"Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: (20) But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: (21) For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also." (Mat 6:19-21)
We are building a temple for one purpose only – the facilitate the laying up of treasure in Heaven. The parish temple is a critical part of the life of the parish.
If we do not pray together, frequently. with compunction and theological correctness, we are nothing, no matter what else we think we are. All the services, and especially, preeminently (but never alone, that is the only service ever celebrated!) the celebration of Divine Liturgy and the partaking of the "bread from Heaven" is the lifeblood of the parish family.
Our temple is important,and has been quite costly in terms of worldly measurements. There have been many delays, difficulties, and problems that can only be understood as part of the attacks of the spirits of the air. We are now enduring another attack. Although human thieves stole our air conditioning units in the dead of night yesterday, we must see the spiritual ramifications of this act of defilement. The thieves defiled themselves by their breaking of God's law, and may God have mercy on them, and lead them to amend their lives.
How will we react to this stunning setback? To answer correctly, we need only remember why we are building the temple. It is for the salvation of our souls, and as we are growing in holiness, the temple will be a place that will shine to the community, and many others will be warmed by our light, and its light. We are building the temple primarily to pray, and to preach the Gospel, by our words and actions.
Let's do this! . We have Paschal Vespers tonight. EVERYONE who is able should come to pray together. We will sing "Christ is risen", and "Let God arise", and we will be changed in some invisible, holy way. We should gather as a people tonight, to worship God, and to beseech His help.
There are practical concerns too, but they are much less important. We have reported the theft to the police. Most likely it is drug related. The thieves will trash the units and attempt to sell the copper. We may have another unit in place today, with security measures. Our insurance may cover some of the cost, but we have a high deductible. Our builder may have some insurance. The additional security measures will come our of our pocket.
This is a time of extreme need for us, as a people, since we have no funds available. Will we react to this setback as Christians do, or will we merely be angry, or passively disappointed?
Perhaps someone reading this will wish to give us alms to help. I am certainly hoping this is the case, and am reaching out to all our friends – those in the community and those many hundreds of thousands (over a half million people last year) who read our blog and website. We need monetary help.
We as a people must be worthy of this help, by doing everything to save our souls, and therefore, having the capacity and ability to reach out to others, and be a light that is set on a table in McKinney.
Paschal Vespers, tonight, in Dallas, 7:15 PM
Wed – Paschal Liturgy: 6 AM
Wed Vigil for the Annunciation 7 PM
Thu Annunciation Liturgy 8 AM
At this point, we still think we will be moving Thursday, and be in the new temple this weekend.
Priest Seraphim Holland