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If you have visited Tirana in the last few years you may have seen the footprint, foundation, rough skeleton and ornamentation of Rinjallja e Krishtit Kishes Ortodokse (Resurrection of Christ Orthodox Church).  This palace of our Lord is now open to the public.

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Today was my third visit to the church.  Each time I go I learn a little more about it.  I met an Albanian priest there the first time, a man named Gregory.  Pastor Alban and I were together that day.  Gregory didn’t want me to take his photograph, so I delayed telling this story until I went back to speak with him again.  Today Gregory and I sat down at his request to discuss my work in Fushekruje.  Over the course of our thirty minute conversation Gregory made three points.  

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1: the candles we light to symbolize the bringing of the light of God to someone’s life needn’t be separated between the those who are living and those who are dead.  In the Orthodox tradition there is a high candle tray and a low candle tray.  The lower is for the spirits of the deceased.  According to Gregory there is no difference in the nature of a person’s spirit be they alive or dead, and we therefor needn’t separate the candles in this fashion.  I concur.

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2: Gregory told me that he is praying for Pastor Alban and my work in Fushekruje.  Although we are not Orthodox, we are part of the Church, and therefor part of the Body.  In Gregory’s theology there is no real division by faith between he and I.  He has a great appreciation for the Catholic Faith as well.  I was happy to hear this wisdom from my new friend Gregory.  

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3: that the work of God, in whatever fashion, is to be celebrated and appreciated by the people of God.  Gregory used the example of himself and the man who sells the candles for lighting at the church.  In his view both tasks are equally glorifying to God.  I found this word of encouragement to be life giving.  Just this morning I was questioning my value as someone who is only a builder, and not a pastor.  Gregory helped to reset my gauge to the standards of God.

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We are, all of us, under the loving watchful eye of Jesus Christ who is our intercessor, our Lord and savior.  It is the work of the people of God to bring the gospel to those who haven’t heard it so that they to can be reconciled to God and given the keys of life.  I will be back to the Orthodox Church in Tirana.  I will go there to visit my friend and to sit in the peace of Albania’s newest holy place.

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