Orthodox Christianity has liturgies…

in fact a pretty good number of them including services that are done only once a year and they all have on thing in common. There not about you, or me for that matter.

The object is always God and that takes getting used to in a culture where our worship of our emotions, our needs, our thoughts, and our preferences bleeds over into our churches. If there is one thing that comes from Orthodox Christian worship it’s that you, or I, are not God. Weddings, funerals, divine liturgy, morning prayers, it makes no difference. It’s not about you, or us, or the world around or within,  just God.

You see you and I have been blessed all week with things like gravity, a heartbeat, food (usually too much) and a host of things that we’re often blind to in a society that counts on us always being addicted to more. For most of us, in this country especially, we are swimming in a sea of blessings for which we are, in the main, generally ungrateful and unresponsive. We’ve forgotten the Giver and even the time set aside to give thanks, to be grateful, to return a few words of worship for an eternity of goodness is tinged with our selfishness.

Orthodox worship challenges us to step out of ourselves, even if its just for a few hours a week. Orthodox worship calls us to to another Kingdom, not just the affirmation of the ones we’ve created. Orthodox liturgy is designed to break us out of our boxes and give us the opportunity to be what we were designed to be, creatures in communion with our Creator.

Only when our hearts are set on higher things can we transcend. The moment, any moment,  when we are truly present to God is the moment when we are most alive. In losing ourselves in the presence of God we find that for which we hunger.

Understand this and it will be easy to turn off the TV on Sunday morning.

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