The Christian Mystery (Teachings of the Orthodox Church) Christianity. Orthodoxy. Catholicism. Sense of life. Articles for Christians.
“I am Yahweh your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.                “You shall have no other gods before me.                “You shall not make for yourselves an idol, nor any image of anything that is in the heavens above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: you shall not bow yourself down to them, nor serve them, for I, Yahweh your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and on the fourth generation of those who hate me, and showing loving kindness to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments.                “You shall not take the name of Yahweh your God in vain, for Yahweh will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.                “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. You shall labor six days, and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to Yahweh your God. You shall not do any work in it, you, nor your son, nor your daughter, your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your livestock, nor your stranger who is within your gates; for in six days Yahweh made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day; therefore Yahweh blessed the Sabbath day, and made it holy.                “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land which Yahweh your God gives you.                “You shall not murder.                “You shall not commit adultery.                “You shall not steal.                “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.                “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.”
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The Christian Mystery (Teachings of the Orthodox Church)


We are now back where we started, speaking about the Liturgy and its place in the Orthodox Church. Would you agree then that the Liturgy reveals what Orthodoxy really is?


Yes, of course, the Liturgy is the central revelation of the Christian mystery, and in it the whole of Orthodoxy is somehow contained, remembered and given to our living experience.

All the icons, the vestments, the candles, the singing... everything taken together in harmony and unity serve to disclose just one thing: Man is made for God and finds his identity, fulfillment and perfection in Him.

We speak much today about identity and fulfillment. Who am I? What am I doing in this world? What is the sense of it all? Does it have any meeting?

The Orthodox Church says that the answer to all these crucial questions lies in Christ, His Cross and His Resurrection. Through Christ the meaning of myself and the world and everything that exists is disclosed and revealed. Through Christ, the Kingdom of God is opened to men and the possibility for my becoming myself is guaranteed. I become myself only in God. My nature finds its meaning in Him. My existence, as an image reflecting His divine reality, is secured. My life as an eternal being is established.

In this life this means that I must put on Christ and take up His Cross and follow him. I must suffer for truth and love and goodness. And yet there is joy in this suffering, for obedience to the Word is fulfilled in the Marriage Banquet of the Lamb of God in the Kingdom of God.

This is the Christian Mystery which the liturgy reveals and for which alone, the Orthodox Christian Church exists in the world.

Published in January 2011.

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