Whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you. Phillippians 8-9
Being a Greek Orthodox Christian, this is myand this past Sunday was . It felt wonderful to be in church early to read the epistle (the above passage). My sister Mary has thankfully come to stay with Mom a whole week leading up to Greek Easter. Though I have loved spending time with my mother, I am loving the nice bit of freedom I will have this week. (Thank you Mary!)
Church filled up fast on Sunday. Many people came; lots of beautiful children and babies (which I just love). Father E. read the gospel about the last days of Jesus and the oil that smelled so good. Palms were handed out at the end of the service, molded into the shape of a cross. There was a fish dinner afterwards and Mom was able to see many of her friends that she has missed for months. It was a good day.
One of the most touching sights in church was the candles, lit by practically everyone who entered. It was amazing to see them ablaze, lighting the back wall of Narthex. Even one of my fellow council friends remarked on the specialness of them. I thought of them as kisses for God, as if every one of us was sending kisses to heaven and perhaps to loved ones who have passed on.
I have to tell you about the feeling I had being back in church. After many months of devotion to mom, I felt a peace, a gratitude to God for all the blessings in my life. My mom is recovering, I have a new life (minus my job!). Some things are different, some things are the same. Some things feel really good and my relationship to God feels another level deeper.
Maybe you have a special form of prayer or something you do which gives you this same feeling? Maybe it’s your church or a walk in the woods that does it for you. Maybe you feel that feeling of connection when you ride a gentle horse, run or walk on the beach. Perhaps you feel it when you kiss your baby or do the poses of yoga. You name it; maybe this provides the same feeling for you as my church does for me. What would you do without it? Would things feel the same?
I am grateful I have my church to go to. It is there I can connect and feel even closer to God.
What is your favorite form of spiritual connection? What moves you deep inside?