FOLLOW THE LEADERS WHO ARE IN CHRIST JESUS – Sunday Sermon by Metropolitan Jonah on the feast of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker.

34TH LORD’S SUNDAY FROM RESURRECTION (Heb 13:17-21, Lk 13:10-17)

Our central patron, St. Nicholas the wonderworker is celebrating and celebrated today everywhere we are as Orthodox believers. This time his feast has fallen on Lord’s Sunday. That’s why the epistle passage we use remains the same for the feasting Hierarch. But the gospel passage we use the appointed one for the 34th Lord’s Sunday. If the feast had fallen on any other day of the week, then the gospel passage would have been Lk 6:17 -23 (Christ teaching and healing from evils a large crowd of disciples)

For this reason, the Epistle passage today orders us all to: FOLLOW THE LEADERS WHO ARE IN CHRIST JESUS. While the gospel passage itself instructs us on merciful activities of the Lord Christ, in particular when on the sabbath day He healed a crippled Woman for 18 years, by the evil-one. And abnormally, the official attendant of the synagogue reacted against this activity.

When we consider both these passages, in correlation to our journey as Orthodox believers here in Uganda, we can compare the crippled woman (for years!) with our central community of St. Nicholas and all the other communities. Wherever they exist, our communities in Uganda are crippled! This is a clear fact. But how to overcome such crippledness for years? The Evangelical passage today warns us that, the able one to straighten all our communities is Christ the Lord, by His teaching and merciful activity of healing from evils.

Through this comparison, the Epistle passage of today also can become so expressive to our mind: “Obey your leaders and follow their orders, those who are in Christ Jesus”! Heb 13:17-20. Who are those leaders in Christ the Lord? They are all those, either who have passed on to the Lord, and all those who serve now in our communities, during these very difficult times. All bishops, priests, deacons, chanters, lay leaders, teachers, catechists, doctors, nurses, and every worker in Christ the Lord.

As Orthodox believers, we are not born, again physically nor regenerated only in usual way, but we are born from above by God the Father, through Christ the Word and the Holy Spirit, in the mysteries of VIRTUES. For the Church of Christ exists in this world, but is not of the world! Jn 17: 11, 14-15. Therefore, we are obliged to exist first as believers, as sign and image of the Kingdom of God, here in Uganda and elsewhere, proclaiming the good news of a necessary new creation of Ugandan people. Where the righteousness of justice, truth, freedom, brotherhood, peace and love in hope as God’s promises.

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