Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Justinian, Christian Ruler and Confessor of Christ

Commemoration of Emperor Justinian, Christian Ruler and Confessor of Christ
November 14, 2012

The Lord be with you

Justinian's Empire - 555 AD
The Commemoration of Emperor Justinian, Christian Ruler and Confessor of Christ, is another commemoration that we have adopted from the Eastern Orthodox calendar. Justinian (ca. 483-565) was the emperor of the Byzantine Empire from 527-565. The Byzantine Empire was basically the Eastern portion of the Roman Empire. The Roman Empire was in decline when he came to the throne. With his beautiful and capable wife, Theodora, he restored splendor and majesty to the Byzantine court. His military took back huge portions of the old Empire. He established a new legal code and our word “justice” comes from his name. He was involved in massive building programs which included aqueducts and bridges, monasteries, orphanages, hostels, and Hagia Sophia (which still stands in Istanbul). In general, during his reign, the empire experienced a renaissance, due in large part to his ambition, intelligence, and strong religious convictions.
Justinian also attempted to bring unity to a divided Church. He was a champion of orthodox Christianity and sought agreement among the parties in the Christological controversies of the day as the groups disputed the relation between the divine and human natures in the person of Christ. The Fifth Ecumenical Council in Constantinople in 533 ad was held during his reign and addressed this dispute. Justinian died November 14, in his eighties, without having accomplished his desire to forge an empire that was firmly Christian and orthodox.

Collect for the Commemoration of Emperor Justinian, Christian Ruler and Confessor of Christ: Lord God, heavenly Father, through the governance of Christian leaders such as Emperor Justinian, Your name is freely confessed in our nation and throughout the world. Grant that we may continue to choose trustworthy leaders who serve You faithfully in our generation and make wise decisions that contribute to the general welfare of Your people, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.

Blessings in Christ,
Pastor John Rickert

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