Emptiness

Our life in the Body of Christ begins with our Baptism into Christ’s death (Romans 6:3). This phrase explains what it means to be Baptized “into the Body of Christ” (I Corinithians 12:13).  To exist in the Body of Christ is to do so by existing in the death of Christ, as well as His resurrection. How this makes us “His body” is amplified when we see that “His death” is more than the event on Golgotha, but the fullness of His divine self-emptying that was made manifest to us on Golgotha’s Cross. We are Baptized into the self-emptying love of Christ, for this is the only way of life. If we are to be transformed “from one degree of glory to another” then it is towards the “glory” of the crucified, self-emptying Christ that we are being transformed. Deification (theosis) is also self-emptying (kenosis) for there is no other kind of life revealed to us in Christ. The fullness of life in Christ is found in His emptiness.

About Fr. Stephen Freeman

Fr. Stephen is a retired Archpriest of the Orthodox Church in America, Pastor Emeritus of St. Anne Orthodox Church in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. He is also author of Everywhere Present: Christianity in a One-Storey Universe, and Face to Face: Knowing God Beyond Our Shame, as well as the Glory to God podcast series on Ancient Faith Radio.



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3 responses to “Emptiness”

  1. PJ Avatar
    PJ

    “Such is the sacrifice of Christians: the multitude is one single body in Christ. The Church celebrates this mystery by the sacrifice of the Altar, well known to believers, because in it, it is shown to her that in the things which she offers, it is she herself who is offered.” –St. Augustine

  2. PJ Avatar
    PJ

    “The Apostle says: I appeal to you by the mercy of God to present your bodies as a living sacrifice. Brethren, this sacrifice follows the pattern of Christ’s sacrifice by which he gave his body as a living immolation for the life of the world. He really made his body a living sacrifice, because, though slain, he continues to live. In such a victim death receives its ransom, but the victim remains alive. Death itself suffers the punishment. This is why death for the martyrs is actually a birth, and their end a beginning. Their execution is the door to life, and those who were thought to have been blotted out from the earth shine brilliantly in heaven.

    Paul says: I appeal to you by the mercy of God to present your bodies as a sacrifice, living and holy. The prophet said the same thing: Sacrifice and offering you did not desire, but you have prepared a body for me. Each of us is called to be both a sacrifice to God and his priest. Do not forfeit what divine authority confers on you. Put on the garment of holiness, gird yourself with the belt of chastity. Let Christ be your helmet, let the cross on your forehead be your unfailing protection. Your breastplate should be the knowledge of God that he himself has given you. Keep burning continually the sweet smelling incense of prayer. Take up the sword of the Spirit. Let your heart be an altar. Then, with full confidence in God, present your body for sacrifice. God desires not death, but faith; God thirsts not for blood, but for self-surrender; God is appeased not by slaughter, but by the offering of your free will.”

    –St. Peter Chrysologus

  3. Dominic Albanese Avatar
    Dominic Albanese

    Thank you Fr Steven, this was passed on to me by T. Tate the wife of my pastor Fr M. Tate in Oregon, I retired and moved to Florida,only found a greek church that was a little too greek for me. But your posts and your insight makes me remember why I choose to put on Christ and live with and for Christ. Even as the world goes goofy and more goofy, I fight unseen warfare and keep my self in prayer. There is an OCA church in Pt St Luci but very small and pretty russian…..no excuse you are moving me back to the scraments keep up the good work Dismas

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