The following is an excerpt from the sermon preached at Holy Incarnation Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church. Following the lectionary for Gregorian Use parishes in the Western Rite Vicariate, the sermon is based on the Epistle reading for the Feast of Our Lord Jesus Christ the King.
Let us give thanks to God our Father, not just with words but with all that we are and all that we have. For through His Son and in His Spirit, Our Father has made us worthy to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light. This means that He has elevated far beyond what we deserve; and He has given us a share in something that, regrettably, we don’t strain for with every fiber of our being. For we tend to be caught up in mundane things—what we shall wear, what we shall eat, what we shall do this evening. And we tend to strive for things that never last, things that fade away, and even for things that corrupt more than uplift our souls.
As I say this, I point the finger first at myself. And I say this to draw a picture of our corrupted selves. But most of all, I say this so that we might all see and realize the generosity, the magnificence, and the overwhelming kindness that Our Father has bestowed upon us. For while we too often stumble in darkness from one passion to the next, while we too often fix our eyes on things that will not last, while we too often worry and fret about things that have no eternal consequence, and while we too often strain for that which will never truly satisfy, there is Our Father—delivering us from the power of darkness, and translating us into the kingdom of his dear Son.
Let us therefore give thanks. But let us not use words only. And let us not only strive to do better. But let us also give thanks by reordering our life—what we value, what goals we set, how we use our time, and so then how we live. For our goal ought not be to attain success in this life, but to attain the kingdom of heaven. And our goal ought not be to taste and experience all we can of the pleasures that fade and corrupt, but to taste and see that the Lord is good. And our goal ought not be to live life to the fullest, but to attain the fullness of life, which is Our Lord Jesus Christ.
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