“I was glad when they said to me; let us go into the house of the Lord” (Psalm 122:1)
The House of the LORD, Holy Orthodox Incarnation Church has her origin with Lord Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. Orthodoxy the faith of the Church, derivate in the Apostolic Community called into being by Lord Jesus and enlivened by the Holy Spirit.
Built by Lord Jesus Christ through the Apostles, The Orthodox Church has maintained a living, historical connection with the Apostolic Church through the ordination of its clergy. The bishop that ordains an Orthodox Priest today can trace his ordination historically all the way back to the Apostles and through them to Christ. For this reason we are “apostolic” rooted in the first Apostles the disciples of Lord Jesus. We are also Apostolic because we believe our calling is to share our faith with others. For this reason, we welcome you to visit the Orthodox Christians parish in your neighborhood or town.
The Holy place where the Harmony, Love and Peace spark from all in the name of Christ is the House of the Lord. It is the will of God for the Creator, that all creatures should worship his God. A Christian should rejoice in the worship of God in the church, as the prophet David said, “I rejoiced when they said, Let us go to the house of God.” (Psalm. 122: 1)
Prophet David calls upon others to which well to Jerusalem. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem, for the welfare of it, for all good to it, particularly for the uniting of the inhabitants among themselves and their preservation from the incursions of enemies. This we may truly desire, that in the peace thereof we may have peace; and this we must earnestly pray for, for it is the gift of God, and for it he will be enquired of. Those that can do nothing else for the peace of Jerusalem can pray for it, which is something more than showing their good-will; it is the appointed way of fetching in mercy. The peace and welfare of the gospel church, particularly in our land, is to be earnestly desired and prayed for by every one of us. Now, we are here encouraged in our prayers for Jerusalem’s peace: Those shall prosper that love thee. We must pray for Jerusalem, not out of custom, nor for fashion’s sake, but out of a principle of love to God’s government of man and man’s worship of God; and, in seeking the public welfare, we seek our own, for so well does God love the gates of Zion that he will love all those that do love them, and therefore they cannot but prosper; at least their souls shall prosper by the ordinances they so dearly love. We are here directed in our prayers for it and words are put into our mouths Peace be within thy walls. He teaches us to pray; for all the inhabitants in general, all within the walls, from the least to the greatest. Peace be in thy fortifications; let them never be attacked, or, if they be, let them never be taken, but be an effectual security to the city. For the princes and rulers especially: Let prosperity be in the palaces of the great men that sit at the helm and have the direction of public affairs; for, if they prosper, it will be well for the public. The poorer sorts are apt to envy the prosperity of the palaces, but they are here taught to pray for it.
Peace, of course, is more than the absence of war. It does not deny conflict, an intrinsic element of human relationships, but neither does it identify conflict with violence. Violence is not the only way to resolve conflicts. Peacemakers are constantly groping to find ways in which people and communities can resolve their differences without physical violence. Peace is a dynamic process not an absolute end point. Genuine peace means progress toward a freer and more just world.
Metropolitan George of Mount Lebanon, living in a Muslim country and having personally experienced the cruelties of religion-sanctioned wars and strife, addressing this issue of religious sanctioned violence has argued that that the Church cannot exercise its vocation of peace and peacemaking in a plausible manner if it cannot exorcise war.
In the Church a vision of inwardness where peace becomes our vocation is plausible only if war can be exorcised. How can it have come about that pure and pious men like the inquisitors had such a bad theology? This constitutes one of the tragedies of our past. Nothing can be accomplished until the biblical foundations of violence are shattered. For us the error lies not in history but in theology. Violence is justified, fed by the belief that God of the Bible led Israel from victory to victory and that he willed all nations to submit to it.
Alongside this bloodthirsty God, there arises the image of a merciful God whose voice speaks in prophets like Jeremiah and Hosea and in the Song of the Servant in Isaiah. We are confronted here with two irreconcilably opposed faces of the Lord in the same Scripture.
He argues that for Christians these incompatibles image of God must be read and interpreted through a “kenotic” reading of the Scripture and suggests that the “The Cross alone is the locus of divine victory, and the source of the meaning of faith. Anything in the Scripture that does not conform to the mystery of Love is a veil over the Word. Love is the true locus of the Word, because it alone is a divine epiphany.”
Other Orthodox scholars risking the accusation of being Marcionites tend to bypass the violent texts of the Scripture especially of the Old Testament as early stages of understanding God’s revelation that the New Testament has surpassed. In the Patristic tradition the violent texts of the Scripture have been interpreted through the “allegorical method” to describe “Spiritual personal struggles against evil and sin.” One self-evident corollary is the reason why the Orthodox Church sings, hymns and intones all the prayers and readings of our sacred worship. Even the Gospel and epistle are chanted. Those who are honored to present those excerpts from the sacred scriptures know that they are given the blessing to lift up their voices with those who throughout the universe are reading the same texts in cathedrals, churches, chapels and monastic communities everywhere on earth. Nobody would dare insinuate his or her own rendition of the text by calling attention to his own interpretation of the passage. Whatever the vocal qualities he may possess, be he a heldentenor or basso profound or she a soprano or contralto, the chanter of the sacred words is or ought to be in harmony with the pitch of the universe. The Church is not the place for divas or celebrities. Here is where one submerges his individuality and shares in the Spirit uniting us all into the family of the Lord.
Source:Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America and Orthodox Church in America