how we can live on earth through the eyes of St. Paul.
Ephesians 5:1-21- God loved us first. We should be full of it so we should give it. Just like the fruits of the Spirit- the greatest among them all is love. For everyone and everywhere love is big- love in general. In the Story of Abba Noufer- St Babnoda thought he was an animal when he first saw him because of all the hair he had. St Babnoda stared at him for a while but then Abba Noufer went to him and said for the love of God you came to me. Then Abba Noufer told St Babnoda his life story and he told him he suffered a lot like hunger, thirst, temptation, cold etc. and all this was just for Christ not to show off or for fun. Put yourself in your room and you’ll blow up. You need to talk to people. These hermits were in the desert even up to 90 years without seeing another human being.
Also if you notice with St Noufer- he was very happy when he was departing.
A true story- there was this Christian that prosecuted people and he was a sinner and he also stole and killed etc. and the punishment was that he was going to be hung but first was in gaol. While hew as in gaol Abouna always used to visit him and sit with him in there. 24 hours before his death Abouna went to him and the man said “Abouna I am happy I am departing because I am going to go see Jesus” who led him towards Jesus and the true light?? Abouna in the gaol led him to God and that Abouna said I’ve never seen in my life someone so happy when dying. But the priest made sure he was going to heaven all for the love and devotion to Christ. Do we love each other? If you don’t like someone that you can see how can you love God whom you can’t see? Also how will you sit next to the person in heaven? As it says in psalm 23 “ you prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.” So you should love them from now.
V 3 and 4- you should thank God from our minds, thought and language. Language is important. What do you do with your language? Gossip?? Bad language shows who you really are. Just like St. Peter- people knew he was with Jesus because the way he spoke and he still denied Him. Your language proves if you are a Christian or not. Sit and have “fun” by all means but later on you will be judged for it whether it is good or bad.
In Egypt and even here there are people that love to gather and to talk about Jesus Christ and sticking together. People of the world look at these people and say its boring but which would you prefer to have fun- in heaven or earth? It is your choice. Select your language and what you hear also. You will find yourself speaking it so don’t give yourself an opportunity to hear it.
V 5 and 6- empty- not beneficial.
1 Corinthians 3:16 + 17- why? We partake of Him- the Holy Body and Honoured Blood- since we were baptised the Holy Spirit dwells in us- if you neglect it He will destroy you- if you watch T.V. or gossip and have a bad language- God still loves you and wants you back. But if you sin you are denying Him by your actions and then He’ll deny you before His father and His angels.
Put that verse on the desk so when you sin you look at it and it will remind you.
v. 7 and 8- don’t mix with them- good and bad people are everywhere but don’t share but also don’t make them as an enemy. Pray for them. You have a gift from God that is to be in the Church. But don’t have self pride by thinking you are better than them.
Don’t do what they do- you are the light of the world and the Salt of the earth.
We are here for a mission. If you have real close friends invite and show them the faith and God. If you need books the church is full of them.
If you invite 1 friend then you will be inviting millions of people.
There was this girl at uni and she had told her professor about Jesus and gave him books etc.
And now where is the professor? He is a monk at the Monastery of St. Anthony in Egypt. And he leads a great monastic life and it was people like us that attracted him.
Q- But it’s hard to lead a life like this especially at school etc.
A- Invite the people- they want new stuff. All they do is go to parties etc. be different- stand out and soon people will ask questions just like the professor.
In 1988- uncle Essam was working and there was a Muslim and when uncle used to work he used to say psalms. And 1 day that Muslim said I want to learn about your religion- I feel something good in it and a strong essence.
You are a messenger of Christ.
V 10-12- do not partake of the sin- its our life and we need a relationship with God. We don’t want to be shameful when we stand in front of God. People bully- but say no and stand up for the person. You should lead the people not vice versa.
Our book which is the Bible is full of treasure so read it!!!
People walk in Egypt and smash the Christians. Instead of being Christians by name stand up for what we believe in not just watch.
V 13-15- wake up! Your life is running quick. Do you stand each night and see what you did in the day? HH Pope Shenouda says 1 day without checking myself isn’t counted as a day.
Raise you hands and your voice. God’s saying wake up I’m in the alter (room). I gave you life and what did you do? You destroyed it so ill destroy you. People don’t pay attention where He is its just a daily routine just like Sunday.
Maybe if I’m lazy I won’t go to church or sometimes I’m forced to and one day there will be no adults so how strong is the faith. Whe should get up- sometimes we are dead and sometimes we say we are awake while we are not. Sometimes physically and mentally and spiritually we are with the world.
St Paul is saying that you are the temple of God. You are holy. Nothing else should be in your mind except God. Don’t nag with your siblings etc.
Where’s God? The late Bishop Abraham- he was a Sunday school and he had 3 master degrees and he was serving 1 night before the final exam at 11pm- and the priest told him why don’t you go home and study? And he said because the Lord will b with me tomorrow and the Lord indeed was.
Do you have a clear mind before God before you go to sleep and when you wake up? Do you thank Him for saving you and delivering you through the night? If you don’t do this here you won’t know how to do it in heaven so be awake. Faith is work- God is a fair God but you have to do your bit. Don’t pray by the time but by the heart. Are you ready? Be awake!
V 15 and 16- days without God are evil so be wise. Choose friends and God and choose wise friends.
If not wise why? Because when we get out of church we are happy and fresh. When people come to church and the priest sprays the water (Abouna be rosh el maya) its freedom for us. And its not supposed to be freedom its supposed to be the hardest time because we are going to leave our lover.
The saints and angels are in the church and what are you doing? Are you busy looking at what the girl in front of you is wearing?
Look at James- May God repose his soul- and take him as an example. His life went by very fast also a couple of weeks ago 2 brothers around 19 went under a truck because he was speeding 160km/h in a 60 zone.
Be careful, be wise, ask for wisdom just like King Solomon did in 1 Kings. God will give you without asking but you have to stick to Him.
V 18 and 19- instead of the worldly music sing hymns, psalms and spiritual songs.
2 Timothy 2:22+23- first have a good heart, love, respect and lead a good life. As mentioned above, you are the light of the world and the Salt of the earth and you cant deny that God is in you so don’t be ashamed. Keep away from things that are away from God and the Church.
+ Glory Be to God forever Amen+