Prayer Without Ceasing But With Joy and Thanksgiving (Sat. Feb. 5)

The Word of the Day is “always.”  In today’s reading of 1 Thessalonians 5:14-23, we find the teaching “pray without ceasing” (OSB vs. 5:17).  Today we will study the context of this short directive, a teaching that many Orthodox know and strive to practice. Note that the two-word imperative comes in the middle of Paul’s concluding instructions to his congregation in Thessalonica.  Notice also that it appears in a series of practices that the faithful should always carry out.  The apostle writes, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks” (OSB vs. 16-18).  The first and the last imperatives are a frame for the ideal of praying without ceasing.  These bookends encourage the attitudes with which we should enter…

Holiness in Body, Mind, and Soul (Sun. Jan. 30)

The word of the day is “sanctify.”  Today’s reading may be different because the OCA calendar has duplicates for this week.  To avoid duplication, we will study 1 Thessalonians 5:14-23.  In this passage, Paul closes his first letter to his flock in Thessalonica with a prayer.  The apostle writes, “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (vs. 23).  There is no greater blessing to ask for than to be sanctified.  Paul’s prayer is that God Himself would bestow that grace of holiness and “consecrate” the faithful to Himself (Strong’s# 37, 3). Sharing in the Holiness of God Peter…

Holiness in Body, Mind, and Soul (Sun. Feb. 14)

  The word of the day is “sanctify.”  In our reading of 1 Thessalonians 5:14-23, St. Paul closes his first letter to the Thessalonians with a prayer.  The apostle writes, “Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (vs. 23).  There is no greater blessing to ask for than to be sanctified.  Paul’s prayer is that God Himself would bestow that grace and “consecrate” the faithful to Himself (Strong’s# 37, 3). Sharing in the Holiness of God Peter writes, “Be holy, for I [the Lord] am holy” (1 Peter 1:16). This instruction is a quotation from Leviticus, “For I am the…