Our human life is made of a multitude of cycles and seasons placed over each other. Our daily rhythm intersects with weekly work, monthly patterns, yearly opportunities to reflect. Holidays and birthdays come at different times of the year and provide a familiarity as we mark the passage of time.
And into this world the Lord comes. The Lord blesses our cycles and rhythms and uses them. Because a feast is not to say that a certain day is “religious” but all others are “secular:” a feast shows how all time has become sacred. As a birthday should not be the only time we show our love towards a person and then ignore them on all other days, so the feasts of the Church mark not only our encounter with the living God on that day but every day. On the other hand, a birthday celebrated every day would soon lose its significance, its specialness, so too we mark these encounters on certain days and in certain seasons.
On 21st November every year we mark such a feast, a Great Feast of the Church. A girl of about three years of age was brought to live in the Temple of God in Jerusalem. This Temple no longer housed the Ark of the Covenant—which carried the stone tablets of the Ten Commandments, Aaron’s rod and a pot of manna—but by the girl’s entry the living Ark came back into the Temple, she who would bear not the stone tablets with the words written by God’s own finger, rather she would bear the Word of God himself, Jesus Christ. The Most-blessed Theotokos, whose womb became more spacious than the heavens since the heavens cannot contain God yet her womb did, progresses on her journey to meet the Archangel.
And we, you and I, are invited to participate in that mystery. You and I are offered the opportunity for the Word of God, Jesus Christ, to enter within us. You and I are granted the possibility to receive God.
Accept his invitation, accept his Church, accept him.
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, One God, Amen.
Many in our world, even those who call themselves Christian, try to see a difference between the Old and the New Testament. They see the God of the Old as a vengeful god, a jealous god, a violent god, whereas Christ comes preaching a loving God. Such people, my dear brothers and sisters, are wrong: they are preaching an ancient heresy called Marcionism which has been rightly condemned by the Church. As the Psalmist tells us,Read last Sunday’s sermon, Maximal Christianity.
Archive of Past Sermons.
Services this week
Friday 19th November
Discussion on the book of Genesis, 8 pm
Saturday 20th November
Vespers, 6.30 pm
At St Francis’ Hall, Eastleigh
Sunday 21st November
Divine Liturgy, 9.30 am
At St Francis’ Hall, Eastleigh
Online session is via Google Meet: please get in contact for the details.
Please join us: all are welcome, come and see.
We will be meeting at St Francis’ Hall, Nightingale Avenue, Eastleigh, SO50 9JA. We ask you to wear a mask unless exempt. Come and See.
Can I help you?
I am here for you, you need only ask. Is there a way I can support your life of faith? Get in touch.
Can you help the mission?
Yes, absolutely. Offer yourselves to the Lord: pray! Make available to him all your talents and ask him how he would like you to use them — listen for his reply.
With love in Christ