Thursday, January 15, 2009
Why Go to Church - The Didascalia (Eth.) View
‘Admonish, then, O bishop, thy people, and bid them come to the church day and night, and never absent themselves from it, that the congregation therein be not diminished, for they are members of Christ. And we say this not concerning the priests alone, but concerning all the people, that each one may understand the word of the Lord. For our Lord saith, “But he that is not with me is mine adversary, and he that gathereth not with me scattereth.” Be not slothful, then, for ye are members of Christ; separate not yourselves from His Body and His Blood; nor choose the cares of this world before the commandments of God. Gather yourselves together in the church in the evening and in the morning; glorify God, and sing, and read the psalms of David, the sixty-second, and the hundred and fortieth as well. And especially on the Christian Sabbath which is (the day of) His holy resurrection, offer praise and thanksgiving and honour to God who created all things by His son Jesus Christ, whom He sent unto us; who was well pleased to suffer according to His will, and was buried in the earth, and rose again from the dead. But if ye come not to the church, what excuse, or what answer will ye make to God? For on this day, the Christian Sabbath we ought to hear the preaching of His holy resurrection, and remember His sufferings, and make remembrance of Him, and read the Scriptures of the prophets, and the gospel; and (celebrate) the eucharist, the sacrifice, and oblation, (our) spiritual food’ (ii. 59).