Brothers in Unity

brothersBehold, how good and how pleasant it is
For brethren to dwell together in unity!

It is like the precious oil upon the head,
Running down on the beard,
The beard of Aaron,
Running down on the edge of his garments.

It is like the dew of Hermon,
Descending upon the mountains of Zion;
For there the Lord commanded the blessing—
Life forevermore. (Psalm 133)

I have always felt honored to be named personally in this quintessential passage about Christian unity, or at least my beard is named. It has also made me feel like I belong in our parish’s annual Lenten Men’s Retreat whose theme this year is brotherly unity. I am proud to say that I have made it to every single retreat minus one since their inception over a decade ago.

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Almost Holy Week…

Mendicant Monk:

A beautiful summary of the martyrs desire to die with Christ and the unbelievable fact that they do so out of giddy desire, not out of dour duty. Also, a wonderful summary of patristic wisdom on the subject. Enjoy!

Originally posted on Trinity Newton Sermons:

Sermon for Sunday, March 22, 2015
Lent 5B 

              Mosaic Christ Crucified, 12 Century

I think we all know what’s coming. I think we know what Jesus means when he says in today’s Gospel lesson, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.” I think we know, too, what the author of the letter to the Hebrews means when he says that Jesus is a high priest who “suffered” and was “made perfect.”   I think we all know that next Sunday is Palm Sunday and the week following is Holy Week. I think we all know what’s coming; we all know that Jesus’ Passion and death are just around the corner.

If I’m not mistaken, there seems to be a certain giddiness in today’s readings.   Notice, for example, the triumphant tone in the letter to the Hebrews: Jesus has “been…

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Orthodox Christian Worship in Five Senses

Wanted to tell you about a talk and worship service demonstration I am giving at the end of this month. Would be delighted if some of you local to Boston could make it. See information below and on the attached flier.

“Orthodox Christian Worship in Five Senses”

Come take a tour of the sensory-rich Eastern Orthodox worship service that enlightens the mind through the heart. Engage with a 2000 year-old Christian tradition that has been called America’s best kept secret.

Aaron W. Friar
Associate, Institute for Christian Unity M.Div.,
Holy Cross Greek Orthodox School of Theology

Friday, March 27, 7:00pm
Refreshments: 6:30pm, WEE Forum: 7:00pm
Fellowship Church, 47 Milton Street, Dedham, MA 02026

flier

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Being Separate in a Connected World

On this blog, I publish mostly original material, but every so often, I come across an excellent article that I feel needs a larger platform. Below is something that came to me courtesy of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocesan Department of Outreach and Evangelism.

Beloved in Christ, we have to see ourselves as being different than the world around us!  As Christians we are called to be “in the world, but not of the world.” (John 15:19).  The Scripture says “come out and be separate…..” (2 Cor. 6:17)

Yet this can be very difficult in a world that pressures us to conform to its ways and to be connected to it at all times. We live in this age of the 24hr news cycle, which most of the time is not really  “news,” but entertainment, shock factor, blog/twitter commentary of usually trivial information.  We live in the age of text, twitter, snap chat, Facebook, etc., etc. and we’re pressured to feel we have to be connected constantly or we’ll miss something.

And yes, we are missing something, Jesus, and relationship with Him.  We’re missing quietness, prayer, stillness, reflection. And instead, we’ve become impersonal, impatient, addicted, nervous if we don’t have our iPhone “on us” at all times.  Is this human advancement?  Is this progress of civilization? Continue reading

The Sweet-Bitter Taste of Fun

Clean Tuesday
First Week of Great Lent

I grew up near one of the best amusement parks in the country, or so the advertisements boldly proclaimed. As a child, I envied the houses we passed along the way as we started getting closer to the place of our yearly pilgrimage of fun. How did these folks get so lucky to live so close to a place where perpetual thrills were to be had almost 24/7? Surely a place with this much mindless entertainment must be like living in a virtual paradise. Yet my youthful impressions lasted only as long as the day, and my disappointment in the end came from the fleeting and exhausting nature of this exhilaration. For a steady diet of cotton candy and deep fat fried fun begins in sweetness but turns very quickly into bitterness. Continue reading

Always Winter

Always winter but never Christmas… the spell of the White Witch in Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia has a prescient quality for us here in New England where the incessant battery of snow, snow, and more snow is testing the patience of even the most ardent lover of the white wonder. Here, for those of you in warmer climes, are some of the best things seen and heard from my camera in the past several weeks.

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