Great Lent can be a lonely time, especially for those who are not fortunate enough to live in an Orthodox Community like “the old country” in Europe. In traditional Orthodox countries, Great Lent comes a bit easier, since most of the people around you are sharing in the struggle together as a community. The same cannot be said for those of us in America, unless maybe Alaska where Orthodox Christianity is a majority religion. We need help!
In keeping with this week’s theme of needing each other, I wanted to take a moment and remind you of the benefit of Church as community. The Church as a place we gather, is more than just the building we enter for Divine Liturgy. The Church is also a gathering place, even during COVID19, where we meet for fellowship and learning.
During Great Lent spending time at the Church is even more important for our spiritual growth. At the Church, we can share Lenten recipes, exchange recommendations on the best design for a prayer corner, or just be a comforting shoulder for our friends to decompress. Our friends at Church are different from our friends at work, simply because they share the same Lenten struggle. We are comforted knowing we aren’t the only ones who might be a bit self-conscious about our eating habits.
Today in most every Orthodox Christian Church, there will be a Liturgy. Attending the Presanctified Liturgy won’t just provide you with a chance to commune with God. It will be a chance to connect and support each other in your Lenten struggle. You won’t need to feel self-conscious when you fast at Church. You won’t feel strange taking your prayer rope out for a few minutes when you’re sitting in the fellowship hall at Church. You won’t feel alone at the Church where we are there helping each other grow in Christ.
Just thought you might want to be reminded of that today!