December 2022 English Newsletter Posted December 2, 2022 by admin


My Beloved the Benevolent                                           December 2022

Grace and peace, wishing you every goodness and blessings

I am pleased to congratulate you all on the beginning of a new year.

The beginning of a new year makes us pause a little and examine ourselves in order to prepare for the upcoming year.

How do we welcome the New Year?

1. Thanksgiving: We need to thank God who preserved us during the outgoing year and brought us to the beginning of a new year.  We pray in the Prayer of Thanksgiving: “We thank you for everything, concerning everything and in everything for you have covered, helped us, guarded us, accepted us, had compassion on us, supported us and brought us to this hour.”

We thank God for everything, concerning everything and in everything because we trust in our God, lover of mankind, the beneficent, the Pantocrator.

No matter what our experiences are, some of which may seem very difficult, our confidence in God’s love for us is unshakable.  God loves us, not because we deserve His love or that His love for us depends on our goodness, but because of His unchanging goodness. God’s love for us does not change, but we are the ones who change, so we do not feel God’s love because we move from light to darkness.  Just as one father contemplated on the sunset and said, “The sun has not hidden its face from the earth, but the earth gives its back to the sun.”

We trust God is beneficent and everything that comes from Him is good, but God may allow some things to happen that are not good, but He is able to turn them into good, “All things work together for good to those who love God.” Romans 8:28. God alone can bring, “Out of the eater came something to eat, and out of the strong came something sweet.” Judges 14:14

We trust that God is the Pantocrator, nothing happens without His permission, and He is also able to prevent many things that may have happened and caused us harm.

In the Prayer of Thanksgiving, we mention seven things God has done for us.

Covered us: God covers our weaknesses. What would our position be if all our matters were revealed to people? How many thoughts cross our mind? We thank God that He does not reveal it to others.

Helped us: We feel God’s help in many situations, and at times we could not survive without divine help.

Saved us: Thedivine preservation for us from many evils.  We remember the prayer of Jacob when he was afraid to meet his brother Esau: “I am not worthy of the least of all the mercies and of all the truth which You have shown Your servant; for I crossed over the Jordan with my staff, and now I have become two companies. Deliver me, I pray, from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau; for I fear him, lest he come and attack me and the mother with the children.” Gen. 32:10-11

Accepted us:  God accepts us no matter what our sins are as long as we offer sincere repentance; the parable of the Prodigal Son shows us God’s acceptance of sinners.  God rejects sin but accepts the sinner, if he repents and returns with sincerity and purity of heart.

Have compassion on us: God looks at the weakness of our human nature and the tribulations we face, and He has compassion on us.

Supported us: God not only has pity on us but supports and helps us.  When Jesus saw the widow of Nain weeping behind the coffin of her only son, He had compassion on her and raised her son from the dead.

And he brought us to this hour: Truly we thank God who brought us to the end of a year and the beginning of a new year, and grants us a chance to live and to repent.

2. Joy:  We welcome the new year with joy, as life is a blessing from God and a new year means a chance for life.

3. Repentance: Sin causes sadness and repentance causes joy in heaven and on earth; therefore, the real joy is joy in the Lord by repenting and turning away from sin.

4. Doing good: Let us begin the new year looking not only to ourselves but others, and determine to do good, “Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.” Gal. 6:10

May God grant us a blessed new year in which we do good and make Him rejoice in us Who loved us and gave Himself for us.

May the Lord bless your gifts to support Santa Verena’s charitable programs.

Metropolitan Serapion