Thursday, October 1, 2015

If only we give them room

Tomorrow the 64th Greek Festival begins in Portland in the plaza before the Greek Cathedral of the Holy Trinity. Those of us who are Orthodox Christians, and work at the Festival in various jobs, let's keep these things in mind, as we are going to be witnesses for Christ and our holy faith whether we try to be or not.

Let your words ring true and do not let them appear to create a divide between the systematic and holistic aspects inherent in Orthodox Christianity and all other Christianities.

We can be thankful for what we have accepted from our holy and pious ancestors in the faith and from the saints with whom we are living and working out our salvation today, and we can also praise them.

The opportunity lies in our invitation extended to those who haven’t yet ‘seen the true Light… received the heavenly Spirit… found the true faith.’ This is no scolding, but an invitation to greater love,

that greater love which causes us to lay down our lives for our brothers. And who are our brothers? People even closer to us than our neighbors, and yet even between them we draw no distinction.

We are all met by Christ Himself, regardless of whether we are Orthodox or not, even Christians or not. We are all met by Him and offered eternal life, by the Savior of the world who does not let His divinity overwhelm His humanity.

In the same way, let’s walk together in the seamless faith which confesses no tear, moving through the world as the One Body of Christ wearing His undivided garment, that which soldiers wagered to win.

‘He who does not gather with Me, scatters,’ says the Lord Jesus Christ, who does not notice anything about us other than our need. Just as holy apostle Paul says, we are unspiritual. The Spirit in us must take us to Himself.

The sheep who were wandering aimlessly without a shepherd have been gathered and are being gathered by the Shepherd of souls, who is presenting us to His Father, the heavenly King.

Come let us worship, and fall down before Yahweh our Maker, for we are the people He pastures, the flock that He guides. Keeping our eyes on Jesus, following Him closely, other sheep will follow, if only we give them room.

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