Themes of the Week; Duty & Discernment

posted Oct 1, 2012, 10:02 AM by
A double virtue will be the theme of our fifth week of school.  When
we Christians truly realize the precarious nature of our situation on
this earth, we cannot help but to see how Duty and Discernment go
together like hand in glove.  The Lord Jesus Christ alluded to as much
when he was asked whether we, who bear the image of God, owe anything
to the seemingly implacable forces constituting "the world",
represented by Caeser's image on a Roman coin.  Between God's image
and the world's, our duty is discern which image is which.

Once this discernment is made, our duty then becomes the rendering of
charitable service to a world that is still moulded by injustice,
violence and sin, while continually striving to remember that we bear
the image of the One whose Kingdom is not from this world, and that
the sources of our loyalty and service to this world are found in the
Kingdom of Justice, Peace and Righteousness, a Kingdom which is both
now and ever and unto the ages of ages.

Through discernment, we come to understand that our chief duty as
Orthodox Christians is to become the agents of redemption,
transfiguring a fallen and corrupt world through our repentance and
prayers, transducing God's uncreated Grace from the infinite and
eternal Kingdom of Heaven which we enjoy as the children of the King,
to the finite and fallen kingdoms of men, which we serve as subjects
and citizens.

At St. John's Orthodox Academy, this distinction is most obvious in
our ESLRs, the articulation of which aids our students in their
discernment of how to orient their hearts in the performance of their
duties: primarily as "children of the Most High" through His Grace in
the Body of Christ; secondly as the members of a local community, and
finally as scholars and graduates from a classical academy.

May your week see its duties fulfilled and the Truth discerned!

Most Dutifully Yours,

Seraphim Winslow