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
November 01, 2017 -
Gratitude can be lived as a discipline. The discipline of gratitude is the explicit effort to acknowledge that all I am and have is given to me as a gift of love, a gift to be celebrated with joy.” What a profound idea to think of “gratitude” as a discipline, instead of simply as a fleeting emotion that depends on our circumstances.

 

Recent Sermons
October 29, 2017 -
Interruptions can be quite inconvenient and annoying, and yet, Jesus offers an important lesson on dealing with interruptions.

 

October 22, 2017 -
“What is your name and who are you?” Let us all admit that our names also may also be “legion,” but with God’s help, we all can discover the special name He gave each of us at our creation. And this holy name is written in the Book of Life, awaiting us to claim it!

 

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