I would not describe myself as someone who ever 'needed to be evangelized', at least, not by popular use of the term. I have spent most of my life in a Christian worshipping community, but I didn't appreciate my Christianity until I became Orthodox. Let me explain. It's something I came to fully realize at Pascha. You see, as a Lutheran, sure, we 'observed' Lent together, we had an extra service per week, we did things together, and we celebrated Easter together, but it wasn't the same. This year, my first Pascha as an Orthodox Christian (but not my first Pascha), I was able to fully take part in the joy of the Resurrection, the way it was meant to be. I got emotional, but after the Great Fast and Holy Week, the celebration was something that we had all been waiting for. To hear the words "Come recieve the light, from the Light, which is not overcome by darkness," to process singing "Thy Resurrection of Christ our Saviour, the angels in Heaven do sing, enables us on Earth to Glorify Thee in purity of heart." after processing just Friday behind the Buried Saviour, now singing about his Resurrection. What is there to say?
"Oh, those Orthodox just like to party!" No, we party because we have something to be joyous about. Christ is Risen, and life reigns! Christ is Risen, and not one remains in a tomb!. These words are the central cause to ALL our celebration. Without this Glorious Resurrection, nothing would matter, not one breath, or bite of food, or drop of vodka would have any meaning. But because of this, we share in all of these things which to ourselves we have denied. Christ is Risen, not just 3 words, but EVERY WORD, EVERY CONVERSATION, EVERYTHING ON EARTH summed up in 3 beautiful, glorious, life-giving words. Without the Incarnate God rising from his 3 days in the tomb, we would have nothing to celebrate. But He did, and He does, giving us all the joy in the world. Holy Week and Pascha reminded me that I can celebrate too, as an individual, but as a member of the community. A couple of very great friends did a lot for me during Holy Week in preparation for Pascha, they know who they are. I will forever be grateful to these friends for their friendship. I will forever, and annually, be thankful for my parish for giving me a place to celebrate the Resurrection with more fervor and joy and love than I have experienced anywhere outside of Orthodoxy. So now that I'm back to work, and life, and dishes, etc, I'm still beaming in the joy of the resurrection. I'm getting back to my worldly struggles, but with a new happiness, and a new hope. Glory to Thy Resurrection, O Lord!
Nothing else matters. Nowhere, at no time, does anything else matter. Christ is Risen!!!