It is the basic task of the church to ensure that in each generation the call of the Gospel can be heard clearly, and purely, and that the church communion itself is an accurate, living, and gracious icon of Christ, acting to attract men and women to the Lord of Love.
John Anthony McGuckin: The Orthodox Church
Since I’m not preaching next Sunday I have taken the opportunity to start my Advent book early. I always try to read something special during Advent just as in Lent, and this year I am reading “The Orthodox Church: An Introduction to the History, doctrine and Spiritual Culture” by Father John Anthony McGuckin. Often, of course, as you read there are passages which resonate. I’ve just read in the introduction that the Orthodox Church is:
A full-blooded community of the faithful who have their feet planted firmly in the earth, and their eyes raised joyfully to heaven.
That, surely, should be true of all Christians, and it stuck me that our worship should help us to achieve that – it should help us to raise our eyes joyfully to heaven and then, when we go in peace to love and serve the Lord it should have prepared us to live as a Christian community with our feet planted firmly in the earth.