For we are strangers on the earth, as were all our fathers; keep our short life without sin, O our Savior, and have mercy on us, as the lover of mankind.
The Troparion of the Prophecy, 1st Tone, Clean Tuesday, At the Sixth Hour.
For we are strangers on the earth. This world is not our home. Sion is our home. We are strangers, pilgrims on this earth, just as Moses was a “stranger in a strange land” We must not act too familiar with the things of the world, because they are not of God.
How pathetic we are! We can spend hours in trivial and even wicked pursuits and we can barely spend 5 minutes in prayer! Truly the psalmists was correct: “All men are liars”, because although my lips say that “I am a stranger on this earth”, the way I live shows I consider this to be my home. O Lord, help us to be like Moses, and pass through this life, the strange land, as strangers to it, and find Sion.
Keep our short life without sin. Our life is short. It is good to remember this every day. We will not live in this strange land forever. In this short time, we are to become ready for the promised land – but will we waste our time and actually be strangers there?
O our Savior, and have mercy on us, as the lover of mankind. This “mercy” we ask for is not only the forgiveness of sins. That is not enough! If we do not change our disposition and become strangers to sin, we will always remain strangers to God. The mercy we seek is to change our way of thinking, our priorities, our very inner being so that we would not be inclined towards sin.
Exo 2:22 And she bare him a son, and he called his name Gershom: for he said, I have been a stranger in a strange land.
Psa 116:11 I said in my haste, All men are liars.
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