Life Over Death

It is the day of Resurrection, let us be radiant for the feast, and let us embrace one another. Let us call even those that hate us our brothers and sisters, and let us forgive all things in the Resurrection, thus crying out: Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and on those in the tombs bestowing life.

Christ’s resurrection is all about life over death, about light over darkness, about goodness over evil, about joy over sorrow, about new beginnings over dead ends. Jesus confronted all forms of darkness and evil – betrayal, denial, rejection, ridicule, persecution, torture, and even unjust and cruel death. He confronted each form of evil by not giving in to it; he didn’t allow the evil to lead Him to respond in an evil way. Instead, he responded to every form of evil with divine love.

Although Christ was unjustly arrested, tortured, and mocked while he was being brutally killed, He didn’t lower himself to his antagonists’ level and allow hatred and revenge fill his mind. Instead, He responded to evil with good, to hatred with love and mercy and grace. “Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing” He said to those who were killing him. To Peter who denied him three times, He gave the Apostle  a new chance by asking him three times, “Peter, do you love me?” He didn’t even call His legions of angels to come and save Him from death, instead he embraced death, and then overcame it, turning death itself into nothing more than a pathway into the Kingdom of Heaven.

Pascha, and Christ’s victory tonight is all about conquering Satan, sin and death with love. And He set an example and a path for all His followers to imitate. When we are confronted with evil, and tempted to return evil for evil, we remember Jesus praying for his persecutors with the words, “Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.”

Forgiveness is much harder, and greater, than hatred and revenge.

Christ shows that His divine love far exceeds any darkness or evil. No matter what others do to Him, he will not allow himself to be pulled down to their level. And that is our call as His followers. Don’t return evil for evil, overcome evil with goodness and love.

This is why we sing in the resurrectional hymn:

It is the day of Resurrection, let us be radiant for the feast, and let us embrace one another. Let us call even those that hate us our brothers and sisters, and let us forgive all things in the Resurrection, thus crying out Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and on those in the tombs bestowing life.

Monthly Bulletin
Monthly Message
June 30, 2017 -
“There are two Ways, one of Life and one of Death, and there is a great difference between the two Ways.”

 

Recent Sermons
July 17, 2017 -
This idea of God’s superheroes, the saints, are what I want to focus on today. I’m going to use, however, the beautiful new 10-foot icon we just hung on the wall of our Church

 

July 09, 2017 -
Over the past decades the medical world has helped us understand addictions as an illness or disease that must be treated, rather than a moral failure that must be judged. Just as one wouldn’t condemn a person with diabetes, or cancer, or some other physical illness, the medical field has studied and researched substance use disorder, concluding that addictions affect and even change the brain chemistry and body make-up of an individual, and thus, need to be understood and treated in a holistic way.

 

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One of the best-known prayers of the Orthodox Church speaks of the spirit of God being "present in all places and filling all things." This profound affirmation is basic to Orthodoxy's understanding of God and His relationship to the world. Learn more»

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