Saint Paul the Apostle Orthodox Church

Home
Service Schedule
Contact Information
About Orthodoxy
Photo Gallery
Bake Sales
Church Store
Kids Corner
Library
Weekly Bulletins
Weekly Message
Additional Reading
Prayer Chain
Grief And Bereavement
Building Program
Driving Directions
Parishioners Only
Published Articles
Administration
Blessed To Be A Blessing
About Us
Do Not Lose Heart
Kids Corner:  March 2014
Kids Corner:  June 2015
Home > Grief And Bereavement > For Everything There Is A Season
Search this site
For Everything There Is  A Season:

FOR EVERYTHING THERE IS A SEASON

There is an appointed time for everything, and a time for every affair under the heavens.

A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to uproot the plant.

A time to weep, and a time to laugh;

a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

A time to keep, and a time to cast away. 'Ecclesiastes 3, 1-2, 4.

THERE IS WEEPING

Death produces shock waves. Feelings run deep, clustering into knots of pain.

There are numbing sensations. Things don't seem real. Death can be like a bad dream.

The shock waves. are not all felt at once. There are many steps through the valley. With each step there is weeping.

Weeping is not to be prevented. Weeping heals. It releases one from pain. It is to be encouraged.

Weeping should bear no shame. It is God's provision to help bring healing.

God's children weep. So did their Lord. They weep with one another, even as they rejoice. Through their tears God's children can see their Salvation.

"God indeed is my savior; I am confident and unafraid. My strength and my courage is the LORD, and he has been my savior. With joy you will draw water at the fountain of salvation, and say on that day: Give thanks to the LORD, acclaim his name; among the nations make known his deeds, proclaim how exalted is his name."

Isaiah 12:2-4

THERE IS GRIEF

Grief is a series of postponed feelings stretched over a period of time. Memories of the past bring sorrow and grief; sometimes guilt and resentments.

Grief sets in when one understands that everything is final, that there is no turning back, no opportunity to restructure what has been.

If grief continues over an extended period of time, it cripples. Some people seem to stop living. Their investment in the departed one is so strong that they experience severe difficulty trying to surrender to the reality. They begin living in morbid grief, cutting themselves off from new possibilities to grow, believing that it would be wrong for them to seek new expressions for living, or new relationships to people and tasks.

Grief involves the whole being. In his love, God reaches to the depths of man's emotions to heal his hurts. He knows that grief is necessary for healing. His children grieve and Jesus says, "Do not be afraid."

"But now, thus says the LORD, Who created you, 0 Jacob, and formed you, 0 Israel': Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name: you are mine. When you pass through the water, I will be with you; in the rivers you shall not drown. When you walk through fire, you shall not be burned; the flames shall not consume you. For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your savior. I give Egypt as your ransom, Ethiopia and Saba in return for you."

Isaiah 43:1-3

THERE ARE FEELINGS OF DESPAIR

It is natural to feel that all is lost, that there is no hope, and sometimes, that life is no longer worth living. This is despair.

Despair is unbelief. It arises when faith wanes, when the promises of God are forgotten.

The only recall from despair is the remembrance of who one is, that he is a child under the power of God; called to be God's own, to live under him in his Kingdom, to serve him. When this is forgotten, all is lost.

Do not despair. God is with you. He will comfort you.

"I, it is I who comfort you. Can you then fear mortal man, who is human only, to be looked upon as grasp, And forget the LORD, your maker, who stretched out the heavens and laid the foundations of the earth? All the day you are in constant dread of fury of the oppressor; But when he sets himself to destroy, what is there of the oppressor's fury? The oppressed shall soon be released; they shall not die and go down into the pit, nor shall they want for bread. For I am the LORD, your God, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar; the LORD of hosts by name."

Isaiah 51:12-15

THERE IS NEED TO TALK ABOUT DEATH

Talk about death often becomes more natural for those who have suffered loss. This talk can be good; especially talk about the one who has died.

When death strikes, things change. What once was a subject to be avoided may become something of importance, to be discussed in detail. This can help one unload pent up feelings, to explore the meaning of many new experiences. Talk can help us take stock of life from a new point of view, and say what must be said in order to experience some relief from grief and despair.

The bereaved should attempt to talk about death. Among those who know the Lord's resurrection such talk can help bring healing, as faith in Christ's resurrection is shared.

One important talk time takes place at the worship services of the Church. At such services the fact of death is placed within its proper context, and the congregation rejoices in its salvation. But the family should also talk in the quiet of the home. It is a time to understand once more, that human relationships are short-lived and so important.

"All mankind is grass, and all their glory like the flower of the field. The grass withers, the-. flower wilts, when the breath of the LORD blows upon it. [So then, the people is the grass.} Though the grass withers and the flower wilts, the word of our God stands forever. Go up onto a high mountain, Sion, herald of glad tidings; Cry out at the top of your voice, Jerusalem, herald of good news! Fear not, here comes with power the Lord GOD. ,Like a shepherd he feeds his flock; in his arms he gathers the lambs, Carrying them in his bosom, and leading the ewes with care."

Isaiah 40:6-11

THERE IS PERSONAL ADJUSTMENT

Everyone has his own personal adjustment to make under the reality of death. Some people despair, never adjusting to the fact that their Lord continues to give them tasks to do. They cannot see that every experience is another opportunity for God to plant his mission more firmly with them, the mission to carry his Gospel of love to. all creatures; to feed the hungry, visit the sick, and give the cup of cold water to the suffering.

Personal adjustment means the acceptance of responsibilities which God lays upon his people. Through his people the Lord comes with his gifts of love to be given to others; and God's people respond. Their healing is quickened as they reach out with God's love to others. Their thirst is quenched and they are made new.

"The afflicted and the needy seek water in vain, their tongue,} are parched with thirst. I, the LORD, will answer them; I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them. I will, open up rivers on the bare heights, and fountains in the broad valleys; I will turn the desert into a marshland, and the dry ground into springs of water. I will plant in the desert the cedar, acacia, myrtle, and olive; I will set in the wasteland the cypress, together with the plane tree and the pine, That all may see and know, observe and understand, That the hand of the LORD has done this, the Holy One of Israel has created it."

Isaiah 41:17-20

THERE ARE DECISIONS TO BE MADE

Decisions must be made. One cannot be thrust into intense situations and expect healing if one is not prepared to move along with life.

At the time of a death, some people retreat. They refuse to decide what they are going to do with their lives. They refuse to take hold of the situation with determination, in God's power to solve problems which a death can produce. TV result is confusion, prolonged grief an even despair.

It is not uncommon to find people refusing to take hold of their situation. They expect someone else to do it for them. But this does not work without having personal deterioration set in, a further development of helplessness, and an increase of burdens to others.

The Christian decides to move back into the mainstream of life, seeking to serve others in love, without fear. He knows the voice of his Shepherd saying, "Don't be afraid."

"Fear not, be not troubled: did I not announce and foretell it long ago? You are my witnesses! Is there a God or any Rock besides me? Yes, in joy you shall depart, in peace you shall be brought back; Mountains and hills shall break out in song before you, and all the trees of the countryside shall clap their hands. In place of the thorn bush, the cypress shall grow, instead of nettles, the myrtle. This shall be to the LORD'S renown, an everlasting imperishable sign."

Isaiah 44:8; 55:12-13

GLORY TO GOD IN THE HIGHEST

"For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that the old self was crucified with him so that the sinful body might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin. For he who has died is freed from sin. But if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him. For we know that Christ being raised from the dead will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. The death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives 5o God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus."

Romans 6:5-11

THERE IS THE REAL AND LIVING HOPE

Often, when death takes a loved one, people attempt to reassure themselves of many things. Regarding the deceased going or not going to heaven, one sometimes hears people say, "He lived a good life and will certainly be rewarded." But the Christian knows that the only possible reward rests completely in the grace of God given through Christ's suffering and death, through his resurrection from the dead.

The Christian knows what the real issues are. He knows that death is real. He cannot be consoled by t4 a thought of flowers blooming again in the spring, after the death of winter. And sentimental poetry about death does not give him consolation. Nor does he find hope within himself, that there is something eternal about him. He knows that if Christ is not risen from the dead, his hope is in vain (I Corinthians 15). The child of God knows that Jesus Christ is his only living hope.

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! By his great mercy we have been born anew to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and to an inheritance which is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God's power are guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while you may suffer various trials, so that the genuineness of your faith, more precious than gold which though perishable is tested by fire, may redound to praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Without having seen him you love him; though you do not now see him you believe in him and rejoice 'with unutterable and exalted joy."

I Peter 1:3-8

THERE IS THE CHURCH, GOD'S PEOPLE

I believe in One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church; the communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sin, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting. Such is the summation of our confession of faith which expresses our firm faith in the resurrection of followers of the Lord.

As a believer in Christ, I am united to Him; united with the Father in Christ, and united to all other believers through faith in Jesus Christ as Saviour from sin and death. I am a communicant of His Body, the Church. I am never alone because I am surrounded by God's people in heaven and on earth.

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God"

Hebrews 12: 1, 2.

PRAY GOD'S WORD AND REMEMBER

"Let me firmly assure you, he who believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life. Your ancestors ate manna in the desert, but they died This is the bread that comes down from heaven for a man to eat and never die. I myself am the living bread come down from heaven. If anyone eats this bread he shall live forever; the bread I will give is my flesh, for the life of the world"

John 6: 47 - 51.

Remember Jesus is your bread of life.

How do you go on living and doing, especially when you see that life is so fleeting, when you wonder what it is all about, or whether it is worthwhile; or if there is a reason to live?

Sometimes there is too much well meant advice. People mean well, but not everyone is helpful. Through it all Jesus promises to satisfy your deepest needs, when others fail.

Jesus says that He is the bread of life come down from heaven; that He responds to your hunger and thirst, to all who will come to Him; and that He gives new life to those who trust His power and promises. Surely this is the will of God that you see the Son and believe in Him and have eternal life.

Let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy.

Almighty and most merciful Father, Who knows the weaknesses of our nature, incline your ear in pity for your servants upon whom You have laid the heavy burden of sorrow. Remove from their hearts the spirit of rebellion and teach them to see your good and gracious purpose working in all the trials which You permit to visit them. Grant that they may not languish in fruitless and unavailing grief, nor sorrow, as those who have no hope, but through their tears look meekly up to You, the God of all consolation whose name we glorify and exalt forever and ever. Amen.

PRAY GOD'S WORD AND REMEMBER

"Finally, draw your strength from the Lord, and his mighty power. Put on the armor of God so that you may be able to stand firm against the tactics of the devil Our battle is not against human forces but against the principalities and powers, the rulers of this world of darkness, the evil spirit s in regions above. You must put on the armor of God if you are to resist on the evil day; do all that your duty requires, and hold your ground. Stand fast, with the truth as the belt around your waist, justice as your breastplate, and zeal to propagate the gospel of peace as your footgear. In al! circumstances it will help you extinguish the fiery darts of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the spirit, the word of God. At every opportunity pray to the Spirit, using prayers and petitions of every sort. Pray constantly and attentively for all in the holy company. Pray for me that God may put his word on my lips, that I may courageously make known the mystery of the gospel - that mystery for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may have courage to proclaim it as I ought.

Ephesians 6: 1 - 20.

Remember to be strong in the Lord, in the strength of His might.

You know now that your strength is not in yourself or your own. The shock of death imposes new dimensions of life on you. Where you once attempted to work things out in your own might and strength and power, you are now confronted with something far beyond you. The battle is bigger than you are. And except for the armor of God, you will perish in despair. But the Lord of love wants to empower you beyond any power you have so far known, to lay before you the strength which is yours to have. He asks you to take on His armor, to be strong in His might, and to rejoice in His will. In Him these days of desolation can become moments of victory. A mighty fortress is our God, a trusty shield and weapon to be always called upon that His power becomes yours!

Let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy.

Almighty and everlasting Father, grant us an increase of faith, hope and charity; that we may obtain what you promised, grant that we love that which You command by the grace of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

PRAY GOD'S WORD AND REMEMBER

"Well done, you are an industrious and reliable servant. Since you were dependable in a small matter, I will put you in charge of larger affairs. Come, share your master's joy... You worthless, lazy lout! You know I reap where I did not sow and gather where I did not plant. All the more reason to deposit my money with the bankers so that on my return I could have had it back with interest Take the thousand away from him and give it to the man with ten thousand. Those who have will get more until they grow rich, while those who have not will lose even what little they have. Throw this worthless lout into the darkness outside, where he can wail and grind his teeth"

Matthew 25: 21, 26-30.

Remember to fulfill the responsibilities God has given to you.

Sometimes it seems there is nothing left to do, but lie down and wait to die. Sometimes the props of life are all but completely dismantled, especially when someone very close is taken in death. But these are the precise times when our Lord points to the responsibilities He has placed in your hands, consistently to the talents He has gifted you with be they many or just few. And He expects you to continue moving through life, investing the energies He generously affords, dedicating every effort to the extension of His kingdom here on earth. He expects this by the love given to you on the Cross, His suffering and death, your forgiveness of sin if you only take advantage of it, and the gift of everlasting life under His grace by the power of His triumphant Resurrection.

Let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy.

Direct our actions, we ask You, 0 Lord by your holy inspiration and carry them on by your gracious assistance that every prayer and work of ours may begin always from You and through You be happily ended and fully concluded for your glory. Amen.

PRAY GOD'S WORD AND REMEMBER

"He therefore said to them again: My solemn word is this: I am the sheep gate. All who came before me were thieves and marauders . whom the sheep did not heed. I am the gate. Whoever enters through me will be safe He will go in and out and find pasture The thief comes only to steal and slaughter and destroy. I came that they might have life and have it to the full, I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand - who is no shepherd or owner of the sheep - catches sight of the wolf coming and runs away, leaving the sheep to be snatched and scattered by the wolf. That is because he works for pay; he has no concern for the sheep. I am the good shepherd I know my sheep and my sheep know me in the same way the Father knows me and I know the Father; for these sheep I will give my life. I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold I must lead them too, and they shall hear my voice. There shall be one flock then, one shepherd The Father loves me for this: that I lay down my life to take it up again. No one takes it from me; I lay it down freely. I have power to lay it down and I have power to take it up again. This command I received from my Father"

John 10: 7 - 18.

Remember that Jesus has laid down His life for you.

Jesus knows His, own, and they know Him. Through the valley of the shadow of death or beside still waters He is with you and with His people, the Church. He is with you in your desolation. He meets you in the pits of your suffering, in death. There is no point beyond which He refuses to go to redeem those who belong to Him. Even now He comes to you, when you feel that nothing or no one can help. Hear and listen to His voice. "I am the good shepherd; I know my own, and my own know me, as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep."

Let us pray to the Lord Lord, have mercy.

O Lord, Jesus Christ, eternal King, God and man, crucified for us, turn your merciful eyes towards me. Hear me as I put my trust in You. Have mercy on me. I am burdened with misery and sin, but the fountains of your mercy never cease flowing. Hail, saving Victim, offered for me and for all mankind upon the Cross! Hail, noble and precious blood flowing from the wounds of my crucified Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and gashing away the sins of the whole world! May your gracious name be exalted and glorified now and forever. Amen.

PRAY GOD'S WORD AND REMEMBER

"I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, through he should die, will come to life; and whoever is alive and believes in me, will never die. Do you believe this? Yes, Lord, she replied I have come to believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God; he who is to come into the world"

John 11: 26, 27.

Remember that Jesus alone is your Resurrection and life.

Who else, except your Lord, can raise the dead? There is no one beyond His reach, and the grave is conquered by the might of His power. He calls, and the dead hear His voice. Do you believe this?

This is the very same question that Jesus asked of Martha after He told her that, her brother would rise again. In this connection He also said: "I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and whoever lives and believes in me shall never die."

In answer to His question, "Do you believe this?" Martha answered, "Yes, Lord; I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God..."

John 10: 25 - 27.

 

May He Who brought us together here on earth cause us to be reunited after the final Resurrection and live together with Him for ever .

Let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy.

O God of spirits and of all flesh, You trampled death, and broke the power of satan, and granted life to your world; now grant rest 0 Lord, to the soul of your departed servant (N), in a place of light, joy and peace, where there is no pain, sorrow or mourning. As a kind and gracious God, forgive every sin committed by him, (her, them), in word, deed, or thought, since there is no person who lives and does not sin. You alone are without sin, your justice is everlasting justice and your word is truth.

For You are the Resurrection, the life and the repose of your departed servant N, 0 Christ our God and we give glory to You together with your eternal Father , and your all-holy, gracious and life-giving Spirit, now and ever, and forever. Amen

PRAY GOD'S WORD AND REMEMBER

"Do not let your hearts be troubled Have faith in God and faith in me. In my Father's house there are many dwelling places; otherwise how could I have told you that I was going to prepare a place for you? I am indeed going to prepare a place for you and then I shall come back to take you with me, that where I am you also may be. You know the way that leads where I go"

John 14: 1 - 4.

Remember that Jesus has gone to prepare a place for you.

This is His promise, that He has gone to prepare a place for you, that death is far more than the return of His people to dust. The Lord Jesus Christ has gone on before you and your loved ones, though death and Resurrection. He has returned to His rightful place with the Father, He is the way, the truth and the life. And all who would be with Him forever, must trust His grace given to them. No one comes to the Father but by Him. And no one inherits the place prepared, except through Him. Jesus asks you to remember that He has gone to prepare a place for you. He asks you to recall His promises given in this hour of deepest need, and to rejoice that He is with you always, even into death, even beyond death, into life everlasting.

Let us pray to the Lord Lord, have mercy.

Dearest Lord Jesus Christ, I am easily turned from placing my hope in you alone. I have often leaned on other creatures for comfort, support and salvation. I have sought to make my own way, forgetting your promises given to me. Help me remember that a place is prepared for me, and may I be one of the blessed ones to live and died in your abounding grace and then to reign with You, world without end. Amen.

PRAY GOD'S WORD AND REMEMBER

"Praised be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has bestowed on us in Christ every spiritual blessing in the heavens! God chose us in him before the world began, to be holy and blameless in his sight, to be full of love; he likewise predestined us through Christ Jesus to be his adopted sons - such was his will and pleasure - that all might praise the glorious favor he has bestowed on us in his beloved It is in Christ and through his blood that we have been redeemed and our sins forgiven, so immeasurably generous is God's favor to us. God has given us the wisdom to understand fully the plan he was pleased to decree in Christ, to be carried out in the fullness of time, namely, to bring all things in the heavens and on earth into one under Christ's headship. In him we were chosen; for in the decree of God, who administers everything according to his will and counsel, we were predestined to praise his glory by being the first to hope in Christ. In him you too were chosen, when you heard the glad tidings of salvation, the word of truth, and believed in it, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit which had been promised. He is the pledge of our inheritance, the first payment against the full redemption of a people God has made his own, to praise his glory"

Ephesians 1: 3 - 14.

Remember that God has destined you in love to be His own.

You are called by God to be His own, to live under Him in His kingdom and to serve Him. This is the purpose of His will for you. He has redeemed you, forgiven your sins, and lavished His grace on you. Thus you are sealed by the mystery of His will through which He accomplishes all things. You are appointed to live to the praise of His glory. And this appointment is with you as your privilege and obedience, even now. To be sure, there is pain and sorrow which is always the distress of death. But there is mission and purpose and joy in your Lord Jesus Christ Who has destined You in love to be His own.

Let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy.

Heavenly Father, by the might and power of your Holy Spirit grant me joy to see that I am your child, that there is work for me to do, that all of my sins are forgiven because of my repentance and absolution in the Mystery of Reconciliation. As you have sealed me to live under dominion in your kingdom so also strengthen me to surrender the loss of my loved one into your keeping. May your name be praised now and forever. Amen.

"Faith is confident assurance concerning what we hope for, and conviction about things we do not see. Because of faith the men of old were approved by God Through faith we perceive that the worlds were created by the word of God, and that what is visible came into being through the invisible. By faith Abel offered God a sacrifice greater than Cain's. Because of this he was attested to be just., God himself having borne witness to him on account of his gifts; therefore, although Abel is dead, he still speaks.

By faith Enoch was taken away without dying, and `he was seen no more because God took him.' Scripture testifies that before he was taken up, he was pleasing to God - but without faith, it is impossible to please him. Anyone who comes to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. By faith Noah, warned about things not yet seen, revered God and built an ark that his household might be saved He thereby condemned the world and inherited the justice which comes through faith.

By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called, and went forth to the place he was to receive as a heritage; he went forth, moreover, not knowing where he was going.

By faith he sojourned in the promised land as in a foreign country, dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs of the same promise, for he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose designer and maker is God. By faith Sarah received power to conceive though she was past the age, for she thought that the One who had made the promise was worthy of trust. As a result of this faith, there came forth from one man, who was himself as good as dead, descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and the sands of the seashore,

All of these died in faith. They did not obtain what had been promised but saw and saluted it from afar. By acknowledging themselves to be strangers and foreigners on earth, they showed that they were seeking a homeland If they had been thinking back to the place from which they had come, they would have had the opportunity for returning there.

But they were searching for a better, a heavenly home. Wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them. By faith Abraham, when put to the test, offered up Isaac; he who had received the promises was ready to sacrifice his only son, of whom it was said, `Through Isaac shall your descendants be called'

He reasoned that God was able to raise from the dead, and so he received Isaac invoked for Jacob and Esau blessings that were still to be.

By faith Jacob, when dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, and worshipped God leaning on the head of his staff. By faith Joseph near the end of his life, spoke of the Exodus of the Israelites, and gave instructions about his burial By faith Moses' parents hid him for three months after his birth, thereby disregarding the king's edict, because they saw that he was a beautiful child

By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh's daughter; he wished to be ill-treated along with God's people rather than enjoy the fleeting rewards of sin.

Moses considered the reproach borne by God's Anointed greater riches than the treasures of Egypt for he was looking to the reward By faith he left Egypt, not fearing the king's wrath, for he persevered as if he were looking on the invisible God By faith he kept the Passover and sprinkled the lamb's blood, that the destroying angel might not touch the first-born of Israel.

By faith the Israelites crossed the Red Sea as if it were on dry land, but when the Egyptians attempted the same thing they were drowned Because of Israel's faith, the walls of Jericho fell after being encircled for seven days. By faith Rahab the harlot escaped from being destroyed with the unbelievers, for she had peacefully received the spies.

What more shall I recount? I have no time to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets, who by faith conquered kingdoms, did what was just, obtained the promises; they broke the jaws of lions, put out raging fires, escaped the devouring sword; though weak they were made powerful, became strong in battle, and turned back foreign invaders.

Women received back their dead through resurrection. Others were tortured and would not receive deliverance in order to obtain a better resurrection. Still others endured mockery, scourging, even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, sawed in two, put to death at sword's point; they went about garbed in the skins of sheep or goats, needy, afflicted, tormented The world was not worthy of them. They wandered about in deserts and mountains; they dwelt in caves and in holes of the earth.

Yet despite the fact that all of these were approved because of their faith, they did not obtain what had been promised. God made a better plan, a plan which included us. Without us, they were not to be made perfect.

Therefore, since we for our part are surrounded by this cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every encumbrance of sin which clings to us and persevere in running the race which lies ahead, let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus who inspires and perfects our faith. For the sake of the joy which lay ahead before him he endured the cross, heedless of its shame, he has taken his seat at the right of the throne of God"

Hebrews 11: 1 - 40; 12: 1 - 2.

Remember your faith is the assurance of things hoped for.

The Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead assures you that you are already become the risen one. You wait in faith and hope for Him to come again and claim you in final glory. Your assurance of this is in God's Word to you. You wait with the magnificent Church, with the hosts of witnesses, believing the promises of God, or you despair. You are asked to lay aside every encumbering weight, and run with perseverance the race set before you, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of your faith, Who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Eternal Father. As was the case of all the faithful, before you, this is your hour when you must take hold of daily tasks knowing what these things are true. What other assurance can there be than that God himself maintains His Lordship over those you love; the death of his saints; and your own death as well. Rejoice in your faith, giving glory to God with prayer, praise and thanksgiving of love offered to others in His name.

Let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy.

O Eternal Father, Who by the light of the Holy Spirit instructed the hearts of the faithful, grant us in the same Spirit to be truly wise, and ever to rejoice in His consolation now and ever and forever. Amen.

"There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. The law of the spirit, the spirit of life in Christ Jesus has freed you from the law of sin and death. The law was powerless because of its weakening by the flesh. Then God sent his Son in the likeness of sinful flesh as a sin offering, thereby condemning sin in the flesh, so that the just demands of the law might be fulfilled in us who live, not according to the flesh, but according to the spirit....If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, then he who raised Christ from the dead will bring your mortal bodies to life also, through his Spirit living in you. We are debtors, then, my brothers but not to the flesh, so that we should live according to the flesh. If you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the evil deeds of the body, you will live"

Romans 8:1 - 4, 11 - 13.

"Brothers, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and in which you stand firm. You are being saved by it at this very moment if you hold fast to it as I preached it to you. Otherwise you have believed in vain. I handed on to you, first of constitution, what I myself received, that Christ died for our sins in accordance with Scripture, that he was buried, and in accordance with Scripture, rose on the third day.. ..But as it is, Christ is now raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. Death came through a man; hence the resurrection of the dead comes through a man also. Just as in Adam all die, so in Christ, all will come to life again, but each one in proper order, Christ the first fruits and then, at his coming, all those who belong to him.. ..How are the dead to be raised up? What kind of body will they have? A nonsensical question! The seed you sow does not germinate unless it dies. When you sow, you don not sow the full-blown plant, but a kernel of wheat or some other grain. God gives body to it as he pleases, so each seed is its own fruition.... What is sown is ignoble, what rises is glorious. Weakness is sown, strength rises up. A natural body is put down and a spiritual body will rise up ... Death is swallowed up in victory. 0 death, where is your victory? 0 death where is your sting? The sting of death is sin, and sin gets its power of death from the law. But thanks be to God who has given us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 15: 1 - 4, 20 - 23, 35 - 38, 43, 44; 54 - 57.

Remember that God has put all things under his feet... even death.

God has put all things under His feet, even death. He is our Creator, King, Saviour, Redeemer, Lord and Restorer. All things are in His hands: His people, the Church and all principalities and powers. And nothing but your sin can separate you from the love of God which we have in Christ Jesus our Lord. All things are brought together under Him and every knee bows at His Name, and every tongue confesses that Jesus is Lord to the glory of God the Father. God has delivered victory to His people. He gives us that victory now!

Let us pray to the Lord. Lord, have mercy.

O God of our Fathers, Giver of peace and Lover of mankind, grant to your servants a perfect union with your will that we may be delivered from all temptations that beset us so that Your all holy name be glorified and exalted now and forever. Amen.

"Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth. has passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband; and I heard a great voice from the throne say, 'Behold, the dwelling of God is with men. He will dwell with them, and they shall be his peo¬ple, and God himself will be with them; he will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning nor crying nor pain any more, for the former things have passed away.' "

Apocalypse 21:1-4

Amen                   Amen                   Amen

Free Search Engine Submission

©2014 St Paul The Aposte Orthodox Church. All rights reserved.

 

Home + Back + Top +
Powered by Orthodox Web Solutions