Meatfare Sunday: On Food and Judgment

What brings us close to the Lord? What separates us from him? These are the two questions posed and answered (with some surprises!) in the epistle (1 Cor 8:8-9:2) and gospel readings (Matt 25:31-46) for this Meatfare Sunday, the Sunday of the Last Judgment. Let’s look first at the epistle. In 1 Corinthians 8, the apostle is addressing Christians who were worried about whether they could eat meat that was being sold…

Coals, Tongs, and Human Mediation

The Divine Liturgy for Feb. 2 is a major holy day, and focuses upon “The Presentation of the Lord” as an infant of 40 days in the Temple—or, as we often call it in Orthodoxy, “the Meeting” of the Lord. This is a special day for me, since my final decision to seek entrance into the Orthodox Church came directly as a result of this feast. (God works in mysterious ways!) Six…

The Old Testament, A Lamp for Today

I was delighted during the most recent meetings of the Society of Biblical Literature to attend a panel discussion of Richard Hays’s most recent book: Reading Backwards: Figural Christology and the Fourfold Gospel Witness (Baker, 2014). Throughout the presentation, as I saw Richard demonstrating a figural reading of the OT from the evangelists’ method, I kept thinking to myself—this is wonderful for Protestants who need to have method and doctrine demonstrated by…

Introducing ‘A Lamp for Today’

I love the Bible. I am growing to love the Church. I love to be in intense discussion about something that matters to me and to my interlocutor(s). And I love to read and write! One thing that I do not like about written words is that they can be somewhat disembodied. However, it is also true that part of who we are can be attached to written words: I have never…