Prayer for the Day of Pentecost

(Illustration: a page from the Gospel Lectionary portion of the Bamberg Apocalypse)

Spirit of life
ALL: Fill our emptiness with your fullness
Spirit of power
ALL: Stir our hearts afresh
Spirit of love
ALL: Touch us, and through us, our neighbour
Spirit of Creativity
ALL: Enable and empower the gifts you have given
Spirit of Eternity
ALL: Draw us ever deeper into your Kingdom

Easter Responses in Different Languages

(source of image, HERE)

Abhazian: Kyrsa Dybzaheit! Itzzabyrgny Dybzaheit!

Afrikaans: Kristus het opgestaan! Hom het waarlik opgestaan!

Albanian: Krishti u ngjall! Vërtet u ngjall!

Aleutian: Khristus anahgrecum! Alhecum anahgrecum!

Alutuq: Khris-tusaq ung-uixtuq! Pijii-nuq ung-uixtuq!

Amharic: Kristos tenestwal! Bergit tenestwal!

Anglo-Saxon (old): Crist aras! Crist sodhlice aras!

Arabic: al-Masīḥ qām! Bi-l-ḥaqīqati qām!

Armenian: Kristos haryav ee merelotz! Orhnial eh harootyunuh Kristosee!

Aromanian: Hristolu unghia! Daleehira unghia!

Athabascan: Xristosi banuytashtch’ey! Gheli banuytashtch’ey!

Azeri: Məsih dirildi! Həqiqətən dirildi!

Basque: Cristo Berbistua! Benatan Berbistua!

Belarusian: Hrystos uvaskros! Saprawdy wvaskros!

Bretonnian: Dassoret eo Krist! E wirionez dassoret eo!

Bulgarian: Hristos vozkrese! Voistina vozkrese!

Byelorussian: Khrystos uvaskros! Sapraudy uvaskros!

Carolinian: Lios a melau sefal! Meipung, a mahan sefal!

Catalan: Crist ha ressuscitat! Veritablement ha ressuscitat!

Cebuano: Si Kristo nabanhaw! Matuod Siya nga nabanhaw!

Chamorro: La’la’i i Kristo! Magahet na luma’la’ i Kristo!

Chinese (Mandarin): Jīdū fùhuó le! Tā quèshí fùhuó le!

Chinese: Helisituosi fuhuole! Queshi fuhuole!

Chuvash: Khristós chərəlnə! Chæn chərəlnə!

Coptic: Pikhristos aftonf! Khen oumethmi aftonf!

Cornish: Thew Creest dassorez! En weer thewa dassorez!

Croatian: Krist uskrsnu! Uistinu uskrsnu!

Czech: Kristus vstal a mrtvych! Opravdi vstoupil!

Danish: Kristus er opstanden! Sandelig Han er Opstanden!

Dutch: Christus is opgestaan! Hij is waarlijk opgestaan! (Netherland) or Christus is verrezen! Hij is waarlijk verrezen! (Belgium)

English (Medieval): Crist is arisen! Arisen he sothe!

English (old): Crist aras! Crist sodhlice aras!

English: Christ is risen! He is risen, indeed!

Eritrean: Tigre: Christos tensiou! Bahake tensiou!

Esperanto: Kristo leviĝis! Vere Li leviĝis!

Estonian: Kristus on üles tõusnud! Tõesti, Ta on üles tõusnud!

Ethiopian: Christos t’ensah em’ muhtan! Exai’ ab-her eokala!

Fijian: Na Karisito tucake tale! Io sa tucake tale!

Finnish: Kristus nousi kuolleista! Totisesti nousi!

French: Le Christ est ressuscité! En verite il est ressuscité!

Frisian: Kristus is opstien! Wis is er opstien!

Gaelic (Scottish): Tha Crìosd air èiridh! Gu dearbh, tha e air èiridh!

Gaelic: Kriost eirgim! Eirgim!

Georgian: Kriste ahzdkhah! Chezdmaridet!

German: Christus ist erstanden! Er ist wahrhaftig erstanden!

Greek: Christos anesti! Alithos anesti!

Hawaiian: Ua ala hou o Kristo! Ua alaI o nooia!

Hebrew (modern): HaMashiach qam! Be’emet qam!

Hebrew: Ha Masheeha houh kam! A ken kam! (or Be emet quam!)

Hindi: Yesu Masih zinda ho gaya hai! Haan yaqeenan, woh zinda ho gaya hai!)

Hungarian: Krisztus feltámadt! Valóban feltámadt!

Icelandic: Kristur er upprisinn! Hann er vissulega upprisinn!

Idish: Der Meschiache undzer iz geshtanen! Avade er iz ufgeshtanen!

Ido: Kristo riviveskabas! Ya Il rivivesakabas!

Igbo: Jésu Krísti Ébilíwõ! Ézia õ´ Bilíwõ!

Indonesian: Kristus telah bangkit! Dia benar-benar telah bangkit!

Interlingua: Christo ha resurgite! Vermente ille ha resurgite! or Christo ha resurrecte! Vermente ille ha resurrecte!

Irish (old): Asréracht Críst! Asréracht Hé-som co dearb!

Irish: Tá Críost éirithe! Go deimhin, tá sé éirithe!

Italian: Cristo è risorto! È veramente risorto!

Japonese: Harisutosu fukkatsu! Jitsu ni fukkatsu!

Javanese: Kristus sampun wungu! Saesto panjene ganipun sampun wungu!

Kapampangan: Y Cristo sinubli yang mebie! Sinubli ya pin mebie!

Kikuyu: Kristo ni muriuku! Ni muriuku nema!

Korean: Kristo Gesso Buhwal ha sho sumnida! Chamuro Buhwal ha sho sumnida!

Korean: Kristo gesso! Buhar ha sho nay!

Latin: Christus resurrexit! Resurrexit vere!

Latvian: Kristus ir augsham sales! Teyasham ir augsham sales vinsch!

Letonian: Kristus (ir) augšāmcēlies! Patiesi viņš ir augšāmcēlies!

Lituanian: Kristus prisikėlė! Tikrai prisikėlė!

Lugandan: Kristo ajukkide! Amajim ajukkide!

Malayalam: Christu uyirthezhunnettu! Theerchayayum uyirthezhunnettu!

Malgash: Nitsangana tamin’ny maty i Kristy! Nitsangana marina tokoa izy!

Maltese: Kristu qam! Huwa qam tassew! or Kristu qam mill-mewt! Huwa qam tassew!

Manx: Taw Creest Ereen! Taw Shay Ereen Guhdyne!

Marathi: Yeshu Khrist uthla ahe! Kharokhar uthla ahe!

Mari: Hristos îlîj kînelîn! Ciînak îlîj kînelîn!

Navajo: Christ daaztsą́ą́dę́ę́ʼ náádiidzáá! Tʼáá aaníí daaztsą́ą́dę́ę́ʼ náádiidzáá!

Nigerian: Jesu Kristi ebiliwo! Ezia o’ biliwo!

Norwegian: Kristus er oppstanden! Han er sannelig oppstanden!

Persian: Masih barkhaste ast! Be rasti barkhaste ast!

Polish: Chrystus zmartwychwstał! Prawdziwie zmartwychwstał!

Portuguese: Cristo ressuscitou! Em verdade ressuscitou!

Quechua: Cristo causarimpunña! Ciertopuni causarimpunña!

Romanian (Istro-Romanian dialect): Uscrâsnit-å Isus Crist! Zaista uscrâsnit–å!

Romanian (Macedo-Romanian dialect): Hristolu anyie! De-alihea anyie!

Romanian (Megleno-Romanian dialect): Hristos anghii! Istana anghii!

Romanian: Cristos a inviat! Adevarat a inviat!

Russian: Hristos voskrese! Voistinu voskrese!

Rutenian: Hristos voskres! Voistynu voskres!

Sanskrit: Kristo’pastitaha! Satvam upastitaha!

Serbian: Kristos vaskres! Vaistinu vaskres!

Slavonic (old): Hristos voskrese! Voistinu voskrese!

Slovak: Kristus vstal zmr’tvych! Skutoc ne vstal!

Spanish: Cristo ha resucitado! En verdad ha resucitado!

Swahili: Kristo Amefufukka! Kweli Amefufukka!

Swedish: Kristus är uppstånden! Ja, Han är verkligen uppstånden!

Syriac (new): Mshikha qimlih! Bhāqota qimlih!

Syriac: Mshiḥa qām! Sharīrāīth qām! or Mshiḥo Qom! Shariroith Qom!

Tagalog: Si Kristo ay nabuhay! Totoo! Siya nga ay nabuhay!

Tigrinya: Christos tensiou! Bahake tensiou!

Tlingit: Xristos Kuxwoo-digoot! Xegaa-kux Kuxwoo-digoot!

Turkish: Hristos diril-di! Hakikaten diril-di!

Turoyo-Syriac: Mshiḥo qāyem! Shariroith qāyem!

Tzeltal: Cha’kuxaj Kajwaltik Kristo! Ta melel cha’kuxaj!

Tzotzil: Icha’kuxi Kajvaltik Kristo! Ta melel icha’kuxi!

Ugandan: Kristo ajukkide! Kweli ajukkide!

Uigur: Əysa tirildi! Ⱨəⱪiⱪətinla tirildi!

Ukrainian: Hrystos voskres! Voistynu voskres!)

Urdu: Yesu Masih zinda ho gaya hai! Haan yaqeenan, woh zinda ho gaya hai!

Welsh: Atgyfododd Crist! Atgyfododd yn wir!

Yupik: Xris-tusaq Ung-uixtuq! Iluumun Ung-uixtuq!

Zulu: Ukristu uvukile! Uvukile kuphela!

NOTE: I am not sure about many of these, so, please suggest any necessary corrections. Thanks. I appreciate it.

Pr Florescu – Semnul Bisericii calatoare

Cristos a înviat!

Pr, Florescu, de la Edinburg, un prieten drag, întâlnirile cu care sunt întotdeauna un eveniment de poveste, a publicat ieri pe blogul său un text cu adevărat profetic legat de sărbătoarea Pastelui.

Iata aici fragmentul de început.

De la Ierusalim la Emaus erau 60 de stadii, adică ceva mai puțin de 12 kilometri (Luca 24,13-35). Dar în duminica învierii Domnului drumul acesta se va face distanța nesfârșită dintre instituția credinței și împărăția cea vie a lui Dumnezeu.

Este aceeași distanță dintre religie și credință, pe care cei mai mulți credincioși, din păcate ținuți în captivitatea ritualică a religiei chiar de preoții lor care în aceste zile se pozează pe facebook în posturi dramatice, nu o vor străbate niciodată

De aici și sentimentul general de insecuritate, de sfârșitul lumii, de dezorientare spirituală: unde să te mai duci, unde să-l mai găsești pe Dumnezeu, atunci când toate drumurile tale au fost în afară și n-ai fost învățat să călătorești înlăuntrul tău

Vă încurajez să citiți AICI restul textul, care este la fel de miezos ca și introducerea.

Fiți binecuvântați!

Christus Victor – A Celtic Look at the Death of Christ

Most of the Western Christians – Catholics, mainline Protestants and evangelicals, look at the cross of Christ through the lens of a legal metaphor. According to it, God created humans and gave them his commands. At the devil’s temptation, they disobeyed God, whose honour, as head of the universe, was utterly offended. Because of human rebellion, called sin, God cursed the entire creation. And thus, death entered our world. At the peak of history, God sent his son into the world, to die for us, so that the guilt for Adam’s fall and our sinfulness could be atoned for. Through Christ’s terrible death, justice was done for the breaking of God’s law, and God’s wrath was appeased. The penalty for our sins was paid (let us not ask ‘to whom exactly’, as this may lead us into all sorts of strange theories). If humans believed that Christ died for their sins (what is usually called the ‘penal substitution theory’) they would be saved, and when Christ comes back, at the end of history, he will take them with him to heaven, while this world will perish in flames. As to those who did not believe, God, in his wrath, has prepared for them the eternal fire of hell.

I imagine many of my readers would be familiar with this perspective, maybe it is also their own, even if they might be disturbed here and there by the way I phrased things. This is the perspective behind Mel Gibson’s movie The Passion of Christ, and of many of the western depictions – cinematic, literary or theological, of the events we rememorate at this time in the church calendar. For some, this is the only correct way of understanding the story of Christ. For them, this is the Gospel.

Yet, this is by no means the only way to look at it, and, dare I say, not the best way of accounting for Christ’s incarnation, life, death, resurrection and ascension. The Eastern Church and the Celtic Church viewed the cross through a radically different lens, which we may call generically, the Christus victor motif. In what follows, I will talk more of the Celtic version of the story.

During this period of Lent, the first I ever spent in Scotland, I did two things which gave me a somewhat different perspective on Easter. First, I followed the daily readings from David Cole’s book Celtic Lent: 40 Days of Devotions to Easter. Second, I am watching at this time the Vikings series, which begins with the first incursion of the Norsemen on the Monastery of Lindisfarne on the Holy Island, the famous Celtic religious centre in Northumbria, which I had the privilege of visiting a number of times.

Cole talks often in this book about the Christus victor metaphor that informed the Celts’ understanding of Christ’s sacrifice, not as a ransom to appease God’s wrath, but as the culmination of a hero saga, in which the Dryhtnes (the Celtic word for Lord, which was originally the designation of a warlord in charge of a band of warriors) becomes victorious in his battle against the invisible forces of evil, in spite of his terrible death, precisely because death is followed by resurrection. And that not because God’s wrath has been appeased, but because death was the entry door for the hero to be received in triumph at his return in the angelic world (the Christian version of Valhalla, if you want).

Watching in the Vikings the painful and courageous death of Ragnar Lothbrok, helped me understand much better how this metaphor worked in the minds of Celtic Christians. To be fair, being a moderate pacifist, I am more attracted to the peaceful metaphors of the Gospel in the biblical text (grain of wheat, mustard seed, light, yeast, etc.) and I have an instinctive negative reaction to the aggressive metaphors favoured for instance by the American obsession with ‘cultural wars’. Though, this may have not been so much of a problem for the Celts, who were (and their hers still are) short tempered, very passionate people, constantly engaged in war between themselves and with others.

However, the Christian version of the Celtic cult of the hero has nothing to do  with physical fighting or waging ‘holy wars’, supposedly for the spreading the Gospel, which dominated so much of Medieval Christendom, booth in the East and the West, but it is about spiritual warfare against the demonic forces of evil, of which Paul the apostle speaks in Ephesians 6.

This reminds me of a very insightful observation made by Michael Green in his book Evangelism in the Early Church. He argues there that when Peter the apostle preached to the Jews, the recipients of the law of Moses, he spoke of sin as breach of God’s law and of salvation in terms of propitiation for their lawlessness. However, when Paul spoke to the Greeks, who had no law of God revealed to them (besides the testimony of God in nature and their own conscience, as Paul shows in the book of Romans), the apostle spoke of evil in terms of people being enslaved by fear of the primordial forces of evil, and he presented salvation in terms of liberation from under the oppression of these forces and the adoption of these Gentiles as daughters and sons of the God of love, who sacrificed his own son in order to liberate them and give them life in all its fulness, the resurrection of Christ being the guarantee of this promise, which was to be accepted by faith.

Because of their cultural resemblance, I find the Celtic view of Easter much closer to the way in which Paul preached to the Greeks. Same was true, I guess, about Viking culture. As a result, the Norsemen may have been victorious against the Scots and the Anglo-Saxons, but, in the end, they themselves were conquered spiritually by the Christus victor, the Dryhtnes, the hero, whose glorious victory we remember and celebrate these days.

So, I invite you to look at the cross with new eyes and to get enriched with this new perspective, which will give new meaning to your song ‘Christ is risen’.

Teofil Stanciu – Evanghelicii romani fata cu viitorul

Teo Stanciu a publicat recent pe situl revistei Convergente o analiza a situatiei evanghelicilor romani in acest moment, in fata provocarilor viitorului. Ramine de vazut daca acest text va reusi sa lanseze o discutie in jurul acestei teme in spatiul evanghelic, ori va fi ignorat, asa cum s-a intimplat si cu altele de acest gen inaintea lui. Iata mai jos introducerea in acest articol:

Dacă în anii comunismului, cultele și comunitățile evanghelice erau orientate spre interior, cu minime legături cu societatea și probleme ei, deceniile ulterioare au fost caracterizate, în opinia mea, de un comportament preponderent reactiv față de problemele ivite, atât la nivel instituțional, cât și la nivelul poporului credincios al mișcării evanghelice – iar asta atunci când s-a coagulat cât de cât o reacție. Explicabil într-o anumită măsură, acest comportament înseamnă, în fapt, că o problemă nu există decât în momentul când afectează în mod direct și viața comunității. Iar în situațiile și mai deplorabile, anumite probleme devin reale abia atunci când se regăsesc în cercurile liderilor ecleziali (în familiile sau printre prietenii lor) fără a mai putea fi mascate. În rest, pot fi multă vreme ignorate.

Acest reflex reactiv mi se pare că este confirmat – fie și indirect – de câteva dintre dezbaterile importante din trecut pe fond ratate în bună măsură de către cultele evanghelice: despărțirea demnă de trecutul comunist; poziționarea ca reper moral public (oricât de mic, dar măcar consecvent) în societatea românească măcinată de tarele unui regim care a ucis zeci de mii de oameni, care a mutilat caractere și a distrus orice ierarhie de valori; migrația economică românească; integrarea europeană; ba chiar și recentul referendum pentru definiția familiei. Teme mari și grele, unde dezbaterea teologică serioasă și încercarea unor răspunsuri temeinice nu s-au făcut remarcate nici măcar în interiorul cultelor evanghelice – nu includ aici „răspunsuri” date preț de o predică, ce nu are cum trece drept demers teologic consistent.

Prinși în verva războiului cultural – foarte recent descoperit – cu diverse ideologii „stângiste”, război importat în mare parte cu temele, temerile și strategiile americane, evanghelicii amână cât pot mai mult soluționarea unor probleme tot mai prezente și tot mai complexe din imediata vecinătate. De asemenea, prezența (mai reală sau mai imaginată) pe frontul luptei pentru cauza creștină conferă o consolare morală pentru lipsa unor demersuri constructive, a reflecției teologice elaborate, profunde și complexe asupra realităților contemporane. Însă chiar și problemele conexe acestor ideologii necesită și o abordare pastorală, mult mai complicată decât poziționarea ideologică ușor de făcut și adesea lipsită de elementul uman și de orice urmă de compasiune.

Departe de a se limita la invazia ideologiilor progresiste (multe dintre ele îngrijorătoare și necesitând cu siguranță o poziționare), temele ce vor necesita un răspuns cât mai urgent – și, bine-ar fi, cât mai consistent – vin din mai multe direcții simultan: dinspre filosofie (unde e mare penurie de evanghelici angajați în dialogul cu lumea culturală), teologie, morală, ecleziologie, economie, politică, psihologie, știință, tehnologie, bioetică etc. Iar răspunsurile care vor conta va fi nevoie să iasă din sfera abordărilor actuale: predicoase, șablonarde, previzibile, de inspirație mai ales americană-populară/populistă, preluate cu minim efort de contextualizare.

Fără să fac o ierarhizare și o clasificare riguroasă, voi semnala câteva dintre problemele – de intensități și categorii foarte diferite – care cred că se vor prăvăli peste evanghelici cu o tot mai mare forță și reclamând tot mai acut niște soluții temeinice. Fără aceste soluții, sunt șanse mari ca evanghelicii din România să (re)cadă într-o irelevanță culpabilă și păguboasă, dar probabil meritată. Asta după ce s-au făcut remarcați, măcar mediatic, în ultimii ani în câteva rânduri. Nu am însă în vedere nici o utopică angajare generală a comunităților în astfel de demersuri teologice, ci pur și simplu interesul serios, consecvent al unor oameni – asumați de către „sistem” sau de mișcarea evanghelică – cât de cât competenți care ar vrea să și înțeleagă, nu doar să combată repede și să puncteze mediatic (cum se întâmplă în prezent) și ar încerca să elaboreze niște poziții teologice, temeinic ancorate în spiritul Scripturii, bine cumpănite sub raport intelectual și spiritual deopotrivă.

Cititi AICI restul articolului.

Richard Rohr – First Sunday of Advent – Darkness

Advent [meaning “coming”], to the Church Fathers, was the right naming of the season when light and life are fading. They urged the faithful to set aside four weeks to fast, give, and pray—all ways to strip down, to let the bared soul recall what it knows beneath its fear of the dark, to know what Jesus called “the one thing necessary”: that there is One who is the source of all life, One who comes to be with us and in us, even, especially, in darkness and death. One who brings a new beginning. —Gayle Boss [1]

I hope it isn’t difficult to understand why I’m beginning the Advent season reflecting on darkness. [2] I’m not trying to be a spoilsport, but once Thanksgiving is over, we in the United States are rushed headlong into the Christmas season. Yet Advent was once (and still can be) a time of waiting, a time of hoping without knowing, a time of emptying so that we can be filled by the divine Presence. Though you may be wrapping gifts, planning special meals, and spending time with family and friends, I hope you will also take time to allow the Advent darkness to do its work as well. 

Not knowing or uncertainty is a kind of darkness that many people find unbearable. Those who demand certitude out of life will insist on it even if it doesn’t fit the facts. Logic and truth have nothing to do with it. If you require certitude, you will surround yourself with your own conclusions and dismiss or ignore any evidence to the contrary.

The very meaning of faith stands in stark contrast to this mindset. We have to live in exquisite, terrible humility before reality. In this space, God gives us a spirit of questing, a desire for understanding. In some ways it is like learning to “see in the dark.” We can’t be certain of what’s in front of us, but with some time and patience, our eyes adjust, and we can make the next right move.

The Gospel doesn’t promise us complete clarity. If God wanted us to have irrefutable proof, the incarnation of Jesus would have been delayed until technology and science could confirm it.Scriptures do not offer rational certitude. They offer us something much better, an entirely different way of knowing: an intimate relationship, a dark journey, a path where we must discover for ourselves that grace, love, mercy, and forgiveness are absolutely necessary for survival in an uncertain world. You only need enough clarity to know how to live without certitude! Yes, we really are saved by faith. People who live in this way never stop growing, are not easily defeated, are wise and compassionate, and frankly, are fun to live with. They have a quiet and confident joy. Infantile religion insists on certainty every step of the way and thus is not very happy.

[1] Gayle Boss, All Creation Waits: The Advent Mystery of New Beginnings, illus. by David G. Klein (Paraclete Press: 2016), xi-xii.

[2] For those readers unfamiliar with the Christian liturgical calendar, Advent is the period of four Sundays before Christmas. It is intended to be a time of preparation, through prayer and reflection, on the coming of Christ at the Nativity (Christmas), in worship and community today, and at the end times.

Adapted from Richard Rohr with Mike Morrell, The Divine Dance: The Trinity and Your Transformation (Whitaker House: 2016), 100-101; and

Richard Rohr, The Naked Now: Learning to See as the Mystics See (The Crossroad Publishing Company: 2009), 120.

A Prayer for Rachel Held Evans

Rachel Held Evans

Almighty God,

we grieve the loss of Rachel and we pray for her family,
and so we remember before you today your faithful servant Rachel;

and we pray that, having opened to her the gates of eternal life,
you will receive her more and more into your joyful service,

that, with all who have faithfully served you in the past,
she may share in the eternal victory of Jesus Christ our Lord;

who lives and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God,
for ever and ever.

Amen.

BCP (edited by Scot McKnight)