Yandex Metrika
Sermon of Archpriest Andrey Lemeshonok on the Feast of Pascha

40 Days of Paschal Joy

What can I tell you? We’ll live another year. We often talk about the end of this world. When will it end? When love runs out. When there’s no love, life becomes meaningless. But as long as people are still queuing up for love, you and I have a chance to live well.

Life has its ups and downs — all kinds of things, frankly speaking. But maybe we shouldn’t dwell on them too much. When we focus too much on ourselves and structure everything around our own needs, we don’t succeed. But everything works out for the best when we place it all in God’s hands.

Some people, no matter what happens to them, turn it all into something good; everything works to their benefit. And then there are those who still feel unhappy even when good things happen.

So, we really should start improving ourselves by becoming more optimistic and thanking God for what we have today, especially for having God Himself on our side. ‘Understand ye nations and submit yourselves, for God is with us!’ Billions of people don’t know God, billions. But you and I have the honour of being Orthodox Christians. This title is above all others. And we must keep it, cherish it, treasure it.

Today, of course, marks a new chapter in our church life. The Lenten services are over, and the Easter period begins. And I’ll be honest with you, it’s much more difficult. You might have a part of your body that aches, you might be very tired, and you might have problems weighing you down. How can we find Easter joy, cheerfulness, life-affirming spirit? Yet, we must learn. In any situation, this week is special because it is Paschal week. The Royal Doors will stay open. It means we are all at the altar; there is no barrier between God and man. Everything is open, and the fullness of love is accessible. Come and eat, come and see, come and hear everything that’s happening in the church, and partake in this great joy.

Of course, staying joyful is not an easy task for us. Moreover, it’s not just for a week, but for 40 days after Easter, or 39 days to be exact, with the fortieth day being the Ascension. For 39 days, we need to thank God and rejoice. Can you imagine the marathon of joy we have ahead of us? So, let’s agree, at least among us here in the church... There were many more people earlier, but some have already gone home while you and I are still here... I want to make this “pact” because I am prone to despondency. It’s my weakness. Let’s agree that we will spend these 39 days thanking God, seeing the beauty of God, and seeing all the good things in our lives. Let’s ignore the bad things and turn a blind eye to anything negative. This is, of course, a super task. But with God, it is feasible. Let’s try to shame this world with its ruler. Let’s not get bogged down in squabbles and misunderstandings; instead, let’s focus on the main thing — we have Pascha. And that is why, in any situation, whether we wake up in the morning or go to bed, we say, “Christ is Risen!”

— Truly, He is risen!

This is indeed God’s army! And the battleground is here in our hearts, and here in our minds. And in our eyes, so that our eyes are bright and our thoughts are pure. Let’s follow through with our plan. You know, the Kingdom of Heaven is joy, eternal thanksgiving, eternal love for God. Let’s start with a kind of dress rehearsal today. We will probably live more than one year, so let’s rehearse so that for 39 days, we carry the joy of God in us. ‘My soul shall be joyful in my God.’

And now our choir, which has become noticeably smaller, with all the sisters that have gone to bed (you see, it’s not always the monastics who have the spirit). Anyway, let’s try to sing something inspiring.

Sermon on April 28, 2019

May 04, 2024
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McQueen

Nice message, and funny too. I had not thought about people choir getting tired and going to bed too!
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