Dear In Communion reader,
Christ is risen! May we never take these few words for granted and never grow too old not to be challenged by their implications in our own lives.
Who does the Church present to us as the first to be raised from their tombs? Adam and Eve, our most distant ancestors, the original troublemakers. If Adam and Eve are revealed to us as the first to be freed from death, then there is immense hope for each of us, hope not only to rejoice in Christ's mercy after we die, but to live in Christ's mercy – and become channels of that mercy here and now – in the time that is left to us before death.
Above: The icon of “Holy Wisdom” is the work of Fr. Andrew Tregubov and is placed in the Church of Holy Wisdom at New Skete Monastery in Cambridge, New York.
In this Paschal issue, we look at some aspects of living within the resurrection.
Recalling Dostoevsky's remark that "beauty will save the world," Fr. Isaac Skidmore looks closely at the words "wisdom" and "beauty." Think of the saints you have known, the people living the most Christ-revealing lives, and I am guessing you are amazed by their fearlessness, their wisdom, and their ability to see beauty in places and faces others failed to notice. Lavanne Humphries shares some of her experiences of working with prisoners, people who, in the Russian tradition, are very often referred to not as criminals but as "unfortunate ones." The women Lavenne Humphries has come to know and care about, in whom she finds the beauty of God's image, are people whom few of us attempt to meet or know by name. Tom and Judith Snowdon write from Cairo, were they have been living through a time of a tumultuous transition that is still far from complete but where huge crowds, including many Copts, have risked their lives in a nonviolent challenge to a dictatorship infamous for its use of violence and torture. And then there is the remarkable story that I relate of Louise and Nathon Degrafinried and their "Paschal hospitality" to an escaped prisoner convicted of murder and armed with a shotgun.
These are a subjects of significance for all Orthodox Christians, though it is rare to hear about them in other Orthodox journals.
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In Christ's peace,
Jim Forest, OPF co-secretary
❖ IN COMMUNION / Pascha/ Spring 2011/ Issue 60