Participation or Contemplation?

Fr. Vasile Tudora | 06 April 2011

Most of the people in America like sports. Sports are exciting, entertaining, fun. We just love to watch these great players doing their magic on the field: hitting the ball hard, scoring a goal, nailing a touch down. .

But as much as we admire them we will always find a barrier between us and the ball field: the TV screen. We entertain ourselves with the idea of watching because being on the field demands a lot of work, sacrifice and endurance and we know that only the “pros” can do it. This is why we are happy just watching and chitchatting around in our comfortable recliners. .

In a way the same thing happens in Church. We come to Church and we see some people getting involved, coming to services all the time, participating in the ministries, doing all the good works; and we get intimidated at times by them. Because of this we have a tendency, as in the sports, to become spectators, to put a screen between us. We come to Church from time to time but we keep our involvement to a minimum, we just watch, we do not want to go out and get our feet wet. No participation, no strings attached. .

But in our perpetual search for salvation, how healthy is this attitude? If the name of the game in Church is to save our souls, how can we satisfy ourselves just being spectators in the game of our lives? .

I think we are just intimidated and afraid of failure. But in Church there is no such thing as bad players. We are all drafted to play to our best ability. There is no scoreboard, no statistics, no foul play. The cup of salvation is granted not only to the best but to all that choose to play, despite their lack of skills.

Our Lord Jesus Christ wants us to be part of the play. He wants us to get involved, to be players not spectators. He wants us to be stewards of our churches and put our best abilities into play for the benefit of our souls and of the Church in general. .


We all have talents that can serve our community of faith: some can teach, some can cook, some can coordinate activities, some can help financially and so on. There is a position in the field for everyone. You just have to come and play, be part of the game in true team spirit. It is really easy, there are no prerequisites, everybody is welcome, there are no competing teams, and everybody wins. We just have to obey the general rules of the game, the commandments, and victory is ours. .

Just look into our hall of fame, the saints, and you will see that winning is possible no matter the background: you can be a thief or a prostitute, a fisherman or a rich man, the prize of salvation is yours if you just choose to play. .

Staying out of the game is not a viable option, because it gets us nowhere. What would happen if all would be spectators? The word liturgy means service in Greek. When we come to Church we are called in the service of God and our own community. We are responsible for it, because it is ours. We need to get involved because we can only be saved as part of this community, as players of the game, as members of this team, the Church. Christianity is not a single player game, it is a team play. Only together we can overcome all the difficulties and win the competition. .

Let’s get together, get involved, and be a part of what we are called to build here. We need each and every one of you to become a strong league, working together toward the highest goal of all: salvation of our souls.

Source: St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church

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