Washington English

from the Prologue from the Orchid, by Bishop Nikolai Velimirovic

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"Awake to righteousness and sin not" (I Corinthians 15:34)

The Apostle gave this injunction in connection with Christ's Resurrection. Having given voice to many proofs of the Lord's Resurrection, he firmly enjoined the faithful to awake to righteousness and not to sin.

Why did the Apostle place our wakefulness in dependence on the Resurrection of the Lord? Because Christ's Resurrection from the dead is the greatest answer to sin. And because nothing in the world can turn us more surely from sin than the fact that the Lord rose from the dead and that, alive, He sits now on the throne of glory and awaits us at His Judgment. To sin after that realization is the extreme of idiocy, but to awake from sin after than realization is wholly natural and comprehensible.

"Awake unto righteousness!" Not as a half measure, but fully. Tear the remembrance of sin from your mind, for sin is like a plant that can grow in the most arid places. One drop of moisture, and the seemingly dry plant becomes green. One memory of a seemingly far-off and dead sin revives it and makes it strong.

Pagans who sinned without having the example of the Resurrection from the dead will have some answer at the Judgment. They will say: 'There was nothing strong enough to waken us from sin. We held that the grave was the end of the road in the life of man, for we had no proof of life after death.' Thus will the pagans speak. But how will you Christians justify yourselves; you who, knowing of the Resurrection of Christ, did not awaken; you who heard so much testimony of the Resurrection and the Judgment and went on sinning ­ how will you justify yourselves?

Oh, my brethren, awake unto righteousness and sin not, for the Lord is risen from the dead.

O risen and living lord, help us to awaken from sin once and for all. To Thee be glory and praise for ever. Amen.


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