These words of our Lord begin with the affirmation of how God shows us His love. We are chosen by Him because in love He has created us, forgiven us, and redeemed us. We are chosen for a special and eternal relationship with Him in which our fellowship is restored, our life transformed and renewed, and we are given the power to live in holiness.
In continuation of our series of reflections on the theme of our 41st Biennial Clergy-Laity Congress, “Chosen and appointed by God to go and bear fruit,” let us consider the question, “Where do we go?” It is very clear from the Holy Scripture in John 15:16 and throughout the Gospels and Epistles, that we are sent by God into the world with a message of His divine love and of the salvation that comes through Christ. By this message of truth and faith, offered through our worship, our ministry, and through all areas of our lives, we reveal the power and presence of Christ in all that we do.
Our reflections on the theme for our 41st Biennial Clergy-Laity Congress, “Chosen and appointed by God to go and bear fruit,” lead us to consider how we fulfill the commission we have received from Him. He has chosen and appointed us (John 15:16) to go to all who need the saving and transforming presence of Christ and to bear fruit by offering a witness of divine grace, by strengthening faith, and by guiding others into a sustained and growing relationship with Him.
“We have been chosen and appointed by God to go and bear fruit.” To do this, the Gospel message had to be carried throughout the world, a sacred task we continue today. The primary means for doing this is through our worship. This is our priority as His children, people of faith who experience His presence, affirm divine truth, and offer a witness of the joy and peace we have in Him.
When we are connected to Christ, we know that we are chosen and appointed by God to go and bear fruit in terms of promoting our Orthodox faith--a faith which affirms our dependence on God, our commitment to His will, our participation in the extraordinary sacramental life of the Church, and the spiritual nature of our lives and the reality of God’s kingdom and presence in our midst.