Saturday, March 29, 2008

Who is so great a God as our God who alone does wonder?

“Who is so great a God as our God who alone does wonders?” This is the Great Prokimenon sung on days such as Pentecost. It is also sung at the opening of a new Church which is where I was this evening. We (Metropolitan METHODIOS of Boston and over thirty area clergy) celebrated the Opening of the Doors of the Saint Catherine Greek Orthodox Church in Braintree, Massachusetts. I was taken tonight during the door opening celebration by the solemn placing of all the liturgical appointments on the Holy Altar Table with prayers and psalms reflecting the functional reality of the table both in Jewish usage and our Orthodox Christian usage. We were in a brand new temple declaring, “Who is so Great a God....” as if to say, “go ahead just try to find another half as great, we dare you.” I was also reading again this evening in Acts 19.34, “Great is Diana of the Ephesians,” which reflects the reaction of the Ephesians when they were confronted with losing their source of income from statue miniatures of the Goddess Diana. The Ephesians were in a panic to convince others that the God Paul was preaching was not nearly as superior to Diana. They were wrong of course, and thank God, they later came to their senses. As I reflect upon the many practical realities of our various traditions, I experienced an ancient tradition tonight and I am left with the Great Prokimenon.

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