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Der Samuel's Sermon - July 23, 2023

In today's Bible reading, which was taken from the first letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians we read the following: “Consider your own call, brothers and sisters: not many of you were wise by human standards, not many were powerful, and not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, things that are not, to reduce to nothing things that are, so that no one might boast in the presence of God. He is the source of your life in Christ Jesus, who became for us wisdom from God, and righteousness and sanctification and redemption, in order that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord”. (1 Corinthians 1.26-31).

Naturally, this verse is not directed at us. The apostle Paul directs this statement to the people of Corinth, to prove to them the power and greatness of God. To prove to them what they were when they had not accepted God and what they became after they accepted God. And here the apostle Paul wants them to answer that question. Surely it is not about the understanding of human values he is talking about but about spiritual values and being a perfect human being.

The apostle Paul also wants to remind us that God does not judge humans by their outward appearance, as we often do in our life. God does not accept a person according to his job or position, as we do. God does not look at a person’s relatives but accepts that person just as he or she is. To save us, God chose whatever the world sees as foolish, worthless, and of no value, to destroy the greatness of this world.

I am certain that there comes a time in all our lives when we realize the presence of God is diminishing day by day in our lives. To be honest, I would have to say; we are the ones pushing God away from our lives; we are the ones trying to forget about God. We try not to think about religion or concern ourselves with faith, for we believe that God, the church, and worship are all irrelevant and unimportant in our lives and were simply transmitted to us from our ancestors. Our priorities, values, and principles in life have changed. It looks like we exist only to live our lives. We live only to work. We live and work only to have a good time. But we never stop to wonder who gave us that life, that work, that enjoyment, and that joy. For it is God himself who gives us all these things. He gives us our health so that we may live, work, and remain safe. Yet we hear a lot that life is short, and that you come into the world only once, so enjoy every moment. But we have never thought about what would happen after we leave this world. We have never thought about God's judgment.

Today, I would like all of us to reflect and think about our lives; about this life that God has given each of us as a gift; this life which we love so much and are very tied to. I want to clarify that God is not against making a living, pleasure, or happiness. In fact, He gave all of this to us. God's purpose, His gifts, and His creation are always good. Let us therefore try to use all these gifts in life as God intended; in an upright, noble, and appropriate way. Today, I would like to ask you the same question as the Apostle Paul: what are we today? Where do we find ourselves in terms of our spiritual life in the church? We must not allow our work or the way we live to give Satan the opportunity to separate us from God. As I always say, each of us must decide to change our own lives. The Church, the clergymen, and all others are simply the ones who point out the way. We must want to change our lives. We must decide if we want to keep the house of God joyful and fertile, and full of believers. Mistakes and faults must always happen, but we should not criticize those mistakes, whether ours or someone else’s. If we desire to live with a joyous, peaceful, and perfect sense of spiritual satisfaction, let us not waste time criticizing the mistakes and shortcomings of the past but rather correct them and make things more beautiful for the future. And I’m sure doing work, working for the glory of God and his church we will make our and other's life much easier.

May God bless you all, Amen.

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