Rev. Nicholas Georgiou: “Give Thanks”

(Or, perhaps, “a sacrifice of thanksgiving”)

An excerpt

. . . . A beautiful story is told about a sheep that hurt its leg. The sheep limped and never wandered more than a few feet away from the shepherd. A stranger looked at the sheep and asked, “Why is the sheep limping? Why doesn’t the sheep ever leave the shepherd’s side?” The shepherd explained that the sheep was partially deaf and could not hear his voice so it was always walking into danger. Many times the sheep was rescued from near disaster. The shepherd finally decided to inflict an injury on the sheep’s leg. The sheep limped, but it stayed closer to the shepherd for protection and guidance. God allows His sheep to experience certain difficult situations (limps) in life to be used as an opportunity to grow closer to Him. St. Paul’s 2nd letter to the Corinthians states: “Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me but He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness’ … For Christ’s sake I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties, For when I am weak, then I am strong.” St. Paul had a “limp” and God did not remove it. God’s love allowed the pain to remain to keep  St. Paul “limping” at the Shepherd’s side, where he could find strength for his weakness.

The entire sermon:

One afternoon a woman was shopping at the mall. She was tired from all the shopping, so she bought a small bag of chocolate chip cookies and put them in her shopping bag. She sat down at one of the crowded tables in the food court and began reading the newspaper and sipping her coffee. Across the table from her, a man was reading a magazine. After a few minutes, she reached out and took a cookie. As she took the cookie, the man sitting across from her also took a cookie out of the same bag! This really bothered the woman, but she did not say anything. A few minutes later, she took another cookie. Once again, the man took another cookie from the same bag! Although the woman was very upset, she still did not say anything. After taking a few more sips of coffee, the woman, once again, took another cookie. Again, the man took another cookie from the same bag. Now, the woman was extremely upset because she realized that only one cookie was left! Before the woman could say anything, the man took the last cookie and broke it in half. He offered her one half and ate the other half himself. The man smiled at the woman, put his magazine under his arm, and walked away. As the mad, extremely flustered woman steamed out of the food court, she folded her newspaper, opened her shopping bag, and discovered her own, unopened bag of chocolate chip cookies!

Some of us are similar to the woman in the story. God gives us gifts and blessings, and we are not aware of them. We get caught up in the day-to-day hustle and bustle of life and forget. When things seem to be going poorly in our lives, we forget to thank God for His blessings. The recent financial turmoil and uncertainty have greatly affected people. We may have a loved one that is ill or has passed away recently. Maybe our relationships with our spouse, children, or parents are challenged. When we do not receive what we want, we may get angry, scared, frightened and even upset with God. How should we treat these difficult, challenging times? Remember, the Lord uses these challenges in life to bring us closer to Him. These difficult times can be used as an opportunity to grow in our relationship with the Lord. 

A beautiful story is told about a sheep that hurt its leg. The sheep limped and never wandered more than a few feet away from the shepherd. A stranger looked at the sheep and asked, “Why is the sheep limping? Why doesn’t the sheep ever leave the shepherd’s side?” The shepherd explained that the sheep was partially deaf and could not hear his voice so it was always walking into danger. Many times the sheep was rescued from near disaster. The shepherd finally decided to inflict an injury on the sheep’s leg. The sheep limped, but it stayed closer to the shepherd for protection and guidance. God allows His sheep to experience certain difficult situations (limps) in life to be used as an opportunity to grow closer to Him. St. Paul’s 2nd letter to the Corinthians states: “Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me but He said to me: ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness’ … For Christ’s sake I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties, For when I am weak, then I am strong.” St. Paul had a “limp” and God did not remove it. God’s love allowed the pain to remain to keep  St. Paul “limping” at the Shepherd’s side, where he could find strength for his weakness. God’s purpose in adversity is to make us lean more on His saving arm. Our spiritual strength or power lies in our crying out to God for help. At every Divine Liturgy, the priest prays the Anaphora Prayer. This is a beautiful prayer of thanksgiving to God for all that He has done for us. It helps us put our problems in perspective. First, we thank God for bringing us “into being out of nothing.” Then we thank God because when we fell “He raised us up again.” We thank the Holy Trinity “for all things that we know and do not know, for blessings seen and unseen that have been bestowed upon us.” Lastly, the prayer offers thanks for the Liturgy which we are able to celebrate. This Thanksgiving, despite the difficult physical, emotional, or financial situations we are experiencing, we are reminded: “in everything give thanks.” 

(1 Thessalonians 5:18)
 
-Rev. Nicholas Georgiou, Presbyter
Advertisements

0 Responses to “Rev. Nicholas Georgiou: “Give Thanks””



  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s




Archives

Blog Stats

  • 112,644 hits
November 2010
S M T W T F S
« Oct   Dec »
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
282930  

%d bloggers like this: