I had heard the following quote in the recording of the lecture by Met Jonah. But I was reminded of it when I visited Steve Robinson’s blog. This is a great quote to use in a catechumen class. But it’s also a great reminder for the recently converted. I’m quickly approaching the one-year mark of my conversion and this quote is a very timely reminder of why I chose to become an Orthodox Christian.
“This process of becoming Orthodox is not something that you can do just after 6 months of catechesis and a little bit of chrism on your forehead. It’s a life-long process, because it’s being transformed into Christ. And if we can keep our focus that coming into the Orthodox Church is not about joining a new organization; it’s not joining ‘the right church’; it’s not ‘joining the historical church or the apostolic church’; or it’s not ‘joining the right church instead the wrong church that I was in.’
“But rather, it’s an entrance deeper and deeper into the mystery of Christ. Then I think we’re on the right track. Because otherwise all we’re doing is getting stuck in our heads and caught up in judgment and condemnation. In other words, we’re just stuck in our passions and we might as well have not converted anyway, because we still haven’t left the world behind.
“Our task is to incarnate that life in Christ that is not of this world. We have to be in the world, but not of it.”
I believe Met Jonah is absolutely correct. Joining the Orthodox Church is not simply about finding and joining “the right church,” “the true church,” or “the historical church.” At its core, my decision to join Orthodoxy was about its vibrant fullness of the Christian faith that will ultimately enable me and others to incarnate Christ’s life in this world. I must not lose sight of this vision.