by St. Nikolai Velimirovich
As the thief is ashamed when caught, so shall the house of Israel be ashamed: They who say to apiece of wood, ‘You are my father’ and to a stone ‘You gave me birth:’ They turn to Me their backs, nottheir faces; yet in time of trouble they cry out,
`Rise up and save us !’ ” (Jeremiah 2: 26-27).
In truth brethren, they will all be put to shame who do not see beyond wood and stone and, who in their ignorance, say that man is composed entirely of plants and minerals and the same thing occurs to him as with plants and minerals. With their backs turned to the Creator, they are unable to see anythingother than creation and, forgetting the Creator, they proclaim creation the Creator. They say that naturecreated and gave birth to man, that is why man is lesser than nature, lower than nature, the servant inthe lap of nature, a slave on the chain of nature and a dead man in the grave of nature.
They whospeak like that will be shamed when they fall into misfortune and cry out to God:
“Rise up and save us!”
Why do they cry out to God “Rise up” as though God is lying down? God is not lying down, but stands;stands and waits to be of service to everyone who, with faith and humility, request a favor from Him. Butthose who have become enamored with wood and stone, while they have trusted in their own power,have overturned Him in their lives and excluded Him from their lives. That is why when they arepressured by difficulties, they cry out to Him: “Rise up!”But the Lord is meek and rises and comes to the aid of every penitent.
Let the sinner truly repent andcasting off his sinful love, return to God in love and God will help him. Let him turn his back on deadwood and stone and turn his face to the Living God and God will redeem him. For the Almighty is notvengeful and vindictive. Neither did He create man for death, but for life.
O brethren, let us not seek help in the helpless nor life in the lifeless. Let us turn our heads toward our living Creator Who gave us a face more radiant than the face of every earthly thing. Let us turn from thewestern ways to the eastern path, for on this path is salvation. Just let us hasten before our last day on earth is sunk into the darkness of the west.O ascended Lord, raise our minds to heaven. Cleanse them from the darkness and unburden them of the earth, O our Light-bearing Creator.To You be glory and thanks always. Amen.