Hades Cries Out
Satan: This is my world! I could not serve in heaven so I rule in hell. I could not serve with joy so I rule in misery. But I had my revenge. I corrupted God’s world, I corrupted his creatures. It was I who made Adam and Eve fall. I have their children, too, MILLIONS upon MILLIONS dead, dead and in darkness. They will suffer with me, trapped away from their God, alone, forever alone. Now my final victory is at hand. For my servant Judas has betrayed God made mortal unto death. As he dies on that cross his soul will come here under my rule.”
(Bang the door as we do at midnight in the Resurrection Service) Fr. Luke “Open, open up the doors and let them remain open forever, that the King of Glory may enter in!”
Satan: “Who is the King of Glory?”
Fr. Luke “The Lord, strong and mighty. The Lord mighty in battle. The Lord of hosts. He is the King of glory!”
Fr Luke: Lucifer, Satan, Hades or whatever other name you go by, Christ is Risen and you are no longer in control! Christ is Risen, and the world has changed! Christ is Risen and has ushered in a new reality where death no longer represents the fearful end of our lives. Hades, your reign of terror is over!
Satan: NOooAH, what is this? The mighty gates of hell have been shattered, where are my armies of demons? Why are the cells of my dungeous empty? Where have the human wretches gone. Their chains lie broken all around me. I should have known not to take the Son of the Virgin! Was this Jesus Divine, as well as human?
Fr. Luke: That’s right! You should have never accepted to take Jesus, the God-Man. When you deceived Judas to betray our Lord, you thought you won. When you fooled those hypocritical religious leaders to denounce and reject Christ, handing him over to the Roman authorities to crucify Him, you thought that was such a great idea. When you saw Jesus being tortured and suffering on the cross, you thought darkness had prevailed. How wrong you were! Look what happened. You do not have the last say!
Satan: NOOO, it cannot be so!! Death always has the last say! I brought death into this world, the one thing all men fear. Death is the end of all hopes and dreams. Everyone who trusted in God always eventually died, THAT WAS MY BOAST. Now see them rise, look, I see that disgusting thief is among them in paradise. But what is hell without death?
Fr Luke: Powerless. Death and you are powerless! You are powerless over not only the Good Shepherd but you are powerless over anyone who believes and follows our Lord Jesus Christ. You deceive so many people into thinking that you are all-powerful, that death is so terrifying. Ha! What foolishness! Christ is Risen and He has promised to be with us always. As long as we keep a humble spirit open to Him, He will never leave us alone in your power. Even in death, Christ has gone before us and opened up the gates of paradise to all the fallen. When we walk with our Lord Jesus in this life, we will walk with Him for all eternity.
Satan: But death is supposed to be the end!
Fr Luke: Look all around you in this holy church. You see the men and women on the walls, the holy saints who died and yet who are still alive in Christ. Their death was not the end. You don’t have dominion over them. The Apostle Paul proclaimed, “For me to live is Christ and to die is gain.” Imagine that. He wasn’t afraid of death because Christ is Risen!
Satan: Then I have no power left. When these loathsome creatures turn to Him, He will come and destroy my power afresh! But… I have always been the Great Deceiver, I still have my lying tongue. So I’ll trick them yet. Humans are so miserable, they LOVE their misery, they won’t believe this. I’ll build a society, a world that hides this awful blow. That hides the weakness of death.
Fr Luke: You have always been the Great Deceiver. Just as you deceived the people who turned against Jesus 2000 years ago, you continue to deceive many in our own generation. Too many in society today are lost in your deception and the distractions which fill our lives. Your alluring deceit leads people to despondency and despair. You fool so many people with seemingly reasonable doubts.
Satan: Yes, all I want is for people to be… reasonable. To rely just on their logic, nothing more. Afterall, how could Anyone rise from the dead?
Fr. Luke: This past month we had three faithful and beloved people die from our Church family – Marie and Del Monroe and Barbara Gianaris. Yet we do not mourn, as the Apostle Paul tells us, like people without hope. Christ is Risen and we have hope. These were people of God who believed and hoped in Him. They celebrated the Lord’s Resurrection. They believed that their death would not be the end. We hope they are alive now with our Lord.
This past month I have been working much on preparing for our Church’s 100th Anniversary Celebration. I’ve been looking through pictures of the founders of this church and the four generations of people who have built up this church and passed on the Good News of Christ’s Resurrection to us. Our forebearers believed. They also, are not dead. They are alive.
Satan, Christ is risen, and you are overthrown. Christ is risen, and your demons have failed. Christ is risen, and the angels rejoice. Christ is risen, and life is liberated. Christ is risen, and your power, your deception, your despair, your doubt no longer hold sway over us! (Satan departs)
As we celebrate Holy Pascha tonight, let us always remember that Satan and all evil and darkness never have power over us as long as we live in the light of the Resurrection. Satan tries to deceive us. He tries to lead us to despair. He tries to fill us with doubts. Yet, He can’t control us. We are free to choose.
Let us all choose to live in the Resurrection, to allow the Risen Christ to live in us and guide us into eternity
Christ is Risen
IN WHOM DO WE TRUST?
Our Orthodox Faith
Liturgy: The Meaning and Celebration of the Eucharist