The Whole Creation has been Groaning – Father Ola

A reading from Romans 8.

“We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labour pains until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption, the redemption of our bodies. For in hope we were saved.

Now, hope that is seen is not hope, for who hopes for what is seen? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience. Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness, for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.”

It’s a bit late here in Sweden, so I’m going to keep it quite short. I’d like to tell a story a bishop once told me.

There was a man who was severely ill and he knocked on the doors of heaven and God came to the door and he said, ‘who is it’? And the man said, ‘it’s me, a sinner. God said, ‘no, you’re not ready yet’. Come back some other time. And years went by and he knocked on the door again and God came to the door and he looked out and he said, ‘who is it’? just me the man said ‘no, you’re not you’re not ready yet. Come back’. Then, many years went by and the man knocked on the doors of heaven one last time and God came to the door and looked out and said, ‘who is it?’, and the man said, ‘it’s you, God. It’s you’, and God opened the door and let him in.

This is a story about the spirit, or the spiritual life, or more precisely, it’s about what the Orthodox call ‘theosis’ – the process of transformation of the soul into the likeness of God. It’s a divinization of a person into the likeness of God.

Some people say that the day of Pentecost today is the day when you celebrate the birth of the Church. I think you could certainly do that, but you can also say that we should celebrate the rebirth of the world through the Spirit or the release of the Spirit. We celebrate the beginning of the process of divinization of the world and us living in it. I think that is a beautiful thing about today,

First broadcast on on May 19th, 202
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