When I woke up this morning I still had a smile on my face! Can y’all believe what actually happened yesterday? I bet His Eminence woke up this morning with the same thought, but he wasn’t smiling. One day you’re an abbot, running your monastery, leading a brotherhood in sunny California. Next thing you know, you’re kicked back into the world to be the No. 2 guy in a diocese. And before you even get your stuff unpacked in Fort Worth, you’re elected the Big Kahuna and you’ve got to move to the cold Yankee North and lead a million souls (though after living at Valaam, New York state ought to be positively balmy). Would you be smiling? I’d be, well….there’s a phrase I’m thinking of but it’s not something you put on a respectable blog.
When I imagined Barack Obama on election night I pictured a guy jumping up and down for joy, at least in a dignified manner. I bet Metropolitan Jonah is having a very different reaction. He was chosen as a man of obvious prayer, vision and spiritual depth – things that he will draw upon even more so now. And just like Barack Obama, there are a million people expecting change and miracles the day after he’s “sworn-in”. Good thing his Eminence is in the business of miracles.
I would imagine that just like all of us are being called upon to make sacrifices and do our part to help the national economic and political recovery, equal sacrifice is going to be expected of every praying member of the Orthodox Church in America. So don’t just sit back and expect to see some results (or failures) to plight your troth. Our clergy and hierarchs aren’t here just to serve us laity. We serve each other and together we grow and change spiritually, each building up the Kingdom of God within ourselves and in God’s visible Kingdom on Earth. So, when you pray, pray more. If you tithe to your parish, tithe more. And if you’re still bitching and moaning about problems and scandal, make your prostrations in a glass house, then pray and tithe more.