Peace to you, dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Our Bishop Vsevolod visited three parishes in Khakassia (Tuim, Abakan and Sayanogorsk) to celebrate the Feast of Saint Michael and All Angels there. Local priests assisted the Bishop during the liturgies.
May we bring to you attention part of the Bishop’s sermon:
We read in today’s Gospel that,
The seventy-two returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name!”
And He said to them, “Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy.”(from Lk 10:17-19)
An invisible war becomes visible not only in the world, but also in the Church, where the successors of the apostles use the power God has given them to attack the force of the enemy, to conquer it through “the Blood of the Lamb and the Word of testimony” (Rev. 12:11). The Word and sacraments are the weapons that God has placed in our hands.
That is why the Lord commanded the Church to baptize all nations: to snatch people from the power of darkness and to put them in the safest place in the world: into the Church. The Church is a fortified city set on the top of the hill (from Ps 60:9 and Matt 5:14), she is a fortress that the most terrible gates of hell cannot prevail.
Here, through baptism, we and our children become people of God, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hands (from John 10:29). Here we are sealed with the sign of the cross and our names are written into the “Book of Life” (Dan 12:1). Here the Lord is with us not only spiritually, but even physically: in the Eucharist, our body unites with His Body, and our blood mixes with His Blood.
All this the Lord gives us to save us. This is our God.
• He wants us to follow Him.
• To resist in all life’s trials.
• To believe in Him.
• To imitate Him.
• To learn from Him to love even those who hate us.
• To forgive them and to pray for them.
It is precisely because we have little strength for all this, that we are constantly sliding down to sins and hate, God sends us His invisible helpers – angels to help us.
Please pray that the travels of the Lutheran clergymen in Siberia are safe and fruitful for the Kingdom of God.
“Faith and hope”
Please see attached photos
P.S. In the church of Saint Luke, we cannot finish the necessary repairs. A lot has already been done, first of all, what is needed before the winter starts (the walls are insulated; a new coal stove is bought and installed). But now the money from the donations raised has completely run out, and we need help to complete the repairs in the rest of the church building (install new heating and water pipes, insulate and put new floors). If you can help the parish in Abakan, please help!