Making Fun of Evil

October 31, 2015
Eve of All Saints (Western Calendar)

At noon Elijah began to taunt them. “Shout louder!” he said. “Surely he is a god! Perhaps he is deep in thought, or busy, or traveling. Maybe he is sleeping and must be awakened.”  So they shouted louder and slashed themselves with swords and spears, as was their custom, until their blood flowed. Midday passed, and they continued their frantic prophesying until the time for the evening sacrifice. But there was no response, no one answered, no one paid attention.   (I Kings 18:27-29)

There is a long and venerable tradition of mocking evil in the Church. The Prophet Elijah taunted the devotees of the false god Baal and revealed this demon’s utter powerlessness. The righteous maiden Justina fouled the plans of the arch-sorcerer Cyprian and made light of his demonic powers to seduce her into an unlawful and sinful union. And the Lord of Glory, Jesus Christ, mocked death itself and eventually defeated death by deceiving the deceiver with his outward weakness and humility. Continue reading

Promised Land of the Weary and Heavy Laden

IMG_452074 degrees. A very pleasant temperature on most days, but on a day when the ocean water on the south shore of Cape Cod reaches this temperature, it is time to hit the beach! We have been planning this mini-vacation for years as we always travel here on the occasion of a friend’s birthday. But we always come down on a Sunday in mid-August just for the day. This year a forecasted heat wave and my wife’s excellent last minute suggestion sent us scrambling to rearrange work schedules, gather beach toys and supplies, and book a cheap motel near our friends’ bungalow in West Yarmouth. Continue reading

Cultural Camping

6:30am

I cannot believe it has taken our family this long to start camping seriously. It is such a close cousin to the dacha experience in Russia only without the growing of crops, for camping tends to be of much shorter duration than Dacha. Growing up with Asthma, I was rarely able to even go anywhere overnight in a tent. Now that I am older and less affected by allergies, I am making up for lost time in my contact with the natural world. Continue reading

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

Continue reading

There She Blows

Have you ever been so close to a whale that it can splash you in the face? Our family traveled to Gloucester on Columbus Day for a whale watch.

We drove to the harbor and boarded a ship named Miss Cape Ann. The ship zoomed into deep ocean and started looking for whales. The people were amazed when one of the passengers shouted, “THERE SHE BLOWS.” Off in the distance, two whales were spouting. Continue reading

Pickin’ and Hummin’ in the Harvest

IMG_2259Our family had the great fortune already this fall of attending two celebrations of the harvest with many more to come. The first was a long-standing tradition we have had of going with St. Herman Christian School to our favorite fruit farm in Northborough, MA. The second was a new tradition that we intend to repeat with my parents who now live in the area: the yearly harvest of the largest producer of cranberries in the world, right here in New England! Continue reading