From Michael Ruse:
All of the martyrs, beheaded saints, veneration days, feasts, fasting, abstinence rules, and processions between the sanctuary and the people or even between cities, as anciently practiced from Jerusalem to Bethany, seem like foolishness not only to people who don’t believe in or don’t know about Christ, but also to many Christians nowadays from other traditions or sects. Starting around the fourth century, Christians in large cities began sharing their local church traditions of venerating martyrs and saints as well as different feast days like Theophany and Christmas. Jerusalem, for example, gave the Church the Exaltation of Cross, which we have just celebrated.
In Chapter 6, Metropolitan gives us the teaching of the Holy Fathers, especially during the fourth century. He gives us the evidence written to compare to the evidence seen in the Orthodox Church today. He not only tells us but shows us the beautiful “exchange of feasts” between East and West, all of which helps increase our love for the Holy Trinity and helps us imitate the way of the saints so that we might also be enriched by their, “invincible devotion to their King and Teacher.”
As we’ve already heard it taught recently on Sunday that our fasting or feasting is not just for our own benefit, but for others too. Our life in the yearly worship, Metropolitan Hilarion seems to say, is formed and revolves around the formation of Christ’s life and death. Come join us this Saturday at 4:00 p.m. to learn about some must-know details of how our Orthodox worship forms us into Christ who guides us into all kinds of beneficial exchanges.