Repentance and Living in the Resurrection of Christ (Spring 1991)

Bishop Seraphim
Repentance and
Living in the Resurrection of Christ
Letter from the Bishop's Desk : Spring 1991
[Published in the “Canadian Orthodox Messenger”, Spring 1991]

My dear brothers and sisters,

Christ is in our midst

This issue of the Canadian Orthodox Messenger should be in your hands by mid-Lent. It is at this time that we begin the transition in our liturgical emphasis from repentance to anticipating Pascha. We all love the brightness of the glorious Queen of Feasts. After all, it is the Passion of the Lord, the Death, Burial and Resurrection of our Lord God and Saviour Jesus Christ.

We Christians are the people of the Resurrection. We are the New Israel. We are citizens not of this earth but of the Kingdom of Heaven. All of this is truly glorious and blessed, and we ought with dear Father Seraphim of Sarov to be able and anxious to say “Christ is risen, my joy !” This is, with “Alleluia”, and “Holy, Holy, Holy”, the language of the Kingdom : praise and worship of our God.

We can do all this because of our life in Jesus Christ, who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life (see John 14:6). However, none of this can be achieved except by repentance. Repentance is the hard part. Why ? Because it means turning about from sin to righteousness. We turn from selfishness to selflessness. We turn from rebellious independence and separation from God to harmony with God’s love, and from a life filled with disorder to willingly and lovingly uniting our will with His. We turn from death to life.

It is not easy to do all this because it means that we have to be different from the world, from the society in which we live. We can no longer be passive followers of the ever-changing fads around us, passive absorbers of advertising and other sales propaganda. We must become leaders – leading others to Christ. We must be the examples of strength and purity that others need and desire.

Because we ourselves in baptism have died to the world and now are alive in Christ (see Romans 6:4), we can point the way to Him who is the Way. Together, you and I can support one another in our repentance. Let us pray for, encourage, and strengthen one another. Let us, loving God more than anything else, shine with Resurrection Light and Life and glorify God : Father, Son and Holy Spirit.