St. Michael the Archangel Orthodox Church
A Parish of the Orthodox Church in America
2300 W. Huntington Drive, Wilmington, Delaware 19808 • (302) 995-6775
Wisdom

 

"AND ASCENDED INTO HEAVEN …"

“And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, ‘Who is worthy to open the scroll and break its seals?’ And no one in heaven or on earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll … And between the throne and the four living creatures I saw a Lamb, standing, as if it had been slain.” (Rev. 5:2)

The very fact of our Lord’s ascension into Heaven, and His “sitting at the right hand of the Father,” is the source of great joy and profound optimism to the faithful believers. What happened when our Lord returned to Heaven? Revelation gives us some insight.

St. John, the spiritual leader of the churches of Asia Minor had been taken from his churches and exiled to the tiny island of Patmos, in the Mediterranean Sea. Sunday morning comes a time when he is normally preparing himself to celebrate the Holy Eucharist with his faithful gathering. Closed around by his own gloom, he is startled by a voice as loud as a trumpet, behind him. It is the Lord Himself, radiant and transformed in appearance, who takes him to an open door in Heaven for a view of the Heavenly Court.

After he does his best to adequately describe the scene before him: the Throne of the Father, the twenty-four presbyters, the four living creatures and the host of angels, he hears a challenge by a mighty angel: “Who is worthy to open the seals of the scroll?” (Upon which is written the prophecy of the destiny of the universe.)

Nobody in Heaven or on earth was worthy to reveal the future, and John wept, for not even one person had been found worthy. Except, in the center of the Heavenly court, a Lamb was standing as though it had been slain.

Jesus is that Lamb of God, “Who takes away the sins of the world.” The image of the lamb comes from the prophecy of Isaiah: “He was oppressed and afflicted, and he opened not his mouth. Like a lamb that is led to slaughter, and like a sheep that is dumb before its shearers, so he opened not his mouth.” (Isaiah 53: 7)

The Lamb has already been sacrificed. Now He is standing, erect and triumphant, glowing with life. The place where he stands is carefully noted; directly in the center of the Heavenly court, in the midst of every living being, between the Throne of the Father and the living creatures. This is the position of a priest who is offering a sacrifice.

The ascension of Jesus Christ is the return of the Son of God to the Father, in the triumph of fulfillment. Before He sits at the right hand of the Father, he offers for all time a single sacrifice for sins; “For by a single offering He has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.” (Heb. 10: 14.)

The Ascension is at once the fulfillment of God’s plan for salvation of mankind, and the promise of the Gift of the Holy Spirit, who will come to abide in all who call themselves by the name of Jesus Christ, by Holy Baptism. The specific work of the Messiah is accomplished; now He will work in us, dignifying us with the responsibility for bringing the people of the earth to the Father in His Name, through the Holy Spirit at work in our members.

With the Ascension, then, all is accomplished.

by Rev. Vladimir Berzonsky
Holy Trinity Church, Parma, Ohio
From Word Magazine
Publication of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America
May 1969 p. 8

 

Upcoming Events
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Memorial Saturday - June 19th - 06/19/2021

Next Saturday, June 19th at 4:00 p.m., prior to Vespers,  we will serve a memorial service for all the departed. Please add the names of any newly departed to our prayer list.


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Pentecost Sunday - June 20th - 06/20/2021

On Sunday, June 20th in the life of the Church we celebrate the Great Feast of Pentecost. Liturgically this is the greatest of the 12 Great Feasts. (Pascha is in a category all by itself!) Pentecost is the “Birthday of the Church”, the celebration of the coming of the Holy Spirit. Just a reminder that next week immediately following the Divine Liturgy, the traditional Vespers of Pentecost with the Special Kneeling prayers is served. In Orthodoxy, we go from glory to glory - come let us welcome the coming of the Holy Spirit!


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All Parish Meeting - June 27th - 06/27/2021

We will have an all parish meeting on Sunday, June 27th following the Divine Liturgy. Please be sure to stay to participate as we all do our part to care for Christ’s Holy Church.


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Ss. Peter and Paul Fast and Feast - June 28th and 29th - 06/29/2021

The spirit of Holy Pentecost leads us to another feast and fast of the church. The feast of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul is celebrated on June 29th. From the 4th Century on, the Church has celebrated this feast which is spiritually linked with Holy Pentecost. It stands as the witness of the Apostles immediate fruit at the descent of the Holy Spirit when it came upon them. The Feast is preceded by a fasting period called Saints Peter and Paul Fast.” The fast is different from year to year since it always begins on the Monday following the first Sunday after Pentecost (All Saints' Sunday). The fast lasts just one day this year, Monday, June 28th, the Eve of the Feast of Ss. Peter and Paul. To commemorate the great Peter and Paul, we will offer Great Vespers with Litiya for the feast on Monday, June 28th at 7:00 p.m. and Divine Liturgy on Tuesday, June 29th at 9:30 a.m. 


Other Announcements
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Study Group Summer Break - 06/13/2021

Our Study group will be taking a break for the Summer months of June /July/August. Thanks to all who participate in this parish education opportunity.


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Our Library Is Open! - 05/30/2021

Our parish library is open! Consider checking out a book or two for your summer reading.


Reader Schedule

 

Date 3rd Hour 6th Hour Epistle
Jun 20 Wojciechowski Vojacsek Wales
Jun 27 Lewis Skomorucha Lewis

 

Service Schedule

 

Date Coffee Hour Service Duty Church Cleaners
Jun 20 Father's Day Telep / Baldychev Skomorucha / Ashton / Wojciechowski
Jun 27 Wojciechowski / D'Orazio Bunitsky / Morjana S. Peck
July 4 Clause Riley / Riley Farrell
July 11 Riley Sulpizi Clause / Whalen

 

News from the Orthodox Church in America

Monday, 14 Jun 2021

Pastoral Changes for March, April, and May 2021 released
14 Jun 2021 at 11:36am


Tuesday, 8 Jun 2021

Seminaries Celebrate 2021 Commencements
8 Jun 2021 at 11:20am


Friday, 4 Jun 2021

Parish Development Forum Scheduled as Online Event July 16 2021
4 Jun 2021 at 4:37am


Saturday, 29 May 2021

14th Annual Diaconal Liturgical Practicum to be held July 26-29
29 May 2021 at 8:21pm


Monday, 24 May 2021

Holy Synod of Bishops meets for Spring Session
24 May 2021 at 3:34pm

Continuing Clergy Education for June and July Focused on Leadership
24 May 2021 at 3:21pm


Friday, 21 May 2021

Saint Tikhon’s Seminary Announces Search for Two Full-Time Positions
21 May 2021 at 4:23pm


Thursday, 20 May 2021

Request for Proposal announced for the Archives of the Orthodox Church in Ame...
20 May 2021 at 11:24am


Wednesday, 19 May 2021

Minutes and reports of Metropolitan Council 2021 Spring Session now available
19 May 2021 at 2:48pm


Tuesday, 18 May 2021

Archimandrite Gerasim (Eliel) elected as Bishop of Fort Worth
18 May 2021 at 6:03pm