In this video, Fr. Barnabas recounts his inspiring experience with a little girl asking for a favor from God. “God is close to us! God is intimate with us! God loves us! God wants to be with us!”
Fr. Barnabas Powell is the parish priest at Sts. Raphael, Nicholas, and Irene Greek Orthodox Church in Cumming, GA. Follow his homilies on YouTube at Faith Encouraged TV.
This sermon was delivered on March 28th, 2021, the Sunday of St. Gregory Palamas. Watch the full video here.
Fr. Barnabas Powell:
A little girl comes up to me after church (this is several years ago) and I’ve got my black robe on after the service, after the liturgy, we’re standing outside…
And all of a sudden, I feel this tug on my robe: “God! God! God! I need to tell you something, God! God, I need to tell you something, God!”
And I watched some of the adults were… and I smiled at the little child and I said: “what is it baby, what do you need to tell me?” And she just poured her little heart out, it was not the greatest thing in the world…
And I said: “Now, to all you folks that were a little upset about that, I want you to know it makes me uncomfortable to be called ‘God’ but I’m the one in the fancy dress and what do these kids are supposed to think? Well, I’ll tell you what they’re supposed to think, they’re supposed to think exactly the way this little girl thought: God has come close to her, God is present to her, God is not far away, He’s not some philosophical concept that is meant to not have anything to do with my life, except the way, you know, twice a year I go in and experience a religious service…
No! God is close to us! God is intimate with us! God loves us! God wants to be with us!
And so of course, this little child seeing all of this theology around her assumes that God has come to her, because He has… Not that I’m God, folks, trust me, ask my wife… but that the purpose of the faith, my brothers and sisters, the purpose of the faith is to create the concept and the possibility that you can know God intimately and lovingly and excitedly and dynamically to the point that it changes your life.
Because let’s face it folks, our lives need to be changed, we need to be set free from a mindset that reduces life to only what I can get or gather or possess.
We need to be set free from the attitude of a life that says: me and mine and that’s it.
We need to be set free from a too small life that lets a existence pass from the birth to the tomb in such a small and insignificant way that I never achieve and rise up to the glorious calling of what I was created to be in the first place and that is God’s eternal companion.
Anything less in your life it’s just too small to survive the pressures of everyday existence.