October 01, 2008

Great Class.

It is Wednesday morning. I have a full day ahead, yesterday was most productive, I was on my computer from 7:30am till 5:00pm and I completed 4 proof albums, my back is paying for it this morning. So today I must move around a bit more. Yesterday I didn't post my One Thing from my Christian Formation class I am auditing at ACU, did anyone notice? Probably not, but for me it is a good way to revisit the details of the class and come up with a summation of what I took away from the class. If I don't do this it could be lost in the black hole known as my brain forever.

Monday's class was amazing. We visited the local Christian Orthodox Church on a field trip. I was SO excited to see what Orthodoxy was all about. I didn't know anything about the Orthodox faith at all. I can honestly say that I loved it. The first thing you noticed when you entered the sanctuary was the smell, it was the smell of incense, which in scripture God refers to our prayers as incense rising. The insense is a physical representation of our prayers and it includes the sense of smell in worship, the priest said that they like to worship God with all 5 senses. The Christian Orthodox church believes that their worship today looks a lot like the Christian worship from when the book of Acts was written. There is no place for fundamentalism vs. contemporary, no place for change of any kind, this is how they do it, this is how they have done it, and this is how it will continue. That was something that was highly appealing to the former baptist who became Orthodox who is the priest who leads the local church. I could say that it would take a lot of arguments out of the church. There were beautiful pictures which are called Icons at the front of the church, Jesus, Mary, Luke and a great portrait of John the Baptist were hanging in the front. Each were beautiful, of course Jesus was my favorite, but I loved how the wildness of John the Baptist was depicted, his camel hair clothing and uncombed hair. These appealed to the sense of sight.

The priest was very clear to tell us that the Icons were not worshipped. It might seem to an onlooker that they would be worshipping Mary, Luke or John, but the images were not unlike images we have in our home of family and friends who have gone on before us. We keep their pictures up to remember them and honor them. They are remembering those who have gone on before us, in scripture they are referred to "A great cloud of witnesses" who are cheering us on while we are on earth.

What I loved about this practice of Orthodoxy is that they attempt to bring the whole body into worship all 5 senses, they have requirements about spiritual disciplines i.e. fasting, that are done by all the members, I love the reverence shown to the Lord, and I also love the liturgical prayers, which means they pray the same prayers from a prayer book, at certain times in the day. I loved that the priest bowed to God, on his hands and knees all the way down to the ground, he leads the worship, the members follow his lead by doing the same thing.

This was different than anything I had experienced before, some I felt like I had come home, some I felt like I had not, but I think the key is to learn from this practice which is considered an Eastern religion, to embrace the mystical about God, not trying to explain Him, but just being comfortable with what I can't explain, to embrace spiritual disciplines as they are intended to be embraced for those of us that desire an intimate relationship with Christ, to find prayers that will set my mind upon Christ and lead me closer to Him, and pray those each day. I am so grateful for this experience.
To a sillier subject: Me.
What is wrong with this picture below? This is how the process of what you see before you happened. I was heading out to go to my class on Monday. Grabbed my phone, grabbed my sunglasses, and my purse. Put on my sunglasses, then put everything else down so I could clean the right lense, it seemed a bit dirty or smudged to me. Cleaned the right lense, put my sunglasses on, grabbed my phone, grabbed my purse, left the house in a bit of a rush. Got into the car still thinking there was something wrong with the right lense, again cleaned it, put the sunglasses back on my face, looked in the mirror to see if they were scratched or something and it was then I noticed something was missing. The left lense. Where was it? It had fallen out and I had driven over it in my driveway, wondered what that black things was, well know I know.


Teeny said...

OH MY GOODNESS! You are absolutly hilarious! You crack me up!

Love you,


Becky K said...

Cute glasses. You are so funny. I love you.

Rachel Brooke said...

hahaha - yes! It's been one of the days for me too!

Allison Connor said...

I love the glasses pic! On the other...my best friend from HS is orthodox and I have learned about it some over the years...it is very interesting. I am glad you enjoyed your visit!