Dear Readers: A long time supporter of the Mystagogy Resource Center has informed me that they would like to donate $3000 to help me continue the work of this ministry, but they will only do it as a matching donation, which means that this generous donation will only be made after you help me raise a total of $3000. If you can help make this happen, it will be greatly appreciated and it would be greatly helpful to me, as I have not done a fundraiser this year. If you enjoy the work done here and want to see more of it, please make whatever contribution you can through the DONATE link below. Thank you!
(Total So Far - Day 11: $2740)

November 12, 2019

Is God Out of Date? (A Homily by St. Varnava Nastic)

By St. Varnava (Nastic), Bishop of Hvosno

Dear brothers and sisters!

Is God out of date? This is the question that I want to put before you today. The answer to it determines the answers to many other questions that concerns human souls. For if God is out of date, then faith in God is also out of date. Then the Church of God became obsolete as the stronghold of this faith.

If faith in God and in the Church of God is out of date, then all these beautiful customs and all these virtues and rules of life that come from that faith and with which our forefathers and fathers have been adorned to this day are out of date. So, if all this is out of date, then why do we need all this? Why do we need junk? Then we will act as the owner of a house does, cleaning his house from junk and throwing it into a landfill. If God is a piece junk, and if the Church of God is a piece of junk, then why not dump this junk? For what reason then do we have them? Only in vain do they take the place that other - new, beautiful and useful - things could take!

This is exactly what many people think today. They think and affirm: “God is out of date along with faith in God!” they shout. “Who has seen God? We do not need the Church anymore! What do we need a censer and a candle for!” - such screams deafens our ears. But is it true? Is God, my brothers and sisters, really outdated? Is it really that the Church of God, from its old age, is leaning towards destruction and a fall? Is our faith, our Christian faith, today nothing more than a pile of old rusty iron? Oh, what great pain to our unhappy souls if this is true! For if this is so, then it is necessary to throw off the icons from the walls, these holy, sweet, serious and gentle images, before which our fathers prayed and before which our mothers shed secret tears and sought solace and strength. After all, of course, the icons were junk then. And what are we doing with junk in our home? To the landfill with them!

Then you need to cast away the censer and remove the candle.

Won't our hands tremble? Serbs, my brethren, when we go to throw out from our home what was the greatest shrine of our forefathers - yes, the hands will tremble and the heart will shrink, but why do we need a censer and why do we need a candle if our faith, our Christian faith, is old and outdated?

Do not be afraid, brethren, do not be afraid. This is not true. Those who think so and say so are gravely mistaken. They confuse two things. They, in their foolishness, think that everything old is obsolete. To refute their claims, we do not need extensive and long evidence.

Now, raise your eyes, isn't this an old church? Yes, this is a very old church, so old that we ourselves do not know exactly how old it is. But look, although it is so old, it is not out of date. And look at these icons in silver frames. Are they not old, very old? They are old, brethren, but they are not out of date. The proof of this is you. For this old church warms your frozen souls with the same living fire with which it warmed the souls of your ancestors, the creators and founders of this holy temple. And if this old church had become obsolete, how could it have done that? And if these old icons in silver frames were out of date, could they fill your hearts with the heavenly world as much as they fill the pure hearts of your great-grandfathers? No, because only that which is no longer able to serve its original purpose is called obsolete.

Our old faith is exactly the same, my brethren, our Christian faith. A little while more, and we will celebrate the two thousandth anniversary of it. Our old faith, as we see, is quite old, but not out of date. It is not outdated, for until now it perfectly serves its original purpose. Just as perfect as it served in those ancient days in which the Son of God walked on the green hills of Galilee. And how many more centuries will be born one after another, and our faith will be older and older, but it will not become obsolete. For until misfortunes and troubles become obsolete, the prayers for help to Him who is above troubles will not become obsolete either.

Until the maternal grief over the tomb of her beloved son is out of date, faith in Him Who has risen from the tomb will not be out of date.

And until the mystery of life and death has become obsolete, our faith as the only solution to this mystery will not become obsolete.

So, our faith is not out of date, and our God is not out of date. How can the Creator become obsolete when His creations are still fresh and young? Look, the plan by which the Creator arranged this world is not yet out of date.

According to the same plan, according to which the sun lit the dawn of the first day, it appeared in the morning of the dawn of this day.

According to the same plan, according to which the moon and stars shone in the first evening sky, they also shine in the evening blue of our sky.

Yes, the plan by which the Creator adorned this world has not yet become obsolete. If the plan of the Creator is not out of date, then how can the Creator Himself become outdated?

God is not out of date, my brethren, not out of date and not old. He is young, like a young dawn, which every day again reveals His youth. He is young, like a young spring, which He puts on in His youth.

He is young, like young mountain streams, in whose transparent waters the eternal youth of the Creator is reflected.

Our God is young, but those who attack our faith are out of date. They are out of date, and their towers are out of date. From old age their souls wrinkled, and if they do not move sooner to rejuvenate in the youth of our faith, they will become even more obsolete, and wrinkle even more, and will turn into real junk, suitable for nothing else but to take it and throw it in a landfill. May with God's help those who claim that God is out of date understand their error and turn to the truth and to the eternally living and young God. Amen.

Source: Translated by John Sanidopoulos.