Thursday, October 13, 2005


Here are some beautiful things I learned about/from the Eastern Orthodox founding father, Maximus the Confessor (he's the East's equivalent of Augustine) - and from the exegesis/explanation of his Mystagogy given today by my professor, Todd Johnson:

The Divine Liturgy is cutting a window into heaven and joining the heaven worship.

All things were created by and want to return to God, but sin wants to derail the train - liturgy is what keeps the train on track. To the Orthodox (and, I think, my husband), the best way to confront evil is go into church and pray the liturgy. That will pull everything back into the cycle towards God. Everything you do in worship is a recapitulation of what happened with Christ, so every liturgy is bringing the world closer to God by reliving Christ's life.

The liturgy gives the grace to see God in the world. The Orthodox take seriously the fact that when we go to worship, God gives us a vision of the world that we wouldn't have otherwise. We leave seeing the world differently - we see that the last aren't last and the first aren't first. We're invited to not only move towards God, but bring all creation with us. We're invited to redeem the world by corporate prayer.

[Worship is dangerous when you think about it this way.]

Maximus would agree with Don Saliers: at worship, humanity is at full stretch (most fully human, most as we were created to be - to worship God).

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