Saturday, May 26, 2007

Ecclesia and Pentecost: Schmemann

As Fr Hart has reminded us in his sermon, Pentecost marks the birth of the Church, at least so far as its institutional, organisational nature. I do not pretend to be an expert in ecclesiology, but I find interesting the thoughts on the nature of the Church expressed by the late Orthodox theologian, Fr Alexander Schmemann.

"Pentecost, the descent of the Holy Spirit, the giver of life, is not a mere establishment of an institution endowed with specific powers and authorities. It is the inauguration of the new age, the beginning of life eternal, the revelation of the kingdom which is “joy and peace in the Holy Spirit.” The Church is the continuing presence of Pentecost as power of sanctification and transfiguration of all life, as grace which is knowledge of God, communion with Him and, in Him, with all that exists. The Church is creation as renewed by Christ and sanctified by the Holy Spirit.

Read it all at All Too Common.

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