To seize this Orthodox moment, the following realities must converge in 3-D: Digital Media; Discipleship; Deification.
Digital Media. As Roman roads provided civilization’s connective tissue in the past, so digital highways provide unprecedented opportunities for interconnectivity in the present. One illustration should suffice. In a YouTube/Facebook Live session last week I connected with some twenty countries that I have as yet never stepped foot in.
Discipleship. As digital media is a source of interconnectivity, discipleship is a source of spiritual multiplication. In accord with the words of our Lord we are to “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:18–20). If there are two hundred and fifty million Orthodox Christians alive today, imagine what just fifty million committed to discipleship could do. If each led one person into the fullness of Orthodoxy in 2018, the number of committed Orthodox believers would double to a hundred million. If the process continued from 2019 forward, it would take less than seven years to reach the seven billion people on our planet. And, if the population doubled, it would take only one more year. That’s the power of making disciples in accord with the Commission of our Lord.
Deification. As discipleship provides for spiritual multiplication, deification is the energy. As Saint Paul put it in his letter to the Colossians, “We proclaim Christ, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ. To this end I labor, struggling with all his energy, which so powerfully works in me.” We can struggle with our own energy, be on the sidelines not struggling at all; or struggle with all His energy.
The disciples got a glimpse of inexhaustible energy on the Mount of Transfiguration. There Peter, James, and John witnessed a dazzling display of uncreated power. The face of Christ “shone like the sun, and his clothes became as white as the light.” Moses and Elijah—who themselves had experienced divine energy—appeared as “a bright cloud covered [the disciples].” They experienced the ultimate lawgiver, the archetypal prophet in “glorious splendor” and were themselves enveloped in uncreated energy.
“This is the energy that alone is sufficient to empower our Orthodox Moment. It is the mysterium tremendum et fascinans. The mysterious energy by which we may as yet be energized in the midst of our Orthodox moment”.