Yandex Metrika
Sermon of Archpriest Andrey Lemeshonok on the Holy Transfiguration

Like the Light of the Sun, See the Light of God's Love

Archpriest Andrey Lemeshonok

Greetings on the Feast of the Holy Transfiguration!

The fruit of the earth grows under the sun, and we expect it to be delicious and good for the body. But the fruit of the spirit - love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, and self-control - is grown by our Lord in the bright light of His love. (Galatians 5:22, 23) As the Apostles saw this light, Peter observed: "Lord, it is good for us to be here." (Matthew 18: 4) We live so that our souls will grow and mature, and so that, as their attachment to the Lord grows, we can defeat death itself.

Our meeting with the Lord takes place in the Church. At Church, we learn to live in Him. Here, we rise above the earth and enter a new life of eternity. Man was created for life, not for death. Yet people have consciously chosen death by living separately from God. This human choice made paradise into a graveyard, and the earth, where all things once emitted a divine fragrance and gave glory to the Creator, transformed into a dark place where people hated, killed and cursed each other. This earth was soaked with blood, tears and sweat when Christ arrived to bring salvation to all people and defeat the worldly sorrows, temptations, trials and passions of the flesh. Christ came so that we could dedicate ourselves to God and make it the meaning of our lives. We do not just live to leave something behind for our successors to remember. We are here to defeat death and enter the Kingdom of Heaven during our lifetime on this finite earth. So the Lord blesses and sanctifies all things. He brings sanctity to human life from the cradle to the grave. We bring the fruit of our labours to the Church and pick up some blessed water. We do it all for one only reason - to oppose sin, so we would not live only to fill our stomachs with the pods the swine ate. (Luke 15:16) The Lord's sanctity should be our foundation, not sin.

Transfiguration is a joyful feast. The heat wave is over at last, as we all see. Clouds have covered the sun. We might regret not enjoying the hot days enough later on. But now we only want less heat and cooler weather. All things in our world are subject to change. Today, it is clear and sunny, and tomorrow it might rain. Change never stops. But we have found God. We have come to the Church and experienced genuine life in God. It is a gift that we will never leave behind, but keep close to our hearts so that our every day would be sanctified by prayer, humility, and kindness. The Lord does not ask us to do anything we cannot do. He speaks to us simply, so we would care to hear his word: Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. (Matthew - 28:30) But the enemy keeps stopping us. It has planted so much confusion and darkness into our hearts and minds, that some are ready to abandon the struggle and say: This is too much, I cannot take it any more. I quit!" But it only happens to those who are too idle to contemplate, look for and love God genuinely.

You see, it is possible to read a dozen Akathists without saying one word to God. One can keep walking around mumbling something that is supposed to sound like Jesus' prayer... Or one can shift their perspective on life. We can all begin by learning to be thankful and joyful. Where there is no joy, there is no life; where there is no peace within, delusions, divisions and hate will persist. By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another, teaches the Lord. (John 13: 35) So let love live in your hearts. We should all be reaching for it, while we are still here on this finite earth.

May God save and protect us all!

Preached on 19.08.2019

August 18, 2023
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