Fr. Andrey Tkachev is one the most well-known priests in Russia, who has grown over time into a YouTube sensation with a very dedicated following. Recently, The Ukrainian government has stated that due to the pandemic, all citizens are encouraged to stay inside their houses - and, announced an idea that has been highly promoted to the people, "Easter at Home".
Fr. Andrey speaks out against the proposed idea; "As a Christian, how can you not attend your church to celebrate Christ's victory over Death out of your own fear of Death?...". He says people should go to church on Easter, otherwise they will be admitting that they aren't really Christians.
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And so, I’ve thought to myself, well, what do I think of “Easter at Home”? And here are my thoughts on all of this: On Easter, christians celebrate Jesus Christ’s Resurrection.
In other words, Christians celebrate Christ’s victory, prevalence over Death. Christ was not scared of Death.
And his absolute Faith in the Father freed him from it. It teaches us to follow his example, to do the same.
And we celebrate that.
So what is then “Easter at Home”?
The concept of it boils down to that
‘Panicking Christians, who are too scared of getting sick; terrified of Death, refuse to celebrate Christ’s fearlessness towards Death.’
I will repeat myself;
‘Panicking Christians, who are too scared of getting sick; terrified of Death, or, perhaps, a phantom precaution of Death --
it is very easy to become scared. Fear spreads through all of us with the speed of electricity -- it resembles a tornado; will refuse to celebrate Christ’s fearlessness towards Death in a church, and would rather do it at home.’
I’m sorry, but all of this sounds absurd to me.
I still remember the words of Gregory Palamas, who has said, “If we do not keep our Chastity; no one will believe us when we say that Christ was born to a Virgin.”
And I agree with him, it is very hard to believe that libertines would worship a God that was born to a virgin, and that their religion is "Pure"
and that their Faith is sincere.
And, like so, Gregory Palamas has also said,
“If we will fear Death; no one will believe us when we say that our God has risen from the dead.”
And with this I also agree.
Of course, I myself am scared of death.
The animalistic instincts which I cannot fully control will always be a part of me,
and they can only be suppressed by the Grace all of us have within ourselves- Sadly, there’s not nearly enough of it;
But, so, Grace defeats our Fear. Our Consciousness doesn’t.
Our willpower alone is not enough to stop the fear inside of us,
perhaps it is enough to hold it down for a while, yes, but not to overcome it;
Only that Perfect, Complete Love can demolish all Fear completely.
And so, with our Sins and our Fear, when we spread the word about Jesus Christ’s Resurrection,
and him being the Son of a Virgin,
our voices simply won’t be heard - they will not reach the heart of any audience; and thus, we will have minimal missionary effect in our efforts.
We can speak, but our words alone will not have nor any power to them, nor weight.
And so, if it so happens that we DO celebrate this Easter as “Easter at Home”
- And I do not exclude that possibility! -,
then, I suppose that will mean
That we have destroyed everything. We have, at least, destroyed our own Faith, in our God, who has taught us not to fear Death.