The African Orthodox Church in America
Gospel JN 16:12-15
Jesus said to his disciples:
"I have much more to tell you, but you cannot bear it now.
But when he comes, the Spirit of truth,
he will guide you to all truth.
He will not speak on his own,
but he will speak what he hears,
and will declare to you the things that are coming.
He will glorify me,
because he will take from what is mine and declare it to you.
Everything that the Father has is mine;
for this reason I told you that he will take from what is mine
and declare it to you."
+Archbishop Metropolitan James Salisbury Jr., OSB., D.Div.
Greetings in the name of our Lord JESUS Christ,
A THOUGHT ON PREACHING: The paradox of the pulpit is that its occupant is a sinner whose chief right to be there is his perpetual sense that he has no right to be there, and is there only by grace and always under a spotlight of divine judgment. (A.C. Craig)
Holy Trinity Sunday
Many of us as Christians spend a lot of time in worry about our ability to go on in life each day. We get depressed and cannot really put our mind to rest from fear and worry about what we think we cannot do. Remember the readings from last Sunday, concerning the coming of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. The disciples received power because they were Holy Spirit people walking a Holy Spirit pathway.
Now let me tell you a secret. I'm a Holy Spirit person too. You're a Holy Spirit person too. When we accepted Christ as our savior, God gave us his Spirit to direct our lives––and to empower us.
If you are ever tempted to despair about the future of the church, remember that the church is filled with the Holy Spirit––God's Spirit. God's Spirit has been dispersed throughout the globe––in the hearts of Christians. The future of the church has never been in doubt––and will never be in doubt––because God is in charge. Particular congregations or denominations will grow or die––but the church of Jesus Christ will be just fine.
They tell a story about Pope John XXIII (John the Twenty-third). He was one of the most important people of the twentieth century, because he called the Second Vatican Council into being––a council that transformed the life of the Catholic Church. He also happened to be one of the most beloved Popes ever.
His name prior to becoming Pope was Angelo Roncalli. As you can imagine, he sometimes was tempted to lie awake thinking of the tremendous responsibility with which he had been entrusted. But then he would ask himself this question:
"Who governs the church?
You or the Holy Spirit?
Very well, then, go to sleep Angelo!"
Once again, he asked this question:
"Who governs the church?
You or the Holy Spirit?"
With the church firmly in the hands of the Holy Spirit, he could then say, "Very well, then, go to sleep Angelo!"
If you are ever tempted to despair about the meaning of your life, do this. First, be sure you have put yourself in God's hands––that Jesus really is your Lord––that you are truly listening for the Spirit to guide you.
And then say to yourself, "Who governs my life? Me or the Holy Spirit?"
Then, with the assurance that God's Spirit will be on duty all night––you can sleep tight. In the morning, it will be all right. God will still be in charge––and you will still be in God's hands.