A sense of this possibility

I am with you always, even to the end of the age.

What if there is a fuller understanding that has been with Christians from the beginning? Foggy and lost it has become for many people, but upon digging deeper, what if there is Jesus, meeting with his disciples still, by means of the same Spirit that worked in a virgin’s womb to bring Christ physically to earth? Not that Jesus has returned yet in the sense that the angel expressed after he ascended, in the sense that I need to be ready for (because it will be BIG), but that in a real sense he never left his followers as orphans.


I came to see how foolish it was for me to believe that God's full illumination ceased after the New Testament books were written, not to resume until the Protestant Reformation in the sixteenth century, or -- to take this argument to its logical conclusion -- until the very moment when I myself started reading the Bible. Either the Holy Spirit was in the Church throughout the centuries following the New Testament period, leading, teaching, and illuminating her in her understanding of the gospel message, or the Church had been left a spiritual orphan, with individual Christians independently interpreting -- and often, teaching with an assumption of authority -- the same Scripture in radically different ways. I became convinced such chaos could not be the will of God, "for God is not the author of confusion but of peace" (1 Corinthians 14:33).
~ Rev. A. James Bernstein, Surprised by Christ: My Journey from Judaism to Orthodox Christianity

The Church itself was the new and heavenly Jerusalem: the Church in Jerusalem was by contrast unimportant. The fact that Christ comes and is present was far more significant than the places where He had been. The historical reality of Christ was of course the undisputed ground of the Christians' faith: yet they did not so much remember Him as know He was with them. And in Him was the end of "religion," because He himself was the Answer to all religion, to the human hunger for God, because in Him was life that was lost by man -- and which could only be symbolized, signified, asked for in religion -- was restored to man. ~ Alexander Schmemann, For the Life of the World

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