection. Knowing Christ means embracing the call to join Christ in the death of the old life and the Resurrection of new life in Christ. No wonder we Orthodox quote the scripture at Baptism “As many as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. Alleluia!”
And St. Paul goes even further by adding that this knowing Christ is something I continue to grow into. He says he is continuing to “press on to make it (the death and resurrection of Christ) my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.” Wow!
Today, do you “know” Jesus Christ? Are you “pressing on” to know Him? Is this such a focus of your life that it is obvious to everyone that knowing Christ is the first priority of your life? Are you ready to embrace the mystery of being in a growing communion with God to the point that you are set free to become Orthodox on Purpose?
P.S. Let’s face it, every human person has a hunger to know God, and our Orthodox faith is the fullness of the lifestyle that makes knowing God possible. But how do we introduce people to this treasure? Help me create the 20 video series called “A Journey to Fullness” by going to JourneytoFullness.com and partnering with me to complete this project!