Why go to Church if God in the soul?
Isn’t it, we often hear this question? To answer it we asked the Archimandrite Platon (Igumnov), Professor of the Moscow theological Academy, a master of divinity degree.
The prodigal son
Created in the image and likeness of God, a person is a carrier of a true God-likeness, but his high Regal dignity is after Adam’s expulsion from Paradise dominated by moral and physical humiliation; one is pathetic in his physical doom and in their exposure to moral passions.
Every descendant of the old Adam, because he is not attached and is not sanctified by divine grace, are as the prodigal son. Described in the gospel of Luke the conversion of the prodigal is a way of gaining a man of true religiosity, true embodied through the entry of a person in Holy Union with God.
Gospel the parable of the prodigal son contains a deep and clear response to the proposed in the title question. The prodigal son recalled in the sad circumstances of his father, not only had to have the father “in the soul” – the unfortunate young man to avoid imminent death from hunger, it was necessary to go to his father’s house.
Only in the house could be a meeting with the father only in the house he could be in an enthusiastic heart and a fatherly embrace, and only in the house, which is the symbolic designation of the temple, he could be clothed in new clothes – a symbol of baptism, to receive a precious ring – a symbol of anointing and become a part of festive meal is a symbol of the divine Eucharist.
Every person to avoid eternal spiritual death, to lost still clothed in godlike dignity, in constant spiritual renewal to be decorated with the precious virtues to have in Christ fellowship with the Father in the grace of the Holy spirit to be heir to the resurrection and eternal life, must be life-saving and life-giving in the wall of the Church, in the house of the Living God, always to walk in the temple of God.
The Church in the economy of human salvation
The old Testament the temple of Jerusalem transformed the Church of the New Testament, which should have included all the Nations to worship God in spirit and truth (Jn. 4:24). In the Scriptures of the New Testament theme of the Church found the brightest light in the gospel of Luke.
The gospel of Luke begins with a description of the significant event occurred in the temple of Jerusalem, namely the description of the phenomenon of the Archangel Gabriel to the elder Zacharias. The mention of the angel Gabriel is associated with the prophecy of Daniel about the seventy weeks, i.e. 490 number. This means that it would be 490 days, including 6 months before the Annunciation to the virgin Mary, 9 months before the birth of Christ, that is, 15 months, equal to 450 days, and 40 days before the meeting of the Lord, and in this same temple that are promised by the prophets Messiah, the Christ, the Savior of the world.
In the gospel of Luke, Simeon the God-receiver in the Jerusalem Church proclaims to the world “a light to lighten the Gentiles” (LK. 2:32), that is, a light to lighten the Nations. There are also a prophetess, Anna, the widow of 84 years, “which departed not from the temple, by fasting and prayer serving God day and night” (LK. 2:37), and which manifested in his godly life light prototype for many Orthodox Russians, old ladies, bearers of true religious devotion on the General dark background of blind religious retreat in conditions of strict atheist regime.
In Luke we find only in the entire Canon of the New Testament testimony about the childhood of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is a precious testimony of the Evangelist Luke has as its subject an event that took place in the temple. Saint Luke tells us that every year Joseph and Mary went to Jerusalem for the feast of the Passover, and that one 12-year-old Boy Jesus remained in Jerusalem. Joseph and Mary on the third day, “found Him in the temple, sitting among the teachers” (LK. 2:46).
In response to their bewilderment, the Divine Child said full of inscrutable meaning of the mysterious words: “how is it that ye sought Me? Knew ye not that I must be about My Father’s business?” (LK. 2:49). Luke’s gospel ends with a description of the ascension of Christ into heaven and the apostles return to Jerusalem with an indication of the fact that they “were continually in the temple praising and blessing God” (LK. 24:53).
The theme of the Church is the continuation in the book of Acts, which begins with a description of the ascension of Christ the Saviour and the descent of the Holy spirit on the disciples of Christ stating that “… all the believers were together and… daily with one accord in the temple” (acts. 2:44-46). The testimony of the book of Acts valuable in the sense that it refers to the coverage of historical aspect of being the Church of Christ. In the New Testament the temple is the focus, the visible manifestation and specific detection of the life of the one, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, the current incarnation of the Cathedral the religious experience of the people of God.
God created man with an inherent capacity for transcendence that defines the symbolic character of its spiritual activity, which applies to the area of his religious life and other areas of his symbolic activity – the art and science. In the religious life of the Church is the institutional form of symbolic human activity, just as in the arts of this institutional form are the theatre and Museum, and science school and University.
Realizing itself in the sphere of religious life in one of the spheres of symbolic activity through their involvement in the Cathedral the religious experience of the whole Assembly of the people of God in the temple, he becomes able to overcome the inertia and sluggishness natural, spontaneous beginning of its being and ascent to the transcendent realm of meaning and higher spiritual values.
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