“Above all, we should tell people that God is Love”

Each day this week, we will publish a different response to the question posed to Russian priests: How should we preach Christ in modern society? Enjoy!

by Priest Dimitry Vydumkin

It is crystal clear that our society is infected with a shortage of love. A deep connection between people is being supplanted by purely “business relations”, based on the principle of, “You scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours”. We can often see this even in families, which is a real crime against the family way of life. And this shortage of love causes much suffering, which every individual faces in the course of his life.

I think that our contemporaries, choked up in the general atmosphere of enmity (because of the lack of love), above all expect love from the Church. That is why above all we should tell those on the outside that God is love. Our words should testify to the fact that the God of Love is deeply involved in our lives and instill hope in the hearts of people through correct interpretations of events and circumstances.

All people in all times pursue happiness for themselves and their loved ones. Why not use this natural desire and channel it in the right direction, explaining to people in a language they understand where they can find this happiness? Human beings never want to suffer and try to avoid suffering. Why not use this drive and tell them about sin as a cause of suffering, which they could avoid?

In any case, preachers should follow the Holy Apostle Paul, who said: 

I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some (1 Cor. 9:22),

and preach Christ, relying on the painful places in society. And there is no end of them in our society.

About Fr. John A. Peck

Director of the Preachers Institute, priest in the Orthodox Church in America, award-winning graphic designer and media consultant, and non-profit administrator.
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