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Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of August 7, 2011

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  • Adam DeBaugh
    Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of August 7, 2011 ********** August is special order month! Order any book or other item from our Web site,
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 7, 2011
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      Chi Rho Reflection for the Week of August 7, 2011

      **********

      August is special order month! Order any book or
      other item from our Web site, www.ChiRhoPress.com,
      and receive another item from our catalog of equal
      or lesser value. Just e-mail Adam@...
      after you order and let him know what else you would
      like in your shipment.

      As one of the on-going ministries of Chi Rho Press,
      here is a selection from our book of daily devotions,
      "Living as the Beloved: One Day at a Time," by the
      Rev. Dr. Sandra Bochonok.

      Please read the Scripture passage and Dr. Bochonok's
      meditation. We hope you will be blessed.

      Thank you for forwarding this to your friends.

      Take up your cross and deny yourselves

      "Then Jesus told his disciples, 'If any want to
      become my followers, let them deny themselves and
      take up their cross and follow me. For those who
      want to save their life will lose it, and those
      who lose their life for my sake will find it.
      For what will it profit them if they gain the
      whole world but forfeit their life? Or what will
      they give in return for their life? For the Son
      of Man is to come with his angels in the glory of
      his Father, and then he will repay everyone for
      what has been done. Truly I tell you, there are
      some standing here who will not taste death before
      they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.'"
      Matthew 16:24-28

      On one of the walls of my writing study hangs an
      inexpensive copy of a very old Byzantine or Slavic
      icon called "Christ, Pantocrator." I am not talking
      about computer icons, but a sacred art form providing
      visual focal points for reflection and meditation on
      Christian revelation and aspects of discipleship.
      These cherished religious images are the result of
      the prayers of many icon painters, providing a
      powerful prayer form that has continued to evolve
      over nearly 2,000 years. They help people pray
      with their eyes and hearts, without any need of
      rationalization or even verbalization. You simply
      gaze at them in silence and stillness. I often light
      a candle by mine when writing meditations, trusting
      the Spirit of God to work deep within my soul. Many
      of these beautiful icon images are available online,
      providing powerful prayer experiences using modern
      technology.

      The Greek word, Pantocrator, translates as "Ruler of
      All." This popular icon has been often used in the
      high, main domes of churches for centuries,
      acknowledging Christ as Ruler of the universe,
      Creator and Savior. Christ typically is painted
      facing directly frontally, holding the Gospel, Book
      of Judgment, or an Orb representing the world in his
      left hand, with his right hand raised in blessing.
      He is often painted with riveting eyes staring
      straight at the viewer, although sometimes his eyes
      are averted.

      My particular copy has an unusual feature, which a
      woman noticed when I facilitated an indoor Lenten
      labyrinth walk, for which I placed icons throughout
      the room for meditation purposes. She came up to me
      and asked if the eyes of Christ were different. Yes.
      The artist painted one eye open and kind. The other
      eye is keen and piercing.

      The Christ sees deep within our souls and all hidden
      inner thoughts. Words and actions are revealed for
      what they truly are. Sometimes we forget that someday
      Jesus Christ will repay everyone for what has been done
      when he returns in power and glory to judge the world
      of its sin.

      But through the brush of this particular artist, the
      kindly eye of Christ, Pantocrator reveals an invitation
      for every viewer to experience God's amazing grace.
      This brings to my mind the ever-present reminder that
      Jesus has always been a great friend of sinners such
      as myself. We are all sinners saved by grace. Christ
      is indeed a great Savior.

      God, help us appreciate the powerful image Christ,
      Pantocrator brings through the powerful words of
      today's gospel passage. Thank you for the amazing
      grace that gives us confidence now and when Christ
      returns. Amen.

      Grace and peace,

      Chi Rho Press

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