Thought provoking sermon for reflection and action/ praxis as we enter a new year.
The title coming from one of my favourite poems,
We ask God to forgive us all that we have done or left undone in the past year. We claim to be Orthodox. To be Orthodox does not mean only to confess the Gospel in its integrity and proclaim it in its purity, but it consists, even more than this, in living according to the Gospel; and we know that Christ comes to no compromise with anything but the greatness of man and the message of love and worship. We can indeed repent because who, looking at us, would say as people said about the early Christians, ‘See how they love one another!’ Who would say, looking at us, that we are in possession of an understanding of life, of a love which makes us beyond compare, which causes everyone to wonder: Where does it come from? Who gave it to them? How can they stand the test of trial? And if we want this year to be worthy of God, of our Christian calling, of the holy name of Orthodoxy, we must singly and as a body become to all, to each person who may need us, a vision of what man can be and what a community of men can be under God.
Let us pray for forgiveness, we who are so far below our calling, let us pray for fortitude, for courage, for determination to discount ourselves, to take up our cross, to follow in the footsteps of Christ whithersoever He will call us.
At the beginning of the war King George VI spoke words which can be repeated from year to year. In his message to the Nation he read a quotation: “I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year: give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown, and he replied: “Go out into the darkness and put your hand in the hand of God; that shall be better to you than light and safer than a known way”.
This is what we are called to do, and perhaps we should make today a resolution, determined to be faithful to our calling and begin the New Year with courage. Amen.
Sermon, ‘At the Gate of the Year’ by Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh. See last year’s, 2010- Walk with ‘The Light’.