My husband and I have both lived in one geographic area our whole lives and this has really nurtured the blessing of what to expect seasonally, with the assurance of things to come.
Even amidst all of our rushing around, seasonal patterns emerge from the blur of the busyness of life. Like that every late May to early June in our neck of the world, we get tons of iridescent dragonflies hatching from the creeks and fluttering through the woods where I walk.
I love it and look for it each year. This year it seemed like they came a little late – and I thought maybe I had missed it! Then finally a few weeks ago those little dragonflies were everywhere!
There is an immense similarity in embracing the Liturgical cycle of the year, as the faithful live the seasons of our lives within the seasons of the Faith. The services of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Orthodox Church offers a certain stability of place. Living within the Liturgical cycle of the Church is so grounding and needful.
A monk of the eastern Church has said that to live “the liturgical year forms Christ in us.”
Redeeming the time. Over many years, the pattern of the Liturgical cycle comes into focus, like the gears of a clock, the beauty of it all fits together. The faithful anticipate and are comforted by the coming seasons of fasting with the assurance of the awaiting feast. This steadfast enduring call to remember our first Love, inclines the soul onward, as one walks with Christ and participates in this Liturgical dialogue – which is a song of renewal, a honeycomb of sweet wisdom, and the Hymn of salvation.
In this day and age, not every family is able to live in the suburbs of one city their whole life. That’s okay. The reality is that no matter where the faithful live – we have same stability of place in the timeless, salvific geographic terrain of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Orthodox Faith.
This is the unity of the faithful – that every Orthodox Church in every city or land preaches the same Christ and has the same Liturgical seasons. We are rooted and grounded walking through the daily Scriptures, minding the seasons of fasting and festal celebrations of the year, adoring our Most Holy Theotokos, commemorating the Saints, making room for the formation of Christ in us, through a life of repentance and receiving Him at each Eucharist.
The Orthodox Faith is nourishing, sober, seasonal, stable, relevant and True. While our own lives can often encounter that which is unexpected, no matter where one lives – Christ and His Church are the same yesterday today and forever.
This is a tremendous dependable blessing and gift.