From the Pastor

Suppose it was that suddenly, without any warning or previous announcement, an angel came to our home. Can you imagine the astonishment to receive in our home someone who dwells in God’s Presence and now is in our living room?

 

He would probably ask about our spiritual life, and how we strive to live a life in Christ. For certain, God invites us each Sunday to “Come forth, with the awe of God, with faith and love” to receive His Son in Holy Communion.  For sure, God invites us to have a relationship with Him through prayer and trust and hope. This intimate connection and communion with God is at His invitation. I wonder whether the angel would be easily satisfied at the casual attitude many of us show with the practice of our faith, as many of us practice it.

 

Again, what if the angel asked us about our knowledge of our faith, could we recite the Creed of Faith, could we tell who is part of the Holy Trinity; how many sacraments we have and what they are. Do we know the names of any of the Apostles, would we recognize the names Matthew, Mark, John, Paul, Peter? The angel might conclude that our Orthodox Christian faith is either misunderstood or at best we pick and choose whatever doctrine and teaching we want. The angel might even wonder whether we have an acquaintance with God at all.

 

What if, as the angel decides to walk around our home or apartment, would they see an icon, and where?  Would they spot the Bible in a bookcase or on the coffee table or on our nightstand? What if said angel, asked what we believe about Jesus Christ, is He the Son of God and how much trust do we have in God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. What would we answer if the angel then asked, “How do you live your Orthodox Faith?” “What do you do?”

 

The angel might conclude that there is a contradiction to what we profess and what we think and what we are in reality. The bold claims we are children of God, and we believe in the Risen Lord, and we will someday be in heaven, we have the Holy Spirit in our heart and we are members of the Body of Christ, a new creation. Some or all of the above would in some cases, maybe our own, be contradicted by our behavior, our attitude and absence from Sunday worship or even private prayer, our ignoring the simplicity of our faith.

The angel would ask us to sit down and tell us, softly and not with strong words that we cannot conceal or hide the sharp spiritual contradiction that exists between our hearts, our beliefs and our lifestyle.

 

Certainly, the angel would point out the appalling state in which we find ourselves as persons made in the image of God, and how tragic it is that we would allow ourselves to play with our faith and trifle with our own soul and our future destiny.

Ending the visit the angel would want us to learn that the meaning of faith is in the mind for theological knowledge is knowledge about God-Theos-knowledge. Yet, we must look for meaning not only intellectually, but also in the heart. For theology and the heart have the same relationship to our spiritual need, as food has to the physical body. It is the person and presence of God in our heart that quenches the desire for fulfillment and satisfaction. Faith leads us to God, only if we are willing to follow the path set forth. Otherwise, it becomes a substitute for God and nothing more.


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