+Fr. Dean Botsis, St. Haralambos | March 24, 2020
Over 600 years before Christ, the great Prophet Isaiah prophesied: “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel, which means God is with us.”
Dear brothers and sisters, tomorrow we celebrate the fulfilment of this prophecy, the Annunciation of the Theotokos. The Gospel reading describes the glorious Archangel Gabriel announcing to the Theotokos: “Rejoice, O Full of Grace, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!” (Lk 1:28) Her Son and our Lord is the ultimate manifestation that God is with us!
God is with us is a confirmation of God’s love. “God is with us” is a recurring message throughout the Bible and a source of strength and comfort for us all. In the Old Testament Book of Isaiah, we read "Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand." (Is 41:10)
In his Epistle to the Romans, St. Paul says: "For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord." (Rom 8:38-39)In the beloved 23rd Psalm, the Lord is my Shepherd, David writes: “I will fear no evil, for You are with me; your rod and your staff comfort me.” (Psalm 23:4)
“The Lord is with us!” What power! What comfort! What consolation! In these difficult days, we are urged repeatedly to put our trust in God. “God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and love and a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7) He has shown His love for us on the Cross and in His glorious Resurrection!
In Christ’s Great Commission to His Disciples, He promises: "Teach them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age." (Matthew 28:20)
With fear of God, faith and love, let us remember: God is with us!