Faith in God’s Benevolence Will Sustain Us
As we come to the end of another year and prepare to begin a new one, it is always appropriate for us to look back and consider the many blessings we have received from our Heavenly Father. To be sure, each year has its “ups and downs,” and this year has been no exception. The continuing pandemic and the “new normal” that is being tossed about as we go through peaks and valleys of the waves of the virus’s greater or lesser effects have a good many people concerned.
For the Orthodox Christian, however, no “new normal” is really required. When faced with difficult or unusual situations or circumstances in our lives, I am always inspired with hope by the manner in which our parents and grandparents managed to deal with the unthinkable difficulties of revolution, war, forced emigration, refugee camps, a second war, and finally somehow managing to come and settle here in America—all the while adapting to changing circumstances and situations. I have always been impressed by the fact that one of the first things a new “colony” of our forebears and those like them would do was to build a church, a spiritual home that, in the vast majority of cases, became the center of such “colonies” throughout the free world. Thanks to their faith, dedication, and efforts, we have been given a much easier life plus a faith in God’s benevolence, which sustained them through such difficult times and will sustain us through whatever “normal” we will need to live through.
As we reflect on this past year and prepare for the new one, it is good for each of us to remember the mistakes we made, the good things we should have done but didn’t, and, most important, the promises we made to God last year to do our best to be better Christians this year. Let us, indeed, consider these things and truly show our appreciation to Our Lord for His unending patience with us by coming to church, going to Holy Confession, and receiving the most precious gifts of Holy Communion. Let us do more than just make a New Year’s resolution to be better, but instead truly “commit ourselves and one another and all our life unto Christ our God,” the celebration of Whose Nativity gives us yet another opportunity to recommit ourselves to faith in Him. We have seen the benefits of such faith. May we make ourselves more worthy to receive those benefits even more bountifully in the coming new year.