Sunday of Orthodoxy: Icons and iconoclasm
The Sunday of Orthodoxy gives me pause to consider.
The Sunday of Orthodox celebrates the restoration of Holy Ikons to the Church.
While I decry, with the Church, the lack of understanding of the Incarnation of God in the flesh that underlies iconoclasm, it is upon me to look inward. Have I not done violence to the Image and likeness of God in myself? Am I not thus, in some form, an iconoclast?
Honouring the Image of God in me requires that I allow Him to transform my Mind (NOUS) to be renewed, restored, transformed. This is hard. It is a life-long struggle. For as the Light of God illumines me little by little, I get to see the dust and dirt that needs to be cleaned, and the trash that needs to be taken out.
In this Sunday we are reminded that God took flesh. And since He did this it is not only permissible but NECESSARY to have ikons. When I apply that to myself, I find that God is insisting that I become His likeness. In this way His Incarnation continues in the Church through Communion, and through our treatment of the least of these. In this God is calling me to be a saint. Part of me wants to be a saint; part of me rebels.
Since the day also honors the prophets, the second question must be: Have I done violence to the Image of God in others? This is what Jesus says the Last Judgement will be based on. Have I increased the burden of the afflicted? the hungry? the homeless? the ill clad? Have I failed to minister to the Image of God in the least of these? Have I failed to pay the worker a living wage? Have I made the disabled’s life more difficult or been impatient with them? Have I murdered with my attitudes of hate or indifference? These are the questions I must look at this second week of Lent.
O Lord and Master of my Life, give me not the spirit of laziness, despair, lust of power and idle talk; † But give, rather, the spirit of Sobriety, humility, patience, and Love to Thy servant; † Yea, O Lord & King, grant me to see my own transgressions, and not to judge my brother: for blessed art Thou unto ages of ages. Amen. †