Everyone You Meet is Christ

Christ Knocks at the DoorDo you remember Martin Avedeitch? He was the cobbler who lived in a room in a basement in a small town in Russia. He lived and worked in Russia in a small basement room that had only one window that looked up onto the street, from which he saw the feet of people walking by. Martin had always been a good man, and as he grew older he thought more about his soul and drew nearer to God. One night, in studying the Gospel of Luke, he read about turning the other cheek, the centurion, the widow's son. And then he came to the part about the sinful woman who anointed the feet of Jesus, and washed them with her tears as the Pharisee sat and condemned her with his thoughts. Martin condemned himself as the Pharisee who really cared nothing about his guest. He then fell asleep, and was startled awake hearing a voice: "Martin, Martin! Look out into the street tomorrow, for I shall come!" Was this the Lord speaking?

 

Can you remember - or predict - the rest of the story? The next day Martin prepared to receive an important guest. And he watched. Old Stepanitch came by clearing the snow and Martin invited him to come inside and warm himself with some tea. A peasant woman stopped to rest outside his window - a stranger, poorly dressed and carrying a baby wrapped only in a summer cloth. He warmed them with soup and bread, and gave her an old cloak to wrap the baby in. And so did his day go - watching and waiting for the Visitor!

That night as Martin reached for the Book of Gospels he heard a voice whisper in his ear: "Martin, Martin, don't you know me?" And out of the dark corner stepped Stepanitch, the woman with the baby and the others he had helped that day. They smiled at him and vanished. Then Martin opened the Gospel, and his eyes fell instantly on the words: "I was hungry and ye gave me meat. I was thirsty and ye gave me drink. I was a stranger, and ye took me in.... Inasmuch as ye did it unto one of these my brethren, even these least, ye did it unto me." Martin understood that his dream had come true, that the Savior Himself had visited him, and that he had welcomed Him.

Everyone you meet is Christ. He is your aunt in the nursing home you haven't seen for six months. He is the solider at the local Veterans Hospital that has no family and no one to visit him. He is the homeless guy who begs on the street corner that you turn your eyes from as you pass him by. He is the woman at work or church that you don't really get along with. He is the kid down the block who is always fighting with his parents.

Yes, you cannot solve every problem in the world. But you can treat everyone you encounter as if he was Christ. And you can do a bit more to help those in need. Visit that lonely aunt in the nursing home, and then the soldier. Give the homeless guy a gift certificate for food. Compliment the lady that does not like you. Invite someone who will be alone on Thanksgiving or Christmas to share your table. As we celebrate this time of Nativity Fast (Advent) it is always easy to remember extra prayers and fasting. But almsgiving is equally important. Don't forget. Do a bit more. You see the Lord countless times each day. Treat Him well.

The full story "Where Love Is, God Is" was written down by Leo Tolstoy.


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Teachings of Christ

“So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.” (Matthew 7:12 ESV)

Scripture

April 15, 2018
Third Sunday of Pascha: Myrrh-bearing Women
- Matins: Mark 16:9-20 (Gospel 3)
- Liturgy: Acts 6:1-7, Mark 15:43-16:8

Third Week of Pascha
- Monday: Acts 6:8-7:5, 47-60, John 4:46-54
- Tuesday: Acts 8:5-17, John 6:27-33
- Wednesday: Acts 8:28-25, John 6:35-39
- Thursday: Acts 8:26-39, John 6:40-44
- Friday: Acts 8:40-9:19, John 6:48-54
- Saturday: Acts 9:19-31, John 15:17-16:2

April 22, 1018
Fourth Sunday of Pascha: Paralytic
- Matins: Luke 24:1-12 (Gospel 4)
- Liturgy: Acts 9:32-42, John 5:1-15

Fourth Week of Pascha
- Monday: Acts 10:1-16, John 6:56-69
- Tuesday: Acts 10:21-33, John 7:1-13
- Wednesday: (Mid-Pentecost) Acts 14:6-18, John 7:14-30
- Thursday: Acts 10:34-43, John 8:12-20
- Friday: Acts 10:44-11:10, John 8:21-30
- Saturday: Acts 12:1-11, John 8:31-42

April 29, 2018
Fifth Sunday of Pascha: Samaritan Woman
- Matins: John 20:1-10 (Gospel 7)
- Liturgy: Acts 11:15-26, 29-30, John 4:5-4:2

Fifth Week of Pascha
- Monday: Acts 12:12-17, John 8:42-51
- Tuesday: Acts 12:25-13:12, John 8:51-59
- Wednesday: Acts 13:13-24, John 6:5-14
- Thursday: Acts 14:20-27, John 9:39-10:9
- Friday: Acts 15:5-34, John 10:17-28
- Saturday: Acts 15:35-41, John 10:27-38

May 6, 2018
Sixth Sunday of Pascha: Blind Man
- Matins: John 20:11-18 (Gospel 8)
- Liturgy: Acts 16:16-34, John 9:1-38

Feasts & Fasts

April
1 - Pascha - Feast of the Resurrection of Christ (Easter Sunday)
1-8 - Bright Week
8 - Second Sunday of Pascha (Apostle Thomas)
15 - Third Sunday of Pascha (Myrrh-Bearing Women)
22 - Fourth Sunday of Pascha (Healing of the Paralytic)
25 - Mid-Pentecost
29 - Fifth Sunday of Pascha (Samaritan Women at the Well)

Please pray!

"They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword...." (Hebrews 11:37a)

Please lift up in prayer all those who are persecuted and deprived of liberty, everywhere in the world. Please especially remember the peoples of Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Niger - the whole Middle East and Africa - who are literal martyrs for Christ. Also the peoples of Ukraine. They are our brothers, for all are one in Christ.

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Resurrection

Christ is risen from the dead * trampling down Death by death, * and upon those in the tombs bestowing life! (Troparion)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Although You descended into the tomb, O Immortal One, * You destroyed the power of Hades; * You arose as the victor, O Christ God, * proclaiming to the myrrh-bearing women: “Rejoice!” * And granting peace to Your Apostles, * O, You, Who gives resurrection to the fallen. (Kontakion)

Random Proverb

"Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold." (Proverbs 3:13,14 ESV)

Pray Without Ceasing

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Long ago, the wily one cast his weapon and wounded Adam and killed him; Indeed, he completely destroyed the weak man. But now, even if he struck the bodies of the noble men, he did not destroy their spirits. He persuaded the first-created man to fall by words, but not even by deeds, the noble ones. Bewitching the former, he made promises; he made offers to the latter: For Adam, the making of a god; for the martyrs, honor. He offers what he does not have; he suggests bestowing things not in his authority. Therefore, saints, having shattered his scheme, You gained crowns. 

Kontakia of Romanos, On the Forty Martyrs of Sebasteia I.