By Faith A Shovel Is Planted

It is time for the Greek Orthodox Church of the Feast of the Assumption to plant a shovel in the ground. There will be no shovel planted unless we all come together in faith and do what is right.

It has been inspiring to hear the faith of individuals who truly believe that an Orthodox church is going to be built at 82nd Street and Cactus Road. Still, there are some who need to "see" in order to believe. Such was the case with Thomas after the resurrection of the Lord. His eyes had been closed when Christ healed the man born blind. His ears had been shut when the words of Christ gave life to Lazarus. His heart had been hardened by his lack of faith.

The time has come for our community to open its eyes, ears, and hearts to the Word of God and to listen to His voice for our community.

Satan is lurking in the folds of our community waging an all out war against the construction of a church in which God is to be worshipped and glorified. He is hurling doubts and mistrust and stirring one against another with the hope that we will turn on each other, and in the devouring, the plan will be lost.

We are much in the same place as Noah was when the Lord instructed him to do something unbelievable:By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, took heed and constructed an ark for the saving of his household; by this he condemned the world and became an heir of the righteousness which comes by faith. For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. . . But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. (Heb 11)

Noah's faith made the impossible possible. Do we have that same faith that can "make and create all things" (Climacus), that knows no bounds to what God can do?

The "ark" of our salvation is the Church. In it we find the homeland for which our souls long. Here the dead are raised, forgiveness abounds, and Christ reigns in love.

Our personal response and our ability to come together in the name of Christ will surely be the measure of our faith.

+ Fr.. Andrew Barakos