Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Crowning the Year with Goodness

Christ our God, Your kingdom is an everlasting one, and Your lordship is over all. You have made all things with wisdom and have established proper times and seasons for our lives. We give thanks to You in all circumstances and for all things. Lord, bless the beginning of our Church year with Your goodness. Grant that this liturgical year be for all of us a year of grace. Make us worthy with purity of heart always to praise You. Lord, glory to You!

Each year the Orthodox Christian Church begins the New Church Year with this prayer. September 1st, as the first day of the Church Year, is also a day in which the Orthodox Church commemorates and celebrates God’s creation, which He gave for our salvation. In creating the Universe, God established the way we could find Him, and live in communion with Him. His creation – the birds of the air, the fish in the sea, the animals on the earth, and the vegetation that feeds the world – are all given to us by God for one purpose, to find Him.

The created world, which the Church also uses during each of the Mysteries (Sacraments), has been created to bestow God’s grace upon humanity through His Church. He created us in His Divine Image, so that we could grow into His Divine Likeness. By celebrating, honoring, and blessing His creation, we are offering it back to Him in thanksgiving for the many blessings He has given to us in our daily struggle to grow closer to Him.

When the Church asks God to bless the year with His Goodness, we are expressing our total dependence upon His loving mercy and guidance. Without the created world, we would not know God. In each and every miracle He performed, it was THROUGH His creation that He revealed His power and love to the world. And it was THROUGH His creation, becoming PART of His creation, that He ultimately saved, saves, and will save us.

I invite you to take the opportunity this year to make a new commitment to Christ. I invite you to make the time each week to include time with God in His Church, surrounded by others in His creation, to grow closer to Him. I encourage you to invite Him into your life, and to ask Him to crown your year with goodness and mercy.

If you want to grow closer to God, His has given His creation and His Church to assist you. May God crown your new year with goodness, mercy and blessings.

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