Hey, Wake Up!Fr. Barnabas Powell
God’s grace is never wasted. God’s patience is never exhausted. God’s love is never overcome by hatred and His mercy is never failing.
Think of this, today if your behavior can exhaust God’s mercy and His love then you are more powerful than God. If your sin can finally “turn God against you” then you hold power over God. It simply isn’t possible, my dearest. In fact, all the sin ever committed by everyone who has ever lived, is living, or will live, all rolled into one, cannot weary the mercy of God. God is love, my dearest. You simply have no power to change that reality.
So, then, why do we struggle so and flail about in our lives with sin and rebellion of spirit and half-hearted love for God? Why do we seem to stumble over and over again with the same sins and mistakes? It is because we are asleep to His ever present grace and love for us. And our task is to stay “awake” to His presence in our lives.
Listen to the Apostle Paul in today’s Epistle Lesson: “For the scripture says, “No one who believes in him will be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all and bestows his riches upon all who call upon him. For, “every one who calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved.” But how are men to call upon him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without a preacher? And how can men preach unless they are sent? As it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach good news!” But they have not all obeyed the gospel; for Isaiah says, “Lord, who has believed what he has heard from us?” So faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes by the preaching of Christ. (Romans 10:11-16)
Look how we are to stay “awake” to God and His eternal love for us!
“Hear” – How many times have the timeless words of Scripture, the Divine Liturgy, sermons, encouraging notes, and other witnesses to God’s presence in our lives washed over us? Each time the challenge isn’t is God communicating, but are we HEARING? Our timeless faith is literally overflowing with the embarrassment of spiritual treasures. The ONLY way to not become a saint is to actively fight against it, because all you will ever need is here! So, to stay awake we must hear Him.
“Believe” – After hearing, we are charged to truly believe. Let’s face it, many times we say we believe but live as “functional atheists.” The transforming power of the message of the Faith doesn’t change my priorities, behaviors, or even my words. But to truly believe presupposes acting on those beliefs. If I am going to stay awake to God’s never-ending love for me, I have to actually keep on believing. This isn’t so God will love me, but so I can stay awake to my need to LOVE HIM.
“Share” – “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach good news.” Indeed. If I am ever going to stay awake to the ever-present Presence of God in my life, I am going to have to stop staying silent about His importance in my life. This means, my dearest, my neighbor, my children, my spouse, my co-workers, all around me should be able to tell that my life belongs to Christ. My life is defined and governed by an eternal perspective. We are called to give away the glorious Good News we have been given. If you share your faith with those around you, you will stay awake to the grace of God all around you.
Today, Hear, Believe, Share! Stay awake to God’ never-ending love for you. Oh, and one more thing – Go to church!