“I ask myself the question: what are you doing for Christ’s sake not just as a conventionally educated person, having some education, but precisely as a Christian? And if it comes down to the dry residue would be very small” – sermon by Archpriest Alexander Abramov per week 30 after Pentecost.
- “Suffer? It’s a cross!” – easy to dissociate these words from someone else’s misfortune
- “The Lord has given a long-awaited child, thanks to a couple of months”
- To say “I am rich only sin” — blasphemy
- And if She said, “I don’t want any temple to go”?
- Christ will come, and we told Him – “don’t bother to pray!”
And as He entered into a certain village, there met Him ten lepers, who stood afar off and a loud voice, saying: Jesus, master! have mercy on us. When he saw them, He said unto them, go shew yourselves unto the priests. And when they were cleansed. One of them, seeing that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down at his feet, giving Him thanks; and he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus said, were there not ten cleansed? where are the nine? as they are not found that returned to give glory to God except this foreigner? And said unto him, arise, go; thy faith has saved thee.
LK. 17: 12-19
The most superficial layer of this parable looks like she’s about gratitude. That something God gave you, and heal, and you do not return to give Him glory. And happens now and then. I remember very well in our Church as a couple, long childless, the former came to the icon of the Mother of God Theodore. We served for several years prayers. And so God gave them a child and they immediately disappeared. And came more recently, a meteor, one of the services. I ask them: “why don’t you come?”
“Well, right now we have a baby now, a lot of worries and difficulties.” “But let me: when there were children, you had much more difficulty, suffering, torment. And now you have a child, your family full. Certainly, from a medical point of view, no children you had. But God has given you. What are you?” “Well, we’ll come…”
So, this is, of course, about gratitude. But not only; in fact it is a story about much more important things than just about gratitude. It is about what a Christian can and should do as a Christian. For example, we are with you, I hope so, don’t kill anyone. But we do so not because of Christians but because we have no hands to kill, it sickens us, we are scared, we have some moral sense. But the moral sense “do not kill” is common to the human race. What is surprising is that we don’t kill, what, Christian?
And here if from this point to look at your life: what we do not do, as merely conditionally good people, namely Christians, for Christ’s sake? What is our Christianity? What is here is our sumaryanto that allows you to come back to God and give Him glory?
We’re schooled to speak about Christ. We can teach many, many people to tell what they should be. But every time flint on flint, we are faced with a acute situation for themselves: as the heart tells us to act? As Christians or as people who are prone to situational response: we were attacked – we have eyes, we were accused – we broke out the slightest weakness came – all have no life. Those nine not to forgot or did not want to give glory to God – they did not think about: the deed is done, God will help. Jesus Mentor they call It. Mentor, older friend, teacher, more experienced connoisseur of the spiritual life was here, and our problem is solved.
But His problem is solved or not, Jesus ‘ Mentor – someone Who did it out of selfless feelings? Disinterested feeling at the same time does not exclude the hope of human reciprocity, that you will say “thank you.” One now deceased, the Archbishop said: “Never forget that, with all the rigor of Orthodox asceticism, a kind word and a nice cat”. And there is not a cat Lord!
I ask myself the question: what are you doing for Christ’s sake not just as a conventionally educated person, having some education, but precisely as a Christian? And if it comes down to the dry residue would be very small. It is very important that what we do for God, we do not just as men among men, but as Christians in non-Christian world. Nothing to be honest: no, we are not a Christian society, not an Orthodox country. We have a small number of Christians among religiously indifferent society. But a little leaven, if it is alive, capable, according to the Apostolic words, perquisite, to change the world.
You should be aware that your every action and inaction will be interpreted by the world as the behavior of a Christian: “so do your Christians.”
In detective movies American manufacturing says: “Everything you say will be used against you.” So. Everything you say and everything you do will be used non-religious world against you. So any your action and inaction, every word, and your silence should be for Christ’s sake. And if you failed, made a mistake, it will be imputed not only to your personally sin, that goes without saying, but the blow will be directed against Christ.
“Christians are! Christians are bad!” – this voice is heard from the moment of occurrence of Christ’s teachings. And so it will last as long as the world stands. But we should not come to what hit the Christ. It is as if the nine lepers did not return to thank God, but would come back with the hula, and would have led to a crowd of laughing and nadoways. We with you cannot afford, if we love God. Therefore, our only mission, which, of course, for us, more important than any other – to be good people for Christ’s sake.
From the book “whosoever will may come. Conversations on Sundays and feast the gospel reading,” published in the publishing house “Nikea”