Of course, there is an order and meaning to all the icons on the iconostasis. They depict the great events in Christ’s life, the feast of the church, and one icon is always there to illustrate the name of the church. Perhaps, surprising to all the Protestant Christians is that all the Old Testament prophets are portrayed with a halo above their head. More frequently it is a disc of light. The prophets are also referred to as saints. (Please note the icon of Jonah and the Great Fish.) For the Orthodox Church, the icons present an unbroken chain of holiness from the Old Testament into the New.
Throughout the summer we have been meditating on the Old Testament prophets in our worship. This has included occasional readings from the three major literary prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel, and the twelve minor prophets. In the ancient Jewish tradition, the Minor Prophets or simply Twelve Prophets, were all included on one scroll. The term “Minor” relates to the length of each book (ranging from a single chapter to fourteen); even the longest is short compared to the three major prophets. It is not known when these short works were collected and transferred to a single scroll, but the first extra-biblical evidence we have for the Twelve as a single collection is 190 BC. There is, however, a common theme in the words of the prophets. They focus repeatedly on the acts of sin, and the challenge of a resolute new life. In the New Testament, we are reminded by Jesus himself, that he is the fulfillment of these words. It is an unbroken chain of God’s action.
There is one more month of stories to hear. Don’t worry if you missed a Sunday or two. They are always available here. Join us as well, after church on Sunday, August 11, as fellow Lake of the Isles members, share their favorite stories of travel in Russia and the Baltic States.