As we find ourselves at the threshold of the Advent Fast, some may note that the period is also often referred to as the "Fast of Philip". This is due to the fast beginning on the day following the Feast of the Holy Apostle.
While the proximity of this Feast to the beginning of the Advent Fast is truly just a coincidence, in our constant pursuit of the concept that "nothing is an accident" in the Lord's work, we can certainly find edifying elements in the connection between the two.
Firstly, Philip is one of the first to be called to be an Apostle by our Lord. And among Philip's first actions afterwards is his going to call his friend Nathaniel. The call then, as is our call now, is "Come and see."
The ministry here in Hudson is one of a mission. And being in that state, sometimes we think that we should be able to simply enter the public forums, issue our invitations, and fill the building with new members. Those who have walked that path know that, like the case of the parable of the wedding feast (Mat 22 and Luke 14), those who are invited often find reasons to refrain. Even more disheartening is the fact that those who are members of a parish community often find reasons to reject the same invitation. In any community, the number of places occupied by faithful on a Sunday is routinely about 30% (or less) of the "total membership" of the community. This is not a published scientific statistic - it's an observation from a number of communities with which we've been blessed to have connections over the years. And when the focus shifts to non-Sunday Liturgy services (i.e. Vespers, weekday or weekend Liturgies), the numbers dwindle further. Much further.
If we, in this Advent season, do not develop the heart of Philip, the heart that first desires within ourselves to "come and see", to be part of the continuing salvation our Lord is working in our lives, we cannot hope to find ourselves in the position of Philip, where we can invite a friend to "come and see." What invitation is meaningful when the one who invites is not present him- or her-self?
Through this Advent Fasting season, let us pray that our Lord will open our hearts and fill them with the hunger to be near to Him. There are those who will argue, "I can be near to the Lord in my car, or in my home." And this is certainly true. We are all called to "pray without ceasing" by Saint Paul (1Thes 5:17). But there is no substitute for "lifting a load" with the help of others. Our prayers are necessary when we're alone. But they are wonderful when they are offered in concert, in one voice, all praising God or seeking His mercy.
Can your prayer be more meaningful, more effectual, than when you offer it alone?
Come and see.....
Welcome to Saint Herman's, Hudson, Ohio
This blog is a partial compilation of the messages, texts, readings, and prayers from our small 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! We are open, and we welcome inside the Church all visitors. See our Parish web page: