FR. DEMETRI'S MESSAGE
It’s time for new beginnings! It’s time for a fresh start! It’s time to make some resolutions!
These are often statements that are made by most people at the beginning of a new year, and we as Orthodox Christians are not really all that different! Who wants to remain the same as before? I know I don’t, because I want to continue to grow in the Lord, as well as put off some of those things that have held me down for being all He wants me to be.
Yet, we all struggle just a bit in our endeavor to move forward as failings and difficulties from the past create a “drag” on the vision for the future! I’m reminded of a wonderful scripture that helps me each time those thoughts come into my mind:
“Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Phil. 3:12-14
St. Paul’s declaration of forgetting, he said he does one thing, however we see that one thing is actually broken down into three parts:
Forgetting What is Behind
Forgetting what is behind is the first one. It seems that the more difficult a situation is, the harder it is to “forget!” St. Paul wasn’t saying there’s no way we would remember these things, but he was simply saying those things would not be enough to hold us back from forward progress!
The next thing he said was he would “reach forward” to what is ahead. Yes, there are times serving God, and even moving forward in life takes some straining, yet, we are reminded that it will truly be worth it all…
Lastly, he said he would “press toward the goal for the prize.” We need to remember also that we will be rewarded one day. We must keep our eyes focused on the prize, and the greatest prize we will know one day is to see our Savior face to face!
Let's make sure that we worship Him throughout the New Year and see what opportunities present themselves through this journey that way, whether good or difficult, we have the previous quote from St. Paul to strengthen and encourage us! Happy New Year!
With love in the Lord,