Monday, August 16, 2010

The Ninilchik Russian Orthodox Church

The Holy Transfiguration of Our Lord Church sits atop a bluff overlooking Cook Inlet south of Soldotna in the tiny community of Ninilchik. We stopped there on the way to Homer because “The Milepost” (the travel guide we're using) stated that this church was a popular tourist site on the Kenai Peninsula with beautiful views of Cook Inlet.

The church was picturesque as was the cemetery. The church has an active congregation and there were several recent burials in the cemetery.

According to an entry in Wikipedia, the top bar of the double cross may represent the death of Jesus and the second one may symbolize his resurrection, but it could also be the cross beam on which Christ's wrists or palms were nailed. The bottom, slanted bar may represent a footrest where Jesus' feet were nailed to the cross. Another interesting interpretation has a much deeper meaning: The bottom bar may represent a balance of justice. Some sources suggest that, as one of the thieves being crucified with Jesus repented of his sin and accepted Jesus as the Messiah and was thus lifted into Heaven, the other thief rejected and mocked Jesus and therefore descended into Hell.

And even though Mother Nature wasn't cooperating (clouds and rain all day long), the view from the bluff was still quite beautiful. A portion of the town of Ninilchik and Cook Inlet (at low tide) seen from the bluff.

1 comment:

Greta Koehl said...

What a beautiful church! The story of the two thieves as an explanation for the slanted bottom bar is the one I have always heard.