Behind the Scenes

Behind the Scenes

Author: Fr. David
June 20, 2019

     We can’t always know what is happening behind the scenes. Often, years later we hear the story-behind-the-story. Macrina (340-379), a monastic and teacher, is at the heart of one of those stories. Macrina founded one of the earliest Christian communities in the city of Pontus (Near Armenia). Although she left behind no writings, Macrina was highly influential in the development of three of the great Bishops of the early Christian faith: Gregory of Nyssa (her brother), Peter of Sebaste, and Basil the Great.

     These names may not be familiar to you, but they are a few of the individuals that formed the early Christian traditions, upon which Christian practice rests today. Gregory wrote that these and others often consulted with Macrina on matters of theology and faith. Macrina continued to teach and encourage on her death bed, which was no more than two planks of wood lying on a dirt floor.

     Oklahoma is the proud home of David Pendleton Oakerhater (O-kuh-ha-tuh) (1847-1931), who was a Cheyenne warrior early in life, then having “found a new way”, became a spiritual leader, artist, and Episcopal Deacon. Oakerhater worked as a missionary in Oklahoma Territory, and in 1985 became the first Native American Anglican to be included in the prayers of Lesser Feasts and Fasts of the Episcopal Church. Learning the often-untold history of the Christian faith helps us to recognize that we follow in big footsteps as Christians.

     Although we cannot follow in the footsteps of Jesus, who said: “You cannot come where I am going.” (John 8:21), we do follow in the footsteps of the billions of followers of Jesus Christ that have lived and died in the faith. Many suffered torture and execution for refusing to renounce their Christian faith.

     I encourage any Christian to read the stories of the giants of the Christian faith. One resource is a book entitled, “Holy Women, Holy Men” by Church Publishing Corporation. These brief entries will open to you a door of knowledge and strengthened faith by reading about our Christian forebears.

     The message of Jesus Christ and the work of the Church did not stop at Acts chapter 28 (Nice one, Two Rivers). God continues to work today. Jesus continues to be with us as we gather and pray. The Holy Spirit enlivens and renews us. One God, forever and ever.

Blessings and Peace to You,
Fr. David+


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