The Orthodox Church has been called 'the Ark of Salvation'; a holy place set aside from the torrents of the world, a peaceful place that we can escape the relenting waves of life, and a place of support and community rather than trying to battle the chaotic sea on our own. Fr. Stephen Freeman has a recent blog post similar to what I'm talking about and below are two excepts that are very insightful:
It is in this wash of culture and its flood that it’s worth thinking about the Church (Orthodox) as an ark of salvation and safety. It is an ancient image of the Church, a place where God gathers those who are being rescued. The ark is not an instrument of flood management, however. It is a raft. Modernity imagines itself as the manager of the world and its historical processes. It [modern life] is an idea that is itself part of the destructive flood of our time.
From onboard the ark, we view things a bit differently. First, we trust that God is the Lord of the tsunami just as surely as He is Lord of the sparrow and the lillies in the field. The mystery of how He works all things for our salvation is summarized in His crucifixion. Most of that mystery is simply opaque. It is a confession of faith that the Cross represents the interpretation of all things.
As we continue to push on staying afloat day in day out, let us realize that the Ark of Salvation is always before us. Maybe we have jumped off the Ark because the ocean was calm and didn't think we needed the Ark, only to realize that the storms of life are back and we are starting to sink. Maybe we accidently fell overboard due to being distracted with life, falling into a sinful habit, or doing something harmful to another and now we don't want to call to people on board to throw us a life line.
Whatever the case is, the Ark of Salvation is still weathering the storm that each age presents and is always a place for you to find shelter. Be it coming to a service to find respite from the crushing cares of life, reconnecting with a priest or a church friend to get help or recommitting yourself to get in the boat to reach The Island (aka the Heavenly Kingdom), all are welcome aboard this ship. No one is ever too long gone, too burned out, too jaded, or too exhausted to not be brought on board.
May we all stay together, with Christ, within the Ark of Salvation while the storms rage and seas foam all around us.