Worship is the main work of the Church
Orthodox Christianity is primarily known for its worship, for the core of our Orthodox Christian life is to be found in the services conducted in our temples. I read somewhere that during the height of the Soviet period of repression, a Roman Catholic cardinal, upon visiting Russia, asked an Orthodox metropolitan how they were managing to survive the horrors and repression of the atheistic State. The metropolitan responded by saying that no matter what, the services were always celebrated. Each and every day, morning and evening, the services continued. Although the Church was forbidden by law to operate schools and hospitals, teach children, or visit the sick and imprisoned, the services continued to be celebrated.
The Russian Church now has chapels in prisons throughout the Russian land, operates schools and hospitals, has serving chaplains in the military ranks, and soup kitchens and charitable agencies serving the poor, yet still, to this day, she sees the celebration of the Divine Services to be the primary work of the Church. The centrality of worship has always been the main work of the Church, and will remain so until the end of time.
With love in Christ,
Photo: We had a good rain on Sunday afternoon, a welcome break from the record breaking drought we are experiencing.
Tuesday July 28, 2015 / July 15, 2015
9th Week after Pentecost. Tone seven.
Martyrs Cyricus (Quiricus) and his mother Julitta of Tarsus (305).
Holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Great Prince Vladimir (in holy baptism Basil), enlightener of the Russian Land (1015).
New Hieromartyr Peter deacon (1938).
Martyr Abudimus of the isle of Tenedos (4th c.).
St. Donald of Ogilvy (716) (Scotland).
St. Swithun, bishop and wonderworker of Winchester (862) (Celtic & British).
Finding of the head of St. Matrona of Chios (1462) (Greek).
Martyr Lollianus (Greek).
The Daily Scripture Readings
Call to Apostleship
11 But I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. 12 For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ.
13 For you have heard of my former conduct in Judaism, how I persecuted the church of God beyond measure and tried to destroy it. 14 And I advanced in Judaism beyond many of my contemporaries in my own nation, being more exceedingly zealous for the traditions of my fathers.
15 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, 16 to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately confer with flesh and blood, 17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went to Arabia, and returned again to Damascus.
Contacts at Jerusalem
18 Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and remained with him fifteen days. 19 But I saw none of the other apostles except James, the Lord’s brother.
Jesus the True Shepherd
10 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. 2 But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. 3 To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. 4 And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. 5 Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” 6 Jesus used this illustration, but they did not understand the things which He spoke to them.
Jesus the Good Shepherd
7 Then Jesus said to them again, “Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 8 All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. 9 I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.