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
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 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.
Drum roll please… The results are in for the 2014 Best of the Best in all the respective media categories. Please see below and also the archives for previous years. Happy viewing and reading everyone, and as always, we would love to know what you think in the comment section below. Continue reading
December 25/January 7, 2014
Nativity of Jesus Christ, the Son of God in the Flesh
A.K.A. Old School Christmas
Several years ago for seminary, I composed the following sermon for a class on the exegesis of the Gospel of St. Matthew. I share it here with all in honor of the Old Style celebration of Christmas. Stay tuned also for an announcement of our Best of the Best in 2014. Happy Christmas to all and blessed and Happy New Year! Continue reading
It happens to us every year as we approach the eve of December 25th. A certain Christmas euphoria overtakes the family, and we simply cannot resist gorging ourselves on the rich liturgical offerings of so many Protestant and Roman Catholic Churches. Since we celebrate Orthodox Nativity on the Old Calendar (January 7), this affords us the opportunity to visit other churches on one of the holiest Christian holidays of the year. And I cannot think of a single holiday on the Western liturgical cycle in which services are offered throughout the entire evening, even as late as 10:00pm! Continue reading