O Word of the Father from before the ages, Who, being in the form of God, brought creation into being out of nothing; You Who put the times and seasons in Your own power: Bless the crown of the year with Your goodness; give peace unto Your churches, victory unto Your faithful hierarchs, fruitfulness unto the earth, and Great Mercy unto us.Matins of the Indiction (Ecclesiastical New Year)
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
We are blessed to live in one of the most spectacularly beautiful regions of our great nation. Look up to the Wasatch Mountain Range. Now that the smoke from California fires has been replaced with the mysterious and quick-moving clouds of thunder storms, we witness God’s splendor, creativity, and absolute awesomeness spread across the eastern sky.
The colors on Mt. Olympus and her accompanying cast of characters are changing rapidly. The brilliance of God’s command is exhibited to us through a pallet of which only He could have devised. The textures, shadows, colors and crispness of Autumn is unique among the seasons. Fall is my favorite season. Perhaps its the start of the school year. Maybe its the change in the weather. Could be the beautiful colors on the mountains, in our neighborhoods, and lining the roads. Probably football. At any rate, I love the beauty, experience and the very idea of Autumn.
In 3 Ecclesiastes we read, “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.” As the snow flies, we hunker down, replenish (hopefully) our water supplies, and enjoy the vast array of winter sports here in Utah. Springtime is renewal, anticipation, emergence and life. The summer months refresh our spirits, bring us together and permit us the time to reconnect. In Autumn, as the brightly-hewn leaves fall to the ground, our kids go back to “work,” the cycle of activities intensifies and while nature is going to sleep, society is roaring into second or third gear.
God is timeless. He knows no seasons. He does not ebb or flow. He does not rise or fall. He does not circle in orbit. He created the natural order for our benefit, but is not subject to it. So the celebration of the changing of the seasons is knowing that God is there all the while. Listening to our prayers. Granting our petitions. Shielding us from misguided requests.
Speaking to us through His saints, his angels, His eternal Logos made Incarnate.
In the seasons, and in our spiritual lives, every aspect of reality flow into each other and co-exist in perfect harmony. While springtime may be well removed form autumn: death and life, darkness and light, warmth and coldness are not binary opposites; opposed to each other through means of conflict. Through Christ, death no longer has dominion. Physical death is simply the opportunity to await the glory of His eternal tomorrow. As the beautiful leaves fall, the tree sleeps. Only to emerge again in the glorious splendor of differing adornments.
As we have entered into the Fall Season, please take the opportunity for spiritual renewal and growth. The sacred services of the church are plentiful during this time of year. The social and educational programs of our parish are currently on the rise. And yes, our opportunities to illustrate our financial commitment to the ministries, programs and facilities of our parish are discussed now, more than any other time of year.
St. Anna Greek Orthodox Church is alive! It experiences seasons. It cycles in and out of the daily lives of our people just as the sun rises and falls, and the days grow long and short. Please, always continue to make our Lord Jesus Christ as the center of our every purpose.
Seasons change. Cycles continue. In it all, there is Christ, Who indeed, “brought creation into being out of nothing.”
Fr. Anthony Savas