Jan 1st Homily 2014
First please allow me the opportunity, an behalf of Colleen, Corein, Joan and Myself to wish you all a prayer of tremendous blessing and an abundance of Grace in this New Year.
It was at the Council of Ephesus in 431 that the undivided Catholic Church community declared Mary to be Theotokos…literally translated as “Birth-Giver of God”…if there is one thing the early church realized, it was that how people spoke about us and our relationship with the Divine, words mattered.
And words still matter my friends….they matter deeply, profoundly and significantly.
Because words give voice to the heart and soul of who we are.
Words speak our truth.
We gather here this morning….not to simply remember or recall Mary and her role in bridging heaven and earth….we gather to remind each other that we are invited and called to do and be the same. We are the Birth Givers of God…and that my friends is a profoundly moving and profoundly challenging invitation.
We begin our liturgy and we begin every greeting of this community with these words:
The Lord IS with you!…….Rather than the traditional mistranslated text of: The Lord Be with you! And we do that, not to be unique or cute or different….but because words matter.
The Church has another saying: Lex Orandai, Lex Credendae….we pray what we believe.
Dominus vobiscum: God IS with you!
If nothing else, that simple, seemingly meaningless greeting carries profound depth and meaning….it reminds us that we are, just as Mary was….we are called, invited and empowered to be “Birth Givers of God” Theotokos.
In Orthodox churches through out the world, there is a wall of Icons….that stands between the Sanctuary and the Worship Space….that wall is not meant to be a divide, but rather a multifacated portal into the Divine….each image a unique pathway to God…just like these two….there are thousands of images of Theotokos
I wonder what a New Years resolution would look like if it said:
I commit to be a Birth Giver of God in the world this year and I will do it by….
Because each of us bear a unique imprint, a unique facet, a unique face of God that the world will only see if we let them see it!
I hope we line the stairway to heaven with profoundly impressive Icons of hope!