Monday, April 24, 2017

Here we go again

“They” say repetition is the mother of all learning, and nothing can be more true than in the Orthodox Church. During services we repeat the “Lord have mercy” dozens of times; we ask for peace over and over again; some of the prayers even begin with the words, “Again and again...” Why all this repetition? Wouldn’t it be sufficient for us to KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) rather than the elaborate singing of Christ is Risen dozens of times?

With the smell of incense still in our nostrils and the bright flame of Pascha is still burning in our minds, the Church “moves on” and begins another cycle of readings, feasts and fasts. With the coming of Pascha, the Church flips the Gospel and Epistle Book back to the front and it all starts over again with Acts and the Gospel of John. Using a formal Lectionary the Church publicly “reads” the entire New Testament excluding Revelation each year, bit by bit. You can find these “readings of the day” in most Orthodox calendar apps available for free downloads. The one I prefer is from the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America. Here is the link....

So here we go again. We are still singing Christ is Risen, but we are not the same people we were a year ago. Our faith has encountered another year of temptations and struggles and prayerfully we have grown closer to God. Maybe even we slid back this year. It happens. Thankfully either way, we get another round of readings and feasts and fasts to help us through another year.

When you read the readings of the day, don’t focus on “I already read that. I remember the story.” These comments will cause you to gloss over the text rather than be inspired by it. Rather read the selections with the knowledge that you have experienced another year and allow God to speak to the “new” you....the 2017 you.

No comments: