My Sisters and Brothers in Christ! We are called by our Lord Christ to gather in His Name to the praise and glory of God our Father in the embrace of the Holy Spirit! It is the Father who created us out of nothing to be the bearers of His goodness in the world. It is the Son who “staked His heart on us, gambling that we would be His prize, so that He might lavish us with His gifts.” It is the Holy Spirit who brings us “grateful coolness in the heat and solace in the midst of woe” as the Golden Sequence of Pentecost tells us.
We, the baptized Orthodox, bring the joyful news of Christ’s Gospel into a world that is in great need of that joy. In this new millennium and at this time, Christ chooses each one of us to present to His Father as a unique gift filled with grace. We are the “salt of the earth” and the “light of the world.” It is our joy to bear the triumphant Cross even when we are wounded. For we know that we can “accomplish all things in Christ who strengthens us.”
We collectively and individually know and believe in our hearts that Christ is risen. We gather each Sunday to remember His life-saving passion by partaking in the Great Mystery of the Eucharist. We leave the Altar Table each week reinvigorated by His Risen Body and Blood partaken in Holy Communion, so that we might conquer the alienation and hostility of the world with love.
Here in Concord, the largest city of Contra Costa, we preach that love, forgiveness and openness to all as we fulfill the Lord’s directive to “take and eat,” to “take and drink.”
May all who pass through the doors of St. Michael’s Church find that love!
Fr. Peter, Rector