From St. Nikolai
About the Man Whom no one knows
" `Who are you?' Jesus saidto them: `The beginning' "(St. John 8:25).
The Lord Jesus is the beginning of creation, the beginning of restoration, the beginning of salvation, the beginning of resurrection, and the beginning of immortal glory.
Wherever there is any evil in the world that needs to be uprooted, He is the beginning. Without Him, it is impossible. Wherever there is any good that is desired to be done in the world, He is the beginning. Without Him, it is impossible. If anyone desires to uproot dissent and malice in the family, in the village, in the town, in the entire world, without Him, it is impossible. One must begin with Him. If anyone desires to instill good-will, peace, love and unity in the family, in the village, in the town, among the peoples in the entire world, without Him it is impossible. He is the beginning.
Why is it that without Christ, one cannot uproot evil nor sow good? Because all evil is from sin and only He can forgive sins. When He and only He forgives sin, then sin is plucked out by the root. No type of good is possible to be sown without Him because in Him is the treasury of all good; all the seeds of good. He is the only Sower of Good in the field of the world.
The Apostle Paul, who understood all of this better than we, says: " I can do all things through [Jesus] Christ Who strengthens me" (Philippians 4:13). Without Jesus Christ, who can begin to heal oneself of evil, to heal others from evil and to sow good in oneself and to sow good in others? No one, truly no one.
Therefore, brethren, if we are determined to uproot evil in ourselves and in others and in place of evil to sow good in ourselves and in others, let us begin with the Beginning [Christ]; i.e., let us begin with the Conqueror over evil and the Sower of good; with the Lord Jesus Christ.
O Lord Jesus Christ, You be to us the beginning in every struggle against sin and in every good work.
To You be glory and thanks always. Amen.