At the Feast of the Theotokos


By Father Andrew Lemeshonok

I would like to congratulate all of you with the feast day of our church in honor of the Reigning icon of the Mother of God! The Mother of God takes a scepter in her arms, which is exactly what a queen is supposed to do. The earthly kingdoms fall, and She offers us to come to the Kingdom which Her Son has told us about: “My kingdom is not of this world” (John, 18:36). No matter how good and fair are the laws of the earthly kingdoms, they are still imperfect, and this is why these kingdoms are temporary. And we all hope that we will manage to enter the Kingdom, which is not based on fair or unfair laws, but on love. Blessed Augustine talks about this love: “Love God, and do whatever you want”.

However, we really need laws, for we are used to this temporary kingdom. We are used to be pushed, watched and guarded… We need to feel this human fear, without which we just cannot live in this world. However, "perfect love casteth out fear” (1 John, 4:18). And we all did not come to church in order to set up our life in this temporary world, but to prevail over it and to enter a new world. The world, where the King becomes a servant; where He is not surrounded  by an entourage of his subjects and warriors, but instead with love and grace. Who will discover this path of love, the path of service? We see that in this Kingdom of Heaven the last ones become first, and the one who is great should serve others. The laws and the rules of living are completely different there. We always try to conciliate the Church with this world, but they would not conciliate: “Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God the things that are God's” (Matthew, 22:21).


It is important that we recall at least sometimes that our homeland is in Heaven, but not on earth.

Do not look for earthly justice, for love is above it. And we learn through this love, that Christ is bringing us up with it. He believes that we will manage to defeat our flesh and blood, which do not inherit the Kingdom of Heaven. The Spirit of God will enter us and we will become the church of the Holy Spirit. “Ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you” (1 Corinthians, 3:16) – this is what Apostle Paul says about the life of a Christian, about the Kingdom which begins inside a person. These words may sound unclear to us, while God gave us an opportunity to build the very church we are standing in now. And this church is beautiful, because Orthodox Christians believe that nothing is too good for God. Just look how great the Holy Rus’ was! It was really holy, because people lived humbly in small houses, but at the same great churches were built in villages. How could that be?  The reason is that people gave their best to God. And today people want to make Church equal to this world. But it is not about wealth: gold symbolizes the light of God’s love. The murals, the icons painted with the paints made from real precious stones – all these things are to inspire a person. To direct his mind and heart up high, but not to the ground.
March 15, 2017

St. Elisabeth Convent



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