Thursday, December 6

People Look East

I know that I quoted some of People Look East in yesterday's blog
but I did not post the audio to it so here ya go! 
This is especially for SCurry :)

Chapel at Zaffran Monastery, the Monastery of Mor Hananyo (St. Ananias), in Mardin, dating to the 5th century and a haven for the Orthodox as well as others, like the Armenians.  The Syriac around the altar reads, "By your Name, we conquer sin."

But today we look East, the quote is from the book of Baruch and the images come from a trip to Turkey that I went on this past spring.  We visited the Cappadocian region with its rich tradition of Christian beauty and theology and several churches of many communions, but particularly the Eastern (Antiochene, Syriac, Oriental Orthodox) Church.  Though Turkey changed hands many times over its long history, some holy places, though now mostly tourist locations, have been preserved.  Though often we were grieved by this and the vandalism and disrespect shown to the early Christian devotion, we realized that we too mar the Image in one another and ourselves, more often than we usually repent on account of it.  But, today, I use these as a reminder of beauty and light that have stood through history, violence, war iconoclasm and the beauty of the Orthodox church today and their beautiful, hopeful contribution from their branch of our Family.  I look forward to being gathered together, east and west, and seeing the church outfitted with the garment of Christ, as His Body, bright, beautiful, just and at peace.

Pantokrator surrounded by the Minor Prophets in Church of Panagia Pammakaristos, Istanbul

Look about thee, O Jerusalem, towards the east, and behold the joy that cometh to thee from God. For behold thy children come, whom thou sentest away scattered, they come gathered together from the east even to the west, at the word of the Holy One rejoicing for the honour of God. Put off, O Jerusalem, the garment of thy mourning, and affliction: and put on the beauty, and honour of that everlasting glory which thou hast from God. God will clothe thee with the double garment of justice, and will set a crown on thy head of everlasting honour. For God will shew his brightness in thee, to every one under heaven. For thy name shall be named to thee by God for ever: the peace of justice, and honour of piety. Arise, O Jerusalem, and stand on high: and look about towards the east, and behold thy children gathered together from the rising to the setting sun, by the word of the Holy One rejoicing in the remembrance of God.
~Baruch 4.36-5.9

Iconostasis of the Church of St. George, dragon-slayer, the Ecumenical Patriarchate where we met with His All Holiness, who greeted us in the name of our one Lord Jesus Christ and spent a solid ten minutes in good conversation with us  

Church of St. George, Istanbul

People Look East, and sing today:
Love, the Lord, is on the way!


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