A journal entry while in St. Bishoy Monastery, Egypt
And now, little children, abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming. -1 John 2:28
There was a monk who once said, “Be a friend of God on earth, and you will be a friend of God in heaven.” You can see that here. Everything is about Him. Every word speaks of Him. Every knee bows down to Him. Literally. It was a really beautiful thing to witness in liturgy today. After the reading of the Gospel, EVERY person in the church did a metanoia (prostration), asking for forgiveness of his sins. Every single knee hit the ground, acknowledging our weakness and the greatness of God, acknowledging the we are nothing next to the pure glory of God.
But none of this acknowledgment is in a negative way, an utterly shameful way. We are, of course, ashamed of our sins, but because we know God, because we abide in His body, partake of His blood, we no longer HAVE to be ashamed. We bow down, we ask for God’s forgiveness and the forgiveness of others, yet we no longer bear shame because we are clothed by the love and blood of Christ since we abide in Him.
He came and suffered so that I would not have to be ashamed any longer. He purposed all so that I may belong to Him, abide in Him, live for Him and through Him. How, then, can I bear shame when I bear Christ within me?
This is His purpose. This is His aim. He wants me to come to Him as a confident child to her father, not with shame as a dishonored servant.
St. John says in his first epistle: Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God! (3:1). He is the first One to call us His children. He taught us to speak to Him as our Father. It is not I who who come to Him requesting such an honor, but He who says, “You are my daughter”.
I am His daughter, and for some crazy reason, He decides to love me, and to make me confident in Him. He wants that relationship from now, so that when eternity comes along, I’ll greet Him as an old friend.
It’s time to live life in Him.