|Rev. Archimandrite Nektarios Serfes - Spiritual Nourishment for the Soul - July/August 2006|
Let Us Reconcile With All By Loving All!
Reconciliation!!! What a great thing it would be if we were to achieve reconciliation with all the peoples of the world by choosing to love everyone!
Can we imagine what it would be like if the whole world came together in reconciliation and peace? Enjoying each other's company? It's an amazing thought!
We would see the end of generations of wars and conflicts. No more racial squabbles and prejudices. The infamous "generation gap" between young and old happily accepting the help and strength the young can bring. Broken homes and estranged families being restored by love. The sight of people putting down their guns, no longer intent on killing one another on our streets. Folk turning away from drugs and alcohol abuse because the healing power of love is so much more real. An end to the wanton destruction of human life - no more abortions. Let your imagination take you on, as you capture the vision of what might be, if love broke out amongst us!
All the plans our wonderful creator God has for each of us since our conception could now come to fruition. Each of us would start to realize our full potential. What a great people we would be if the greatest reconciliation of all were to come about - the reconciliation between man and God. We would be true, loving Christians.
"Be ye reconciled to God", St. Paul the holy Apostle of our Lord tells each of us in his second spiritually rewarding letter to the Corinthians (5:20). What then do we have to do to be reconciled? It is obvious to all of us that we have much conflict in the world at the present time and that some of these conflicts have been going on for many generations. But at the same time we have the timeless teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ, the writers of the Holy Gospels and Epistles, and the words of the Church Fathers all emphasizing that we must be reconciled with each other through love. That the Church has so often failed to show that Christ-like love through the centuries is no excuse. We so often demand that the "other side" change its attitudes, just as they expect us to. The truth is that so often neither side wants to change. But the command to be reconciled remains, and once we have heard the words we cannot plead ignorance.
What about the conflicts we have with God Himself? We plead with Him, try to bargain with Him, sometimes shout out against Him, because of our selfishness and reluctance to change. Our God is prefect in all things. The Creator of all things has no need to change, for He is perfection. We are the ones with the problem! To even consider reconciliation in our lives we must be prepared to accept that our thoughts, attitudes and actions must be brought into line with the desires of God, Who wants nothing but the best for us, and has made a great and wonderful promise for us: "For I know the plans I have for you" declared the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future" (Jeremiah 29:11). He is waiting for us to say yes!
Such a change, which affects every part of our beings, can only be brought about by the Holy Spirit of our Lord and Savior working within us, making us more and more like Christ. He waits for us every hour of every day to submit ourselves to Him, allowing Him to bring about the reconciliation with the Father and each other. Only he can do it.
The holy prophets were sent to help us learn about these changes, the holy saints lived their lives as changed men and women. The holy martyrs showed in an extreme way that their love for God and their fellow men would not end in them turning away from Him - the persecutors found out they would not change or lose their love for God and their obedience to Him. Back in the earliest days of the Church the holy apostles, filled with the Holy Spirit, found their lives changed, learning that love for God and for each other was the only way to transform the world.
Our gracious and loving God is waiting for us all to become reconciled with Him and then allowing Him to change us so that we are fit for the works of mercy and love He has designed for us to do. He is waiting at this very moment.
Remember, faithful and loving Christians, that Christ came to this earth to unite us with Him, and to transform us into His likeness that the world might see that we are truly His children. Jesus Christ was crucified and resurrected not only to deliver us from our sins and save us, but to change us with His love. "For He is our peace, Who made us both one and has broken down the dividing wall of hostility …. His purpose was to create in Himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace." (Ephesians 2:1415).
Reconciliation, with love for one another, breaks down hatred.
What are we to do during these terrible times of conflict? The message from our Lord God, for all of us, is to be reconciled with Him and with each other by allowing the love we receive from Him to flow out from us to all men, bring peace and a changed world.
Idealistic? Fanciful? Beloved, this is the heart of the Holy Gospels we are charged to proclaim If we refuse to be reconciled, and then we shall never have the joy of seeing His plans unfold.
Let us now pray that we can begin to be reconciled with Him and one another in love!
Peace to your soul!
Humbly in Christ our Lord,
Content written/compiled by firstname.lastname@example.org.
(c) Reverend Archimandrite Nektarios Serfes