Sunday, January 08, 2012

This Is Why I Am Orthodox

Back in the 1990s my very good and wonderful, full of love, and committed to the Bible church, Peninsula Bible Church in Cupertino (home of some of the best preaching I ever heard), lost it's worship pastor, and for a long time it was without one.  There were a lot of people who came through as temps or try-outs.  I remember one was very academical and tried to direct the congregation like it was a choir.  Another, who came up for the weekend from southern Caifornia, lead us in singing Desperado. (I'm not making that up.)  And there were alot of discussions among the people about what exactly worship should be.  I guess it was the summer of 1998 or, maybe, 1999 that I first stepped into an Orthodox church and was blown away by what I saw and heard and smelled.  I remember thinking, "this is the kind of setting where God is likely to appear".

Sometimes, when people ask me why I became Orthodox I jokingly say "I came for the baklava but stayed for vodka."  In reality, I came for the worship.  I stayed for the truth.   Or, something like that.

The Polyeleos (greek for "many mercies") is an example of that worship: Scriptural, joyful, reverent, beautiful.  It is a blending of two Psalms with "alleluia" inserted in between the verses.


DebD said...

worship is what started me on the road to the Orthodox church too.

GretchenJoanna said...

I love that hymn, and when we sing it in my parish, we set the chandelier swinging. And that swinging chandelier was a big boost for me toward joining the church!

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