Welcome to Saint Herman's, Hudson, Ohio

This blog is a partial compilation of the messages, texts, readings, and prayers from our small mission community. We pray that it will be used by our own people, to their edification. And if you happen by and are inclined to read, give the glory to God!

The blog title, "Will He Find Faith on the Earth?" is from Luke 18:8, the "Parable of the Persistent Widow." It overlays the icon of the Last Judgment, an historical event detailed in Matthew Chapter 25, for which we wait as we pray in the Nicean Creed.

We serve the Holy Orthodox cycle of services in contemporary English. Under the omophorion of His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph of the Bulgarian Patriarchal Diocese of the USA, Canada and Australia, we worship at 5107 Darrow Road in Hudson, Ohio (44236). If you are in the area, please join us for worship!

Regular services include:
Sunday Divine Liturgy 10AM (Sept 1 - May 31)
930AM (June 1 - Aug 31)
Vespers each Saturday 6PM

We pray that you might join us for as many of these services as possible!

Thursday, August 13, 2015

"(Your Group Here)" Lives Matter!

We've been barraged with news items related to the movement whose motto is "Black Lives Matter," and to the efforts of this group, we offer a hearty, "Yes, they do!"  We pray that your efforts will make a difference!!

But are these the ONLY lives that matter?

We've also been inundated with stories - horror stories - of the atrocities worked by those who claim a medical title (we refuse to dignify such people by referring to them with the righteous title of 'doctor'), people who at times trick vulnerable young women into choosing abortion, who manipulate the unborn to murder them in ways that save precious body parts for resale, who place their abattoirs in locations where the more vulnerable of such people are located - in short, nearest to the poorest neighborhoods.  And we ask ourselves "How can a person sleep at night, having worked such atrocities upon the most helpless?"  In all honesty, as a priest, I've had people ask me exactly this question.  What is my own response?  Again, in all honesty, I tell them, "I have trouble sleeping at night knowing how little I've done to defend those who have and who continue to be slaughtered!"

At our little mission, we dwell upon the lessons taught us by our Lord in Matthew 25 - "Feed the hungry.  Give drink to the thirsty.  Take in those in need of shelter.  Clothe the naked.  Visit and heal the sick and the imprisoned."  These are simple-to-understand commandments from the lips of our Lord that teach us how we are to live our lives.  We are to live selflessly - even though we are in a selfish world.  We are to give from what He has given us, for it is His, not ours.

Why do we dwell on these things?  We do so because of the promise that our Lord makes in giving us these instructions.  What promise?  To those who in fact live according to them, He promises an invitation - "Come, you blessed of My Father, and inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world."  But our Lord gives a corresponding promise to those who refuse to live according to His instructions.  What promise is this?  "Depart from Me, you cursed, into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels."  As in all instances, He gives to us the choice.

And it seems an easy one to make.

But let's dig just a bit deeper into the text of Matthew 25.  For in both the blessing and the curse, our Lord uses the same operative word in His granting grace to the first, and a curse to the second.  To those blessed, He says, "Inasmuch as you have done (or NOT done) this to the least of My brethren you have done (or not done) it to Me." 

So, we should ask, "What does Jesus mean by "the least of His brethren"?

NOW you've got the most important question of this little mini-homily!

The Greek word used for "least" is ἐλάχιστος (el-akh'-is-tos).  It translates to "least, very small, very little, short.  Strong's Greek Concordance lists μικρός (mik'-ros) as an 'equivalent'.

Now, return your thinking to where we started - to the unborn.  The depraved thought and 'instruction' given by those who slaughter the unborn to the young women seeking help from anyone who seems to 'care' is that the "fetus" is not "viable".  If it could not live on its own, it can be eliminated without guilt.  Can a 2 year old child live on its own?  Should it be capable of being terminated at the whim of anyone who "bears" (or bears with) him or her?

Our Lord's words in Matthew 25 focus on those who are the very smallest.  We can interpret these words in any number of very valid and important ways.  "The least" may be those who are the poorest, who have the least influence to gather and garner what they need to exist.  "The least" may be those who have the least physical strength and ability to go and do for themselves.  "The least" may be those who are mentally challenged and cannot function in society without having someone to care for them and provide for their basic needs.

But "the least", the mik'-ros, the "micro" in our world, could have also been 'covered' by our Lord's words, with Him instructing us to do for those who are being slaughtered - by the millions - while still in the womb.  These are ones who fill ALL of the above categories, and more!  They have no voice if we do not provide one for them.  They have no advocate.  There is no 'judge' who decides their fate in a court of law.  That one decision was made in our country once in 1973, and it will remain until such time as our citizenry and our courts awaken to the misery caused since that unrighteous decision and demand a return to preserving life - all life, both born and unborn!

So, what are we to do?  If we honor the words given us by our Lord in Matthew 25, we must become advocates for the unborn.

UNBORN LIVES MATTER!

Get out and stand in a protest line in front of a Planned Parenthood building.  Write your Congressperson or Senator.  Don't ask.  DEMAND that the status quo be changed, reversed.  Take a stand.

Be a follower of Christ.  Desire with your whole heart to be one who on that last day will hear His blessing, and not His curse!  Following our Lord is not always a place of comfort.  But it IS a place to which we are called, if we are going to claim His name and truly be a Christians!