This is the place we are formed, shaped into our true selves. This is the place where we taste and see that the Lord is good, as we see and smell and hear and taste and experience the present and future reality of God’s kingdom every time we celebrate the divine liturgy. This is the place were visible and invisible come together, where heaven bows down and the earth is lifted up. This is the place where all creation comes to meet its maker, and find its place in God’s eternal kingdom.
We are called to praise and reflect deeply on two qualities of the resurrected Lord, two qualities He alone possesses in full measure: kingship and beauty. The Lord, as Creator of the beautiful material world and as the source of all power or kingship, emerges from the Tomb in His resurrection, clothed in beauty, – His resurrected human body.
The service of Vespers belongs to the most ancient layer of Christian liturgical services, because originally, early Christians gathered for common prayer in the morning and in the evening. And it was only throughout the 4th century, with the rise of organized monasticism, that the additional services of the Hours began to be developed.
Misconception #1 – Orthodoxy is only for Certain Kinds of People (Greeks, Russians, etc)
Misconception #2 -The Orthodox Church is the Same as the Roman Catholic Church
Misconception #3 -The Orthodox Church Worships Images and Idols
Misconception #4 -Orthodox Christians Believe they Earn Their Way to Heaven
Misconception #5 – The Orthodox Church is a Dead Religion
This ability to know Him to know, to know him personally, it’s something that has been cultivated in the Orthodox Church for a couple of thousand years now. They have vast amounts of data from all over the world, throughout the entire history of Christian faith, of how this works out in different personalities, different cultures, different lives, of how to do it in a way that is safe and that has practical discernment about the risks involved. And what’s more that it actually works.
A lot of people don’t know about the Orthodox Church. They don’t know that it’s the second largest Christian communion in the world. They don’t know that it extends through history with the same faith and way of Christian living through 2,000 years. They don’t know that it’s really different from the kinds of Christianity that they may already know.