The Orthodox Church celebrates the Ecclesiastical New Year in September. A tradition for the New Year is to make New Year’s resolutions. In January we make physical resolutions, and in September, spiritual resolutions. What are those spiritual resolutions we can make: to bring ourselves closer to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Is Christ within us? Do we ask ourselves what would Christ do when we are confronted with situations? A good resolution is to consider the thought we need before we speak. Being physically unable to close our mouth is rare, but how often do we fail to keep our lips sealed, to refrain from a harsh or cruel word? With God’s help, even a little thought before we speak can prevent a great deal of heartache and regret.
When we receive Holy Communion, our lips are sealed with the Body and Blood of Christ. His precious Body and Blood enter us through the mouth. What then should come from our mouth?
Words that glorify God, not careless words that kindle strife and wreak a life. Words that are gracious, that smooth the way, that lessen stress, that heal and bless.
Jesus said, “I tell you on the day of Judgement men will render an account for every careless word they utter; for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.” (Matthew 12:36-37)
Let me share an interesting article with you from the Wall Street Journal:
“It topples governments;
dispatches innocent people
to crying in their pillows.
Even its name hisses.
It’s called gossip.
Office gossip, church gossip,
Shop gossip, party gossip.
It makes headlines and heartaches.
Before you repeat a story,
Ask yourself; is it true?
Is it fair? Is it necessary?
If no, shut up!”
Again Jesus said, “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.” What fills our hearts will flow out from our lips. If Christ is filling our lives, we cannot keep it in. It will come out; it will control what we say. I pray that what was said of Jesus may be said of us, “They wondered at the gracious words He spoke.” Let’s start hearing some of those gracious words that are so much needed to bring healing and peace.
As we begin the new Ecclesiastical Year on September 1st, I pray that you make and fulfill a spiritual resolution to be Christ-like.