Met Mark of Berlin and Germany: There are no “us” and “them” in the Church
Metropolitan Mark of Berlin and Germany urged the Orthodox of Germany not to divide the Body of the Church along ethnic lines.
At a sermon on the first Parental Saturday, Metropolitan Mark of Berlin and Germany reminded the faithful that in the Church everyone should be the people of God, serving the one God. The full text of the sermon is available at synod.com.
“In these terrible days, when streams of blood are mixed with streams of lies and wickedness, it is unacceptable for us Christians to succumb to the spirit of war. The spirit of war is demanding. It demands to be divided into parties. It calls for hate. We Christians must understand that the malice with which the war burns is the malice of hell. The enemy of God revels not so much in human blood as in human bitterness and division. The devil wants nothing more than to separate a person from his neighbor, from the Church and from Christ,” said Metropolitan Mark.
“The German Diocese is our local Church. It embraces priests and believers of different nationalities: Ukrainians, Russians, Belarusians, Carpatho-Russians, Jews, ‘Russian Germans’ – settlers, and local ‘native’ Germans, Greeks, Moldavians, Serbs, Georgians, Poles, Czechs, Hungarians ... Each of us loves their homeland. But the All-Merciful Lord united us, called us to build the church life of this diocese, called for the salvation of the present and future generations of Orthodox Christians in this country. Here we must be the people of God, serving the one God. If we let this ministry split along national lines, we will commit a grave, grave sin – tearing apart the living single Body of the Church. It is precisely this rupture, separation that the prince of this world wants and demands even more from us,” Vladyka warned the believers.
Metropolitan Mark recalled that Christ was demanded to act as a political leader and defeat the invaders so that He separated Himself from the Roman invaders and became the God not of all people, but of one suffering nation.
“But when He did not justify these well-deserved, righteous political expectations and demands, as it seemed then to many, we remember what those who had made these demands did to him. Politics always involves a division into friends and foes. Instead, the bloodless sacrifice of Christ is offered ‘for all and for everything’,” said Vladyka Mark.
“Even in the roar of battle, under bullets and under bombs, where it seems as if hell reigns supreme, each warrior is accompanied by his Angel that cares, protects the person, cheers for him and mourns. Demons, as servants of the devil, strive with their hatred to destroy human bodies and, most importantly, souls. Angels, the heralds of Christ, strive to save with their love – every soldier, no matter which side he fights on. And now pain pierces for the mothers, wives and sisters of the soldiers standing in the temple, for whose salvation and repose we pray,” the hierarch noted.
“Which shall we open our hearts to – love or hate? Who are we in this real battle with? If we are Christians, we will reject the spirit of war alien to Christ. May peace reign in our hearts – the only true peace that the Savior has already delivered with Him,” urged Metropolitan Mark.
Earlier, the UOJ reported that the dentist deacon treats Ukrainian refugees in Germany for free.