One of the blessings of our Orthodox faith is the visible reminder of the presence of Christ, the saints, and the angels. In our churches as well as our homes, we have beautiful icons which help us to remember that we are not alone as we struggle in our faith: Christ, the saints, and the angels are indeed present around us, all the time. The icons help us to “see” their presence; and also help us to learn more about them and how they can point us to God. Each icon is full of symbolism and stories.
Father Noah Bushelli, of St. Philip Antiochian Orthodox Church in Souderton, PA, has taken his young parishioners by the hand and led them through the beautiful icons in their church. He has helped the children of his parish to better understand and appreciate the beautiful icons in their midst. Some of his children’s homilies explaining their parish’s icons can be found in his podcast, at http://www.ancientfaith.com/podcasts/letthechildren.
Many of these same icons are found in our own parishes or homes, as well. Let us take time to look at the icons with our children, asking them what they can tell us about each one, and helping our children to learn even more about each icon. The icon writers have blessed all of us by putting a visible image on ideas and stories from long before there were cameras available to record these important events. Let us take advantage of the blessing, and allow the icons among whom we live to speak into our lives so that we, along with our children, can become more like God.