We celebrate the anniversary of the baptism of Rus in the setting of acute political tension, when many people are primarily interested in how to use this event in their current interests, or how to prevent its use to the enemy. But the Baptism is before the current political conflicts acquires its true scale. The scale is so small that it seems amazing the blindness of people who dedicate their lives to the struggle for such a small purpose.
- The baptism of Russia: historical facts
- The baptism of Rus in 988 and the state Rus
- The baptism of Russia, scientific view
- Prince Vladimir and the Baptism of Rus’: the blade of the grace of Christ
- The baptism of Rus was a beast, and man became a
The Church rooted in eternity. She knows this world and his passion is something temporary, transitory. But Baptism belongs to the Eternal Kingdom that cannot be destroyed.
The history of human communities, countries or even civilizations – usually elevated to a particular key event. The bloody battle or the relocation of people to new lands. The reign of a dynasty or solemn Declaration such as the Declaration of independence, for example. Participants and creators of this event are the people’s leaders, generals, politicians, distinguished statesmen.
At the origins of our, Eastern Slavic civilization is an event that is so much more than just a historical or cultural twist. Our civilization begins not with war, not with the settlement of new lands, not with the formation of a political Union – it starts with gaining a true belief. This Christian faith is adopted from the Eastern Roman Empire, builds from a loose conglomerate of Slavic, Finno-Ugric and partly Scandinavian tribal elements one, new people, people that Kyiv Metropolitan Hilarion in his “word on Law and Grace”, like all his contemporaries, calls Russian.
It is pointless to try to divide our common ancestors of the tenth century to the current, very recent national borders, the contemporaries of the Holy Prince Vladimir was not “Russians” or “Ukrainians” or “Belarusian” in the modern sense of the word, but the common ancestors of all three Nations.
We can to distract ourselves from the current political tension, look at the example of another civilization – the English-speaking world. The British, Americans, Canadians, Australians – different Nations with different national identity and how Americans see themselves, a major role is played by the war with Britain for independence, in which America emerged as the state. But all the divisions and conflicts of history do not change anything in the fact that the roots of America as a civilization are in England, and without the Magna Carta there would be no Declaration of independence.
Historical and cultural unity of the world that speaks English, who shared his deeper conflicts. We can also recall the Greek world divided into conflicting policies, we can recall the Peloponnesian war, divided the world into allies of Athens and Sparta but despite all the conflicts, the Greeks remained Greeks.
However, the Baptism of Russia is not simply marked the beginning of the formation of the East Slavic cultural community. He, of course, there are cultural and historical dimension – but it pales into insignificance compared to the main. The Attainment Of Truth. As he wrote to Metropolitan Hilarion, “Grace and Truth the whole earth is filled, and faith to all the Nations spread, and to our Russian people reached.”
Faith gives a totally different view of history and our place in it. Faith allows us to rise above time. Us no longer carries the flow of current events, we stand on a cliff and overlooked the stream of time from the top.
For more than a thousand years have passed since the baptism of Rus, there have been many events. The Eastern Roman Empire – and it was one of the most durable States in History – ceased to exist, in the East Slavic lands formed a unique civilization that has embraced its cultural and theological legacy, varied borders, a huge army was moving from West to East and from East to West, powers have come and gone, a mighty Empire stretched out his power on the entire continent – and fell into decay.
Seething political passions, people killed and died for what they believed was important, gave speeches, wrote treatises – all of this in our days is of interest only to specialists and historians. Different ideological phantasms possessed the minds of the people – and then left, leaving behind serious devastation.
A violent wave washed over the rock of faith – and sometimes, it seemed, was completely covered it. But then they retreated. And it appeared that the Church of God is standing in preaching the word of God through Liturgy and leading people to eternal salvation.
Because the Church is a supernatural reality, which is present in the world, the reality that this world is nothing you can do. This is the promise of Christ “I will build My Church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matt.16:18)
The Church wanders in this world for a long, long time, and sees events in a different perspective – within the framework of God’s plan of salvation.
It is God, ultimately, is the Author of history, He holds in His hands the fate of Nations and the fate of individual people. It was His Kingdom will stand when the river of time will carry all States and the Russian Federation, and Ukraine, America, and all the rest.
And the Church always, and especially these days, when we commemorate the Baptism of Rus – calling people to turn to this supernatural reality, and find true identity in relationship with God and His saints. As the Apostle said, “the world is passing away and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever” (1 John 2:17)