What has become of our Christian faith? Today, it appears more like a tradition or a set of narratives. But few seem to worry. Who cares if God has one nature or two when tolerance and pluralism are ruling the day?
The feast day of the Prophet Elijah celebrated by our Church on 2 August is a sobering event that brings us back to our senses. The Church venerates him in great glory as a zealous servant of God, a censurer of evil, and an advocate of true faith. In our times, few will have the courage even to speak of their faith. Even fewer people would say that they would die for Christ.
So where has our zeal for God gone? We still see our lives revolve around Christ. We still cannot imagine our world without Him. Why have we lost the ardour?
Perhaps we have become complacent or too lazy. We allow ourselves too many excuses when we break the fast, do not pray before going to sleep, or skipping the worship service.
So we all need the example of the Prophet Elijah, who took upon himself the mission and responsibility to keep the faith in Israel. God visited him - not as thunder or grace, but as a quiet breath of air. "Give blood, take in the spirit". This phrase remains as relevant as ever, and the example of the Prophet Elijah is its excellent illustration.
I urge you to find ways to serve God according to your ability. Do not spare yourself excessively, but also take care not to overstrain yourself. Seek His will and His blessing, which alone can give you the strength to perform your service. Without them, even our best intentions will fail. Find the golden middle. We must all do it to live our life of service to God.
In his humility and self-stripping, God went to the Cross. He travelled to Jerusalem knowing that he would be derided and subjected to torment and flagellation. He did it out of love, conforming with his teaching, "Love God and your neighbour as yourself". Love is the ultimate thing; all else is the means for its pursuit. Prayer, fasting, repentance and the Holy Church are the means by which to nourish ourselves with God's love. They let us persist in following Christ to the end by His grace, despite the corruption of our spirit and the distortion of our nature by sin.
We ought to work towards becoming rich in the Lord. We should reflect, weigh our every action and check if it conforms to God's will. We must ask ourselves, "Where am I going to gain and lose? What is good and bad in it for me?"