by Sub-deacon Bill Clark
A Lenten Message To All Our Sunday School Children and Youth Group, from Sub-deacon Bill Clark
May every blessing be yours this Holy season of our journey towards Pascha.
Many years ago, when I became an Orthodox Christian, one of the things I liked best was "DOING EVERYTHING TOGETHER". No longer did I pray alone with private devotions. In our Holy Orthodox Church, we attend the Divine Liturgy TOGETHER, ur morning and evening prayers we recite at home, beginning with the "Trisagion Prayers" of the Church, then our private prayers are said. We Orthodox Christians are "All One In Christ Jesus" (Gal 3:28). "For we, though many, are one bread and one body". We all partake of that one bread (1 Cor 10:17). The Body of Christ is one, and we dear brothers and sisters are one family. Therefore, as one spiritual family, we act and share in everything TOGETHER.
Once again, we are in the "Great Fast". Holy Lent is our time of preparation TOGETHER, leading us on our journey to Holy Pascha. How should we prepare together? Our Holy and wise Orthodox Church requests that ALL OF HER FAITHFUL TO FAST, at least minimally, as there is no Lent without fasting. For healthily people, the minimum fast is abstaining from meat. School age children who have never attempted fasting should begin with Wednesday and Friday. You could "give up" some television or some treats. Read the Scriptures and the lives of the Saints. Increase your prayers. For all ages, fasting will yield great benefits, both spiritually and physically.
TOGETHER, we should attend Friday 6:30PM Presanctified Liturgy. Endeavor to attend at least one or two.
Also, Father Alecse has the Saturday 10:00@l Memorial Liturgy.
Let us remember our loved ones who have departed this life. Remember, they are not gone, but with the Church Triumphant and are TOGETHER, with us when we pray for them! But why do all of this?!
We do these things because "HE" Loved Us First.
Our dear Lord shed every drop of his blood for us on the cross, for our sins. Then He rose up from the tomb opening the gates of heaven, all for us, so that TOGEHTER we may be saved. HE has rescued us, saved us. No one will ever love us as Christ Jesus does. Can we not TOGETHER show him a little appreciation, with a little less entertainment, a little less meat, a little less candy, a little less sinning against our neighbor, to thank our dear Jesus for so great gift of salvation?! Sometimes dear young Christians, it is difficult for the priest and his two old Sub-Deacons, to serve only a very few people at these holy and beautiful services. Let us TOGETHER show the world that we Orthodox Christians dearly love God, and His Holy Church. We must come TOGEHTER, proudly worshipping our "KING OF GLORY", TOGETHER, in large numbers at Holy Trinity.
May Our Dear Resurrected Lord Bless You All !
Love, Brother Bill