Homilies & Sermons

Christ’s Baptism Enables Us to Live His Life

When You, O Lord was baptized in the Jordan / The worship of the trinity was made manifest / For the voice of the Father bore witness to You / And called You His beloved Son / And the Sprit in the form of a dove, / Confirmed the truthfulness of His word.  / O Christ, our God, You have revealed Yourself / And have enlightened the world, glory to You!

–Troparion of the Feast of Theophany

We need to understand what the Christian Faith is and what it means to be a Christian. And then we need to go beyond what our minds can grasp and understand.

When Christ was baptized, he sanctified everything. We now have the potential to live his life.

Our Faith is a mystical way, a spiritual path of Light in the world that has been rejected as darkness. It is the way that leads to the healing of our soul and body. The Christian Faith isn’t alien to the world. It holds the world together and provides the very air we breathe. It is a way of healing that touches us at the point of our weakness, our sickness, and our sin in order to heal us. To be a Christian, we come out of the activity and the commotion of the city and the world and into the desert, into the quietness and emptiness of our soul. Then we fill that empty place with Christ.  We put on Christ and then we take up our cross—and we follow Him.

To be a Christian means to take up our Cross. Our cross turns this life into a mystical adventure. We set out on a journey together that takes us to Pascha, to our death in the Lord, the death of the old man, the death of all that separates us from Christ. We are reborn as sons and daughters of the light, and children of God. If we in fact take up our cross and follow him then we are not just called Christian but we actually are becoming Christian, we begin to live an evangelical life, a mystical parable: a life in which death is destroyed by death and strength is revealed in weakness. A life of goodness, a life of purity, a life illumined by Christ’s own Heavenly Spirit in the joy of His Resurrection, the life for which we were originally created in the beginning and to which we are now called in the mystery of His baptism.

Christ does not expect us to blend in with our society. He expects us to transform it. The only way we can accomplish that goal is to be willing to be transformed ourselves. Our Lord is a specialist in transforming souls, but He will not force us. He is anxiously and patiently waiting for us to give our consent by cooperating with Him in the process of our Theosis. May our good God grant us the desire to be light in a dark place.

Fr Gregory Owen

Fr Gregory Owen

Fr. Gregory is the priest of a small, canonical Orthodox Mission in Berrien Springs, MI. Ordained as a priest in 2007, he desires to use his position as a priest to see souls healed through the life in Christ as prescribed by the Orthodox Church.

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