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Κυριακή, 24 Ιουνίου 2018

Today's Sermon in a Nutshell:

Today's Sermon in a Nutshell:

"He gives the barren woman a home, making her the joyous mother of children. Praise the Lord!" (Psalm 113:9)

Barrenness is a theme which permeates Holy Scripture. Whether one is discussing a woman unable to conceive or a tree without figs, the idea of fruitlessness was considered by the average Jew as a sign of sin and/or a curse from God.

A vast number of women in the Bible suffered from the affliction of infertility, most noticeably among them were Sarah and Elizabeth, but also did Rebekah, Rachel, Hannah, Tamar, the Shunammite woman (unnamed), and Manoah's wife (unnamed, but the mother of Samson). And though most ended up conceiving, the Prophetess Anna and Michal (Saul's daughter and David's first wife) did not: "Michal the daughter of Saul had no child to the day of her death" (2 Samuel 6:23).

Today we celebrate the Nativity of St. John: our Lord's Forerunner, Baptizer, and greatest of all prophets. By releasing Elizabeth from decades of barrenness, God reveals His ultimate glory and power over all of Creation; renewing and restoring love and fruitfulness to that which was previously rendered barren and corrupt through sin.

May this Feast give birth to a renewed spirit within each of us and may we be wholly committed to the task at hand: living, carrying forth, and preaching the Word of God to a sinful world just as John did; all the while bearing fruit for Christ!

Fr. John

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