Orthodox sermon on faith

Embrace God wholeheartedly

November 09, 2020

priest valery zakharov

When the Pharisees met Christ, one of them asked, "Who is He?" "Son of Joseph," replied another. We like to believe that we know it all. We like to be confident and unshaken in our decisions and to be convincing to ourselves and others. But most of us are still too far from living in the spirit, even though we do accept into ourselves our Lord, the Creator of the world, both physical and spiritual.

As we know from the Scripture, "knowledge puffs up while love builds up". We should not see the Scripture simply as a chronology of historical events connected to the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ, but rather as a message for the here and now. Surely, the worries of this life are keeping us from understanding the deep meaning of God's mysteries. It is as if we are sailing in an ocean. Our time is short, and the ocean is large and deep. Its boundless expanse challenges our imagination. Brave explorers, people like the Frenchman Jean-Yves Cousteau are diving deep into its depths to find out the mysteries that it is hiding. This takes him a lot of time, effort, and money. He is working very hard. Unlike him, we do not have to travel far or to go to such great lengths to find the ultimate treasure - the wisdom of our Lord. We just need to concentrate and be prepared to accept the word of God, and His wisdom will be revealed.

The Scripture tells us that we may be building our house on sand, and if so, it will be blown away by the wind or washed away by the waters. In the old times, houses used to be built on large rocks, one under every corner, and they stood for many years. Our relationship with God should rest on the solid rock of faith, not just on our knowledge of Him, however odd this might sound today. One may read a lot of good books filled with great wisdom, but there are still examples of people who renounce Christ after many years of teaching His word to others. Knowledge is not the way, but only a tool. We need to embrace God unquestioningly, put all our trust in Him, open up our hearts, and accept Him as a real person, as our partner in conversation, as Someone who loves and will never abandon or forget about us, and will always be by our side. We should seek to embrace God in our lives by accepting him artlessly and wholeheartedly like infants.

How can we do it? How can we be infants at heart, but not in our thinking? How can we learn to trust God in our relationship with Him? How can we open up our hearts to Him? Finding the answers is difficult, but it is the only way to let God live in us. Knowledge helps, but it will not suffice for a relationship with the Lord. It takes the right attitude of the heart and the mind, which are visible to the Lord alone. So let us thank the Lord again for letting us partake in His sacraments.

O, Lord! Glory to You! O, Lord! Glory to You! O, Lord! Glory to You!

Priest Valery Zakharov

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