Tuesday, April 7, 2009

"Surprised By Christ"

I'm reading a wonderful book, "Surprised By Christ," by Rev. A. James Bernstein. In the book he quotes a sermon by Bishop Kallistos Ware, entitled "Has God Rejected His People, the Jews?"

Let us all inscribe these words of St. Paul (Romans 11:29-32) upon our hearts indelibly in letters of fire. Never for one moment let us forget the incalculable loss which Christianity has suffered through the early separation between the Church and the Synagogue. Let us long, as Paul does, for the ending of that separation, and let us keep steadfastly in view his confident expectation that, willingly and by their own free choice, the Jewish people as a whole will eventually accept Christ as God and Savior. And, until that happens, let us never by deed or word show the slightest disrespect or hatred for the people of Israel. They are still God's Chosen People.

Antisemitism, in all its expressions is the work of Satan.

I beg you, then, to make your own St. Paul's 'great sorrow and unceasing anguish,' and I ask you also to hold fast to his ultimate hope that 'all Israel will be saved'.

As we enter into Passover and Holy Week, my prayers are that all Christian not forget their heritage.

(Delieverd by Bishop Kallistos on July 13, 1996, during the annual pilgrimage of the community of St. John of Kronstadt at Bath to the Saxon Church of St. Laurence at Bradford-on-Avon).