This is Church
The world is on fire. Social media is on fire. And the church SEEMS to be on fire. But glory to God who walks with us in the fire that we might not burn.
We want to be all fighting for some sort of justice. Fighting for those who are oppressed, whether it be because of race, culture, sexual abuse, the list goes on. We want to fight for the victim. Our passions and anger rile each other up as we see the ones without a voice get beaten and unfairly treated. We want to be that voice. We want to be that hero.
Yes, the struggle in this life is real. The pain is real. Racism is real. Sexual abuse is real. Your hurt is real. My sin is real.
In all this, what is it that we are truly fighting for? Are we fighting to release victims from their prisons, that they may live outside of the four walls that held them captive? They will also pass away like you and I, and then what?
Are we fighting for justice (earthly consequences), Justice (heavenly), salvation?
Has our fight become solely an earthly fight? Has it become a battle that really has no victory in the Divine realm? Are we fighting for Freedom or deeper entanglement?
Our Saviour asks us to fight for the Kingdom. To fight for the Truth.
We have turned our current social events into a fight against humanity rather than a fight against THE oppressor. The one whose name literally means divider. He, the devil, is the real enemy. The real oppressor. Each of us is his victim.
We treat the oppressor in an unjust way yet we fight for justice. Are we truly fighting for justice if we long to see the villain punished? We are all in need of healing, we are all in need of salvation and we are all certainly in need of Justice.
We throw around nice quotes and verses that we have read but don’t really understand or have any intention of living. We say that we love all people and accept all people of every race and nation. We post inspirational speeches and feel empowered about our cause. But what are we really living for? Who are we loving, and who are we fighting for besides our own ego?
What is justice? What is God’s justice?
“…justice is for God to help us through His Grace to rectify that which truly wronged us. It is exactly at the core of our being, ontologically speaking, that we have been wronged, through the Fall…Our estrangement from our Divine nature.”
Father Maximos of Cyprus
Justice is to make things right. God’s Justice is to make all men to be made right.
God’s Justice without His Mercy is death for every one of us. Glory to God that He “desires not the death of a sinner but rather that he returns and lives.” We must not forget this, we must drop our stones that we eagerly desire to throw, and seek true healing for the hurt, the sinner, the child of God (we are each every single one.)
Justice is that every man, made in the image of God, grows into the likeness of Christ. This is true Justice. And if this is not what we are fighting, for then we fight for nothing and no one.
This earthly world that we fight for will all pass away, none of this will remain.
To say that repentance is the solution to all our current problems is NOT cliché and to say that it is indicates that we have not experienced true repentance. Perhaps if we recognized those who modeled the life of repentance around us (heavenly and earthly), our desire to live a life of holiness would not easily wane. Repentance is not an action or a ‘sorry’ that is said or done in a single moment. No, repentance is an act that rises above time and place. And because it’s above time, it affects everything and everyone. From one person’s repentance, all is changed. Nothing can be the same.
“Acquire the Spirit of Peace and a thousand souls around you will be saved.” Fr Seraphim of Sarov
Repentance can save the world. Repentance is the beauty of this world because it leads us to the True Beauty. It allows our hearts to be channels of grace, a home for the homeless, a love for the unwanted and a hospital for the wounded. And this is Church.
St. Isaac the Syrian testifies to the power of repentance;
“He who has been able to see himself has accomplished more than one who has seen the angels.”
“One who apprehends his sin is better than one who through his prayers raises the dead.”
I pray the Lord leads us all to a life of repentance that we may heal one another.
May we seek God’s Justice for each other.
This is God’s Justice. This is Church.
Picture Credit: Nikolay Yanakiev