From the Pastor

Why Go To Church?

In Matthew 18:19-20 we read: “Again, truly I tell you, if two of you agree on earth about anything you ask, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them. Powerful words that tell us profound things happen when we are in Church united in prayer. We “pray for ourselves and our families but we also pray for one another, the person who is next to us, the person who is ill, for our friends.”
This verse of our Lord, tells us that heaven waits for earth to move. For without a movement from earth, it is not heaven that binds first, but the earth, from you and from me praying. So God waits on His people to pray before He will act!
Our Lord told His disciples, “Ask, Seek, Knock” and heaven would answer for we who gather in prayer in Church, have been given the power to “Ask, Seek and Knock” and God promises to act. Otherwise, we obstruct the power of God. If we do not gather to worship in common with our fellow Orthodox Christians, then heaven will remain silent. This means we are the ones who have failed on earth and in the Church to pray. The purpose of our gathering in prayer is to “Ask” God, “Seek” His guidance, “Knock” persistently for heaven to open and for God’s blessings to come upon us.
The whole point of our being baptized as Orthodox Christians is precisely to gather in prayer in the House of God and to pray. To pray that God’s will in heaven is released in our lives and on the earth. True prayer begins from God, and He makes it known in the hearts and souls of His creation, His people who are in His image. We in turn pray back to God and God answers. It is the principle of God’s working in the universe. St. Paul verifies this with these words: “…the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. And God, who searches the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.” (Romans 8:26-27) With our prayer we put into practice, what we offer in the Lord’s Prayer. “Your kingdom come, Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10) God shows us what He wants of us; we stand and ask in the Liturgy; God acts from heaven: this is prayer and this is what we experience when we gather in our Church on Sunday at Liturgy.
The Church and her faithful are heaven’s outlet. It is through our participation each Sunday in worship, that the Church becomes a channel for God to act through us, because we have gathered in His House. Thus the Church is the medium of accomplishment of God’s purpose for His Church and in our lives, and for the earth. People united in prayer are a powerful force on earth.
“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up the other; but woe to one who is alone and falls and does not have another to help…..a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12) St. Paul and St. Silas chained together in a prison cell experienced the power of two praying in agreement and were released from their bonds by an angel of the Lord. The Greek word for agree is symphonisis (SumfwvnhsiV) which means to be in harmony or agreement and it comes from the word, for sound, speak or voice, phoneo (Fwnevw).The unity and agreement among believers is the key to God’s kingdom, power and glory being released in the church.
Without you in Church, our prayer is deficient; with you it is powerful and dynamic!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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