Beloved brothers and sisters,
CHRIST IS RISEN! TRULY HE IS RISEN! ΧΡΙΣΤΟΣ ΑΝΕΣΤΗ! ΑΛΗΘΩΣ ΑΝΕΣΤΗ!
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and to the Ages of Ages. Amen.
It is the Day of Resurrection; let us be glorious in splendor for the Festival, and let us embrace one another. Let us peak also, O brethren, to those that hate us, and in the Resurrection, let us forgive all things, and so let us cry: Christ is Risen from the dead, by death trampling upon Death, and has bestowed Life to those in the tombs.
Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen! Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen! Christ is Risen! Truly He is Risen!
Glory to His Third-Day Resurrection. We bow down to His Third-Day Resurrection.
THE CHRISTIAN GOD
by Metropolitan of Nafpaktos, Hierotheos
We come across this in Islam. In Islam, there is no talk of the Son of God, only of Allah. Therefore, in the relations between man and Allah, love is not emphasized, whereas mercy and justice are. Nikolai, the bishop of Ochrid, notes, in relation to this: "Despite being one of the higher religions Islam can in no way whatsoever accept the teaching concerning God as a Holy Trinity. In the Qur'an, this teaching is ridiculed. This teaching is ridiculed. At the Omar Mosque in Jerusalem the following commandment is engraved on the wall, 'O Faithful, know that Allah has no son.' Precisely for the reason that, according to this religion, God does not have a son, there is no mention of God's love within the Qur'an, only of mercy and justice. This of course, perverts man's whole life. Since, someone's love for their own self is not love, but selfishness and egotism. This is why Muhammad never mentions love with regard to Allah, at all. He only mentions justice and mercy."
In antiquity, pagans believed in many gods, but these were dominated by human passions and weaknesses. These gods who are involved in hatred and wars are unable to save man. For this reason, they are idols and delusions.
Nikolai, the Bishop of Ochrid again notes: "There was a belief in trinity in the then pagan world. However, it was not one that was holy and unique. The Hindus believed, and still believe today, in the Trimurti, i.e. in the three highest deities. Of these Shiva, is the devil and destroyer of all that which the first two, Brahma and Vishnu, have created. In Egypt, they also believed in three deities, but as a family with carnal love from which Osiris and Isis had a son, Horus, who Osiris kills, and thus this monstrous marriage comes to an end. Before Christ, men, through mind and effort, managed to form great civilizations, on all the world's continents. Yet, they could not conceive of the correct view of God, as a Holy Trinity in Unity, and, consequently, they also could not conceive of God as love.
From all the aforesaid, it seems that faith in God in Trinity is absolutely necessary; both because this is the truth as revealed to us by Christ, and because love cannot exist apart from this Revelation. A god who is a higher power, which created and rules the world, a god that is considered to be a value and a unit, cannot have love. Naturally, without love interpersonal relations and true communion cannot develop. In such circumstances God is an oppressor and impassioned; man would lose his personal character. We cannot speak of true love apart from God's Trinity.
Within Holy Scripture, apart from the image of the Father, there are many other images that apply to God. These mainly define Christ's relations with men. Two of these images are those of the "friend" and "brother". These images mainly refer to Christ, Who became man out of love. He lived with us and saved us from sin, the devil and death. When they announced to Christ that His brothers and mother, according to the flesh, were looking for Him, He pointed to His Disciples and said: "Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother" (St. Matthew 12:46-5). Again, immediately following his Resurrection He said to the myrrh-bearing women, "Do not be afraid. God and tell My brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see Me" (St. Matthew 28:10). Christ Himself uses the image of the friend to demonstrate the personal relationship with those who keep His will. "You are My friends if you do whatever I command you to do. No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his Master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I heard from My Father I have made known to you" (St. John 15:14-15).
Saint John Chrysostom presents the Son as saying: "I am Father, I am brother, I am bridegroom, I am dwelling place, I am food, I am raiment, I am root, I am foundation, I am whatever you want me to be. I will even serve, for I came to minister, not to be ministered to. I am friend, and member, and head, and brother, and sister, and mother; I am all; only stay close to Me. I am poor for you, and a wanderer for you, on the Cross for you, in the tomb for you. Above I intercede for you to the Father; on earth I am an ambassador from My Father for your sake. You are all things to Me, brother, and joint heir, and friend, and member. What more do you want?"
Consequently, God is love and loves man excessively, precisely because He is personal and triune. The teaching about God in Trinity is the Alpha and the Omega of our faith. In Greek the word that means, "I love" αγαπώ (agapo) starts with Alpha and ends with Omega. This is why we can say that the Triune God is love and love man excessively, even unto the sacrifice of the Cross.
With sincere agape in Our Risen Lord Jesus Christ,
The sinner and unworthy servant of God