Our Time of Uncertainty: God Already Has It Figured Out
Metropolitan Philip's translation has left us with uncertainty. Change is always difficult, especially in the Church. Here we have grown to rely on things continuing for the most part unchanging. Feeling a little uncertain and afraid is at the very least understandable, but it is not a sign of weakness or faithlessness. How often in the scriptures does God tell us to "Fear not!"?
Now, I've been told often that I see the world through rose-colored glasses. I don't know if this is always meant as a compliment. Nevertheless, I prefer to see the world as a gift from God, with amazing opportunities and possibilities. I see the world as the means by which we develop our relationships with God and each other. This world is a place to discover and delight in God and all that He creates for us. I believe that everyone in our lives can help us stretch and grow. That which is negative or challenging can help us identify areas that need attention and will profit us. I also believe that, given everyone's needs, wounds, personalities and uniqueness, the world is the best it can be. I believe that God has brought every one of us together so that together we can come to know Him and return His love. The Church is a mother who fosters and builds relationships that bring us to God. God created and gave to us our Church, which is a Divine and human organization that allows us to be grafted to Christ and each other. She allows us to enter into Christ's own praise of the Father and care for His people. This action is fueled by God's Spirit and guided by the Holy Trinity. This life allows us to delight in God and for God to delight in us. This life allows us to discover the uniqueness and beauty of everyone and everything that God created; even when that which is created may be temporarily in disorder or dirtied up.
Pascha is my justification for my rose-colored understanding. When we see the world through the lens of the empty tomb, we see a world that is broken but saved. We see people suffering, but with hope of eternity. We see a world temporarily divided, but united in Christ. We see the suffering and alienation of darkness, but the brilliance of Christ's light. We are separated from our departed, but already restored.
If I speak like a "crazy person," I do so because this craziness is true. Only from the empty tomb can anything of the fallen world make sense or be restored. Only the light of the empty tomb can take away the darkness created by sin. Christ has joined Himself to us and gives us access to Himself.
In the light of Resurrection, the world doesn't look so bad. We stumble around and bruise ourselves and each other, but God has the plan to save us and make things right. Rose-colored glasses like these are available at your local liturgy, the Scriptures in your homes, and in relationships with God's people at your church. God will not provide us with another Metropolitan Philip. Sayidna Philip was very much one of a kind. God, however, through a process of nominations from the people and clergy of our Archdiocese and an election by the Holy Synod of Antioch, will provide us with a metropolitan to continue God's own work on this continent.
God is active in our lives and in charge. Don't be afraid. Christ Is Risen!