"Tomorrow belongs to God ....."
How important is it to look to the future? To believe and hope for the best that has not yet come but is yet to come. Do not let the past take you swallows, but to say "with God's help everything will be fine. "Nothing ended yesterday, everything starts again tomorrow." This is how the great prophet of the church Agios Symeon, Theodochos, lived, looking to the future of God. Waiting for tomorrow that has not yet come.
The Christian church from the beginning of its presence, has existed as an eschatological community. Its members lived intensely the expectation of the Kingdom of God. They celebrated the Divine Eucharist, tasting the glory of God. Later, when Christianity became the official religion of the state under Constantine, the eschatological faith in the members of the church weakened. Privileges, cessation of persecution, etc. many, led to a religiosity and secularization, that is, to a service of more religious needs rather than ecclesiastical realization. But it was never lost from the core of worship and especially of the Divine Liturgy the experience that the identity of the church is taken from the last and not the history. That is, the The mission of the church in the world is to reveal and depict the Kingdom of God which is already here but not yet.
Saint Symeon was such an eschatological man, a prophet who looked at what is coming without being lost in what is gone. Most people believe that "every year is better", and in this way they idealize the past or sink into its guilt. Guilt for what I did or did not do. The church, however, tells us that we are not our past, but our future. We are what we will become and not what we were or are.
The prophet Symeon had made a vow to God. What had he asked for? What rarely, if ever, does a modern believer ask to see the messiah, the Son of God, and then let him die. The vows of most people are about material things, settlements and restorations. Saint Symeon, however, asks God not to die until he sees and holds Christ in his arms.
Let this become our daily prayer, may God not allow us to leave this life if we do not know Christ. If we do not repent and if we do not taste empirically and experientially His sweet presence. Because obviously it is one thing to talk about God and another to have fellowship with Him. When the Prophet Symeon met Christ and held him in his arms, he said to God, "Now you are dismissing your servant Despot…". Now he could die because he had met life.
Text: Fr. Charalambos Papadopoulos Libya