Above: During my first liturgy at St. George’s in Hermitage, November 2003
Taken from Experiences During the Divine Liturgy, Protopresbyter Stephanos K. Anagnostopoulos
Following the readings from the Epistle and Gospel during the Divine Liturgy, preaching the Word follows.
[Taken from the book mentioned above]
Up to today’s poor and scant study that I have done on the Fathers, I have observed that the preaching should be one of repentance. When following His Resurrection Jesus Christ sent His Disciples to all the nations, He didn’t merely tell them to preach, but what to preach: “And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations.” And the Apostle Paul preached “repent and turn to God”. Therefore, he preaching of the Church, the Gospel of Christ, is repentance and the return of people to God.
Repentance is related to the great privilege and endowment that is recommended by the Gospel and is provided by the Church: the remission of sins! No matter what the times and needs are which pressure nations and their people, particularly Christians, I think and personally believe that the preaching of the Church must be preached of repentance and return of all people to God’s will.
The Church, according to Apostle Paul, was not ordered to preach philosophical theories and social ideologies, but received “grace and apostleship, for obedience to the faith.” He went out to the world to preach repentance and return, with obedience to the will of God, not for people to start discussing, quarreling, fighting, and killing each other. Not for them to split, as it has been happening for two thousand years now with the heresies and delusions, but also in order for them to obey the Sacred Canons and the decisions of the seven Ecumenical Synods, so that everyone would repent and believe.