Does God Exist?

How do we find God in an unbelieving world?

God is a merciful God, quick to forgive, quick to show mercy, quick to embrace us when we turn to Him. In all of eternity our God chose to create humankind in His image and likeness, offering His creatures the opportunity to commune with Him in the endlessness that is time. He’s given us free will, allowing us to choose, or not to choose, a relationship with Him. We, in our freedom, can choose between good (God) and evil (Satan), as is our choice.

We can usually tell the difference between good and evil. Murder and theft are obviously to be found in the evil camp, whereas kindness, philanthropic deeds, mercy and love, are in the camp of holiness, and the divine. Yet so many feel that God is simply a myth, a nice idea, but hardly believable. If this God they’d like to believe in were truly real, wouldn’t He make it easier to see Him, and seek Him out? If we are free to chose God, why doesn’t He make Himself easier to find? Why does this God expect us to believe in Him when we can not see Him, or feel Him? If there be a God, why doesn’t He simply make Himself known, letting us choose or not choose communion with Him?

These are questions that many people pose, at least to themselves. Many want to believe there is a God who cares for them, and is capable of making a difference in their day to day struggles, but just can’t quite surrender to belief. The nihilistic philosophy that has possessed the hearts of many young people today is based on the despair of an age that has seen so many wars, so much poverty, so many murders, so many children abused, and a seemingly hopeless future. How can there be a God when so much suffering abounds in this world? How can there be a God when even innocent people, good people, suffer?

Where is God? He is in the sunrise. He is in the glorious mountains, and the vast sea that stretches beyond the horizon. He is in the tender touch of a mother’s hand on her newborn baby. He is in the protective arm of the police officer who comforts the lost child. He is in the words of absolution pronounced by the priest after a good confession. He is in the smiling face of an old woman at the site of a young couple holding hands. He is in the wonder of the cosmos on a darkened night.

God is in the giggle of a small child playing with his grandfather. He is in the warmth of a kitten held in one’s hand. He is in the cross that bore the Son of Man. He is in the bread and wine that become His body and blood. He is the transforming Spirit that changes hearts and makes men saints. He is closer to us than our own breath, more loving than a grandmother’s embrace of a sick child. He is everywhere, for there is no place He can not be. He fills all things. He is everywhere to be seen if only we look with open eyes and open hearts.

With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

An Appeal
We would like to replace the old wooden candle stands in our temple with 24 socket stands made of brass. We need five of them at a cost of $998.00 each. Alex Miller of Holy Archangel Liturgical Supplies in Palmer, Alaska, has offered to give us one stand when we have four purchased. Therefore, we are asking if any of my readers would like to purchase one or more of these beautiful candle stands for our monastic church. Donations can be made through PayPal (visit our website at vashonmonks.com), or send a check to All-Merciful Saviour Monastery, PO Box 2420, Vashon Island, WA 98070.

Wednesday October 9, 2019 / September 26, 2019
17th Week after Pentecost. Tone seven.
Fast. Food with Oil
Repose of the Holy Apostle and Evangelist John the Theologian.
Canonization of St. Tikhon, Patriarch of Moscow (1989).
New Hieromartyrs Athanasius, Alexander, Demetrius priests, martyrs John, Nicholas (1937).
New Hieromartyr Vladimir priest (1939).
Venerable Ephraim, abbot of Perekop, wonderworker of Novgorod (1492).
Righteous Gideon, judge of Israel.
Neagoe, prince of Wallachia (1521) (Romania).
Venerable Nilus of Rossano (Calabria) (1044).
Arrival of the Iveron Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos in Georgia (1989) (Georgia).

The Scripture Readings

John 21:15-25

Jesus Restores Peter

15 So when they had eaten breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me more than these?”

He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.”

He said to him, “Feed My lambs.”

16 He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?”

He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.”

He said to him, “Tend My sheep.”

17 He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of Jonah, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?”

And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.”

Jesus said to him, “Feed My sheep. 18 Most assuredly, I say to you, when you were younger, you girded yourself and walked where you wished; but when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and another will gird you and carry you where you do not wish.”19 This He spoke, signifying by what death he would glorify God. And when He had spoken this, He said to him, “Follow Me.”

The Beloved Disciple and His Book

20 Then Peter, turning around, saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following, who also had leaned on His breast at the supper, and said, “Lord, who is the one who betrays You?” 21 Peter, seeing him, said to Jesus, “But Lord, what about this man?”

22 Jesus said to him, “If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you? You follow Me.”

23 Then this saying went out among the brethren that this disciple would not die. Yet Jesus did not say to him that he would not die, but, “If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you?”

24 This is the disciple who testifies of these things, and wrote these things; and we know that his testimony is true.

25 And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. Amen.

1 John 4:12-19

Seeing God Through Love

12 No one has seen God at any time. If we love one another, God abides in us, and His love has been perfected in us. 13 By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world. 15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16 And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.

The Consummation of Love

17 Love has been perfected among us in this: that we may have boldness in the day of judgment; because as He is, so are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. 19 We love Him because He first loved us.

John 19:25-27

Behold Your Mother

25 Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus therefore saw His mother, and the disciple whom He loved standing by, He said to His mother, “Woman, behold your son!”27 Then He said to the disciple, “Behold your mother!” And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home.

John 21:24-25

24 This is the disciple who testifies of these things, and wrote these things; and we know that his testimony is true.

25 And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. Amen.

Abbot Tryphon

About Abbot Tryphon

The Very. Rev. Abbot Tryphon All-Merciful Saviour Monastery on Vashon Island, Washington. The Monastery is under the omophore of The Most Rev. Archbishop Kyrill of San Francisco and Western America, of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. Situated in the heart of a beautiful forest, surrounded by the Salish Sea, the monastery is reached by ferry from either Seattle, or Tacoma, Washington.

2 comments:

  1. Our Lord has manifest Himself to mankind – “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened. ” (Romans 1:20,21)

    Blessed day, Father.

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