The world encounters Orthodox Christianity. People hear about it and become curious, or they see it happening somewhere and maybe they are startled, or even put off. It is not something that one can take in all in an eyeshot, not even really in a panorama, except as one takes in a beautiful photograph or painting. All that can be seen that way is very superficial and almost meaningless, except as beauty has meaning without needing proof.
When they get a little closer to Orthodoxy, they want to hurry up and classify it. They want to ask questions, “Is it Catholic, is it Protestant, is it an Eastern religion, what is it?” but they nearly always want to classify it as a religion. Oddly, sometimes even people within Orthodoxy want to do the same, because they have taken on so many of the world’s expectations of what is needed, what is important. If it can be called a religion, then it can be firmly rejected, or firmly (and fanatically) accepted, and there it is. It’s been identified, pigeonholed, and done. “Yeah, I know what Orthodoxy is.”
But Orthodox Christianity is not a religion, though many of its adherents think of it that way. Orthodoxy is nothing less than the daily proclamation of a profound and powerful mystery—the resurrection of Jesus Christ—and the opening to all mankind, in every place and at every moment of time, the possibility of true brotherhood, and of divine sonship. The life of the Holy Triad is open to us, taking away the purposelessness of life alone in a Godless universe.
Jesus Christ came to pitch His tent among us, not only in His incarnation, but by His life-giving death and resurrection. He is the One who had become dead, and is alive again. He is no mere historical figure to be studied and speculated about. He was, is and is to come, the single most active Person in the history of the human world. He is here now among us.
He is calling us at this very moment, not to religion, but to follow Him.
Who can refuse His call? and why would anyone want to?
ιδου εγω μεθ υμων ειμι
πασας τας ημερας
εως της συντελειας του αιωνος
Behold, I am with you,
unto the very end of time.