by Celes A. Gianan, DD, PhD
This narrative account exposes and declares the “greatness” of the power of God “restoring” paradise, which is the very “Hope” Lent brings into our hearts and the very “Joy” Easter provides as we move in progression leading towards a “glorious” state of life, a “victorious” way of life, and “meritorious” growth in life.
More than two thousand years ago, the world, “stocked” in its “mere humanity,” [1 Corinthians 3:3] has been and is still “eagerly waiting for the revelations of the sons of God” [Romans 8:19] – revealing the “truth of redemption” and “living out the fruits of redemption” – despite the fact that Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, has “once for all” [Hebrews 10:10; 1 Peter 3:18] brought “redemption” to the world thereby “restoring” the dignity and integrity of the “lives” of all men and women and the things that enhance and advance their lives in the world of creation – a taste and a foretaste of a “PARADISE”.
But, why the long wait?
Could it be that the Church has tolerated the ways of men and women “ignoring” the fruits of redemption that the “blood” of Christ has won for and in behalf of the world? Could it also be that “leadership” of the Church has content itself with the “routinary” way of life and ignore the “missionary” life and operations of the Church that thereby hinders the continuous “spread” of the Gospel and the “works” of salvation in and for the world? Could it also be that “ministries” in the Church are done to make a “show” of and are being prepared so as to come up with and appear as a “production” or a “presentation” number in disguise of the “liturgical” celebration? Could it also be that in the administration of the “goods” and “services” of the Church, leaders and staff of the Church put “more” weight” on what are “accidentals” to and “less” weight to what are “essentials” to the Church? Could it also be that believers “so-called” have not lived out and/or do not live out the very powerful WORDS and wonderful DEEDS of Christ?
Given these questions in mind, God, in His Love and Mercy, wants us to realize that He, despite everything, is always there to lead us find answers to questions in life. His Power is much greater than any of those circumstances that in effect have led us to ask questions and ponder on them. God wants us to realize that His “provisions” and “interventions” in our lives are much more powerful than what we can ever think of and what the world can ever imagine. What we all need to do is to hold on to these “provisions” and respond to His “interventions”.
In the traditions of the Church, the apostolic Fathers, inspired and driven by the revelations of God, have set unto us and significantly contextualize these “provisions” and “interventions” of God within the liturgical year of the Church, particularly, during the season of Lent and Easter. In making us realize the greatness of the power of God and in enabling us declare His wondrous deeds, the Church, faithful to Her mission as the “Sacrament of Salvation”, sets within Herself a “Sacred Time” for all faithful believers with the intention of bringing all of them into the awareness of the “provisions” of God and His “interventions” in their lives as they “walk humbly with God”, “rise victoriously with the Church”, “proclaim powerfully His Kingdom” and “celebrate gratuitously His provisions.”
Lent and Easter: Sacred Times
Paradise Restored: The “Hope” of Lent.
The season of Lent is a time in the Church that is so “sacred” that it reminds us of the “sacred” provisions of God. It enables us think and believe that God, “by His Divine Power, has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of Him who called us by his own glory and goodness” [2 Peter 1:3]. God has lent unto us everything pertaining to life and His godliness. As He lent unto us His provisions and His godliness, He in turn tasks us to exercise “stewardship” which is a “solid mark” of our covenant relationship with Him. God is the “Owner”; we are His “stewards”. “Ownership” belongs to God; “stewardship” belongs to us. The “sacred gesture” of God having lent unto us His great provisions for our lives has given us “sacred hope”, that is, that we are not that “hopeless” people and that we are a people who are “filled” and are “abundant” in life [John 10:10]. Our lives are not “empty”. Our lives are “filled” with “all things” pertaining to life and Godliness. Thus, Lent should not be taken as that which “belittles” and “downgrades” us. It is to be taken as that which “lifts” and “raises” us up. This is the “hope’ of Lent. This “hope” is so life-giving and spirit-sustaining that it brings us into the realm of that “paradise”, restored by Christ, our Lord and Savior, in response to the “will” of the Father. This is a “paradise restored” for a “redeemed humanity”. Our faith as “stewards” of God should drive us to “acclaim” and “claim” that we are no longer a “fallen” humanity, we are a “redeemed” humanity – the “hope” of Lent.
Paradise Restored: The “Joy” of Easter.
The season of Easter is a time in the Church that is so “sacred” that it brings into our awareness the “power” of the Resurrection in the life of our Lord Jesus Christ and in our lives as a “redeemed” people. This “power” is that which enables us “intensify” our prayer, that is, our relationship with Him, “magnify” our ministry, that is, doing great things and producing great results in life, “edifying” the Church, that is, forming people into that which God wants them to be and become in His Kingdom, and “glorifying” God, that is, letting us shine our light before men that they may see our good works and, thus, glorify our Father who is in heaven. This is the “joy” that Easter brings into our lives. It is the “joy” that we all feel as we “rise” and are being “raised” up to a “higher” level of perfection as we partake and do the “works” of the Lord and even doing “greater” works because He, our Lord and Savior, has gone up and sits at the right hand of His Father [John 14:12] – the “joy” of Easter.
What has just been cited brings into our hearts the “ability” to make a proclamation that we are in a “post-redemptive” era and that we do not any more belong to a “fallen” humanity but we already have inherited the “fruits” of the “works” of God in our lives. What a blessed people we are! Redeemed humanity! To go through the entire season of Lent and Easter, therefore, is to come to a “glorious” state of life, enjoy a “victorious” way of life and live out a “meritorious” growth in life. –
drcelamgia_phd, Founding Disciple, CENTER FOR FAITH AND REASON

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