On Being Gathered

What? Another fast? Is it August already?

If you’re like me, you probably find yourself asking some of the same questions. It’s easy to get caught up in the many responsibilities we put upon ourselves, and sometimes we can feel overextended. So thank God (sincerely) for another Fast to force us to slow down. 

As we begin the Dormition Fast on August 1, we are called to pause for two weeks, and reorient ourselves as we gaze upon the life and death of our Most Holy Lady. She is the chief example of what a life devoted to Her Son is supposed to look like, and for me, the Theotokos reminds me of why we labor to bear Christ within ourselves. We see in Her the promise that we all will receive as we struggle to remain faithful to our calling to bear Christ to the world around us. 

As I’ve been pondering the Dormition, a multifaceted consideration of “gathering” comes to mind. Tradition holds that the Apostles were gathered from their respective corners of the earth to be present as Mary transitioned from death to life, and as bodily death meets Her here on earth, we see The Son gather The Mother to Himself. Christ trampled down death by death, and as a result we see that the grave cannot hold His Mother either, and nor will it hold us.

I am increasingly excited as we draw nearer to our own gathering here in Atlanta on October 5-7. I look forward to seeing some friends from last year’s Conference, and I look forward to making new friends at this year’s Conference. Our strong lineup of Speakers guarantees to bring challenging and encouraging perspective as we collectively seek to better Understand Our Purpose. And I’m especially looking forward to gathering with all of you, my family from around the country, to celebrate the Liturgy together and proclaim that Christ is Risen. Because He is, we proclaim that we all shall be raised up too, as the Theotokos Herself demonstrates to us. This proclamation is our hope, and this hope is why we work.

Most Holy Theotokos, save us!

-Michael (Innocent) Uhr, A/V Chair