To Fan the Flame!

By Fr. Panayiotis Papageorgiou, Ph.D.

Something inside us is always burning like a fire! Sometimes it is stronger, warming us inside and out. At other times, it is only like an amber, and yet it never goes out.

This flame, this fire, has been placed inside us by God so that we may be reminded of His presence and love. This flame is what connects us to Him and fills us with Joy, the Joy we experience as we partake of His Holy Body and Blood, as we experience His Love, as we participate in His Kingdom in the here and now. 

This is what brings us back Sunday after Sunday to the Divine Liturgy, seeking His loving and comforting touch in our souls and our lives.

After having received the Precious Gifts, we proclaim: “We have seen the light, the true light and have received the heavenly Spirit. We now have found the true faith, by our worshipping the undivided Trinity, who has saved us.”

The Christian Faith is a great treasure. We are blessed to have found it, and we must cherish it and also share it with others. When we witness our faith, our hearts warm up, we become stronger in the face of adversity. The storms of life seem insignificant as we feel Christ at the helm. The Joy multiplies as we share it with others and help them come closer to Him, as well.

Having enjoyed Christ’s Gifts and having felt the warmth in our hearts, we must now look around and identify those whose flame is waning, whose Joy has been diminished. We must fan the flame in their hearts by sharing with them His Love, so that they may reconnect with Him and receive His Joy again. In so doing, we will help them in their difficult hour; we will give them what is missing; we will increase their Joy as they taste again of God’s Kingdom.

Dear friends and fellow Orthodox Christians, 

There are many people out there looking for this treasure which we may be taking for granted. The flame is burning inside of them, as well. They are looking for authentic Christianity, for the ancient Christian Faith and the fullness of the Church. We owe it to God and to them to expose them to it. 

Let us witness our faith in every way possible. Let us proclaim the Risen Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, offering to the world around us a taste of the authentic Christian experience and spirituality as preserved by the Orthodox Church. 

Let us extend to all around us an invitation to the Divine Liturgy. This worship and spirituality is an inheritance for the whole world. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only-begotten Son in order to save the world”. “God desires that all people should be saved and come to the knowledge of the Truth.”

Our role is to just facilitate the process, to witness our faith, to fan the flame.

The heavy lifting will be done by the Holy Spirit!

In Christ’s Love,

Fr. Panayiotis