Dormition of the Theotokos Greek Orthodox Church in Oakmont, PA
 

Witness to the World

The Great Commission

    Later He appeared to the eleven as they sat at the table; and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen. + And He said Pentecost Icon by Philip Zimmerman, Iconographer to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.+ He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.+ And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues,+ they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover."+ (Mark 16:14-18)

The Ascension

    So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God.+ And they went out everywhere, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen. (Mark 16:19-20)

Pentecost

    When the day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.+ And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filed the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them.+ And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.+

    Witness to the World
    And there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men, from every nation under Heaven. And when this sound occurred, the multitude came together, and were confused, because everyone heard them speak in his own language. (Acts 2:1-6)

    Speaking with new tongues was a gift highly valued by the early Christians in Corinth. For the Church Fathers, this was the miraculous ability to speak foreign tongues in order to spread the Gospel. The best known example of this is on Pentecost, which was the fulfillment of the prophecy of Joel (Joel 2:28, 29) concerning the Holy Spirit. The words spoken by the Apostles were in the actual languages of people from all over he empire, who came to Jerusalem for the feast. They heard the Good News and praises of God in their respective languages from people who did not know those languages.
    Source: The Orthodox Study Bible, 1993.


Let us, then, remember the words of our Lord in the Gospel of Matthew 10:32: "Therefore, whoever confesses Me before men, him I will also confess before my Father, who is in heaven."

May we all confess our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ before all, boldly spreading the Good News whenever the opportunity presents itself.

Visit the following links to both read and hear our Paschal greeting — Christ is Risen! — in up to 250 different languages.

http://www.3saints.com/xrvoskr_many_lung.html
http://orthodoxwiki.org/Paschal_greeting
http://www.oca.org/PDF/Pascha/PaschalGreetingsWorld.pdf
http://srbigham.com/en/index.html


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