October 2011 Letter
With beginning of the new Coptic year 1728, perhaps it would be useful for us to remember and consider God’s promises. As one of our church fathers teaches us, there four principles to learn about His promises:
1) We learn them from the Bible; therefore whoever neglects reading the Bible deprives himself from enjoying those Divine promises.
2) We request them through prayer, as the Lord’s promise: “And whatever things you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive” (Mt 21: 22).
3) Accept them by faith, even if they seem elusive (review chapter 11 of epistle to Hebrews).
4) We seek them by struggle, as the Lord said: “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you” (Mt 7: 7).
Let’s review together some of these Divine promises, which although seem directed to a particular person in Scripture, yet we take them as personal promises for each one of us. These promises emphasize many principles such as God’s love despite our sins, His Fatherhood as a free gift, His care and protection, standing beside us even if we step away from Him … etc.:
v “I am the God of your father Abraham; do not fear, for I am with you.” (Gen 26: 24).
v “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today” (Exo 14: 13).
v “As I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you” (Jo1: 5).
v “For those who honor Me I will honor, and those who despise Me shall be lightly esteemed” (1Sam 2: 30).
v “The Lord is with you while you are with Him. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will forsake you” (2Chr 15: 2).
v “Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me” (Psa 50: 15).
v “Come now, and let us reason together, Says the Lord, Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool” (Isa 1: 18).
v “I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Mat 28: 20).
v “The one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out” (Jn 6: 37).
As for the church news, the annual festival will be held on Saturdays and Sundays: 1st and 2ndOctober, and the following weekend: 8th and 9th October. Enclosed is an invitation you can deliver or send to any of your colleagues, friends or neighbors
Asking you to remember the church, priest, servants and all services always in your prayers, may the blessing of St. Mary & St. Mercurius be with us all.
Fr. Youssef Halim & Fr. Luke Istafanous