“I once heard an elderly neighbor was trying to convince my little grandson, “Eat, and then God will not love you”.” Unfortunately, we are communicating well with their children, they formed the idea of a completely different God – says Archimandrite Andrei (Konnos).
- Archimandrite Andrew (Cananas): How to hear God’s will?
- Archimandrite Andrew (Cananas): what kind of Christ do we believe in?
- Archimandrite Andrew (Cananas): Nerves no change
- Archimandrite Andrew (Cananas): to Achieve good selfishness
- Archimandrite Andrew (Cananas): Let’s take attack Paradise!
Now, I’m fasting, and You repay me for it!
When God gives us His grace – what we do? Give a helping hand. How extend? Like little children, when they are given a piece of candy; or as in the temple, when drawn over the host or consecrated bread – want to take more, several of the pieces… In this movement is our deed that we do in the Church.
In other words, when we fast, we not saying to God, “Behold, I fast, and You repay me for it! I passed the post, give me so-and-so.” And when Sunday come early in the morning to the temple to participate in the divine Liturgy, do not tell the Lord: “Behold, I am come to Church, what do You have for me?” No. God still favors you, anyway. After all, He loves us for no reason.
God is not like us, people: “You – I, I – you”. He loves us even when we don’t love Him. Remember, you yourself told me so many years to live without the Church, constantly sinning? And that same God you were punished for it? Rather, God has arranged your life in the best way: you have a job, health, no suffering… That is, you sin, and in response, God gives you His love. Again and again – love! “I love you! says the Lord. And I don’t want to force you to be a Christian. I don’t need slaves.”
Now you say, “Wait, what about in the Church kept saying, “servant of God is Baptized so-and-so” or “the servant of God so-and-so…”? Yes, but think about it: when, in what era did the expression, a servant of God? It is known since the times of the old Testament, and the Apostle Paul also spoke as if the world was ruled by kings, and kings were the subjects. And so the king could say: “I Have servants, retainers, slaves.” And the subjects said, “We are slaves of our king.”
But there is a Church and says, “Wrong! From now on you will never slaves. No man will rule over you. Only God. You will be slaves to One God.”
These words sounded very radical at the time in question. Very radically. It was a real revolution! Imagine the Emperor who prays to the Liturgy and hear the words: “Servant of God”! And every person at the same time – the servant is not a king, and God. We are slaves of God. You know? These words were revolutionary, proving our absolute freedom and independence from anyone. I am a slave of God, slave of only One God! Therefore, I am free. I am independent of who (and what). I belong to those Who were on Calvary for the fact that I was not anyone’s slave! Here is what these words mean – “the servant of the Lord”: a free man, who gave themselves to the Lord. And I love Who loves me so much, gave me such freedom.
Order prayers to “make friends” with God
Look at the crucified one! He holds out Their hands to you, opens his arms. It does not suppress, does not strangle you, does not teach, does not enslave You… absolutely free! “My child, look at Me. I reveal to you the arms provide full freedom. You can come with Me, to treat Me as they want. I give you complete freedom to stay or leave. Take it how you want, understand what you want“.
And everyone really understands it in its own way and the Lord accepts his decision. Or are we approaching God, because we are attracted by His love, His Cross, or think, looking at His arms: “Well, if He lets me go, I’ll go! I want to.” Well, leave.
But if you really get closer to God, neither of which “I scratch your back, you” can no longer be considered. You go to Church to receive God’s grace, to get God’s blessing, to thank God and respond to that great love that He gives you. God loved you before you repent. You know?
In General, I don’t like when people in the Church sometimes try to make God some kind of “scores” or turn to Him only when necessary. Order prayers to “make friends” with God, make him your ally, advocate. This is what I call relation of type “you me I you.” The wrong attitude!
Why break the “magic carpet” that flies straight to Heaven
I once heard an elderly neighbor was trying to convince my little grandson to eat more: “Eat, and then grandpa will punish you!” Well, is it possible? And the next day I heard: “Eat, and then God will not love you”.
– Why? – do not resist, I stepped in. – On the contrary! God loves children who eat little and not get fat. What is their not to love? And why make the child have this wrong idea about God?
Why misrepresent what is perfectly clear? Remember, in fairy tales there are such magic mats, instantly transports the characters on any edge of the world? So, why break the “magic carpet”, which flies directly to Heaven? This magic, this beauty goes to the child in a distorted way, and he then at the word “Church” is shudder to think, “Oh, these limitations, the scope, prohibitions…”
People imagined the Church: a gray, gloomy space, full of restrictions. But the Church is the space, filled to the brim with the greatest freedom, love and peace; a space where to breathe a full breast, where the heart beats calm, where no fear and fears, where are you – is what it is, natural, sincere, honest with himself, sinned, but repented. Yes, we sin, but then we cry and repent, again and again – as long as the love of Christ will prevail over sin in your soul.
Because – you know what sin is? It’s a hoax. And when sin will cease to attract you, you will need to make an effort not to sin. No need to force yourself. The choice of goodness are you going to do spontaneously – simply because you will not want to sin. Sin will no longer like – because now the soul is filled with others. Try to imagine it – so simple!
If a person smokes, it means that at the time he found more enjoyment and thus stopped Smoking. But if he has a family, and that family becomes for him a source of pleasure and warmth, he will not want to smoke. And you don’t have to tell him constantly: “Stop! In the morning the house like a chimney!” This just isn’t necessary.
Criticism, blame – all of this carries over into Church life. Unfortunately, we are communicating well with their children, they formed the idea of a completely different God. And remember, as the disciples talked with Christ? They said sometimes these rash, stupid phrase that we were just amazed. Remember how in the gospel the apostles themselves – James, John – they say to Christ, “grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left in Your glory (MK.10:37)” let us honor, respect, authority – when you come to judge the world. “What foolish words! we’d say today. – But the Lord, on the contrary, was waiting for them humility!” Yes, now we don’t think so. But I think something else. The Lord has arranged around Himself to military discipline. It allowed students to be themselves. And I really like this idea.
Translation Yelizaveta Terentyeva for the portal “Orthodoxy and the world”