OF THE ARTICLE HERE http://www.orthodoxlife.info/content/view/3028/74/
|How to Discern the Signs of the Times|
|The Lord said: "You know how to discern the face of the sky, but you, hypocrites, cannot discern the signs of the times" (Matthew 16:2-4).|
We are not pessimists, and we are not prophets of doom and gloom. However, we are also not prophets of cheerfulness and positive-thinking. Our Lord instructed us to discern the "signs of the times". Thus, it is always our task to be "critical" of modern society. We can not be members of a large group or movement, or any fad or mob. The only ultimate allegiance we have, obviously, is the Body of Christ. That allegiance alone determines our philosophy, our outlook and our ethic.
It is important to say this outright, because in this moment, we are thinking especially about "our home churches" - our families. Our task is to prepare them for the Orthodox way of life in this Diocese, and in the Holy Orthodox Church. Our task is not identify with our children, for example, or to join their associations. We are not about to become young again or to imitate our children.
Our Lord, through the great unified voice of Holy Tradition, commands us differently. Instead of us imitating our children and youth, we are to teach them and lead them, to love them and sacrifice ourselves on their behalf- so that these young people may imitate us as we follow Christ.
St. Apostle Paul wrote this about who should imitate whom in his First Epistle to the Corinthians: "I became your father in Christ Jesus through the Gospel. I urge you, then, be imitators of me"(4:15-16). And then later on, in the same Epistle, he repeated this principle: "Imitate me, just as 1 also imitate Christ"(11:1).