Ten years ago at Nativity, my family and I were chrismated as newly illumined Orthodox Christians. In that ten years, my life has changed in immeasurable ways. I was tonsured a reader fairly early on -- about two years in. I managed to complete the St. Stephen Course in Applied Orthodox Theology this past year, a goal I set for myself when we became Orthodox. I have attended two Sacred Music Institutes and hope to attend more still. I have visited the Antiochian Village, venerated the relics there, and prayed at the resting place of the saints buried there. I have met many of our bishops and priests and deacons, and more, subdeacons who eventually became deacons, then priests. I have watched as the priestly ranks grew from the elevation of my friends.
I have learned that the Orthodox Church is not perfect. This is something we knew going in, or said we knew. We now know for sure. The Church is populated by sinners, of whom I am chief. We make messes of things, and fail to love one another as Christ has loved us. I have learned, notwithstanding this, that the Orthodox Church is herself perfect, in that her sinners are being saved, and we seek forgiveness where we err, and strive to love one another despite our many faults. We are being conformed to our Lord, Who is perfect. I have learned more than I care to know about church politics and governance, and I have learned far less than I care to know about Byzantine chant, Church history, theology, ecclesiology, and a host of other topics about which the St. Stephen Course has barely whetted my appetite. Mostly, I have made many great and lifelong friends, who share this journey with us, who learn the same lessons we learn, and strive to serve Christ in the same way we do.
Ten years really marks nothing of significance. The road is to eternity. Still, it seemed fitting to take a moment and reflect. We have been Orthodox Christians a decade now. We remain, still, home.