Our world is in such turmoil! It does not matter from what perspective we may be viewing things, it is easy to see that a spirit of unsettledness, anxiety, and fear permeates the cultural, religious, and civil discourse of societies far and near. Most of us no doubt feel helpless in the face of this, overwhelmed with questions such as, "what can one person do?"
So it was for the Apostles and other disciples gathered in the the Upper Room trying to understand what it meant that the Lord had told them, "Remain in the city, until you are clothed with power from on high." They remained, they pondered, but above all, they prayed. They acknowledged their uncertainty and looked for clarity not in their own circumstances, but in the promises of God. And behold, God acted on their behalf! He did not leave them comfortless, but poured out his own Spirit upon them, dispelling the spirit of confusion, of fear, of hesitancy. They gained a new perspective, grounded not in limitation, but in power.
Is the Spirit of the Lord truly available throughout the world? Is the Same Spirit that filled the Apostles truly willing to fill me in my lowliness? Can God act with power in our time, as of old?
Orthodoxy answers with a resounding, "Yes - if you will have it be so!" If we will bewail our limitations and frailty, and cry out with faith for the Lord to make used of us as he will, then we might well be astonished at the results not only in our own lives, but in the world around us.
We constantly recall the lives of the Saints in order that we might know the real-life experience of those who have been empowered by the Spirit of the Lord: those who shed their blood in witness to the Name of Christ; those who worked signs and wonders in testimony of God's power; those who preached and taught by word and deed the loving-kindness of the Lord towards the whole world.
"O," exclaimed Moses, "that all the Lord's people were prophets!" God has made possible the fulfillment of this holy prayer: let us not neglect to entreat, welcome, and make use of his Gift!