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.

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Monthly Bulletin
Monthly Message
November 30, 2017 -
Christmas celebrates the moment in history when God acted in a particular and unique fashion. He decided to show His love by coming on earth as a human being, and revealing to the world what true humanity is all about. He incarnated divine agape love so that the world could better understand what true love means. And not only did he show the world what true humanity is, He offered His Spirit to live and dwell within us to help us. Christ came to renew that likeness of God within us which we had lost long ago!

 

Recent Sermons
December 10, 2017 -
The secular Christmas Spirit and the religious Christmas Spirit. Two different ways of approaching Christmas, and yet maybe both have something to help us prepare for this great feast of the Church.

 

November 20, 2017 -
Fr Luke asked me to speak about “What God and the Church mean to me and why I give back to the Church.” We know WHY we are here – we come to encounter God, to pray, to ask forgiveness, to seek spiritual guidance and inspiration, and for so many other things. But do we know WHAT we are supposed to do as followers of Jesus Christ?

 

Our Orthodox Faith
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The Life and Death of Lynette Hoppe
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