Stay united in Christ in a divisive world

The love of Christ is keeping us together

April 19, 2021

orthodox sermon about love

Congratulations to everyone on receiving the Blood and Body of Christ. The miracle of God is still alive. We still celebrate the Last Supper, the Feast of Love, in a world that lives by the laws of sin. In His Spirit, we become one. In Christ, we come together. Christ calls us, He loves us, in Him, we find salvation. But the world is working hard to bring us apart. It divides and rules over us by keeping our minds fixed on what is mine and what is yours, on bargaining and making deals. The market is everywhere... But not at Church. At Church, we accept the Body and Blood of Christ for the healing of our spirits and bodies and unto everlasting life. We live by a different law.

Things that happen in the world are not of God. They are the products of our passions. Wild and raging passions are driving people’s actions. Why? Because people do not know where their homeland is, what the foundation of their lives should be, or what they are living for. They do not have an aim for their lives. To fill the void within them, they are craving for an adrenalin rush. They are looking for a fight. They do not care about the cause or the enemy.

The world can go on making laws and inventing rules. It is a game without an end. All the rules and laws will eventually become obsolete, and new ones will need to come in their place... But who would need any laws if we just listened to our Lord? He said, “Love one another.” (John 13: 34), and also “I desire mercy, not sacrifice… “(Matthew 9: 13). What beautiful words! He said “mercy”, and it means a lot to us. We must learn to be merciful, kind-hearted and charitable to our neighbours. Living on this earth is hard. The earth is not made for eternal life, but there is an immortal spirit that dwells in us. The earth is too small for it; our spirit is struggling for space. It is trying hard to find some nourishment, something to keep it occupied, but there is no joy in these attempts. We cannot build the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. The Kingdom is within us, in our hearts.

This earth is corrupted with sin to its very core. That we are still celebrating the Divine liturgy here is truly a miracle. The world will do a lot to destroy it. We do not know what its next steps will be, but we can be sure of one thing: the Lord will be with us always, even unto the end of the world…” (Matthew 28: 20).

God’s power is manifest in our weakness, and we should be thankful to Him for it. Let us thank Him that the Holy Church is still standing, despite all the twists and turns of human history. Let us be thankful that it is the same Church that it was two thousand years ago. Let us rejoice that we are still celebrating liturgy, just like Christ celebrated His Last meal with His disciples. Who are His disciples now? Who are His apostles of today? You! There is no Judas among us, we are all His warriors, His heroes. We will not give up without a fight, we will fight for Christ to the last drop of our blood. And our battlefield is right here. Let us stand up to our sinful selves, reject our selfishness, challenge our passions and dedicate ourselves to the service of others.

What does this world have in store for us? More epidemics, viruses, a new scuffle or a fresh rat race? People are ready for anything right now. Someone whose only value in life is to live comfortably will almost certainly say: "Why do I need God? Where is this Heaven? I want everything here and now; give me an easy life..." They want it nice and sweet... But here at Church, we are holding lent. Surprise, surprise!

In their worldly lives, people are mentally prepared to follow anyone anywhere. God alone is keeping us in place. His love is holding us together. We all partook of this love today by taking Holy Communion. Let us try to keep it in our hearts.

Archpriest Andrey Lemeshonok

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