“Save and sanctify all who know
You as God”
I will try to say a few words to analyse this
sublime line taken from the hymn for this
great day of Pentecost.
In Cyprus, the suffering island, where
Greek Orthodox identity is more purely, fully
and faithfully upheld, they call this day ‘the
day of the flood’. Which means that the heavens
and God Himself flooded the world – not
with threatening waters, as when the world
was destroyed in the time of Noah. Instead,
He has flooded the world with endless gifts,
which the life-giving death of our Lord Jesus
Christ, the Word of God Incarnate, has
opened up for all of us on earth.
That is why this is a great and irrepeatable
day. Within it, the whole mystery of the divine
Economy reaches its pinnacle. God became
flesh for this day. Christ was sacrificed
for us to reach this day, to reconcile us with
God the Father, to wash us of our sins.
who among us does not have sins? Not only
the original sin! This is the least of our concerns
today, unfortunately. It was a great sin,
but we are washed of it in our Baptism.
Each of us has their own sins: sins of the
day and sins of the night, our immeasurable
sins. I with mine, and you with yours.
However, we are cleansed of these sins by the
death of the God-Man, the Theanthropos. It
is the precious and holy Blood of the Lord
which cleanses us of our sins, and washes us
in the font of regeneration. It offers rebirth.
And after all this, the springs of the Holy
Spirit gush forth today.
Following the Ascension, God sends the
Holy Spirit to guide us unto all truth, and
only in so doing is the knowledge of God
made complete. We worship God the Father;
we have come to know God the Son as a man;
today we shall meet the Holy Spirit poured
out, proceeding, being distributed but not divided,
in the form of tongues of fire.
After all was finished, we can say that we
have now come to the knowledge of the true
God. We no longer believe in idols. We no
longer believe in ourselves. We believe in God.
Not an imaginary god, but God in Trinity.
We are, then, “those who know God”. We
have come to the awareness of truth. We have
seen the true light, we have received the
heavenly Spirit. Precisely what we chant at
However, more is needed. When we know
God, and when we confess the true God
while knowing the truth, we still need the
forgiveness, pardon, benevolence and mercy
that come from above. This is why we chant
“Save and sanctify all who know You as
God”. It is not enough for us to be saved.
It is not enough for Him to take us from the left
where the goats are, and deliver us to the
right where the sheep are. It is not enough for
Him to make us righteous after we were sinners.
It is not enough for Him to turn us, out
of children of wrath, into children of light
and obedience and adoption and love. Justification
is not enough for us. We want sanctification.
This is why the cry of the Church
reaches sky-high; we heard it in the hymn we
chanted this morning: “Save and sanctify all
who know You as God”. Not just a few people,
or even many people – but all!
This is the prayer of the Church. This is
the wish of the Church today. This is the supplication
of the Church today. This is the
proclamation of the Church today. That no
one is condemned forever to death and
decay. Because to those who were sitting in
darkness and the shadow of death, light has
shone in Christ. Now there is light, life, salvation
and sanctification. But if even one person
remains outside the kingdom of God, we will
have sorrow. If only one loses salvation, humanity
will mourn. Because He created all
people out of nothing; all creation is His. For
this reason, the flood of the Holy Spirit today
will cleanse, enlighten, save and sanctify. Let
us honour this great day with repentance,
with edification, with doxology towards the
By Archbishop Stylianos of Australia