Today the Orthodox Church celebrates Theophany, about which I have posted a time or two in the past. This year I found a blog by a young woman in Greece who has posted a rich mix of photos, videos and accounts describing the celebration of this feast around the world, and its meaning for us.
It all well illustrates the message of this short quote from the newsletter of my parish:
WORSHIP AND DOCTRINE:
“In the Tradition of the Eastern Orthodox Church, doctrine and worship are inseparable. Worship is, in a certain sense, doctrinal testimony, reference to the events of Revelation. Thus, ‘dogmas are not abstract ideas in and for themselves but revealed and saving truths and realities intended to bring mankind into communion with God.’ One could say without hesitation that, according to Orthodox understanding, the fullness of theological thought is found in the worship of the Church.
This is why the term Orthodoxy is understood by many not as ‘right opinion,’ but as ‘right doxology,’ [that is,] ‘right worship.’”
—Archimandrite Zacharias, Ecclesial Being, pg. 88.
Those movies of people diving into icy waters make me consider in a more bracing way the scriptural exhortation to “present your bodies a living sacrifice….”
Some friends of ours celebrated Theophany at our Northern California beach last year, where the current brings chilly water from Alaska, giving the children who dove for that cross a bit of the experience of their fellow Orthodox in colder climates.
To all who celebrate in worship and truth, a most blessed feast!