As we leave Great Lent for the I would like to suggest a switch to a more external focus. Holy Week is our final leg in the voyage to the Holy Pascha of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; but how often do we take this time to reaqlize that He came for the salvation of all.
We tend to be worried about juggling our work and church commitments, transporting ourselves and family, perparing the final items for our Paschal Feast; what better time than the Feast of Feasts to focus on sharing the love of Jesus Christ with those who may not know Him, or know the church he established through his Apostles.
How can we do this? Should be go knocking randomly on doors and stand in the street ringing bells? Perhaps not. These are the actions that lead the Orthodox world to shy away from Evangelism. What we need is to share the love through discipleship rather than through the pen (or sword). Some may feel shy to answer questions on their faith.
Some simple suggestions for sharing the love of Christ over the coming weeks:
*Invite some of your friends to the start of the Paschal service, or the vespers Sunday night (joyous but short and sweet)
*Having a Paschal meal with friends and family, invite some non-Orthodox friends to break the fast or later on during the Paschal period. Scared about lots of questions? Ask you Priest or Deacon over for dinner as well
*Many of us due to our Eastern heritage cook enough food in case the entire Mother Church is coming for dinner; take some Paschal items into the office to share with colleagues and drop an email around describing what they are and inviting people to share with you.
*Learn more about the detail of your faith or give a book to an inquiring friend (such as)
Support some local or global missions giving others the resources to spread the love of Christ (examples: ROCOR mission in Pakistan, Fund For Assistance, OCMC)
For the law is old,
but the word is new.
The type is provisional,
but grace is everlasting.
The sheep is perishable,
but the Lord,
not broken as a lamb but raised up as God,
For though led to the slaughter like a sheep,
he was no sheep.
Though speechless as a lamb,
neither yet was he a lamb.
For there was once a type, but now the reality has appeared.
Melito of Sardis
Just some short ideas to think about. May you all have a profitable Holy Week and a joyous Pascha!