January 2020 Pastoral Message
By: Rev. Dr. Nicholas V. Gamvas
FAITH IS POWER
Some people do not turn to God, or do not go to church, because they think they are not good enough. They feel that they must reach a certain standard of spiritual integrity or visible piety before they can honesty direct them to God and try to pray.
However, no one can stand before God on the basis of how good or bad, pious or impious, spiritual or nonspiritual they are. No one is “good enough” to stand before God and make claims of self-worth. On the other hand, everyone is precious in the eyes of God!
What makes it possible to present ourselves to God is faith. So simple! Not by doing this or that, or by showing Him our spiritual achievements or the lack of the them, but by faith that He cares about us and that He will fulfil our every need as a loving Father! St. Symeon the New Theologian says that there is no obstacle to faith. As soon as we wish with all our heart, straightaway we believe. Faith is a gift that everyone has. By nature a human being is inclined to turn to his or her Creator. Unfortunately, we don’t exercise our gift of faith often enough. When we do, through God’s grace, it becomes an amazing power that strengthens and renews our life and the lives of those around us!
“A man is not justified by works but through faith,” writes St. Paul, so “we have believed in Christ Jesus, in order to be justified by faith in Christ” (Ga. 2:16).
Faith is an act of trust that in Christ God calls us to be His spiritual sons and daughters; that in Him the Father shows us His love; that He cares about us; that He knows every hair on our’ head; that He will help us when we turn to Him in faith.
“Let God be God,” someone has written. We have difficulty doing this. We seem to prefer to be a little god himself or to act like one. We wants to “save” ourselves; that is, to secure life through our own resources. We want to do it by “works,” namely, our own plans, our own designs, our own ingenuity, our own power of intelligence, our own self assertion… apart from God. Our culture today, with all its achievements, tremendous talents, and skills and technical means, we refuse to recognize the majesty of God. His wisdom and His sovereign lordship over all things. It cannot say to God “Your will be done,” because of a case of an “enlarged ego”. Yet, with all our attainments in medicine, education, industry, space travel and others, what can we hope for in relations among nations, organizations, and persons without wholehearted faith in God as our Father which makes us brothers and sisters?
One of the Prophets put it simply: “Believe and you shall live”.