Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada



THE EFFORT OF REST

As winter strengthens its hold upon our land, while nature rests under its mantle of snow, it is good to think about life that will never die - the life that has been given to us, as well as to all who thirsts for it, by Jesus the Messiah.

In today`s Epistle Paul of Tarsus guides our meditation on this theme as he prays that we might be: "Giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.`` Yes, indeed the days are becoming short as we approach the winter solstice. What better time to think about the kingdom of Light which has been opened to us by the coming of the Christ-Child!

At a time when the shadows become longer and deeper, what comfort it is to affirm together with St. Paul that God the Father "has delivered us from the dominion of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins"!

And lest we think that all this is but a dream from which we shall awaken just as lost and desperate as when we fell asleep, St. Paul declares with all conviction and authority: "He is the image of the invisible God, the first-born of all creation, for in him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or authorities - all things were created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together."

Thus, in receiving and following Jesus we have this firm assurance: our efforts ought not to consist of trying to push out shadows, depression, sadness. Instead we must rest in Christ. Note that resting in Him takes effort. It is not a passive, but an active resting!

In Him everything ultimately plays its appropriate role in helping us attain our place in the magnificent and panoramic design of the Master-Painter, God. Finally, we shall be full of strength, of creativity, of love, of peace and of tranquillity forever. This is His promise to us in this time of waiting for the appearing of the new-born Child.

V. Rev. Ihor George Kutash