orthodoxy sunday

I was in the states today, I like visiting other countries. OH! Sarah got accepted to YALE!!!! wow. way to go girl, congratulations, I am very excited. I wanted to pray to thank God for that after vespers, but there was a big lineup of people with cancer who needed prayer, so you all can thank God for sarah being accepted to yale.

st. Innocent's antiochian orthodox church in everson WA is SO beautiful. wow. I was awed. it was, in the better sense of the word, awesome. I was filled with awe, such that dropped did I, my jaw. upon entering and seeing the large icons, hearing the beauty of three congregations (that have an interesting history) singing together, the whole thing was awe-ing. God is so amazing. Honestly, I remember never being this struck by beauty upon entering many of the churches in my past. I wonder why the church I grew up in had no notion of beauty except for two exceedingly ugly and dated banners. Its so strange. shouldn't God's house be beautiful?
I mean, there isn;t one thing that draws me to this house of God, its everything. the community, the beauty of the choral music, the smell of prayer, the touch and sight of icons, the part where we all kneel with our faces to the ground so we don't see the Holiness of God, though we partake of it shortly thereafter because of the cross, the eating together.

I thought about it, and I was thinking that if one wanted to have a party where all the people from the three churches came together, it may not be that easy, but to have a special time of prayer and fasting and worship ( I hesitate to use that word even, strange eh?) that is what people seem to want, and a party always ensues. not terribly lengthy, or elaborate, especially during lent, which is fine, but its great to talk to people and to be a part of their family right away. I mean, I know this happens in other churches, or when we christians travel and meet other christians, but for like five years I have gone to churches that don't do this. I think that may be a big part of why this is so exciting. I know hospitality is SO important, (I had an amazing time with some arabs and some half dutch americans, I love meals!) and that is yet another of "one of the things I love about orthodoxy"

today in church, we celebrated the triumph of iconography and icons over the iconoclasts. it was cool, its nice that history is a part of church life. it wasn't that different, but we brought icons to church and held them and then sort of walked around the church with them. beautiful church. goodness. I want one. "mommy, can I have a church for christmas...Puh-leeeeeeeze!"

really, its not that different, because its christianity, it just looks a little different than what most of us evangelicals grew up with. but boy it looks good!

I have had many a talk recently which has spurred my mind, and it has been healthy, but even though I can;t answer all the questions about the why's of church etc, every time I experience God and His kingdom in church, I am reassured, in fact my doubts are erased. I may get cocky, but I feel like almost anything could happen and all that I would need would be to go to church to have peace (not necessarily happiness, depending on the circumstance) and yes... I am young and should not say such things because I thank God to not have lived through any particularly intense tragedies, but I really feel/think that I have a little bit of the kingdom of God that I get to participate in, and its so freakin amazing, that because I am a part of this community, I think we are invincible. not me, us. you know what I mean? I am not trying to be arrogant and talk about myself, just to express what I see as the community. I love church!


Graves said...

Hi friend, I think you have put your finger on one our great differences: you feel that the Church is invincible; I feel that the Church is broken. Maybe she is both, maybe that's a copout, maybe I just don't know. It was good to be at St. Herman's this morning; it was good to be at Mass tonight.

pasivirta said...

ah yes, well, we are talking about different things though, I am talking about how the church makes me feel like even though I will fail, because I am a part of the church, I will survive the failure. I was not trying to talk about the infallibility of the church, our discussions of late have led me to decide to wait to pass that judgement. if that is even part of the question (infallibility) peace friend

Graves said...

why are you awake right now?

Anonymous said...

Dave, your enthusiasm has always impressed me. I enjoy reading your thoughts, makes me wish I was still in B.C.

Keep up the freshness my friend, your excitement could be catching.

Graves said...

Oh, and I wasn't talking about infalliblity. Although, I do have some questions about Tradition that relate to the topic.