God Works Through Us
Sermon preached by His Grace Bishop John on Sunday, June 10, 2018 at St. Mary Orthodox Church in Cambridge, MA.
Transcription, Sermon as delivered:
Christ is in our midst!
It is said that the law is more a "who" than it is a "what". They say that the law is the Word of God the law is referring to the books of the Old Testament that offer us wisdom of how to live, how to find peace, how to cooperate with God. We also say that Jesus is the word of God. So it is to live with Jesus, to live with the word of God, to find happiness and joy, to be as the Army says, "all that you can be," to be what you are created to be as we are in the very image and likeness of God.
When we forget that it is God working in us and us working in God, we put on all kinds of stress and pressure on ourselves to perform things that perhaps people aren't even expecting us to perform and for us to do. We set on ourselves all kinds of, sometimes, unreasonable and impossible expectations, expectations like easily forgiving those who hurt us or who invade our space or who we think has taken something from us, impossible things like being able to write a a editorial every single month.
It's a little bit too much, you know. Sometimes I look for inspiration and don't think that I find it. People tell me that those editorials are the ones that are the best when I have found no inspiration and have no good ideas from myself. So we need to learn to laugh at ourselves to recognize that it is God who works in us, and that it is our nature to be free, to be free in Him.
We are created in His image and likeness, and he is as he has revealed Himself to us to be both good and mighty. He is good because He has no hang-ups. He's not fixated in some developmental stage. He's not limited by anything even of our own imaginations. He is mighty because He is the creator and He is in charge. It's hard enough for me to be me without me trying to be God. So we are wise to accept God's call as He called the two sets of brothers that we heard of in today's gospel to be sent out walking with God and sharing His love and sharing His peace and sharing His joy.
Brothers and sisters, we out of fear and expectation and confusion get ourselves in all kinds of webs of thoughts and bad habits and and all kinds of things to surrender to God's love and his will to do what is reasonable and right to be judged even by what God gives us to be our nature, not twisted and confused but to be like God is, to create to work with God to be one with Him and one with each other. There we find joy that's where we find peace.
So when you pray take time also to listen. When you read the scriptures hear the words and work with them. Let God heal you. Let God work with you. If you think you're not healing fast enough or growing fast enough, laugh at yourself, surrender.
There's an illustration of a tomato plant: if you pull up the tomato plant every day to check its roots to see why it's not growing faster, you're going to slow down the process and God knows if you'll get any tomatoes at all.
Nevertheless, God is good and He loves us, and He's there for us. So be where you are. Let God bring you from where you are, and just keep walking with confidence because the God who walks with the Apostles, allowing people to hear His voice through them will walk with you and will speak through you. If you're smart, you'll listen to your own voice as you preach and as you teach, and as you struggle to know God's will and change your mind and follow Him. Because God is love and He loves us.
Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, O Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy upon us and save us.