by Jade Sokoll
I was overwhelmed the first time I set foot in an Orthodox Church. My senses engaged in ways I had never experienced…the sound of the chanters and choir singing age old hymns and songs, the smell of incense as it filled the sanctuary, dozens of flames dancing atop beeswax candlesticks, and the beautifully written icons that wrapped around the room. The reality of the presence of God made itself known to me, and despite having been taught from the Bible my entire life, I felt as though a haze had cleared and I was seeing and experiencing God’s kingdom for the first time. At that very moment, I knew there was no other place I would rather be than in the Church. Every word, every object, every sound and smell and candle has meaning and purpose. It is beautiful and it guides us to meet our Lord.
Today, we find ourselves in a much different situation. Confined to the walls of our home, or perhaps the fence line of our property, we maintain a distance from all those people and things that we love. However, the Church has been here before. Father Evan has often spoken to us about our homes being a “little church,” and for the first time in many of our lives, it is the only church we have physical access to. Luckily, that does not make it any less beautiful. The flames can still dance, incense can still fill the space, we can still surround ourselves with the icons we have, and we have no fewer opportunities to meet our Lord. We know that all of these things are meant to aid us on our journey, but the real journey lies within our hearts and remains unchanged. The journey to meet our God continues regardless of the obstacles. So, though the space may be smaller, the journey has not lessened. The desire to meet our Risen Lord remains, as does His desire to meet with us. Stay steadfast, keep the Faith, and keep the light of your beautiful, little church shining bright.