…this Church isn’t just another denomination with certain morals, theology, and rules. Orthodoxy is the Way…the Truth…and perhaps the most important adjective…It is the Life. When we have our first meeting of catechumens and seekers who are wanting to learn more about the Ancient Christian Church, lesson number one is not to read as many books as possible to understand the history or the creed. The class that is taken is called “Metanoia”, because the most important thing that is needed is not a change of theology…it is a “change of heart”. Being a Christian is about learning and experience A LIFE, guided by the Holy Spirit through the Church, moving towards a genuine and unalterable love for God.
…To be a “co-worker in God’s service” means that we must work side-by-side with our brothers and sisters to build up God’s Kingdom. Just like a row boat in the middle of a lake, we all need to be pulling together, in the same direction, so that we can all safely reach the shore. When one person refuses to pull the oar, or decides to paddle in a different direction, it is not only that person who is affected, but the entire boat as well. And while we are each called to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling (Phil. 2:12), we must still rely on each other—our fellow “co-workers in God’s service”—to get the job done….
When we take a moment to stop and think about all of the absolutely incredible things that this bone has seen, we gain a deeper connection to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Our ties to the story of our salvation are not just the recounting of a story in a book. They are real, physical, and can be experienced in our participation in the Divine Services. And when parishes like ours are entrusted to care for the relics of the saints who have gone before us, our ties to that Salvation history go even deeper…and that is a blessing that not many parishes of our size can claim.
We all know those people who, for whatever reason, can never see the beauty in anything of God or His people. For them, every silver lining has a dark cloud in front of it, every happy story has a sad ending, and no good deed goes unpunished. We can blame it on the circumstance of their life, or just life in general, but everything they see in God’s wonderful creation is somehow distorted when viewed through a tainted, dirty, negative lens. This perspective is often self-serving, where each bad account of the world and humanity simply helps to prove their already established negative impressions. When seen through this “bad eye,” the world does indeed appear very bleak and unsalvageable.