"Perhaps some today find Christianity irrelevant to their lives because they have never seriously encountered the Orthodox experience of Jesus Christ."
American Christianity declines as the Martyrs of the Middle East bear Powerful Witness to Christ
Homily for the Sunday After the Ascension in the Orthodox Church
by Fr Philip LeMasters, Pravoslavie, June 2, 2017:
A recent survey of Americans about religion is getting a lot of attention, especially because it shows that fewer people now identify themselves as Christians and more consider themselves unaffiliated with any religion. Perhaps at least part of the reason for these declines is that many people have not found something worth living and dying for in the churches with which they are familiar.
Their experience reflects the failure of so much Christianity in our culture to embody with integrity the good news that we celebrate during this season of the Ascension, which invites us to participate personally in the fulfillment of our humanity in the risen and ascended Savior. The Lord went up into heaven forty days after His resurrection. In Him, humanity and divinity are united in one Person; He rises into heaven as the God-Man. His Ascension shows that the Son shares in the glory that He had with the Father and the Holy Spirit before the creation of the world.
"The power of the risen and ascended Son of God continues in the Church, especially in the witness of the martyrs to this day who share in a victory that is not of this world."
And He brings us into that glory with Him. The Ascension is a brilliant icon of our salvation, for it makes clear that our Lord has raised us in all dimensions of our existence—not only from the tomb, not only from Hades—but into the eternal life of the Holy Trinity. In the ascended Christ, we truly become participants in God, partakers of the divine nature by grace even as we live and breathe in a world that so often forgets the One Who spoke it into existence.