The Holy Apostle Paul boldly proclaims in his Epistle to the Hebrews, "And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night if far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light." The night of dark ignorance and submission to the spirits of evil in this fallen world has been dispelled by our Lord, God and Savior Jesus Christ, Who enlightens our darkened minds through the revelation of the Good News of salvation. He awakens in our soul the glorious knowledge of the Truth and delivers us from bondage to the minions of the Evil One, who ever strive to cast us bodily into a hell of our own making.
The Holy Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist John appeared in the wilderness, preaching, "Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand!" And this is, and always has been, the crucial, the critical message proclaimed by the Church to every generation--ever since the Son of God took flesh from the pure blood of a Virgin and became man, the Kingdom within us is always at hand, closer to us than the very air we breathe. We are invited to enter this Kingdom even now, during our earthly sojourn, that our hearts might be purified and rendered worthy to partake of eternal life in the Age to Come.
Unfortunately, most people nowadays--even many who profess to be Orthodox Christians--have been lulled into a deadly sleep by a secular, Godless, consumeristic society that corrodes the soul and blinds our spiritual eyes to the vision of the splendor of God that permeates the very fabric of this created universe. Rather than striving to seek the one thing needful--the eternal Kingdom prepared for those who love God and abide by His commandments--we feverishly pursue senseless distractions and an elusive "happiness" that can never fill the God-sized hole in our soul. For the masses, it's "bread and circuses"--while the spirit within us withers away. For indeed (as St. Augustine wrote), "Our hearts are ever restless till they find their rest in Thee."
This parish was established and dedicated to the Nativity of St. John the Baptist that we might become, through the grace of God, "a voice crying in the wilderness, prepare the way of the Lord!", that we might in the dark days to come be revealed as a place of refuge and safety in this storm-tossed world, bearing bold witness to He Who said, "I am the way, the truth and the life." May our community become a beacon of hope and faithfulness amidst the soul-destroying darkness and apostasy of this world, a bulwark against every wile of the Antichrist in these final days.