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Ambassadors of the Faith: PROCLAIM HIS RESURRECTION


Father Luke Melackrinos

I want you to think about bottled water for a moment. Just a few short years ago we were all content to drink water from a sink. If back then we asked the question, "Would anyone pay for water?" I doubt anyone would have expected that in the year 2004 alone, U.S. Consumers spent an estimated 8 billion dollars on bottled water. Let me say that again, 8 BILLION dollars. Why?

(If done as a retreat session: take a bottle of water and pour it into a glass that is filled with mud and dirt. If done as a sermon, ask the audience to imagine if you did this)

We spend so much money on water because we know it is pure. Why on earth are we talking about pure and clean water right now? Because, just like the bottled water is pure, we are also called as Orthodox Christians to be pure. We have to be clean glasses without all of that mud and dirt.

How can we be clean? (people can answer in various ways at this point if this is interactive). Why is it important that we are pure and clean?

Because we have just celebrated something amazing. Imagine, if you can, two mountains with a huge space between them. This is how we were as people before Pascha (Easter). There is God, one of those mountain-tops, who was completely different from us. He doesn't have a beginning or an end. And us, the other mountain-top, we have a birthday and one day we will die as well. But Jesus changed the whole picture. He became like a bridge where God can now understand who we are and experience the same things that we experience.

So, this brings us back to being clean and our other jobs. God wants us to realize how great a thing this is that Jesus did. He was born and died for all of us, and to bridge the gap. He was born and died so that we don't follow the same rules anymore. He was born and died so that death which was considered so powerful, has no power. And God wants us to tell everyone about this great gift, this "Good News."

Does that mean that God wants us to stand on street corners with a bible in our hands and scream about the Death and Resurrection of Jesus? Not necessarily. As we have all heard, actions speak louder than words.

So we don't just tell everyone about the Good News. We have to live in a new way. We have to live like we know we are part of God's Kingdom. We have to live like we don't worry so much about the things of this world.
We have to live like we are pure.

This is not the easiest thing to do. In fact, in can be very difficult.

St. Paul said, "For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come." (2 Timothy 4:6). St. Paul had to live a life of sacrifice, and suffered in order for other people to learn the Good News of Jesus.

Let us leave today, just like St. Paul. Not embarrassed, but ready to take a stand and live in a pure way so that we can truly share the Good News about Jesus with everyone around us.

Father Luke currently serves as assistant priest at the Cathedral of St.
Paul in Hempstead, New York. He graduated from Holy Cross in 2003, and was ordained to both the diaconate and priesthood by Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco. Fr. Luke has been married to Presbytera Marusia (who is expecting their second child in July) for ten years and their daughter Eleni is ready to become a big sister. Fr. Luke is also currently studying at St. Vladimir's Seminary in the Doctorate of Ministry program.

For additional resources, visit the Youth Ministries website at www.youth.goarch.org.

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Proclaim His Resurrection

Father Luke Melackrinos

I want you to think about bottled water for a moment. Just a few short years ago we were all content to drink water from a sink. If back then we asked the question, "Would anyone pay for water?" I doubt anyone would have expected that in the year 2004 alone, U.S. Consumers spent an estimated 8 billion dollars on bottled water. Let me say that again, 8 BILLION dollars. Why?

(If done as a retreat session: take a bottle of water and pour it into a glass that is filled with mud and dirt. If done as a sermon, ask the audience to imagine if you did this)

We spend so much money on water because we know it is pure. Why on earth are we talking about pure and clean water right now? Because, just like the bottled water is pure, we are also called as Orthodox Christians to be pure. We have to be clean glasses without all of that mud and dirt.

How can we be clean? (people can answer in various ways at this point if this is interactive). Why is it important that we are pure and clean?

Because we have just celebrated something amazing. Imagine, if you can, two mountains with a huge space between them. This is how we were as people before Pascha (Easter). There is God, one of those mountain-tops, who was completely different from us. He doesn't have a beginning or an end. And us, the other mountain-top, we have a birthday and one day we will die as well. But Jesus changed the whole picture. He became like a bridge where God can now understand who we are and experience the same things that we experience.

So, this brings us back to being clean and our other jobs. God wants us to realize how great a thing this is that Jesus did. He was born and died for all of us, and to bridge the gap. He was born and died so that we don't follow the same rules anymore. He was born and died so that death which was considered so powerful, has no power. And God wants us to tell everyone about this great gift, this "Good News."

Does that mean that God wants us to stand on street corners with a bible in our hands and scream about the Death and Resurrection of Jesus? Not necessarily. As we have all heard, actions speak louder than words.

So we don't just tell everyone about the Good News. We have to live in a new way. We have to live like we know we are part of God's Kingdom. We have to live like we don't worry so much about the things of this world.
We have to live like we are pure.

This is not the easiest thing to do. In fact, in can be very difficult.

St. Paul said, "For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come." (2 Timothy 4:6). St. Paul had to live a life of sacrifice, and suffered in order for other people to learn the Good News of Jesus.

Let us leave today, just like St. Paul. Not embarrassed, but ready to take a stand and live in a pure way so that we can truly share the Good News about Jesus with everyone around us.

Father Luke currently serves as assistant priest at the Cathedral of St.
Paul in Hempstead, New York. He graduated from Holy Cross in 2003, and was ordained to both the diaconate and priesthood by Metropolitan Gerasimos of San Francisco. Fr. Luke has been married to Presbytera Marusia (who is expecting their second child in July) for ten years and their daughter Eleni is ready to become a big sister. Fr. Luke is also currently studying at St. Vladimir's Seminary in the Doctorate of Ministry program.

For additional resources, visit the Youth Ministries website at www.youth.goarch.org.

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