Narrating a story, I am sure many of today's Orthodox Christians
Can identify with...
A Person went to a prayer meeting in a house where someone had died.
There he expected to see people consoling the grieved family; instead
he saw them cracking jokes, having fun needling each other. The
elders were engrossed in seemingly serious discussions involving
church politics. The youngsters were having a reunion party. After a
long time, someone initiated some songs, there was the reciting of
the written prayers at the speed of light by the Achen (Priest) and
all, incense was placed and benediction was given - all in a span of
sweet twenty minutes! Then the social get together continued. The
discussions ranged from a car bought by someone, a house on sale and
the newest fashion in town. All were called to dinner, all had their
fill, thanked the family and left after an enjoyable evening.
I heard that the family started preparation for this prayer meeting
early in the morning, since they heard about the death late the
previous night; and they had to work tidying up till late that night.
The next day there were complaints that some people were not invited
for the party...oops ..the prayer meeting! In the good old days
people used to come themselves after hearing that someone in a family
had passed away.
Friends, with the picture painted in the above story, which for many
of us is a sad reality, if we try to find the reasons for the
problems in our church today and for people moving elsewhere in
search of God - (a good number of these issues we have been
discussing on this forum) - we might get some answers.
Mathew, Vashi , New Bombay